Choosing the Right horse Bridle
Choosing the right bridle for your horse is as important as selecting the right saddle and girth. There are four areas to consider, Comfort, Control, Rule Compliance & Aesthetics.
Comfort Choose the right size, one that fits correctly and is as comfortable as possible for the horse.
Control Make sure that the bridle will allow you safe control of your horse.
Rule Compliance whatever discipline you are riding in, check that your bridle is on the list of acceptable horse tack.
Aesthetics If your bridle checks all the other boxes why shouldn’t you choose an attractive-looking bridle
Parts of a horse bridle
A standard single bridle normally consists of seven parts, the headpiece, browband, two cheek pieces, a noseband, a set of horse reins and the horse bit, (unless it is a bitless bridle). The headpiece (also known as the headstall) fits over the top of the horse’s head or poll area, just behind the ears. The browband attaches to the headpiece and fits across the horse’s head sitting under the forelock. The cheekpieces attach to either side of the headpiece and can be adjusted according to the size of the horse’s head. The bit attaches to the cheek pieces and sits in the horse’s mouth. The reins are also attached to the cheekpieces and in conjunction with the bit are used to communicate directions to your horse. The final part of a horse’s bridle is the noseband. It fits around the nose and keeps the horses mouth closed. For more detailed information on the different parts of a bridle and how to take one apart and put it back together, read our articles on Parts of a Bridle and How to put a bridle together.
Types of Bridle
There are many different types of horse bridles, but they can be broadly split into two categories Western Bridles and English Bridles. As the names suggest, Western bridles are for those riders who ride in a Western style. Western Bridles are more lightweight and simpler and Western riders use looser reins normally held in one hand. English horse bridles are the most popular bridle and account for 70% of all bridles sold around the world. They are more robust and complex, used in dressage, Showjumping, Hunting (Hunter Bridle) Eventing or Leisure Riding. The bridle you choose will depend on the type of riding discipline you wish to take part in and the amount of control you need. Below are details of some of the different types of bridles for horses.
The most popular type of horse’s bridle is a snaffle bridle, accounting for nearly 80% of all bridles sold. The snaffle bridle is simply a single-rein bridle that uses a snaffle bit. Although the snaffle bit is one of the simplest bits you can use, there are many different variations and it can be difficult making an informed decision as to the best bit to use for your horse.
A flash bridle incorporates a flash noseband (a noseband that has a flash strap which is used to help keep a horse’s mouth closed. On a snaffle bridle this is known as a flash snaffle).
English Plain Bridle
The English plain bridle (also known as a cavesson bridle) is similar to a flash bridle except there is no flash strap.
Swedish Plain Bridle and Swedish Flash bridles
Swedish-style bridles are similar to the English Plain and English Flash, but in addition, have a padded section to the back of the noseband (this is known as a crank noseband).
The grackle or figure of eight bridles has a noseband that is designed in a figure eight pattern and is used to keep the horse’s mouth closed, whilst allowing the nostrils to flare so the horse gets more air through the nose. Normally used in show jumping, polo and cross-country events.
Weymouth bridle or Double Bridle
A double bridle or Weymouth bridle has two bits and two sets of reins. Each bit is controlled independently by one set of reins. The bridle is normally used by advanced riders as there is a greater level of skill required, whilst allowing the rider a greater degree of control. Double bridles are commonly used in advanced dressage competitions, where at certain levels the use of a double bridle is mandatory.
As the name suggests this is a bridle that does not use a bit. Bitless bridles can be used for a number of reasons. If a horse has had a mouth injury such as a broken jaw or tongue damage or just doesn’t get on with a bit. Some horse riders just prefer to use a bitless bridle. Direction and Communication are maintained via different parts of the horse’s head, nose, jaw, curb, cheek or poll, depending on the severity of control.
For more detailed information on the different types of equestrian bridles click here.
What materials are used in Horse Bridles?
90% of all horse bridles sold are manufactured from leather, with 10% made from synthetic materials, such as imitation leather or web-coated materials. Although more expensive to make, due to the workmanship involved in the manufacturing process, leather is a strong but soft durable material, which if looked after is likely to outlast any synthetic bridle that you buy, no matter what it cost.
What should you look for in a bridle?
The old adage has never been truer when it comes to buying horse tack, (especially leather work), the price really does reflect the quality of the product and you undoubtedly “Get what you pay for”.
There are lots of companies that use labels such as handmade, bespoke, made to measure, comfort, and anatomical as these are all emotionally charged words that help sell. At least some parts of a horses bridle production can be said to be handmade even if it is just feeding the leather through a machine, but there are definitely different levels of quality when it comes to bridle horse manufacture.
Many bridles are mass-produced and economies of scale mean that the processes must be automated and will be made using as many machines as possible to save time and money. Mass-produced bridles may not be quality-checked as carefully and have design faults. Designs may look modern and flashy but in some cases should not actually be used on a horse. Many popular brands also white-label their horse tack. In practice, this means that a brand will purchase from the same manufacturer without any input into the design or quality standards and simply label them with their own logo.
Taking into account the cost of the high-quality leather that goes into the manufacturing process, a decent english bridle will cost over £150 and whilst there are certainly some equestrian brands where you are literally just paying for the “name”, we are often bemused at how Equestrian stores are able to sell complete horse bridles including reins for upwards of £30. Safety should be a major factor in your decision-making process as poor-quality leather and buckles are more likely to break or snap under pressure. It is wise to remember the golden rule when buying horse equipment; always buy the best quality that you can afford.
The quality of the leather
The quality and cost of the leather vary greatly. Many horse bridles sold in the UK are manufactured from Indian leather which historically was sourced from undernourished animals. As a result, the hides were much thinner than their European and English counterparts and the tanning processes were not as sophisticated as those in other parts of the world. Whilst this situation has improved over the years, there is still no question that European and English leather is still the best.
The sizing of the bridle pieces
Despite a variety of sizes, small pony, pony, cob, full and extra full, many horses do not conform to standard measurements. Buying an off-the-peg bridle means that you can be stuck with a piece of the bridle not actually fitting your particular horse.
Why buy a Pink Equine Bridle?
Pink Equine has been selling quality horse tack in the equestrian marketplace for over 15 years. All our bridles, whether you are buying a pony bridle or a full-size bridle are made using Italian Leather which has been carefully sourced by us. The leather is strong yet very soft and supple and all our bridles are made to our own specific patterns and designs.
Because we offer such a wide range of bespoke coloured piping, stitching and crystal combinations, our bridle ranges cannot be mass-produced. Each item is made by an experienced craftsman from start to finish, according to your unique design, double stitched using extra strong thread and all buckles and keepers are made from either stainless steel or nickel-plated stainless steel. All our products are backed by a ten-year replacement parts guarantee.
Every single bridle is quality checked by us to ensure they meet our specifications and high standards, before being sent out to the customer. We also understand that no two horses are the same and that standard-size bridles do not always fit every horse, which is why we allow you to order different size parts of the bridle to ensure that it fits your horse properly.
When you order a Pink Equine bridle, what you get is not only a quality product but one that is unique, because you have chosen the colour combinations and designs yourself. Our bridles can be worn for everyday use but look just as good in the competition arena. If looked after our bridles will last for years.
Pink Equine have a wide range of custom-made horse bridles, as well as pony bridles, to suit all riders and all disciplines. Whether you need a top-quality dressage bridle, show jumping bridle, or something stunning for your leisure horse, look no further. Our bridles are made in three leather colours black leather, brown leather (Havana) and Tan Leather. Our bridles all come with reins and are split into four distinctive ranges.
Sport Interchange colour piped horse bridle
A beautifully made black, brown, or tan leather bridle, with a choice of Snaffle, English Flash, English Plain, Swedish Flash, Swedish Plain, Drop noseband or Grackle noseband according to your requirements. Each bridle is accentuated with a unique fine colour piping, and stitching, that really makes them catch the eye. You can choose from over 30 different colours and match your bridle with the rest of your horse tack, such as your stirrup leathers, horse girth and saddle pad, or your team or even your own riding apparel. Popular as eventing bridles, jumping bridles, they look good on any horse and for any purpose.
Sport Interchange crystal Colour Bridle
Similar to the colour piped horse bridle above except the browband is inlaid with your choice of coloured cut crystal stones. This really makes the bridle pop! You can select your own design from 5 different crystal stone patterns and from over 130 different colours of crystal. Choose your own combination of colours and view/print out the result using our proprietary design software. Create different layouts and decide which one looks best on your horse.
Tyffany Straight and Wave bridle
The browbands in our Tyffany bridles are available in a wave or straight design and set with large Chaton SS29 7.3mm stones which really sparkle when they catch the light. Our Tyffany bridles are extremely popular with dressage riders, (they make superb dressage bridles) show jumpers as well as equestrians and leisure riders alike. You can choose from a wide range of stone patterns and colours and design something that really is unique. If you fancy sophisticated bling this is the bridle for you. Available in black, dark brown, or tan as well as patent leather (patent black, patent brown or patent tan) with matching or white padding, a choice of 5 different stone patterns and 130 different colours to choose from.
Diamond V and Diamond Wave Crystal Bridle
Designed to accentuate a perfect head carriage, the V and Wave bridle contains a delicate and stunning gold or silver plated diamond browband in either a v or wave shape. Also available in Black Leather, Brown Leather, Black Patent Leather, Brown Patent Leather, and matching or white padding, the pictures really don’t do this bridle justice! The Diamond V and Wave can also be purchased as a double bridle (Weymouth bridle) and include an additional set of reins.
How to measure your bridle
All our bridles are available in Small Pony, Pony, Cob, Full and Extra, Full, although as we have already mentioned we are more than happy to mix and match bridle parts to ensure you end up with a bridle that fits correctly. Read our article on how to choose a bridle that correctly fits your horse.
There are four ways to measure a bridle:-
- Measure your existing bridle by taking it apart and measuring each individual part
- Borrow a bridle and try it out on your horse for size before taking measurements
- If you don’t have a bridle, you can physically measure your horse
- Use an existing headcollar
For more detailed information read our article on how to measure for a bridle
Once you have your measurements, refer to the diagrams in our bridle size guides
Diamond Bridle Size Guide
Sport Bridle Size Guide
Tyffany Bridle Size Guide
Sport Noseband Size Guide
Caring for your Pink Equine bridle
Bridle Care is important to ensure that your bridle will last for years to come and remain in good condition. Your new bridle will not need oiling before use, but you can care for it as you would any leather product with saddle soap and occasional oil. The coloured leather piping has been specially coated to ensure the colour remains as is and does not fade or run. Products with Swarovski crystals need to be kept clean, so they continue to shine and sparkle. Keep them polished with a soft cloth. If necessary they can be rinsed in lukewarm water with a small amount of detergent and cleaned with a very soft toothbrush. Make sure they are dry and that the teeth used to secure the stones are all bent over. For more information see our product care guide.
How to order a bridle from Pink Equine
It is very simple to order products from our online store regardless of whether it is for yourself or you are buying gifts for someone else. If it is an in-stock item, find the right size and simply add the bridle and any accessories to the shopping basket, then complete the checkout process for delivery of your orders.
If your horse bridle is bespoke, choose the style of bridle you require, decide on the leather stitching piping colour and if relevant design a matching browband. You can view the design of your item and check if you are happy with the choice of colours. Once you are happy with the design and all the features you require, add your composition to the shopping cart (If you register as a member and create an account you can save 10% off all listed prices (registration is free) and begin the checkout process as normal.
We sell horse tack all over the world, including the UK, England, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden with shipping worldwide to countries including the USA, Canada and Australia. We are always happy to assist with any queries, from any timezone, or in any language if you need more information on your purchases.
Items in stock will normally be mailed out and reach you within seven days (International orders may take a few days longer) Buying bespoke horse tack means that you are buying an item that has been made to your own specifications. In most cases, it is not an off-the-shelf product and as a result, bespoke orders can take between 2 and 6 weeks.
For Non Bespoke items if you are within the EU these can be cancelled at any time up to 14 days after receipt, the cost to return these items would be your responsibility, however, you would get a full refund including any initial postage paid. If you are outside of the EU we will be happy to provide a refund for the initial cost of the item, minus any postage costs so long as it is also returned within 14 days.
In respect of Bespoke ordered items, these cannot be cancelled once ordered after the initial 48 hours have passed. After the 48 hours have passed the order will have been sent to the manufacturer for production. This also applies if the item takes longer, as – at times – there may be circumstances outside of our control that affect this.
For more information refer to our buyers guide.
In Stock bridles – Available For Immediate Delivery
We now have a range of colour piped horse bridles in black and brown leather (you can still choose the pattern and colour of the crystal stones) in stock and available for immediate delivery.
Click on the images above to browse each product in more detail or click here to view the complete range of in stock bridles.
Don’t forget to register as a member on our site (It’s free) you can enjoy 10% off all the products on our website (once you have signed up you must be logged in to see the discount) as well as our newsletter, entry to free competitions, and advanced access to new products. Click here to join today.