Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bring on the bling! Finding the right browband...

You would never know it to see me now, but as a kid I loved to dress up. On the left you see me and my sister, me on your right, in what must be Easter Sunday attire. Not sure why my sister looked so miserable, maybe because I'm clearly wearing the superior hat, or because I got to hold the--well, whatever the heck that was. When I was a bit older, 7 or 8, I had a collection of formal evening dresses -- castoff prom and bridesmaids dresses. I believe I also had a tiara. Thankfully there are no pictures.

With this insight into my past, you may understand my love of dressage browbands that are gaining popularity in the show ring. But with one retired horse, and one yearling, I could never justify the expense. This year, my most treasured Christmas present was an amber bead and stone browband, from my sister. I can already imagine Riley making his show ring entrance at sport horse breed shows this summer. In case you're in the market, High Point Designs in Celina Texas makes gorgeous, inexpensive browbands that don't look inexpensive. I had window-shopped for months for just such a browband, and below you'll find a list of some of the best sites for horsey bling...



This browband is from People on Horses!


TOP PICKS


Equesport
http://www.equesport.com

One of my favorite sites, with one of the widest range of bead types and design choices I've seen. As a fan of cloisone I like that this site has so many cloisone options. The styles range from conservative to over the top bling! Most seem to be over a hundred dollars and a few are in the two hundred dollar range.

High Point Designs
http://www.txwarmbloods.com/store%20frset.htm
This is where my sister got my browband. The designer is great to work with and the browbands are lovely and reasonably priced. Many different styles, quite well-described so you know exactly what each bead is. She also does custom piping colors too.

Jumper Jewels
http://jumperjewels.com/ (link appears dead, what HAPPENED???) 6/2/09
I LOVE these beaded browbands (8-9 rows of tiny beads that can form designs or letters (e.g, your horse, farm, personal name). No prices, but I'm guessing you pay for the labor and customization. They cite some big name clients,mostly in the jumper world.

Pink Equine
http://www.pinkequine.com
Well, okay, this site's claim to fame is colored piping on dressage bridles (at affordable prices), but the matching rhinestone browbands give these bridles a certain je ne sais croix!

OTHERS


Crown Jewels design
http://www.crownjewelsdesign.com/

Custom Equine
http://www.customequineworks.com/Browbands.html
This site has many kinds of bead, including cloisone beads. Browbands are a nice mix of silver and beadwork.

Stallion Stones
http://www.stallionstones.com/
These browbands feature tiny woven/loomed beads in intricate patterns.

People on Horses
http://www.peopleonhorses.com/
From the web site, these browbands are "genuine stone, Cubic Zirconia, Czech glass, pewter (in silver or antique gold finishes), enamel or semiprecious stones set in rhodium over sterling silver, rhodium over brass or sterling silver marcasite jewelry." To me, some of these browbands are a little too ornate for all but the most imposing animal. There are more toned-down versions, but in general this is a site to go for to find lavish and "over the top" leatherwork, at prices that reflect the extravagant styles.

Just Equus
http://www.justequus.com/Shop-Browbands/Shop-Browbands-1.html
These are bead-only browbands, not sure if they are "legal" in USDF competitions...

Jerry’s Harness Shop
http://www.jerrysharnessshop.com/beadbands.html
Nice place for simple, conservative, reasonably priced browbands. Not the place to go if you want unusual beads or bling.


Equestrian Collections
http://www.equestriancollections.com/storeitems.asp?department=Horses&cc=774
Nice browbands, with one or two that are quite unusual. A modest selection.

Gift Horse
http://www.thegifthorse-ma.com/store/home.php?cat=1
A small but nice selection, $110 and up.

Simple Change Browbands
http://simplechangebrowbands.com/browbands1.html
Really neat design idea, buy one browband and several beaded "chains" for greater variety at reasonable prices. Styles are quite unusual and attractive, with chain prices as low as $30 and browbands ranging from $65-$80.

Browbands By Design
http://www.browbandsbydesign.com
About a dozen browbands with stones and ornate silver. Not my style, but nice, and the seller emphasizes the durability and quality of the product. Apparently the design is patented.

Legacy Tack
http://www.legacytack.com/p/10458/Tail%20Tamer's%20Beaded%20Browbands.html
A few nice browbands with tiny beadwork from Keynan craftsmen/women.

Black Horse Browbands
http://www.blackhorseleather.com/browbandspg1.html
You definitely want to look at this site just to see the variation on the theme of bling browbands -- a combination of beadwork (tiny beads woven) with ornate silver. Really different! The second page was a broken link when I tried, and the designers show about 7-8 examples. They customize on request.

Riding Couture
http://www.ridingcouture.com/jewelbrowbands.html

Very fancy browbands with largish, natural stones and jewels. Tasteful but large/eyepopping stones, not suitable for every horse.

Mighty Thoroughbred Clique
http://www.mightythoroughbredclique.com/shopping.html
Tiny beadwork, lovely designs, support the thoroughbred clique!!


Dressage Extensions browbands
http://www.dressageextensions.com/Search.asp?cat=01_03
Nice, if a little pedestrian, selection.

Horse Browbands
http://www.horsebrowbands.com/products.html

Nice, but after seeing all of the other sites this beadwork looks downright plain.

Dover Saddlery
http://www.doversaddlery.com/category.asp?c=1593&bhcd2=1199065215

Features some "people on horses" browbands, other than that a nice traditional selection of clinches, crystal, etc, chainwork.

Horseshooz
http://www.horseshooz.com/Browbands.asp
Woven/loomed beadwork with interesting "centerpieces."


8 comments:

  1. Hi folks, Just started in the browband business in November. Check out my Web site at
    www.thespoiledhorseshop.com

    Here's a link to one of my customers putting herself, her horse and the browband through the paces.
    http://hoofclix.smugmug.com/gallery/4263674#250654701

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now you've given all the horse set too many choices for browbands, Stacey.

    My German trainer sent away to Germany for a browband in the state colours, which I was always a bit concerned when my horse went into competition and schooling shows. Everything turned out all right.

    ReplyDelete
  3. check out www.BellaEquineDesigns.com

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  4. Hello, I’m a new designer on this list and wanted to share with you my browbands. When shopping for my horse’s browband I saw many beautiful choices however I wanted something completely different. As a Metalsmith by trade, I chose to design my own elegant browbands. They are unlike anything else on the market and more like fine jewelry made in sterling silver with stones set in thick bezels for durability. My product can be seen @ www.bridlejewels.com Enjoy, Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Check us out as well! Completely custom browbands, professionally finished in English leather by a fine harness maker. Lots of bling... no bling... totally up to you! I also have a lot of natural materials and funky lampwork glass.

    Many size, colour and padding options.

    www.finethingsequine.com
    or on Facebook under the group "Fine Things Equine".



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  6. My brother & SIL are very into horses & dressage & I am also writing them. Found you today while researching an item we got at an estate sale yesterday. We thought it was part of a belt but found it is a horse browband after much research. We sell on eBay so will be listing it there. It is old, maybe antique, & far fancier than anything I am finding in current browbands. Leather, possibly fancy brasswork set with a polished large agate stone. Trying to get a handle for pricing but it is much nicer looking than any contemporary ones I am finding. Please no offense to designers:)I took photos but don't know if they can be posted here. Thanks Sandy

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  7. Katherine A. GriffinJune 22, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    Hey Guys: Started a Browband business well over a year ago.
    www.browbandswithbling.com I really try to focus on putting out the best product for as little money as possible, I think companies got out of hand with charging over the top prices. I believe that browbands should be affordable to all. Although we can provide over the top bling we also provide fairly conservative browbands also. Remembering that this is a Design your Own Site, Can't blame me for the BLING!!!LOL

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  8. Thanks for the great post, I would love to get some of these products in my local shop, do you know who distributes them?

    ReplyDelete

Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.