Time for another Review Wednesday! This particular product is one that I’ve been wanting to review for a while, but I’ve wanted to have it for a few months before giving it my 2 cents so I could, with relative accuracy, give everyone a thorough review. So today on the docket is the Lund Saddlery Eventer Series Snaffle Bridle and their Eventer Series Lace Grip Reins.
To give you a bit of background first, Lund Saddlery is a relatively new company. If I’m remembering correctly, they debuted on Facebook September 2016-ish. They make extremely affordable strap goods from quality Sedgwick leather – and you can’t beat the price! All of their pieces are within pretty much everyone’s budget, and I absolutely believe you’re getting really good quality for those prices. Two things about this company that so far I have very much appreciated and loved are 1) whenever you contact Lund on Facebook, you’re talking directly to the owner of the company and 2) Lund has monthly draws on facebook where you can win whichever tack piece is on the docket for that month. That means FREE tack! You can’t beat free tack, and I generally enter every month. Also, many other bloggers have tried out this brand’s strap goods, and Lund has all of those reviews on their page for you to check out, too.
On to the bridle! I was itching to get my hands on this leather considering I’d read so many bloggers’ posts about how lovely the products were. There was going to be a kickstarter in December, and originally I had planned to get my bridle and reins combo through the kickstarter; however, Lund was selling the eventer series snaffle bridle and lace grip reins they had used on their horse model for a discounted price on facebook. Me being generally impatient, I decided to snap it up. And then couldn’t wait until this came in the mail lol.
I’m not really an Austrailian nut fan – at least not on Amber. She’s already orange, and the orange-ish padding with the reddish leather I was just not the biggest fan of how it looked on her. I actually liked the natural look of it on Whisper better. She’s a liver chestnut, so the contrast of color looked good on her. But, after reading Karen’s post about darkening the bridle, I knew it would be no issue to get it a lovely Havana that I think looks very snazzy on Amber.
I’ll talk more on darkening the leather later and go to the quality of the leather. I’ve never really had really good Sedgwick leather, but now that I have, I am definitely hooked. Out of the box the bridle was a little stiff, but as most Sedgwick lovers know and as I came to find out, it’s usually a bit stiff at first and takes a while to break in – however the leather lasts FOREVER. And I can absolutely see why. While the leather was a bit stiff, it wasn’t a cheapo-stiff-leather feeling if that makes any sense. It merely felt new, and you could seriously see and feel the quality straight out of the box. The padding on the monocrown, browband and noseband is Italian leather, and absolutely luxurious feeling. I of course hurried out the next day after work to try it on Amber and make sure it fit. It was a full size, which Amber definitely needed – browbands can tend to be tight on her since she ranges from full to oversize for that forehead and those ears of hers. While the circumference of her nose requires a full-size noseband, she’s a cob in the length of her head. Even still, the Lund bridle fit her very well.
I immediately took it inside and applied a coat of Neatsfoot oil. Neatsfoot will be your friend in darkening the leather. Karen suggests Belvoir as well, which unfortunately I didn’t have. I tried the Passier lederbalsam on it but don’t like it as much as plain Neatsfoot. The Sedgwick absorbed the Neatsfoot like no other leather strap goods I own, and it was brand new! The Italian leather padding darkened immediately with the Neatsfoot. I applied one coat, and it looked very dark at first. Once it all soaked in, it lightened and required more coats of oil.
For the next few weeks, I did just as Karen suggested – I’d ride and coat in oil, ride and oil, ride and oil, etc but not clean it with glycerin soap. It darkened very nicely, soaked up the oil like crazy, and after a few times I stopped with the Passier lederbalsam since it seemed to make the leather a little tacky and would attract the Vegas dust like flies. The Neatsfoot left it feeling soft and smooth. It stopped darkening after the first month of plain Neatsfoot, but I also haven’t cleaned it in a while. Haha oops. On the plus side, it absolutely looks no worse for the wear. I’ve left it in the un-sealed tack room and it has gotten wind, dust (like literally there was a 1/2 inch of dust because the winds were so bad), humidity from the rain and still looks new. I know most east coast weather is absolutely worse than mine, but Vegas is also extremely dry, and that can very quickly damage leather. So far, it’s taken the weather like a champ. As I’ve used it over the past 6 months, it’s only gotten softer, but still remains very hardy.
The reins are the exact same quality as the bridle. The front portion of the reins, just like the noseband and browband, are plain raised. Yet after a lot of Neatsfoot, it’s just as soft as the bridle. The laced part of the reins is still a little stiff and a little hard on my fingers, but that does help provide extra grip -especially if you’re wearing gloves (alas I was not lol). Even though the stitching is the same color as the bridle and reins, it’s all flawlessly done and really speaks to the quality of these strap goods. Because I was even more impressed with the quality than I had been before, I funded their tack trunk kickstarter and decided I’d try the rubber reins. I have heard so many stories of rubber reins melting, and I never liked how sticky they are, but they’re on my list of things to try.
Even though I only have 2 items of theirs, I’m already wanting more. Part of me wants to get a black dressage saddle now just to have an excuse to buy their dressage bridle haha. But I plan to also try their calfskin leathers, the rubber reins, their 4 point breastplate….things that I probably don’t need but the leather is just so nice! Rob, the owner of the company, is very honest and forward with all of his information, and it’s such a relief to be able to actually talk to the owner of the company and get good answers in a timely manner. I’ll definitely be buying more of their products in the future.
While I got my bridle discounted, the Eventer Snaffle Bridle is $175 USD and the reins are $95 USD; however, those prices INCLUDE shipping. It’s a very affordable bridle, and definitely much more worth the purchase price than other bridles I’ve had. Five stars from me!