Thursday, March 12, 2015

Five Star Tack Review: Ascot Figure 8 Bridle

Last year, as "To me, from me" birthday present, I purchased my first mid-range bridle. Before I had slowly worked my way up the ranks, starting with an HDR Advantage bridle (x2), and my most recent bridle, the SmartPak Harwich with the Harwich figure 8 noseband. I was fortunate (or unfortunate?) to see the Five Star Tack booth a couple years back at Rolex, and goodness, I was in love. So when Candy broke my Harwich bridle, I decided to buy a new bridle for my birthday and keep the Harwich bridle as a backup.

I picked up the Five Star Tack Ascot Figure Eight from Four Star Tack (yeah- you confused yet?), which is their figure eight with fancy stitching. I personally have moved away from clincher browbands, and prefer a streamlined appearance with a little bit of flair.
He's such a handsome man (and that bridle is not half bad).

Love the stitching on the nose pad. Absolutely adore it.

First Impressions: When I first got my bridle, I was impressed with how sturdy the leather felt. It reminds me of how durable Nunn Finer Bridles feel. I personally believe the leather is nicer than Nunn Finer, but carries the same heft. The brown leather is a deep chocolate. Stitching was very even and neat.

One Year Later: Still a deep chocolate; this is not a bridle that has darkened, despite conditioning it regularly. The bridle looks brand new. Granted, I am meticulous about cleaning my tack, but I also own a very sweaty, hairy horse who is rough on tack. It might have a scratch or two from when Candy sneaks a face scratch when I'm not looking. Overall, the bridle has held up very well to use 4-5 days a week for the last year.


  • Well made and sturdy. 
  • Classic appearance. 
  • Cleans up very well. 
  • Padded monocrown. 
  • Leather padded disk. 
  • Distinctive look with the cross nose disk.


  • Only comes in one shade of brown. 
  • May be a bit overwhelming for dantier faces, as the bridle is thick. 
  • Does not soften readily; it took quite a few oilings
  • No matching cavesson noseband (for my adventures in hunter land)
  • Matching reins are separate
Overall, I do NOT regret the money I cashed up for this bridle. It's beautiful, and I absolutely adore it. In fact, this year, if I hadn't just retired my boy, my "To me, from me" present for my birthday was going to (and might still) be either a Five Star Tack elastic breastplate or a bridged breastplate. Instead, I ended up snagging a Five Star Tack Wembly bridle (now discontinued, I believe) and Five Star Tack standing martingale for Sawyer. I'm a Five Star Tack junkie for sure!

The boys in their Five Star Tack gear.


  1. that bridle looks good on him! i hadn't heard of that company before, but there stuff looks nice!

    1. Thank you! Candy has a chunky head, so finding a flattering bridle has been tricky. :)