To measure your existing bridle is easier than you think but before you begin, take a good look at your bridle on your horse and make a note of all the parts and whether they fit quite as they should! Is the browband too tight...too loose? Are the splits of the headpiece or the buckles of the cheekpieces too high...too low? Is your noseband too tight...too loose? A few minutes spent on this exercise can save a whole lot of time later and help you get the best possible fitting bridle.
Take your bridle and release the bit off the nearside fastening the buckling or hookstud back up so it's still as if the bit is in place. Then, make a note of which hole the nearside cheekpiece is buckled up to, undo the cheekpiece and slip the browband off the headpiece fastening the cheekpiece back to where it was and undo the noseband hanger. You can now lie your bridle flat on the floor.
The first measurement you need is "bit to bit". With the bridle flat on the floor, measure from the bend of the cheekpiece where it goes around the bit on the offside, straight over the top of the headpiece to the bend of the cheekpiece on the near side.
Next, measure the distance in between the splits - this is the solid area of leather that sits directly on top of your horses head, the cheek hangers and throat lash "split" off on either side. Finally on the headstall, measure your cheekpieces from the bend around the bit to the base of the buckle.
Your browband should be measured from end to end with it lying as flat as possible.
Nosebands should also be laid flat - measure from the base of the buckle, across the front of the cavesson to the hole where you normally fasten to. This gives you a circumference measurement. You may also want to measure in between the hangers (across the front section only) you should measure from the centre of the hangers.
Armed with the above measurements, you should now consult our measurement chart and see how the sizes of your existing bridle compare to ours. We are more than happy to 'Mix N Match' parts on the vast majority of our bridle ranges to get the best possible fit for the individual horse; please do not hesitate to email or telephone our friendly sales team for help and advice.
A correctly fitted bridle should have:
- the edges of the bit just wrinkling the corners of the lips
- a browband that isn't tight & sits below the base of the ears without impeding them
- a (regular) cavesson that lies clear of the jaw bones and has reasonable clearance
- the throat lash should also have sufficient clearance (2-3 fingers) so as not to over tighten when the horse drops his nose & engages on the bit.
A well fitting bridle will have all of these basic elements, plus the aesthetic ones:
- all the buckles should be aligned as equally as possible & lie on a line with the top corner of the eye - buckles shouldn't be by the horses ears or below the eye!
- the browband should cover the top of the splits
- the cavesson strap should be the correct length & not stick out from behind the nose
We understand the importance of a well made, well fitting bridle - we're horse owners & riders ourselves and our Company have been making bridles and accessories for customers all over the world for over 40 years.