Our Bridles

Why buy an IR Bridle

  • Each IR Bridle is handcrafted by Issi from the very best quality Sedgwick’s English bridle leather. This leather is incredibly strong whilst keeping the shiny finish, ensuring the bridle remains beautiful while the IR curved headpiece design enhances the leather’s natural strength allowing the horse to be comfortable. Issi was the very first designer and maker of the true curved padded headpiece design. The design has since been copied by most bridle makers and manufacturers but Issi remains at the forefront of bridle design.
  • Every aspect of a handmade IR Bridle can be personalised from widths and lengths,  how many loops are needed on Continental web reins right through to the exact drop on a U or V shaped browband.
  • The design possibilities are limitless. Previous IR Bridles have included gold piping, real Swarovski cubes, glass pearls, diamonte stitched into a design of the nation’s flag, black, white and havana patent nose and browbands, piped or fully covered.
  • Only British buckles and fittings made in Walsall are used for each IR Bridle, ensuring quality throughout in solid brass, stainless steel and nickle plated brass.
  • Every loop is checked and rechecked to be certain it will neither be too large or too small, every hole punched is measured to ensure the buckle tongue will fit easily.
  • All IR rolled bridles are made with rope integral in the rolling for added strength and all rolling is hand created from the beginning with hidden stitching to prevent wear and tear.
  • Raised nose and browbands are all flat against the horse to spread the pressure of the strap over the widest area possible. Flash loops are tapered so the stitched part is wider than the loop to prevent the loop being pulled out quickly and to look neat.

Foam in IR Bridles

IR Bridles are padded using a wonderfully soft and pressure relieving specialist foam which remains soft even when stitched. This foam is then covered in a soft thin leather to allow it to remain as soft as possible for the horse. This leather does not harden with time but remains as soft as the day it was made.

How to Order

Issi is available to come out and measure your horse within a 30 mile radius of the workshop for £30 plus mileage charged at 45 pence per mile with the first 10 miles free of charge. Repeat visits are charged at mileage only.

Alternatively if you are further away a sample bridle can be posted to you. Adjust this bridle on the horse and take photos of both sides of the head then post the bridle back and the measurements can be taken from there.

IR Bridles unfortunately cannot accommodate visits to the workshop.

Options available

As each IR Bridle is made completely to the customer’s specifications there are many style options, here are just a few.

Please contact us for more information.

Care of IR Bridles

Leather is a natural product which as a result means each hide is unique and will change as it is used and conditioned. Leather loses a percentage of its oils every day of its life whether it is used or not. This must be replaced to ensure longevity and continued strength. These oils need to be replaced if the leather is to continue to be safe.

If soaked in water then dried out quickly using heat the leather will crack. Please remember the item will wear through use so it is very important to check every aspect during routine cleaning, especially billets and the buckle tongue areas which are the areas under the most strain.

When new, first treat with leather balm/ conditioner for example Albion Leather Balm or Sedgwicks Leather Care before first use. Allow this to soak in overnight then continue treating at least once a month for the duration of the bridle’s life.

Wipe the bridle over after every use, completely taking it apart once a week. Ensure around the hook studs and buckles are cleaned thoroughly as this is where the most wear and tear occurs. Take extra care around fancy browbands especially the diamonte style as it is possible to catch the diamonte mounts with a sponge and dislodge the stones.

Avoid using any harsh products, e.g. products containing alcohol, on the leather as this can remove the dyes.

How to tell if a bridle is handmade

The quickest way to tell if a bridle has been handmade is to look at the stitching. a handmade bridle will have been completely hand stitched whereas a manufactured bridle will have mainly machine stitching. Machine stitching loops the thread at every stitch which means if one stitch wears then the rest will soon follow. There may also be unsightly marks on the leather from the machine foot and plate as it draws the leather through.

In hand stitching, the thread is actually passed through the leather each time which means the thread is locked at every stitch, if one stitch wears then the others will stay put.

The only part of an IR Bridle which is machine stitched are the rubber on the reins. This allows the rubber to be easily replaced when necessary.

Why choose handmade over manufactured

Quite simply, handmade does last longer! From the stitching to the fittings to the leather itself, a handmade bridle can be relied upon year after year if looked after correctly.

Every component on a handmade bridle is selected for each individual bridle from the beginning allowing greater customisability. The different parts of the leather is selected for the different uses, e.g. the best part of the leather is used specifically for the reins, cheekpieces and headpiece. All fittings are inspected before use for flaws and rejected if any are found.