Either Aramas bridles, the early Phillippe Fontaine saddles, or the Dover BdH. I was like…6 when these were made, but the ones I have felt and ridden in are magnificent.
Equissentials breaches. I wear my pair from 2010 at least once a week still, and they were made to measure for less than the cost of most new breeches now. I would love to have the deerskin reset since the fabric is about worn out, but they went out of business several years ago. Now that I’m no longer a student, I would have loved to buy multiple pairs.
I love the now very unfashionable leather combo - think Crosby - of oakbark leather with saddle tan underneath. So classic.
My Stubben camelot! It is the only saddle I’ve found that fits my horse. I found it in great condition even though it’s probably 20 years old. I’m going to be so sad when I need a new one!
Definitely Aramas bridles—they also made wonderful dog collars. Also, Five Star Tack! Those bridles were so wonderful too.
The FITS Beka breech. If they brought that back, we’d all stop asking about the best breeches for curvy/athletic builds, because that would be the easy answer.
Aramas bridles were wonderful.
Mary’s carries some five star bridles!
Not a piece of tack, but a special type of hay feeder. The Health EZ Hay feeder. They don’t make them anymore and I’m on my last one!
Ugh, I was coming here to say this.
I like figure 8s without fleece, and with stitching all along the straps to avoid stretching. 5 Star Tack had one, I was eyeballing it all the time but didn’t “need” it, so said that I would ask for it as a gift in about 9 months.
They went out of business.
I had a saddle like this growing up, with tan suede knee rolls to boot. I wasn’t riding in any circles at that point where I even realized saddles could be “fashion statements”. In fact, most people I knew thought a $1000 brand new english saddle was expensive and most everyone rode western anyways. All I knew was a local 4h mom was selling it and 12 year old me had saved up all of my money to buy my very first saddle for $200.
That saddle treated me well for nearly a decade, and I never gave it a second thought until I was working at a dude ranch over the summer and wanted to school one of the younger horses in it. I pulled it out and a coworker started making fun of me and asked if it was an antique.
TuffRider Sierra breeches, really different from the rest of their stuff. They were great; lowrise, fit perfectly, really nice fabric. I have a couple of pairs that I actually show in that are finally showing their age after years and years. Sigh. My other faves are the Pikeur Cieras, which are a lot more money!
When I was going to Potomac Horse Center back in 1979, the thought that anyone would pay $3,000 for an Hermes was preposterous! The Kieffer dressage saddles that one of the instructors endorsed went for $400 brand new.
The old Crosby saddles, especially the PDN type. English leather which “drank” the conditioners up. Plain flap. The 17" ones fit me almost perfectly.
When I ordered my Pegasus Butterfly saddle I told Ron that my favorite saddle was my Crosby “Wide Front” PDN type saddle, and I wanted one that was the nearest to it. Luckily for me he understood completely. The saddle he sent me isn’t totally “close”, but then that old type English leather from the early 1970s is really hard to replicate nowadays.
I ride so much better in plain flaps. Oh well.
I just saw a PDN somewhere for cheap (ish). If I find it (or others) I’ll reply
Edit: Found it!!!
Hey! I know someone selling a camelot!! They are asking like $650 but are probably negotiable. It’s in pretty good shape.
I actually just bought one so I don’t need one now, thank you though!
I believe Aramas bridles are still made, as my local tack shops still carry a bunch of new ones. I believe ERS’s website still has them listed as well. They are definitely harder to find than they used to be, though.
As for my favorite stuff that isn’t made anymore… where do I start? Probably 75% of my stuff is no longer made or has since switched manufacturing!
I loved the Miller’s Crosby tack, especially the bridles and strapgoods. All of mine have held up great even with heavy use, and still look amazing! I really, really miss the XL Excel and Selle Française lines, though. They were beautiful, high quality, and the girths are some of my favorites!
I have a Campbell bridle (from Whitman) I love as well. It has the braided brow and noseband (love this look) and is made from nice, sturdy leather in a really pretty medium brown.
Miller’s Collegiate tack has been a favorite of mine for years as well. I grew up in a Collegiate Graduate plain flap close contact saddle (still have it), and I think their saddles back then were a really great value, and so comfortable, too! I have a few of their scrapgoods that are pretty nice for the price point as well. I wish Collegiate tack was still the same, though I also like my 13-year-old WeatherBeeta Collegiate bridle for the price.
I have a pair of Ovation lined stirrup leathers that are not calfskin, came in an oakbark color, and have a pretty fancy stitched detail at the ends that I absolutely love, but can’t find those exact leathers anymore! I’m thinking they quit making them, as I haven’t seen any tack of theirs in oakbark or anything other than chocolate brown in awhile, either.
I absolutely love my Dover Wellington bridle and standing martingale as well. Gorgeous soft, but sturdy leather, beautiful stitching, and looks great on multiple horses! The leather quality is absolutely amazing! I really miss this line from Dover.
I have some Jimmy’s tack that is to die for as well (though his son is still making comparable tack and I believe is reviving the Jimmy’s name), and this stuff will last forever with good care! Sturdy but pliable, and beautiful craftsmanship!
I have a couple of Beval New Canaan bridles, one in the original square raised design and another in the round raised fancy stitched design, and love the quality of both. They’re very similar to the Dover Wellington (both made by Jeffries IIRC), and I really wish Beval bridles were still this nice!
I have a Northrun bridle I picked up for a good deal not long ago and find it to be beautiful as well. Beautiful leather quality, stitching, and overall craftsmanship, and it is just stunning! It’s really too bad they went out of business a few years ago.
I’m also in love with my Courbette tack, including my two Husar jumping saddles and a really unique bridle (the brow and reins are double laced in opposite directions, if that makes sense; it is really cool looking!). I don’t think tack gets much more durable than this and my saddles could probably survive nuclear warfare! The bridle is beautiful, yet equally sturdy. I’m not sure I’ve ever found leather on saddles I’ve liked better, or that has worn better. It is comparable to Stübben (IIRC, Courbette and Stübben manufactured saddles in the same German and Swiss factories in the early days) and wears like iron just like Stübben!
I also miss completely white lined bridles (I have a Crosby in chocolate brown and a Stübben in black), where every single piece was white lined, as well as the bridles that were a lighter/medium brown with a lighter, almost tan padding (I have an HK Americana like this, though it has darkened with use, and have always loved that look and hate that it seems to have gone away).
I have a Triumph breastplate that is made of amazing, old school leather, and love the feel of it! I believe Triumph was bought out in the 1970’s or 1980’s.
I love the old Roma Air-Flo saddle pads as well. They are so nice and squishy! The only bad thing is that many of them seemed to come in shorter lengths and barely fit my 17.5" saddles.
Another thing I love that I have a really hard time finding anymore are the white neoprene girth covers. I have them from Miller’s and Cushion-Air (Libertyville Saddle Shop), and I love how easy they are to clean vs. fleece or synthetic fleece. I just hose them down and hang them up, and I can just slide them on any of my existing girths. My first trainer had these for her school horses and I have used them for years as well!
As for riding apparel, I always loved some of Miller’s breeches, but finding ones that fit is hard since some of their sizing was inconsistent and Miller’s has been out of business for close to 20 years now. I loved the quality and comfort of the ones I had, though!
I’m sure there are more I can’t think of! It seems that any time I find something I really like, it happens to be no longer in production or the manufacturing/design has changed!
I love that as well! 4 out of 6 of my English saddles have that combo or something similar, including a Crosby Sovereign!
I also love the bridles that are a lighter/medium color with the tan padding, but that seems to have fallen out of fashion as well. I hate that, because that’s one of my favorite looks for bridles and pairs so well with a saddle like this! I still have an HK Americana bridle like that that has darkened some with use, but still looks really sharp with my saddles (why I fell in love with it and chose it!). I also think it is a breath of fresh air from the sea of dark brown/almost black bridles (which there is nothing wrong with, but I love a bit of variety and have always loved a lighter/medium brown, as well as the two-toned padding look).
I have two with the suede knee rolls like that, and one is my main saddle I use all the time! I LOVE it, and even though it sticks out like a sore thumb among the trendy French saddles, I still think it’s beautiful and love it to pieces!
I remember Betty Howett !