About IR Bridles

Who We Are

Hand crafted on the edge of an historical Cotswold town in England, IR Bridles are the culmination of ten years bridle design and making experience, owned and run by award winning Master Saddler Issi Russell.

Every bridle is made from scratch to each client’s specifications and their horse’s fit. As a result, every bridle is truly unique.

IMG_9323 croppedIR bridles are used by all equestrians, from leisure riders right up to professionals and Olympians within all disciplines. Issi is immensely proud to have had three of her bridles go to London 2012 with eventer  Zara Phillips and dressage riders Carl Hester MBE and Charlotte Dujardin OBE for Team GBR.

Using only the very best in English leather and modern materials, IR Bridles are designed and made to stand up to the rigours of daily life within the equestrian world while still remaining beautiful. The first IR bridle made was in 2004 and continues to be used every day. Both leisure and professionals have commented on the difference in longevity between their previous bridle and their IR bridle.

Issi first started her training in September 2000 at the world renowned Cordwainer’s at Capel Manor College in London, now the only college offering a full time saddlery course. After graduating in 2003 with the Cordwainer’s Diploma in Saddlery and the Higher National Diploma in Saddlery Technology, Issi started her apprenticeship with Laurence Pearman at Stroud Saddlery. Qualifying as a saddler two years later, Issi became a Master Saddler with the Society of Master Saddlers in 2008. Issi has trained many award winning apprentices at both Stroud Saddlery and Cirencester Saddlers.

In 2013, Issi was honoured to receive the prestigious Highly Commended Certificate for the Prince Phillip Medal presented by HRH Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace. The Prince Phillip Medal is awarded in recognition for, in the Prince’s own words, “those who have travelled the City and Guilds path” and made the most of their talents

Throughout her career to date, Issi Russell has entered the Society of Master Saddlers National Saddle, Bridle and Harness Competition, winning prizes on numerous occasions.


Issi Russell has been a member of the Society of Master Saddlers since 2004, a Master Saddler since 2008.

She also holds the following qualifications;

  • City & Guilds Skills Tests 1, 2 and 3 in Bridle, Saddle and Harness
  • The Cordwainer’s Diploma in Saddlery
  • The Higher National Diploma in Saddlery Technology
  • The Millennium Apprenticeship
  • The Advanced Modern Apprenticeship in Saddlery

In 2010 Issi joined the Executive Committee of the Society and was also appointed an Assessor for the City & Guilds Skills Tests. Issi is also regularly a judge for the National Saddle, Bridle and Harness Competition and the BETA Bridle Making Competition.


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