Is your bridle fitted correctly?

Whether you have a standard size or a made-to-measure bridle there are a few points you should be able to see. Most people have their saddles checked on a regular basis, but the importance of a well fitting bridle is often overlooked. Properly fitted it can lead to a better mannered horse, poorly fitted it can lead to problems and possible injury.


A browband keeps a bridle from slipping too far back down the horse's neck. Browbands that are properly fitted to a bridle allow the headpiece to sit comfortably behind the horse's ears. You should be able to place two fingers easily underneath it. If it is too small it will pull the headpiece forwards and put pressure to the back of the horse's ears, too loose and it will leave a gap, bounce up and down on the horse’s forehead, or worse still cover the horse's eyes.


The cheekpieces are adjusted to keep the bit at the correct hieght. When adjusted correctly there should just be a wrinkle or two at the corner of the horse's mouth from the bit. Ideally the buckles should be in a line level with the horse's eye and on the middle hole of the headpiece.


the throatlatch has a single function: to prevent the bridle coming over the horse's head. When buckled up you should be able to put four fingers sideways under the throatlatch. If it is too loose it will not serve its purpose and the bridle may come off in the event of a fall. Too tight and it may effect the horse's throat when its head is in a proper outline.


A cavesson noseband should sit around two fingers width below the cheek bones. When buckled up you should be able to place two fingers easily under the noseband. Too tight and it may imped the horse's nasal passages and restrict breathing, or push the inside of the mouth against the horse's teeth causing injury. 

Your horse's bridle is of great importance in every aspect of your training and riding experience. Not only must it fit your horse correctly, but it should encourage submission, attention and confidence, harmony, lightness, and ease of movement; acceptance of the bridle and lightness of the forehand.

Always consider your bridle and bit options and make sure you choose the correct type of bridle for the type of work you wish to do.