Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
I pretty much never miss the opportunity to add a bit of bling to my ensemble. Something a little sparkly just adds a little something extra, but it has to be tastefully done. Because I certainly don’t want to look like I just had someone run past and dump a bag of glitter on me!
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again — I’ve come full circle with sparkles. When I was 5, they were awesome. At age 10, they were still somewhat acceptable. But turning 15, I thought they were for little kids or old ladies.
Since I’ve reached my late twenties, I’ve warmed up to things that (tastefully) sparkle once again. Sparkles now have a place in my everyday wardrobe, and also on my horse. Because who can’t use just a little more fun in their everyday activities…riding included!
One of the ways that I like ‘decking out my horse’ (for lack of a better term) is by adding something special and a little fancy. And recently, I was able to experience the process of working with Topline Leather in order to create very special customized browband.
Topline Leather came onto my radar within the past year, when I started noticing their browbands appearing on upper level eventer’s horses, such as Marilyn Little, Hawley Bennett, Lainey Ashker, and Caitlin Silliman. And Topline browbands are all hand woven, and custom made to order (so every one is special!).
I was always interested to see one creative and lovely looking browband after another when following Topline’s social media pages. But what I didn’t realize was the amount of time and attention to detail that goes into each and every single browband.
If you know me, you already know that my colors are red, white and blue. So naturally, I thought that I patriotic browband would be a nice way to ‘dress up’ my young horse Rufus, since he is doing so well with his training.
In working with Meghann from Topline Leather, I realized that the details really matter. Because even though I thought that the patriotic browband that I had in mind would be a simple request, the process to create a totally customized browband was so much more involved.
Starting out with a color chart that has about 100 colors on it is a bit of a daunting task. However, since I had an idea of the ‘look’ that I was going for, Meghann was able to make some really helpful suggestions on color combinations I might want to consider.
Topline Leather browbands are created using strands of woven beads that are designed using a combination of Swarovski crystals and glass beads. Within the strand, there can be four different colors included…which makes for some tough decision making.
Especially considering the way that the Swarovski crystals and glass bead colors may appear differently in the sunlight. To help make absolutely sure that I knew my options, Meghann took a video of the color chart in sunlight when I started picking colors.
During every step of the process, her attention was really in the details. Upon proposing possible combinations, I was sent videos of the color groupings in the light…which allowed me to get a good idea of what the colors would look once the browband was complete.
I really felt great that I was so involved and looped in on every single step of the design process…and that I even got to preview the woven strand before it was sewed down onto the browband. The thing is, that I was excited that there were no surprises once the browband was finished.
I already felt like I had a good idea from the videos and photos what the Rhulain browband would look like. But I was wrong about that, really. Because once it arrived, it looked even better in person when I pulled it out of the packaging to add a bit of sparkle to Roo’s bridle.
The Rhulain browband arrived in an elegant drawstring bag, and was even tied together with a fancy little ribbon. I also appreciated the fact that it was already and oiled, cleaned and ready to add right onto Roo’s bridle, without delay.
Picking up the Rhulain browband (and as an aside, I love to keep typing that, because it is special to me that the browband is named after my horse, since it was created just for him), I noticed that the leather feels very soft and supple.
The browband has some lovely, soft feeling padding on the inside lining. And what’s more is the woven strand of beads feel very secure when I run my fingers over them. I also like the fresh and clean aroma of the leather…sounds silly, I know.
But the clean, oiled & ready-to-go browband just looked and felt incredible when it arrived. It also fit nicely on my Stubben, horse-sized bridle, and Roo just has a dash of extra glam while donning his new crown (he is the king around this barn, so a crown is oh-so fitting).
Another sparkly and edgy accessory that matches the Topline Leather browband is the crystal skull bridle or saddle charm. Roo looks like a tough guy when he sports his crystal skull charm, that coordinates really nice with his own namesake Rhulain browband.
You can reach out to Topline Leather to work with Meghann on creating your very own custom browband at [email protected] And check out some of the other browbands from Topline Leather at their social media channels on Instagram and Facebook.
Go Sparkly Bridle Bling. Go Topline Leather. Go Eventing.