How To Fit A Bridle - CORRECTLY!

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is:

How do I know if my bridle fits?

To help you make the right decision when ordering online, we put together this guide to help you make the right decision.

How to fit a horse bridle

  1. Always feel free to contact us via e-mail or online to ask us questions! Our best e-mail is sales@activeequine.com.au and we often help customers to find the right fit. It allows us to give you personalised experience and to make sure you can be confident in your purchase.

  2. If you have an existing bridle that fits well, take a measuring tape and measure from one cheek piece, over the headpiece and back down to the other cheek piece. That allows us to accurately compare with our bridles before you confirm your order.

  3. The second measurement that is of great assistance is the diameter of the noseband. Again with your existing bridle, lay the noseband flat and measure from the buckle across to the hole you normally do the noseband up to. We can then compare how the noseband will fit compared to your existing bridle.

To check the fit of your bridle when it arrives, the British Society of Master Saddlers provides this advice:

A well fitting bridle should have all the side buckles roughly in line with the horse’s eye when fitted to the middle adjustment holes, with plenty of extra holes so that it can be adjusted up or down. It is very uncomfortable for the horse if the buckles end up just below the browband. Recent pressure testing has shown this to be a particular problem area and any pressure here can cause discomfort and have a serious effect on performance, so make sure all buckles fit well below this area.
-
The browband should be comfortable sitting flat across the front just below the ears, not pulling the headpiece into the ears or sagging with a gap at the front. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the browband is too tight when it may be that the headpiece is too wide where it sits behind the ears, it is more frequently the headpiece that rubs the ears than the browband being too tight. In this case you made need a shaped headpiece, many styles of which are available.
-
You should be able to put four fingers sideways under the throatlash.
The throatlash does not prevent the bridle from coming off, if it were tight enough to do this it would impair the horse’s breathing and swallowing - it is purely for aesthetic purposes.
-
The bit should sit comfortably in the horse’s mouth when the cheek pieces are buckled on the middle holes, with one or two creases at the corners of the mouth. (This varies according to the type of horse and type of bit, but basically if the horse looks comfortable it probably is.)
-
A cavesson noseband should be fitted about 2cm below the cheekbones with space to easily put your thumb underneath it when fastened, and the head and cheek straps should sit just in front of the bit cheeks otherwise the noseband may eventually tip down at the front. There should not be too much extra strap on the back of the noseband as this flaps around and looks untidy. If the cavesson is too high under the cheekbones this can cause a great deal of discomfort.
-
If you are using a flash strap this should not be adjusted too tightly so that it pulls the front of the cavesson down and it should be fitted so that the buckle is not near the mouth or the bit and with the point of the strap going downward and not up. 
-
A Crank noseband should be fitted similarly to the cavesson but not too tight. The Crank has the advantage that it has a separate strap at the chin fitted to rings or squares and this allows some jaw movement. You must make sure however that the padded section of the chin strap is fitted centrally and this goes for all chin pads.
-
If you find you need to fit any type of noseband very tightly it is likely you need to sort out bitting or dentistry rather than clamping the mouth shut. The horse must be able to move his jaw to enable him to move his tongue and to swallow.
-

Our Jacson bridles are manufactured from a premium grade leather and are designed to contour around the horse's ears, nose and cheekbones to provide superior comfort and an ergonomic fit.

The wide, cushioned headpiece and crank noseband eliminates pressure in these areas and allows multiple adjustment point for best fit.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at sales@activeequine.com.au or via our social media channels.