I’ve gotten a bit behind on my PS of Sweden reviews, it seems. I still need to do one on the High Five breastplate, but I want to wait until I have a chance to use it more and give it a thorough test. For the Flying Change bridle, though, the time has come.
I’ve had this bridle for about a month now and used it several times. I’ve conditioned it a couple times and cleaned it once. This is not my first bridle from PS of Sweden, I also have the High Jump in dark brown leather. Like the High Jump, I ordered the Flying Change in a cob size. Henry really measures between their cob and full size, but I prefer how the cob size browband fits. The Flying Change was ordered with the intent of being his dressage bridle, so I chose black.
I have gotten really spoiled by PS’s shipping… two days for something to make it from Sweden to my doorstep (it’s ALWAYS two days!) is pretty amazing considering how long most of my other orders take from other places. Plus the bridles come in a fabric bag to store them in to keep the dust off, and there’s always something “extra” in there from PS – either rein stops or a keychain or whatever. Small details, but nice ones. When I opened the package, the first thing I noticed was the thick soft padding on this bridle. The noseband and crown are super soft and squishy for those delicate faces and polls. There’s also a nice thick pad running under the jaw area of the noseband. I gave a quick condition with Higher Standards balm and it was ready to go.
As with the High Jump (and all of PS’s bridles) the browband snaps on and off to be easily removeable and interchangeable. This is an awesome feature if you happen to also own a sparkly PS of Sweden browband like I do. It literally takes 15 seconds to do a browband change. Yes I timed it.
The other super cool “quick change” feature of this bridle is the flash attachment. The tab connecting the flash to the bridle runs between the top layer of leather and the padding. The tab hooks back on itself via a little rounded metal stud, similar to the studs you see on some models of jumping boots. The stud has smooth rounded edges and just barely sticks up from the surface of the leather when the flash is attached, so I’ve had zero worry about it getting snagged on anything. The stud really makes it very quick and easy to put the flash attachment on or take it off. Again, just a matter of seconds. The first time I took it off and put it back on I didn’t push the leather down firmly enough on the stud and it popped off when I went to fasten the flash on the horse. Once I took care to make sure that it was back on the stud correctly, I’ve never had another problem with it popping off. I absolutely LOVE the fact that when you take the flash off of the bridle, you would never know it was there in the first place. No ugly flash tab, and no dents in your padding!
The reins on this bridle are similar to the High Jump but not quite the same. They are made from the same “softy” leather, which I really adore. It’s super super soft and thin and grippy, which makes it very easy and comfortable to hold. They also have the same leather hand stops spaced evenly down the length of the reins. The only difference is that these are not lined in rubber. For a dressage bridle, these reins are really ideal for me. I love having the hand stops to help make sure my reins are even and to help prevent me from letting them slip through my hands – both bad habits of mine.
The noseband came with a clip on the bottom for easier attachment, and while I do love the ease of it I liked the fit a little bit better without it, so I took it off. There are rollers on each side of the hardware under the bottom strap of the noseband for easy and fluid tightening/loosening.
The top of the nose has a slightly squared design to it that molds really nicely around the nose and then tapers to thinner leather on each side. IMO this makes it a very flattering bridle for many different head types.
The reins and cheekpieces also have the same heavy duty elastic “cradle” inserts in the ends as the High Jump has… it’s up to you whether you take them out or leave them in. I’ve left them in for now but will take them out before we start showing just in case a steward ever objects.
Overall I’m just as happy, if not more so, with this bridle as I am with the High Jump. The quality is good, the design is both innovative and beautiful, and the horse goes well in it. I sat here for a while trying to think of something negative to say, but honestly I’ve got nothing of note. The only slight negative, depending on how you look at it, is that one of the keepers on the noseband was very tight. To stretch it out a bit I slathered it in conditioner and stuck a Sharpie in it (it was just the right thickness!), twisted it around a little, and left it for a few days. When I took the Sharpie out it was looser, and the keeper held up perfectly to all the twisting and stretching. I’m excited to debut Henry’s fancy new dressage bridle at events this year! Thanks PS of Sweden for another great product.