Best Bridle Brands

Daniel Brown
• Friday, 22 January, 2021
• 9 min read

Looking at old black and white riding photos can be a fun blast from the past. Anatomical bridles, in particular, are designed to avoid putting pressure on horses’ sensitive facial nerves or pinching the ears.

bridle dressage schockemohle stanford sports brand horse saddlery malvern equipe rolled tack flash schockemoehle bridles equestrian english supplies cob horsegarage
(Source: malvernsaddlery.com)


The brow band is also typically straight and snug across the horse’s forehead. Anatomical bridles, on the other hand, are strategically designed to avoid key facial nerves, relieve pressure points, and increase muscle freedom, and boost overall comfort.

Head shaking, face rubbing, and a bit resistance can all be signs of discomfort. Your first step might be trying a bridle that offers slight improvements, like the ExionPro that allows more ear movement and pads sensitive areas around the nose and over the crown.

The short answer is “it depends.” Your horse, budget, and preferences will help you decide on the “right” bridle. The headstall and brow band clear all sixteen ear muscles and doesn’t put any pressure on surrounding nerves.

Sensitive neck and throat areas are also pressure-free, and hinged cheek pieces ensure a wider field of vision for your horse. This bridle comes standard with Stubbed’s innovative flash system that can be removed.

This innovative bridle comes in two variations (Alpha/Beta) that differ only in the width of the nose band and whether the brow band has crystals. It bypasses critical blood vessels and arteries, as well as relives neck pressure.

bridle leather patent flash noseband bridles italian dressage mailand busse rolled snaffle
(Source: www.imperialequestrian.co.uk)

Dispersed poll pressure, ear cutouts, and elastic bit cradles take comfort even further. As a result, your horse’s range of movement, extension, and flexion should improve.

The padded crown piece has ear recesses for optimal movement and comfort. Itless bridles are more popular than other harness types for ponies and horses.

Just like bridles with bits, the witless models provide different levels of comfort for the animal. So the rider has to choose carefully and understand how the different designs function.

But, unlike the bit-based models, all witless bridles apply pressure through the harness points/knots on the horse’s head. Typically, these points are located on the nose, cheeks and under the horse’s jaw.

The point on the nose’s top is more preferable because it affects the horse during the training and at the same time provides maximum care, without hurting the animal. Usually, a nose band has to be adjusted above the area where the hard bone begins and the soft tissue ends.

nixon kensington leather 37mm strap gold watches bridle alternate
(Source: www.watches.com)

Justin Dunn offers the premium witless bridle with a gentle but effective design for both a rider and horse. Instead of force, an animal responds to pressure through two strategically placed points (knots) located on the nose rope.

Besides the efficient and comfortable design, this harness is equipped with anti-rust buckles made of stainless steel. Tips for users: to make the harness a bit darker, you may use the special leather oil.

The manufacturer designed this harness for the animals who have problems with teeth or the history of injuries. Firstly, I’ve learned that a headgear without a bit and with reins attached to a nose band used for controlling a horse is called a sycamore (also known as witless bridles).

So, below you will find the results of my tests and a few tips for people who need to choose leather witless bridles or raw animal skin for making such headgear for a horse. Sensitive animals usually prefer being trained with a looser fitting bridle (think of the lightweight, rope halter).

Mechanical sycamores are probably not the greatest choice because they won’t provide a stronger directional rein. To make the harness a bit darker, run it with special leather oil.

bridle halter under horse rope tack
(Source: www.horseforum.com)

At the same time, of course, do not forget that the key to durability will continue to care for a sycamore when using it! Wide capsules are popular now, but if they don’t fit well on your horse, then you shouldn’t buy such a headgear.

Expensive bridle reins have leather inserts to give the capsule and headband a rounded shape. Sometimes the tanning and finishing process is more important than the quality of the raw material.

If a cheap dye was used, the leather bridle will pour out into the rain and leave traces on the horse’s hair, soaking it with sweat. It is very lightweight; Leather Witless Bridle offers silver-colored buckles, made of soft material.

There is a great halter-style fit; Leather Crossover is a premium product, with stainless steel hardware and soft padded nose; SIDEWALL REINS is another nice product in my list, with a double-layered nose band; Combo REINS 7710 has a nice colored padded brow band that is quite wide; Most manufacturers offer the money-back guarantee because they understand that their product can be too large or too tight for the horse.

The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Walking into Mary's Tack & Feed in Del Mar, California, the customer is confronted with a 25-foot wall's worth of English bridle choices, ranging in price from $50 to $500.

horze bridle eclipse horseloverz bridles horse english tack equestriancollections dressage
(Source: www.horseloverz.com)

Finding the right bridle for your horse boils down to fit, style, preference and budget. Catalogs and online retailers multiply your options, as do boutique bridal makers with small, typically handcrafted lines.

Choosing the right bridle boils down to fit, style, your own preferences and budget. If you have flexibility in your funds, keep in mind that the quality of leather and craftsmanship are keys to how long a bridle will last.

In these cases, shopping is a quick trip to the local tack store where staff sends the shopper home with her trainer's favorite bridle. Wider nose bands are a current trend in the hunter ring, but don't be a blind band wagoner.

This look is typically accomplished with relatively wide nose- and brow bands and/or padding that adds depth and sometimes width to these pieces. For horses with smaller, more refined heads, the padding can add a nice dimension, but you probably want a thinner nose- and brow band to minimize bulk.

It has clinchers (a row of silver or brass pieces) on the nose band instead of more traditional placement on the brow band, a nice way to offset a heavy forelock. “A good, clean fit is critical to showing off your horse's head,” says Jul's.

bridle universal hackamore endurance pioneer
(Source: www.pioneerendurance.com)

One rule of thumb is having the buckles of the nose band hanger, cheek piece and throat latch near each other, but not overlapping. Borrowing bridles from barn mates is a great way to figure out which manufacturers make the best fit for your horse.

The circumference of his nose where the nose band sits, the width of the brow between the two points where the brow band will connect with the headstall, the entire length of the headstall, starting at the bit on one side, up over the poll and down to the bit on the other side and the throat latch length, starting behind one ear, down under the throat and up to a spot behind the other ear. Expect that the bridle leather may stretch a little over time, and factor in how tightly you usually fasten the nose band and throat latch.

An Innovation Award winner at the British Equestrian Trade Association show in 2008, the Mickey is designed to prevent pressure on facial nerves, the poll and the cheek and upper-jaw bones. Alleviating poll pressure is accomplished with a wider, padded and single-piece crown that does not have a separate caves son strap running under it.

Variations on that design dominate the poll-oriented comfort craze in today's offerings from most manufacturers. Horses who don't like to be handled near their ears, poll or the top of their mane may benefit from these new designs.

Head shaking and other signs of general discomfort while being ridden are indicators that the new styles are worth a try. “I don't think a (hunter or ?equitation) judge is going to pin you higher or lower because you use one of these designs,” Jamie says.

bridle wishlist
(Source: nuhjewels.com)

“Mono,” “single,” “integrated,” “recessed,” “padded,” “comfort” and “contoured” are prefixes for the crown piece (headstall) in most of today's bridles. These styles require a special caves son with two short straps, which is critical if you need to replace it.

“Comfort” usually means the headpiece is padded on the side that lays against the horse, and “contoured” usually refers to slight curves behind the ears. Decreasing demand for red meat is one of many factors that have reduced the cow population and the hides that come from it, resulting in higher prices for top-quality leather.

Some leathers are named for their place of origin: for example, Sidekick carriers in England, English and American. Jamie finds that companies who put their name on their leather can generally be counted on for consistent quality.

In this process, the color of the leather permeates the entire fiber structure, Jamie explains. Dyes applied in this less-expensive method are likely to bleed when wet from sweat or rain, and fade over time.

(One of the most popular high-end lines at Mary's, Had fields Bridle works, features 12 stitches per inch.) Lesser techniques often split the entire length of the band, making the whole piece more prone to breakage.

bridles types common uses them equine
(Source: www.equiniction.com)

These often include recommendations for daily care and specific conditioning products and treatments. “It's shocking for some people to learn that some bridles should not be oiled at all,” observes Jul's.

“Had fields used to send their bridles out with a tag that said ? Oil' inside that circle with a diagonal slash through it.” “In a lot of the higher-end bridles, the leather is already finished with a good amount of waxes and tannins in them,” Jul's continues.

“A higher quality bridle will undergo this process without any obvious signs of destruction, but down the road it won't last as long,” Jul's says. Over-oiling can break down the fibers in the leather and the stitching, especially in bridles in the lower price ranges.

Get Help Knowledge is a great source of confidence in the bridle -buying process, but it's not a substitute for working with a trustworthy tack supplier with a reasonable return policy. Arm yourself with good questions and an open mind and enjoy the journey into today's extensive selection of bridles.

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