A well-fitted bridle helps to communicate with your equine effectively and ensures a safe riding experience. This guide explains the importance of using bridles and provides useful tips to help you select the ideal tack that offers proper control and connection with your horse. We tested Western and English bridles and after thorough review, outlined the top five horse bridles that fit various riding styles and sizes.
A bridle typically consists of three parts including a horse bit (inside the horse’s mouth), a headstall (on the horse’s head), and reins (in the rider’s hands). So all of these aspects must be considered while searching for a new bridle. That’s why a list of various horse headgear is presented in this article.
Best Horse Bridles Detailed Review
Discover our comprehensive guide on the 5 top-notch horse bridles suitable for a show ring and pleasure riding.
1. Horseware Rambo Micklem Competition Bridle – Great for Show Ring
The Horseware Competition Bridle aims to improve communication, comfort, and performance between the rider and the horse. The anatomical bridle boasts an ergonomic design to fit the shape of the horse’s skull.
- This English bridle service as a bridle, headpiece, and noseband.
- The tack is designed to match the shape of the equine’s head, ensuring maximum comfort and minimizing pressure points.
- You can adjust the Horseware Bridle at various points to fit horses of different sizes and shapes.
- The horse bridle comes with a padded headpiece to decrease pressure on the sensitive poll area.
- The gear is made of fine leather that can endure the challenging nature of competitive riding without sacrificing its classy look.
If you’re a competitive rider who cares about your horse’s comfort and performance, you may want to consider the Horseware Competition Bridle. This tack is uniquely crafted to fit the anatomy of horses and can be adjusted to fit a myriad of sizes. After we put this tack on test, we concluded the durable leather construction can withstand wear and tear over time.
- Soft padding
- Different colors available
- Short grip
2. Weaver Leather Working Tack Bridle – Hand-Rubbed Gear
The Weaver Leather Working Tack Bridle is made by a well-known equestrian brand so we are totally sure about the product’s excellent craftsmanship. The gear comes with a curb horse bit that is perfect for Western style riders.
- The tack is made with harness leather that is hand rubbed.
- It comes with a 5-inch curb bit that fits a variety of horses.
- The bit is made with stainless steel for better longevity.
- The roper reins are attached to the bit with buckles and clasps.
The Weaver Leather Working Tack Bridle is a sturdy well-oiled headgear that is loved by dozens of riders. It’s designed with a horse bit with a 4-1/2 inch nickel chain and leather reins that will last for long. The bridle comes with an array of horse bits to choose the ideal one for your specific needs.
- Stainless steel bit
- Can be used with a hackamore
- Improved stitching
- Reins might be short
3. Weaver Leather Mini Horse Bridle – Great for Ponies
The Mini Horse Bridle is another fascinating tack gear by the Weaver Leather brand that is specially designed for mini-horses and ponies. So if your kids are fond of horse riding, this equestrian equipment is the right thing to consider. It comes with a leather headstall and reins as well as a nickel horse bit.
- The gear is made with harness leather for greater durability.
- Improved classy stitching on the headstall which is well-made.
- It comes with a 3-1/2 inch jointed horse bit attached to the headstall.
- The leather reins are connected to the nickel-plated hardware.
The Weaver Leather Mini Horse Bridle is a fabulous well-crafted piece for those who ride small horses or ponies. It comes in a classy leather design with a curb horse bit attached. In addition, the headstall is pretty adjustable to fit several horse sizes at once.
- Quality leather
- Western style
- Improved stitching
- Poor quality of the bit
4. Henri de Rivel Dressage Bridle with Reins – Laconic-Styled Tack
The Henri de Rivel Dressage Bridle with Reins is a simple classy headgear that comes with a headpiece and reins. It’s made with nylon silky material that is sturdy and strong. The product also features a padded browband and a noseband for extra comfort.
- The head tack is made of solid nylon with leather stoppers and loops.
- The noseband and the browband are tick to keep it comfy.
- The hardware is stainless steel for better durability.
- The gear comes with 1/2 inch cheekpieces and 5/8 inch webbed reins.
The Henri de Rivel Dressage Bridle with Reins is a solid equestrian set with a traditional look. The gear comes in classy black and black-with-white color styles. Several sizing options are available to fit the horse perfectly.
- Trendy look
- Stainless steel buckles
- Thick padded bands
- Non-leather design
- No bit included
5. Tahoe Tack Headstall with Reins Full Size – Well-Decorated Bridle
The Tahoe Tack Headstall with Reins Full Size is a magnificent horse bridle that comes in a fancy silver-decorated look. The tack features pretty conchos, crystals, and decorative elements that make the product a perfect choice for shows and just to stay in the spotlight.
- The gear is made with high-quality thick leather that will last for long.
- The tack is greatly adjustable to fit different horse sizes.
- It comes with a decorated headstall as well split reins 93 inch long.
- The bridle has a classic screw ends design to fit various horse bits.
The Tahoe Tack Headstall with Reins Full Size is a wonderful horse tack that looks extremely fabulous. The product is loved for its silver-like decorations as well as thick leather material used. This horse gear will be suitable for average horse breeds which are about 1000-1250lbs.
- Great for Western riders
- Perfect for shows
- Good for a big head
- No bit included
- Only one size is available
Top 5 Horse Bridles Comparison
Horseware Rambo Micklem Competition Bridle
Weaver Leather Working Tack Bridle
Weaver Leather Mini Horse Bridle
Henri de Rivel Dressage Bridle with Reins
Great for Shows
Tahoe Tack Headstall with Reins Full Size
The Common Types of Horse Bridles
As there are two main styles of riding a horse – Western and English – different bridle designs are made for each of them.
English bridle is distinguished by a noseband attached to the crown. A snaffle bit is the most popular type of horse bits for English riders. Whereas Western bridle usually doesn’t come with a noseband, and sometimes there’s no browband too. Alternatively, the gear may have a split-ear design, where only one ear goes through the headstall. The curb bit is typically attached to the bridle.
Apart from that, there are also bitless bridles available on the market, which is called hackamore. It has another noseband design to create pressure on the horse’s face and nose, instead of putting the bit into the mouth.
For more info about horse bridle types, check out our article on basic horse tack equipment.
How to Choose the Right Size of the Bridle
Picking the perfect size of headgear may take some time, as you need to take a few measurements. You need nothing but a soft measuring tape and, of course, your companion! In fact, it’s better to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, which you wish to order the product from. But generally, you might be faced with the following requirements:
- Headstall. Start measuring from one corner of the horse’s mouth (where the crown is attached to the bit), go along the cheekpiece, behind the ears, to the opposite corner of the mouth.
- Browband. Start measuring from the back of one ear (just where the crown is usually attached to the browband), go over the forehead, to the back of the other ear.
- Noseband. Start measuring around the muzzle (where the noseband is typically placed), one inch below the horse’s cheekbones.
- Throatlatch. Start measuring from the back of one ear (just where the crown is usually attached to the browband), go under the throat, to the back of the other ear.
How to Put on a Horse Bridle – Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Equipment
Get all the required tack includes a bridle with reins, a metal bit mouthpiece, and optionally a throat latch or browband.
Step 2: Approach the Horse Calmly
To keep the animal relaxed, talk to it softly and approach it confidently. You don’t have to remove the halter if the horse is already wearing it as it helps to maintain control.
Step 3: Position Yourself Correctly
Stand on the left side of the equine (also known as the near side) facing towards the horse’s head while keeping a safe distance but staying close to the horse’s shoulder.
Step 4: Hold the Bridle
Use your left hand and gather up the reins with your right hand. Make sure the bit is facing up and hold the reins about a foot away from the bit with your right hand.
Step 5: Introduce the Bit
To place the bit into the horse’s mouth, use your right hand to guide it gently while keeping the horse’s mouth open with your thumb. Avoid hitting the euqine’s teeth and rushing the process.
Step 6: Secure the Headpiece
Use your left hand to lift the headpiece over the horse’s head and slide the ears through the ear holes. Ensure that the headpiece is comfortably positioned behind the horse’s ears and not too forward on the forehead.
Step 7: Adjust the Cheek Pieces
After placing the headpiece, loosen the cheek pieces on both sides to prevent any rubbing or pinching on the horse’s skin. However, make sure they are not too loose that the bridle slips off.
Step 8: Fasten the Throat Latch (If Applicable)
Fasten the throat latch of your bridle under the equine’s throat to secure the gear and prevent it from slipping off sideways.
Step 9: Check for Comfort and Fit
Make sure that the bridle is fitted comfortably on the head. The browband should rest just above the base of the horse’s ears and the bit should be placed correctly in the horse’s mouth. If needed, adjust any straps or buckles to achieve a proper fit.
Step 10: Adjust the Reins
After securing the bridle, adjust the reins to the desired length. Ensure that both sides are even and not twisted or tangled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Horse Need a Bridle?
A horse bridle is an essential piece of tack gear as it’s used to help the horseman control their companion properly. Thus, a bridle is a means for communication between a human and a horse.
There’s a wide range of designs and materials used for producing horse bridles. So you’re able to pick the best option according to your style of riding and equestrian activities you take part in.
What Does a Bridle Consist of?
Before purchasing a horse bridle, you should know its main parts and their purpose of use. Western and English bridles are different, but both styles include the following:
- Headstall, Crownpiece (US) / Headpiece (UK). It’s placed on a horse’s head just behind the ears.
- Browband. The band is placed at the front of the horse’s head under the ears, and it’s attached to the crown.
- Cheek pieces. As its name says, the piece is attached to the crownpiece, and it goes along the horse’s cheekbones. There’s a bit ring at the end of each cheekpiece.
- Throatlatch (US) / Throatlash (UK). This part is also attached to the crown at the top, which goes under the horse’s throat latch. It’s used to fix the bridle on the horse’s head.
- Noseband. This piece is placed around the horse’s nose that helps to keep the horse’s mouth closed.
- Bit. It’s part of the gear that is set inside the horse’s mouth. There’s a wide array of horse bits, depending on your equestrian needs.
- Reins. Theses are long straps that are attached to the bit. This is the part of the bridle, which a rider holds in to control the horse.
What Are the Materials of Horse Bridles?
Horse bridles are typically made with leather or synthetic fabric.
No doubts, a leather bridle is quality and durable; it will definitely last for years. It’s a soft non-allergic material, which is perfect for sensitive skin. Besides, leather products look mind-boggling, so you’ll be in the spotlight at various equestrian competitions. In terms of pricing, uppermost leather cinches may kill the budget.
On the other hand, synthetic headgear is a more budget-friendly option; it’s ideal for beginner riders. In addition, such a tack is more lightweight, which is great for young horses. Synthetic fabric is easy to maintain; you can easily wash it and wipe the dirt off. However, synthetic bridles tend to be worn out sooner than leather headgear. So they are not so suitable for horse shows.
How Much Does a Horse Bridle Cost?
Basic bridles usually cost around $20 to $50, mid-range gear made from better materials can cost $50 to $150, while competition styles cost $150 or more. The price of a bridle can differ based on the quality of materials, brand, and extras like embellishments.
Before you mount a horse, you should think carefully about your safety as well as horse convenience. Your skills might be greatly improved with better movements and control. So a solid horse bridle should be considered as it is used for mastering communication skills between the rider and their equine.
A bunch of options you can find nowadays, Western style, English style, leather bridles, synthetic bridles, bitless bridles, and many other options for a horse or pony. We prepared this detailed guide to highlight the top five bridles of various styles and sizes. When the horse’s head is already geared up, it’s high time to think about a firm horse saddle as well.
Image Source: white-oak-stables.com, dressageextensions.com.