How to Fit a Bridle

Before heading out to buy a new bridle make sure the one you have is properly adjusted and fit to youhorse, stable management, horse training, how to fit a bridle, hunter judge, horse riding, Laura Kelland-Mayr horses head. Creative Commons License photo credit: Tomas Fano

A bridle can be adjusted to fit most horses but there are some points that need to be considered when fitting a bridle. When was the last time you checked the fit of your bridle? Does it fit?

  1. Put the bridle on the horse.
    1. Slide the crown piece over the horses head and slip the ears through the brow band.
  2. Make sure the bit is place in the horse’s mouth properly.
    1. There should be slight wrinkle at the corner of the horse’s lips when the bit is adjusted in the mouth correctly.
    2. Adjust the cheek pieces to allow the bit to rest with one or two wrinkles in the horse’s mouth. This may be a personal preference and a preference on the horse’s part.
  3. Check the cheek pieces.
    1. The cheek pieces should lie flat against the side of the horses face. A well fitted cheek piece should have the straps buckled roughly behind the eye of the horse. Adjusting the bridle up or down a few holes is ok but having the buckle secured at the top near the browband leaves extra straps to flap.

hunter Judge, How to fit a bridle, horse training ontario, horsetraining ottawa, hunter judge, hunter judge canada, Laura Kelland-May
Creative Commons License photo credit: eXtensionHorses

  1. Check the fitting of the brow band.
    1. The brow band should be wide enough to allow for the horses ears to come through comfortably without pinching the ears. A brow band that is too short will not allow enough room for the ears and will pull the crown piece forward onto the back of the horse’s ears. This will make the horse uncomfortable.
    2. If the brow band is too tight /too short, it will also pinch the base at the side of the horse’s ears. The brow band should lay comfortably along the horse’s forehead to allow room for the ears to come through easily.
    3. A too long brow band will stick out, flop and allow the crown piece to slip down the horse’s neck and should be avoided.
  2. Noseband
    1. The noseband can be a personal preference. To fit a noseband properly it should be approximately 1 inch below the cheek bone and not too tight.

When was the last time you checked the fit on your bridle? Does it still fit your horse comfortably


Laura kelland-May

Laura and DeL'Aire

Laura Kelland-May

is a Sr. Judge in Hunter Jumper Hack and Equitation and founder of the Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Series of Horse Show Clinics and Thistle Ridge Skill Builders.  She is available for judging and developing clinics and riders in your area.

A well thought of and ‘in demand’ coach and trainer with 20+ years of experience Laura continues to develop and brings her experience online and  has been featured guest with “How to Market Your Horse Business” (Facebook discussion) and Featured Guest with “Horse Family Magazine” on #horsechat. In addition Laura offers weekly lessons on her weekly live Q & A session.
Laura is a mother, loves to ride and enjoys a quiet paddle down the river.  

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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