The bridle is the main source of communication and control with the horse. It come in different sizes including pony, cob, horse and over sized.
Two primary types of English bridles are single bridles and double bridles. A single bridle has one bit and one set of reins and is used with beginner riders. A double bridle has two bits and two sets of reins. A bridle without a bit is called a Hackamore.
Parts of the Bridle
Headpiece (Crownpiece): Holds the bridle onto the horse’s head
Throatlatch: Keep the bridle from slipping off over the horse’s head.
Cheek piece: Connects the headpiece to the bit.
Noseband: Goes around the horse's nose and is often used to keep the animal's mouth closed, or to attach other pieces or equipment, such as martingales.
Reins: Connects the rider to the bit and the bridle.
Bit: Primary source of control through the horse’s mouth.
Brow band: It prevents the bridle from sliding behind the poll onto the upper neck.
The main difference in English bridles is the type of nosebands. Some noseband types include:
- Cavesson Noseband: The standard English noseband
- Dropped Noseband: Same as a Cavesson, but rests lower on the horses head, at the end of the nose bone, with the chin strap below the bit. Used to keep horse from opening mouth to evade the bit.
- Flash Noseband: Contains two pieces, a cavesson noseband adjusted high, with a bottom chin-strap below the bit. It is used to keep the horse’s mouth closed and hold the bit in position.
- Figure-Eight Noseband: Contains two pieces in the shape of an X. One piece is higher and the other is lower and below the bit. It is designed to keep the horses mouth closed, but sits higher on the nose to allow for more expansion of the nostrils.
Parts of the Bridle Worksheet
Can you identify the parts of the bridle? Download and print the Parts of the Bridle worksheet. Test yourself by filling in the names of the bridle parts.
Examples of English Riding Bits
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