Replacing a Bridle – When Should I Replace My Bridle

English: Chestnut Horse With Loose Ring Snaffl...

Before Buying a New Bridle,Check to See If You Need a New Bridle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Should you Change Your Bridle?

This is the first thing to consider. Before spending your hard earned cash check to see if you need a new bridle. In the ‘old days’ there were people who would repair bridles, saddles and leather straps.  I used to gather a bag of various leather pieces and take them to get reins, and bits repaired. Now however, most people just ‘chuck out’ broken leather and replace with new straps.


Do I Need a New Bridle?

You may need to buy a bridle if:


    • The current bridle is worn out or broken and can’t be repaired –
      • Check the areas which get worn. Problem areas = check pieces and reins. Pieces which attach to the bit are important. Remove the cheek pieces and reins and inspect the leather for cracking and wear. If you are at all concerned, replace with new sturdy pieces.
    • The current bridle doesn’t fit  –
      • Check for pinching behind the horse’s ears. The brow band should be long enough so the horse can swivel his ears without getting pinched.
      • Check for noseband fit. Remember the horse’s jaw should be relaxed and supple. If you have a bridle with a noseband that is too tight your horse won’t be comfortable and may result in resistances.
      • For some information regarding noseband fit review this short video.
    • Your horse shows signs that the bridle is irritating him/her.
      • Head shaking, resistances and other bothersome antics could be as simple as a strap or piece of your bridle rubbing in a wrong place or causing a sore. Take the time to fit your bridle, or replace it.
      • After removing your bridle take a moment and check for rubbing and possible pinching areas. Make your horse comfortable.

When was the last time you purchased a new bridle? Some people have a separate bridle for schooling and a ‘fresh’ bridle for showing. Do you keep a ‘good’ bridle for showing purposes? Send me an email to let me know. I am keeping score.





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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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3 Responses to Replacing a Bridle – When Should I Replace My Bridle

  1. Since you’re keep score, I have a beautiful show bridle – remember laced reins? – bought exclusively for competition use. I figure now that I’m no longer showing and it’s pushing 40 years old, I can use it for riding at home. Mostly, though, I just pull it out when people come to see horses for sale or when we’re shooting videos. They don’t make English leather like this anymore.
    On the bridling issue, I’ve been amazed at how few people seem to know how to fit a bit. Sadly, the horse often gets blamed for behavioral problems that are mere attempts to communicate pain. It’s amazing how often I see a bit that’s way too small for the horse’s mouth – or cranked up too tight, or slamming on the bars. Of course, the other issue is severity (more often than not a horse deemed hard mouthed softens up quickly with a lighter bit and/or better hands). Perhaps you can cover that in a future blog post?

  2. Laura says:

    yes Laced reins or do you mean ‘braided’ reins? Laced are the ones which look like shoe laced, while braided are the pretty ones which are a b!tch to clean and keep looking nice. Well done!

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you for your comments. Does anyone know how to get comments to show?

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