Equishopping have a huge range of bridle accessories but how do you use them correctly and what are they for?
First off, martingale stops are a vital component of any set of reins used with a martingale. If you don't have them on you run the risk of getting the reins tangled with your martingale in various nasty ways which inevitably don't end well... The advantage of rubber stops is that they can be taken off when you don't need them. This is especially useful when you need to ride a dressage test- the dressage judges like to see the space between the horses jaw and neck uncluttered by martingale stops as it detracts from the outline. If you have leather stops you can't take them off.
Sheep skin nosebands can also be a useful tool. You're not allowed sheepskins down either side of the horses head anymore but you are allowed a nose band. They are also called shadow rollers as they stop racehorses on the flat trying to jump shadows... More commonly though, they're used with jumpers that don't focus on their fences as they force the horse to peek over them and focus with their head lower rather than run round with their head in the air... Merino sheepskin ones are the softest and last the longest.
Curb chain protectors are also useful if you use a curb chain. It's very easy for curb chains to rub or get hair caught in them so a rubber cover is a simple solution. Just remember to twist the curb chain twice so it lies flat before you fit the cover.
Bridle bags are also a great way of reducing mess in your tack room and keeping newly cleaned tack sparkling before you go down the centre line.
Ear covers are also useful for horses that get irritated by flys or those that seem to have supersonic hearing. You can even get very funky florescent ones to keep you safe on the road!
Fulmer loops are also something people forget. If you've got long sides on a bit they're very usefull for keeping things tucked away and neat. Also they give the bit more poll action when used properly. It may not be the case that you need to change bit as you might just have to add a pair of fulmer loops. Give it a go, you can't lose.
Pelham roundings are another useful tool. They allow a double bit (ie bridoon and weymouth) to be used with a single rein. From small kids who knit with their reins to eventers who need a simpler set up XC pelham roundings can be a life saver.
Although blinkers aren't allowed to be used out competing they do have their uses. Some horses are only hackable on the road with blinkers or alternatively it wouldn't be unheard of to take very young horses out hacking in blinkers. However, opinions differ on blinkers...
That's it for bridle accessories. The Equishopping range is fairly complete so we should have everything you can think up available. Happy shopping.