Equestrian is an exciting hobby for tons of people and one with a variety of different approaches. Some people opt for the more formal English riding and some like the rough and tumble of Western riding. Either way, the materials needed for the horse are the same, just with distinctive styles. Take horse bridles, for example. They’re used in both English and Western riding, but have a core set of features that make them useful for the rider and comfortable for the horse.
For this article, we’ll focus on English bridles, which have a long list of components. The first isis the crownpiece, which holds the bridle together and rests behind the horse’s ears. Next is the browband, which goes across the horse’s forehead and prevents it from sliding down its neck. There’s also the nosepiece, which is a thin loop that goes over the horse’s snout and keeps its mouth slightly open so you can place the bit inside. The bit is a small metal rod that goes in the horse’s mouth, on the back teeth, that the horse can chomp down on. The reins pull on the bit to indicate to the animal which direction the rider wants to go. The cheek pieces are attached to the bit and connects it to the bridle so the rider can properly guide the horse.
With all these elements there are two types of English bridles: a snaffle bridle and a double bridle. Snaffle bridles are most common because of their versatility, and double bridles feature two bits and two sets of reins. The double bridle is complex and usually only used in upper level dressage, a formal kind of horse riding.
Horse bridles might seem common, but they have a number of important elements to ensure proper safety.