How to Fit a Bridle to Your Horse’s Head

To use an English bridle effectively and safely, it must be correctly fitted to the horse’s head by adjusting the length of each piece of the bridle.

  • The browband should not be set so high that it rubs the front of the horse’s ears nor be so tight that it rubs the back of the ears.
  • The throatlash must not restrict breathing, so the width of four fingers should fit between the throatlash and the horse’s cheek when at the correct length.
  • The noseband should sit about two fingers’ width below the cheek bones.
  • For the bridle to be the correct length, the cheekpieces should be adjusted so that the bit is in contact with the corner of the mouth, causing it to form one wrinkle.

Bridle Horses Head

  • The bit size must be correct for the width of the horse’s mouth and should protrude 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) on each side. If too narrow, it will pinch; if too wide, it may “saw” and cause soreness.

Without properly fitting the bridle, the horse will be very uncomfortable and riding will be unsafe.

Putting on a bridle

  • Stand on the nearside of the horse’s head.
  • If the horse is wearing a halter, undo it, remove from the head, and re-tie around the neck.
  • Encourage the horse to open its mouth by gently squeezing with your thumb and fourth finger on the corners of the mouth.
  • Ensure the bridle is siting comfortably by pulling the forelock through the browband, sitting the browband below the ears and adjusting the mane under the headpiece.
  • Check that the bit is sitting correctly in the horse’s mouth-the sides of the mouth should have one wrinkle.
  • Do up the throatlash to the correct length.
  • If you are using a curbchain, this is the last piece you should do up. It should not hang loose but be done up so one finger can be placed between the chain and the horse’s chin groove.
  • Check the bridle is on straight, with the noseband and bits level.
  • Undo the halter and slide away from the reins, making sure not to get anything caught up.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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