In order to correctly place a snaffle bridle on a horse you must first hold the bridle in your left hand by the poll in a way so that when you are standing beside the horse the bridle naturally faces the same direction as if it were already on. Once you are ready you then:
- · Move to the left hand side of the horse, slightly behind the head.
- · With your right hand put the reins over its head.
- · Remove the halter.
- · Place the poll of the bridle in your right hand and hold it just in front of the horse’s eyes.
- · At the same time grasp the bit in the palm of the left hand in preparation to insert into the horse’s mouth.
- · Press your left thumb gently on the horses lip to open its mouth.
- · Whilst this is happening raise the bridle with your right hand and place the bit in the horse’s mouth with the left.
- · With your right hand lift the poll of the bridle as high as it will go and then over one ear at a time.
- · Do up the throat latch and or noseband
- · Pull the forelock out so that it sits over the browband and tidy the mane under the poll.
Once this is done, inspect the corners of the mouth to see if the bridle is adjusted properly. If the adjustment is correct the corners of the mouth should produce two wrinkles, or smiley faces, one on each side. The headpiece should sit flat just bend the ears. If the browband is too small or tight it will cause the headpiece to rub the back of the ears and chafe the horse. The throatlatch should be loose enough so as to allow a person’s hand to be placed in between the throatlatch and the throat.
Using A Drop NoseBand
When correctly fitted a Drop Noseband should sit approximately four fingers width above the nostrils and should be fastened in such a manner that it will not allow the horse to open up its mouth but still allow it enough room so as to mouth the bit. The rings that join the chinstrap to the nosepiece should be no further rearward than the mouthpiece of the bit. The only way that the rings can be any further back is if the nosepiece is too long. The chinstrap will fasten in the chin groove with the buckle on the outside of the jawbone in such a manner that it does not place pressure on it. The upper edge of the nosepiece of the cavesson nose band, or the cavesson part of the flash noseband, should sit approximately one fingers width below the bottom of the cheekbone, and the noseband should be adjusted to provide room for at least one finger to be inserted between it and the nasal bone.
The correct placement of a bridle on a horse is not just for the safety of the handler during its fitting. When a bridle is correctly fitted it increases the comfort of the horse which in turn makes the horse more responsive and the ride more enjoyable.