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Horse bridles

How to Get the Right Horse Bridle

The bridle is one of the most important pieces of tack a rider has since it allows the rider to communicate with the horse. A dressage bridle fits over the horse’s head and into the mouth, and has reins that go back to the rider, who uses them for commands and control. Bridles can vary widely in quality and price, so a good understanding of how a bridle works is the best place to start.
A horse bridle is made of leather and stainless steal, and is comprised mainly of the headstall, the bit and the reins.

Headstall: The headstall is the part of the dressage bridle that goes over the horse’s head, and keeps the bit in the horses’ mouth. Since the size of horses varies so much, this comes in a variety of thicknesses and different styles, depending on the discipline required.

Bit: The bit is stainless steel portion of the bridle, which fits into the horse’s mouth and relays the commands of the rider. There are different types of bits dependant on the age and responsiveness of the horse, and it’s absolutely essential to get the right one. Leveraged bits have a raised bump that rotates in the horse’s mouth-perfect for older or well-trained horses, while snaffle bits are better for training since they are slightly rougher on the horse’s mouth. This makes the horse respond more quickly. Always use very light pressure, since both training and leveraged bits can be hard on the inside of the horse’s mouth.

Reins: The reins allow the rider to communicate with the horse. A dressage bridle fits over the horse’s head and into the mouth, and the reins are strong straps of leather that go back to the rider, who uses them for commands and control. These come in a number of different thicknesses, and are also made at different lengths, depending on the style of riding.

Horse bridles are as unique as the horse and rider who use them, and they’re a piece of tack that gets used everyday. This makes it really important to shop around (both online and locally) to make sure it will suit the needs of both the rider and the horse. Different styles and adjustability ensure the horse gets a proper fit and the rider gets comfortable control. When trying a bridle out for the first time, check all buckles and pressure points to make sure it fits the horse snugly and securely without chaffing or irritation.

Look for a bridle made of high-quality leather. Poorer leather will crack and wear over time, and may not be reliable in harsh weather. Cheekpieces and reins should be reinforced, and all buckles should be of stainless steel to prevent rust. Reputable manufactures back the craftsmanship of their bridles with some sort of warranty, and most shops will allow returns if the bridle doesn’t fit or is defective.

Remember that the type of riding will determine the type of bridle, English and Western bridles are different, and most riders have several bridles. The price of a quality bridle ranges from $50 to $500, and though they all do the same basic job, the price depends on the materials and how elaborate the leather working is. It is always worth while to shop around, and compare prices especially between online vendors and local shops.

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