When it comes to riding a horse, having the right equipment is very important. This includes the right saddle, the right stirrups, the right horse tack, and the right bridle. But how necessary is having the correct bridle really? What does it really do?
Below we have compiled a buying guide all about English bridles, including the different parts that make up a bridle and what to look for when buying the best horse bridle. We’ve even included some of our top picks out there on the market today, so you can find the best one for your horse.
So, if you’re ready to make your equestrian experience easier and more enjoyable, keep reading on.
Best Horse Bridle – Comparsion Table
|Image||Product Name||Features||Star Rating|
|1) SilverFox Raised Snaffle Bridle||Traditional style raised browband|
Leather laced reins
Quality standard leather
|4 out of 5|
|2) Wonder Care Genuine Leather Bridle||100% Vegetable Tanned|
Comfortable to the horse,
Safe, gentle and effective
|3.9 out of 5|
|3) Tough 1 King Series Browband Bridle||Fine quality bridle leather|
Doubled and stitched
Smoothed and darkened edges
|4.1 out of 5|
|4) Intrepid International Nylon Race Horse Bridle||Quality Nylon race bridle with plenty of adjustment to fit any horse|
Rubber grip reins
Complete with cave son and curb strap
|4.4 out of 5|
|5) Tough 1 Western Leather Browband Draft Bridle||Doubled and stitched|
Browband headstall complete with snaffle bit and split reins
1" wide leather with stained edges
|4 out of 5|
|6) Weaver Leather Working Tack Bridle||Handcrafted from premium harness leather|
Includes 5/8 inch x 7-1/2' roper reins
Features an all leather curb strap
|4.7 out of 5|
|7) Gatsby Leather Company Plain Snaffle Bridle||Beautifully created from Supple pre-conditioned leather|
Raised leather bridle with White stitching on it
Comes with Plain laced reins
|4.6 out of 5|
|8) Henri de Rivel Dressage Bridle||Stainless Steel Hardware|
Padded Browband and Noseband
|4.4 out of 5|
|9) Generic Nylon Combination Halter Bridle||Adjustable Combination Halter Bridle|
Durable Nylon w/ Nickel Plated Hardware & Detachable Scissor Snap Bridle Cheeks
Includes 3/4" x 7' Nylon Reins w/ Scissor Snap Ends
|3.9 out of 5|
What Is A Horse Bridle?
A horse bridle is a harness that is placed over your horse’s head to allow you to control and steer them. They are designed to reduce pressure on the horse’s sensitive facial parts, while still putting you in charge of direction and the horse’s movements. This allows for better circulation of blood, as well as allowing your horse to still have full control of their facial features, such as chewing, swallowing and yawning.
Horse bridle’s can be simple, made up of only a few parts, or they can be more complex and made up of multiple parts.
English Bridles vs. Western Bridles
There are two main types of bridles — English and Western Bridles. The main difference is the discipline in which they both are used — English bridles are used in English riding and Western bridles in Western riding.
Western bridles do not normally have nosebands, and oftentimes have no brow bands. They are used with Western tack, a Western saddle, and commonly a Pelham bit, which is a curb bit that combines a snaffle, often with side orbit limbs. Western bridles are used less to communicate with the horse and, instead, the rider uses their seat and weight to communicate.
English bridles, which are the bridles we are exploring in this article, come in two main varieties. The are single or Snaffle bridles, and double bridles. A single bridle has one bit and one set of reins and is used with inexperienced riders, while a double bridle has a couple of bits and two collections of reins, used by more experienced riders. A bridle without a bit is described as a hackamore. English bridles are used with English saddles.
Parts Of A Horse Bridle
There are a number of different parts that your horse bridle can have. These all have different uses and advantages.
The headpiece, headstall or headrest is the part of the bridle that sits the highest on the horse’s head. It goes directly behind the ears and must support the weight of the bridle. Because this is the part of the bridle that puts pressure on your horse’s head, the bridle that works for one horse might not work for another.
The noseband acts as a guide rail for the horse’s jaw and helps you to control the horse. It is not used to keep your horse’s mouth closed, which is a common belief. You should go for a fairly wide noseband, which will be more comfortable for your horse because the pressure will be better distributed.
The bit is the part of the bridle that goes in the horse’s mouth. It helps to communicate with your horse what you want them to do, such as speed and direction. They are usually made of metal and come in a range of different types and sizes. Bits are often bought separately to the bridle, and some bridles have no bits — which are called hackamores.
Blinders are two leather plates placed on the side of the horse’s eyes that help to prevent them from seeing out of their peripheral vision. They are also sometimes called blinkers and are used by racehorses or driving horses.
The uprights are part of the bridle and run along the horse’s head on each side. They connect the bit to the headrest, the border, the blinders and the noseband.
The collar is a padded covering that surrounds the horse’s neck and protects their shoulders from the force of the pull. It always needs to be positioned correctly so it doesn’t hurt them.
The reins or guides are the two straps that allow to rider to communicate with their horse. They are often made of leather. Along with the bit, they help to direct the horse and control the speed.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Horse Bridle
As there are many different parts to the English bridle, there are also a number of factors to take into consideration before buying one.
Material and Color
There are many different horse bridles out there, and they come in different materials and colors. They can be made of leather, nylon, vinyl, or synthetic materials — it will be up to you to decide which is going to be best for you as a rider. Leather is very durable, but is not waterproof, which is why nylon or vinyl is sometimes preferred.
They can come in various different colors, but the most common are black, dark brown or light brown. However, you might be able to find a bridle in a fun color that makes you stand out from the crowd!
Padding is not a necessary part of the bridle, but many bridles come padded to provide more comfort for your horse. If your horse is sensitive or new to bridles, you might want to get them a deluxe padded one.
Of course, the size of a bridle is very important. If the bridle doesn’t fit, it’s not going to work! A bridle that is too big will not give you as much control, and a bridle that is too small could hurt your horse. You should take into account whether your horse is a cob, full sized or a pony.
Bridles can be expensive, so you might want to think about choosing one that comes with a reasonable warranty. This way, if the bridle breaks or gets damaged, you will be able to replace it without any hassle and you won’t have to worry about spending too much money on getting it repaired. Most bridles come with a one or two year warranty, but you may be able to find a bridle with a warranty of five years.
Now we know all about the different parts of a horse bridle and what you should watch out for, take a look at the horse bridles we love. All of these bridles are available to you on Amazon.
The Best Horse Bridle Reviews
This bridle from SilverFox is a raised bridle, meaning it has a traditional style but a raised browband headstall. This, along with the cavesson, means this bridle will work for horse’s with even the most delicate or finest heads. It is made with quality standard leather with leather laced reins, excellent for ensuring durability and comfort for your horse. This bridle does not come with a bit.
- Traditional style raised browband
- Leather laced reins
- Quality standard leather
This bridle from Wonder Care is made of 100% vegetable tanned genuine leather, ensuring comfort and durability. The stainless steel hardware further ensures the bridle is long-lasting and sturdy, all the while not hurting your horse in any way. This bridle comes with 3/4 inch wide full leather reins and comes in two different colors — black and brown. It is an effective bridle, allowing you to gently and easily communicate with your horse. Again, this bridle does not come with a bit.
- 100% Vegetable Tanned
- Comfortable to the horse,
- Safe, gentle and effective
This bridle from Tough 1 does not come with a bit, instead with a hackamore. It is made from fine quality leather that is soft and flexible, great for both you and your horse, and the doubling stitching ensures the bridle is tough and durable and won’t break easily. It has smoothed and darkened edges for both a sleek look and comfort, and comes complete with reins so you’ve got everything you need to get started. What’s more, you can choose between two colors — medium tan and dark oil.
- Fine quality bridle leather
- Doubled and stitched
- Smoothed and darkened edges
This horse bridle from Intrepid International is made from nylon, meaning it is slightly more durable than many leather bridles. While is may not be quite as soft as a leather bridle, this nylon bridle is still comfortable for your hose as is extremely durable. It comes with rubber reins that allow you to securely get ahold of them and easily direct and communicate with your horse. This bridle does not come with a bit and is available in seven different colors.
- Quality Nylon race bridle with plenty of adjustment to fit any horse
- Rubber grip reins
- Complete with cave son and curb strap
Another bridle from Tough 1, this broadband bridle is made of 1” wide leather with stained edges. Durable, flexible and soft, this bridle works well for most horse’s, even those who are more sensitive and need a more gentle bridle. It is double stitched for extra toughness, and comes with a snaffle bit and split reins, great as a starter kit for everything you need to get riding. The bridle comes in three different colors for you to choose from.
- Doubled and stitched
- Browband headstall complete with snaffle bit and split reins
- 1″ wide leather with stained edges
This bridle from Weaver Leather is made from premium leather and is hand rubbed for the ultimate performance. This not only means it is long-lasting and strong, but is also comfortable for your horse. It comes with a stainless steel snaffle bit that measures 5 inches, and includes 5/8 inch by 7.5 inch roper reins for easing guiding and communication, no matter the discipline. This bridle can be adjusted to fit horses of many different sizes and there are also two different bit options to choose if you wish.
- Handcrafted from premium harness leather
- Includes 5/8 inch x 7-1/2′ roper reins
- Features an all leather curb strap
A bridle is one of the best tools for horse owners, and this snaffle bridle is an affordable option for those on a budget. Though the bridle does not come with a bit, it works with most snaffle bits. Thanks to the leather design, you’ll love the way it feels right out of the box.
This leather comes already conditioned, which means you don’t need to waste time breaking it in before you put it on your horse. As a bonus, that leather comes in a deep and rich brown shade. The white stitching used on the outside makes the leather stand out even more. You also get a pair of plain laced reins in matching leather. These reigns easily attach to the bit that you want to use.
- Beautifully created from Supple pre-conditioned leather
- Raised leather bridle with White stitching on it
- Comes with Plain laced reins
The bridle from Henri de Rivel is a somewhat basic bridle, yet traditional and works well. It is made from leather which ensures it is soft and durable, and comes with stainless steel hardware that further ensures the sturdiness of the bridle. The padded nose and brow bands ensure your equine is comfortable and the 5/8” wide webbed reins give you a good grip and allow a connection with the horse. The cheek pieces measure 1/2” and the padded bridle comes in two classic color choices.
- Stainless Steel Hardware
- Imported Leather
- Padded Browband and Noseband
These bridles are for those who want their horse to really stand out from the crowd! Available in an array of different colors such as pink, green, purple and red, these bridles are made from durable nylon and nickel plated hardware for a safe, secure and long-lasting performance. They come with detachable scissor snap bridle cheeks and 3/4″ x 7′ nylon reins with scissor snap ends, allowing you to communicate easily to your horse without hurting them. The bridles don’t come with a bit and are completely adjustable to fit an array of different full-sized horses.
- Adjustable Combination Halter Bridle
- Durable Nylon w/ Nickel Plated Hardware & Detachable Scissor Snap Bridle Cheeks
- Includes 3/4″ x 7′ Nylon Reins w/ Scissor Snap Ends
A horse bridle allows you to control and communicate with your horse easily, giving you the ability to adjust speed and direction when riding. While there are so many different bridles out there, we hope that you have found one that you love and will work for your equine in our list above. Always pay close attention to the size of the bridle and ensure it doesn’t harm your horse when they are wearing it in any way. Which bridle do you think you are going to choose?