How to Fit a Bridle

The bridle is an essential piece of equine tack, and is usually made from leather, although webbing and synthetic materials may also be used. Bridles generally come in Pony, Cob and Full sizes, and have adjustable nosebands, throat lashes and cheek pieces, allowing the bridle to be altered to achieve the best fit for the individual horse or pony.

To ensure your horse’s bridle fits correctly, there are 6 main areas to check:


1. The Headpiece – This forms the main part of the bridle, and sits behind the horse’s ears. The  headpiece should sit comfortably behind the horse’s poll and not be too tight.

2. The Browband – This prevents the headpiece from slipping backwards, and rests against the horse’s forehead.  A well-fitting browband should have a clearance of 2 finger widths to prevent uncomfortable  pinching

3. The Noseband – There are many different styles of noseband available to serve a variety of purposes,including flash, grackle, crank and kineton nosebands, although the most common is a standard cavesson noseband. A well-fitting cavesson noseband should accommodate 2 fingers comfortably underneath.

4. The Throat Lash – This prevents the bridle coming off over the horse’s head. The throat lash should never be fastened tightly, and should fit four fingers or a fist between the strap and the horse’s throat area.

5. The Cheek Pieces – These are used to attach the bit, and can be adjusted to alter the height of the bit in the horse’s mouth. Both cheek pieces should be buckled at equal lengths on each side, and should create only a slight wrinkle at the corners of the mouth from the bit.

6. The Bit – This should lie flat in the horse’s mouth, resting on the bars of the mouth (where there are no teeth). There should be approximately 1cm clearance at either side of the mouth.