Our team of Horse Insurance experts are horse owners and so they know a thing or two about looking after their horses. They know, as all good horse owners do, that you never stop learning when it comes to equine husbandry and welfare.
With this in mind, we found out a little more about how to correctly fit a horse’s bridle.
The most important thing when fitting a bridle is the horse’s comfort. The bridle must fit securely all round, but be in no danger of rubbing the horse.
A correctly fitting noseband should allow space for two fingers between the noseband and the horses cheek bone. If a drop, or flash noseband is used, these must also have a two-finger space between the horse and the noseband.
Another key bridle fitting point is the fit of the throat-lash. This should be done up tightly enough that the bridle won’t easily come off over the horse’s head, but spacious enough that it isn’t tight around the throat. A good measure is a flat hands width between the throat-lash and the horse’s cheek-bone.
The browband should fit over the horse’s forehead without gaping, but it shouldn’t be pulling on the cheek-pieces. Many modern-day bridles have ergonomically shaped browbands and headpieces all designed with the horse’s comfort in mind.
To ensure the bit is the correct height in the horse’s mouth, the cheek straps need to be adjusted accordingly so the bit fits neatly to the corners of the mouth. Top tip - It is always advisable to not use the top hole on the cheek pieces, just in case the cheek piece should break and then you have the option to use a higher hole.
The type and style
For the overall bridle look, the width of the leather and whether plain, or rolled leather is used will be determined by the type of horse, or pony, the bridle is for. A hunter bridle will be workmanlike, with a wide, flat leather noseband whereas a dainty hack, or thoroughbred will be best suited to a more delicate bridle made of thinner leather. Ideally the cheek pieces and noseband strap on the bridle should be fitted so that there are holes above and below the perfect fit.
If practical, brown and sensible aren’t really your thing, there are also plenty of options for bridle bling, with many diamante browbands and nosebands on the market. The different equestrian ruling bodies and organisations do have many differing requirements regarding tack, so it is always important to look up the turnout rules and regulations ahead of competing.
For top showing producer, Richard Ramsay’s top tips on fitting a double bridle, please see this video:
SEIB have been arranging insurance for horses, Horsebox Insurance and Horse Trailer Insurance for 60 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen.