“These are, hands down, THE HIGHEST QUALITY Swarovski browbands I’ve encountered. Ever.” Morgane Schmidt Gabriel goes gaga for these crystal browbands that should satisfy the bling lover hiding in every dressage queen’s heart.
Up until very recently, my go to brand was Otto Schumacher. Schumacher makes some of the most beautiful, high-end tack available for the dressage market today. They are also one of the few retailers that will fully customize almost any aspect of your bridle. In less than shocking news, Schumacher bridles and browbands are quite expensive. They also come from Germany which takes some time.
As I am not a very patient person, and also just because I love looking at beautiful tack, I have been on the lookout for a similarly customizable, high quality option here in the states. Everything I initially found was sort of unremarkable — even if it was fairly sparkly, nothing had the quality to it that a Schumacher does.
Until I found BlackJak Refinery, that is. I first saw some of their browbands on Facebook, then went on to see their full line on the BlackJak Etsy page. I was pretty impressed with the photos so I emailed to see if I could get one to review. I was not disappointed!
BlackJak uses Swarovski Xirius chatons for their browbands as these are the industry leader in lead-free, durable, diamond-like gemstones. With over 110 color options, they’re also able to create any number of fabulous color combinations and patterns.
The customization process is super easy too. All it takes is an email, Facebook message, or Etsy email to get things started. I personally recommend browsing the examples on their Facebook and Etsy pages for some inspiration. After discussion, BlackJak will send photo mock-ups to ensure that you love what you’re ordering before you purchase. I thought that was an especially nice feature because you may think you know what you want and then decide otherwise once you see it. I don’t know of any other company that allows for this.
Ultimately, while I love Schumacher bridles, BlackJak is my new go to for high-end browbands (I even had to buy another after reviewing the first). They’re not only high quality, in crystals, durability, and padding — but the entire processes is user-friendly and fast, and you’re supporting a small, family-owned business. What could honestly be better?
You can see the full range of possibilities on the BlackJak Refinery Etsy page — not into glitter? They have super cool metal browbands and spikes as well!
They also have started with their own Ace Bridle Collection (I have not had the chance to see these yet but if they’re anywhere near as nice as the browbands they’re worth a look). Check out and follow their Facebook page and Instagram (@BlackJakRefinery) as well for specials, updates, and drool-worthy photos of beautiful tack.
Go Riding, with sparkles! 😉
Morgane Schmidt Gabriel is a 34-year-old teacher/artist/dressage trainer/show announcer/ who still hasn’t quite decided what she wants to be when she grows up. A native Floridian, she now lives in Reno, NV, where she’s been able to confirm her suspicion that snow is utterly worthless. Though she has run the gamut of equestrian disciplines, her favorite is dressage. She was recently able to complete her USDF bronze and silver medals and is currently working on her gold. Generally speaking her life is largely ruled by Woody, a 14.2 hand beastly quarter horse, Willie, a now beastly 7-year-old Dutch gelding, and Stormy, her friend’s nearly all white paint gelding with a penchant for finding every mud hole and pee spot in existence. Visit her website at www.theideaoforder.com.