Horse bridles have long been used to control a horse’s movements and pace. A horse bridle is strapped to the horse’s head and is controlled with reins. Although it looks rather complicated, especially since horse bridles have seemingly complex straps, assembling a horse bridle is fairly easy. Here are some tips.
- Familiarize yourself with the parts. Before you can successfully put together a horse bridle, you must first be familiar with its parts. The three main parts are the bit, headstall and reins. The bit is the horse’s mouthpiece and is used to manipulate the horse. At either side of the bit are vertical bars or rings called shanks. The top part of the horse bridle is the headstall. It is placed upon the horse’s head and goes all the way behind the ears and down to the bit. Attached to the headstall are the throatlatch, which runs from either side of the headstall and is wrapped across the horse’s neck, and the browband, a narrow band that is placed above the horse’s brows and just below the ears. Also connected to the headstall is the noseband. It is attached through the cheekpieces. A noseband can either be built-in or attached separately. Reins, which are used for gripping, hang from the shanks. There are many kinds of rein. Some have laces, others are braided. Still others are made of plain leather. Which to choose is a matter of preference.
- Start to assemble the horse bridle. Once every part is ready, begin to put together the horse bridle. Do this by first inserting the strap of the crown to the loops of the browband. After which, buckle the cheekpieces to the crown strap. Slip the end of the throatlatch into the other set of loops in the browband. Next, connect the throatlatch and the noseband to the cheekpieces. After this, the bit can be attached. Slide cheek and headstall straps into the bit’s shanks. Buckle them afterwards. Finally, take the reins and loop them into the shanks.
- Put the bridle on. Now that the horse bridle is assembled, you can try it on your horse and see if it fits him well. Make sure to hold his mane or nose when putting the bridle on to control his movements. If you can’t seem to do it on your own, ask someone to assist you. Especially if the horse is not properly trained, putting on the bridle can be somewhat challenging.
Finally, check all the straps and make adjustments if they are too tight or too loose, or too high or too low. The noseband, for instance, should not be too low because it can damage nasal bones and can thus affect the horse’s breathing. Throatlatch should also be checked. If it is too tight, it can obstruct breathing; if too loose, it won’t keep the bridle steady. The cheekpieces are another concern. Because their length determines the position of the bit, the cheekpieces shouldn’t be too long or too short. If they are extremely long, the bit will end up low and put strain on the horse’s tongue, making the horse uncomfortable. If extremely short, the bit will rest high on the horse’s mouth, which is also bothersome.