Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Crowning the Prince -- Dark Jewel Designs Review

I've been coveting fancy browbands for as long as I've owned a horse, but it's always a bit tricky to make a commitment to something custom when you're still trying to figure out what kind of tack your baby horse like to go in. We've been exclusively using the Weathabeeta Comfi-tec bridle for the last year or so and Scout goes really well in it, so I decided as a special treat for my birthday, I'd design a couple of crowns suitable for my prince.

I reached out to Amelia at Dark Jewel Designs before placing my order because as an artist myself I was completely overwhelmed by all of the choices available (I couldn't even decide which shape of browband to choose). She was incredible at helping me walk through the process and reading my messy mind to narrow down the kind of looks I wanted. For my jump bridle I wanted something with browns and earth tones. She gave a me a ton of variations to look through during the process.

So pretty and earthy!
I thought the muted tones of the natural stones would really bring out his gorgeous bay coat and amber eyes. I liked the little bit of bling as a spacer and much preferred the sparkly brown spacers to the more fancy silver ones.

Finished jump bridle version

I'm obsessed with how this turned out! I love that it's sort of monochromatic but has enough visual interest to stand out against his coat. I chose the curved browband because the one on his jump bridle now has a slight curve and he has a broad enough face to pull off the more dynamic shape.

Earth tones against earth tones! LOVE!

For his dressage bridle, I wanted to go with something with a bit more pizazz. In the midst of my birthday spending, I also picked up a really pretty grey and black stock pin that I used as inspiration for the browband.
Hello my Celtic pretty (from Riding Warehouse)
Scout's colors are going to black, grey(silver) and white, which look stunning on him while also staying pretty classic and simple. I wanted to include a little Fleur-de-lis as a not so subtle nod to Scouts symbol and Amelia was able to track down a perfect little adornment to add to his bling-y crown! I had more trouble finalizing my design for the dressage bridle because I'm basically a magpie and was like OOOOOOO sparkles.

Some contenders <3
In the end, I let Amelia guide me in the right direction and she did not disappoint.


As with the jump bridle, it's sparkly and fun without being too much. I love the muted grey moonstones and the dark grey sparkly beads and I really enjoy how the black shiny spacers help break up all the bling. True story, I had never even put my dressage bridle on him, but I think he looks okay:)

Who is this stunning creature?

From start to finish the process took only a few weeks, and Amelia was even able to get my order to me JUST before Christmas. She gave me updates throughout the whole experience so I knew where she was in production and what to expect next. The transaction was super easy to complete via her Etsy shop. The craftsmanship of each item is superb and the beads feel really secure on the browband. I've gotten SO many compliments in the barn since I'm at a H/J facility they are a little mesmerized by some of my gear. And Scout? Well I think he knows he looks good. 

I'm looking forward to debuting these in the show ring this year!


  1. omgosh that brown is STUNNING!! i love Amelia's work so so SO much haha, and definitely rely on her to help me figure out the best colors and hues and combinations. would have never thought of those browns for a bay but wow, it turned out really beautiful!

    1. I definitely took a risk with the earth tones but I am SO happy with how it turned out! Now I want like twelve more.

  2. Wow - both browbands are amazing! The brown/earth tones is beautiful, but man, I love black tack on a bay too! Nice choices!

    1. I sent my former trainer the pic of him in the dressage bridle and she was like, "who is that?" HAHAHA!

  3. Lovely choices! I really like how the earth tones look on him!