The bridle consists of the following elements:
One can majorly categorize the bridles in two types – English Bridles and Western Bridles. The most obvious difference in their use is the discipline in which they both are used. English Bridles are used in English Riding and Western Bridles in Western Riding discipline.Western Bridle
Western bridles do not normally have nosebands, and oftentimes have no brow bands. They are commonly used with a Pelham bit, a curb bit that combines a snaffle, often with side orbit limbs. Largest western riding horses are driven on little or no communication and the rider uses his seat, his weight and neck-reining to provide services to the horse.English Bridles
Two primary varieties of English bridles are single or Snaffle bridles and double bridles. A single bridle has 1 bit and one set of reins and is used with inexperienced riders. A double bridle has a couple of bits and two collections of reins. A bridle without a bit is described as a Hackamore. The English snaffle bridle is the most uncomplicated.
The snaffle bridle is the most commonly used because of its versatility and functionality. The snaffle bridle can be used for most English disciplines including jumping, dressage, and trail riding. It can be used with a snaffle bit or with a Pelham or curb bit.
It consists of one bit and one set of reins. The noseband on a snaffle a bridle is designed to rest just below the cheekbones on the horse’s face. It has two rings on either side to which the reins are attached and is usually jointed, with a link in the middle of the mouthpiece. The noseband keeps the horse’s jaws aligned and prevents the horse from opening its mouth wide enough to avoid the bit and rein aids. When adjusted properly- not too tightly or too loosely —the noseband also transfers some of the bit pressure from the bars of the horse’s mouth to the nasal bone.
This bridle is observed in many English disciplines as well as with horse jumpers. The English snaffle bridle evermore has a cavesson noseband and, notwithstanding the name, is used with many various types of bits. A snaffle bridle consists of the many types of single snaffle bits, such as egg butt, loose ring, or D-ring snaffle, kimberwicks, gag bits, and curb bits, a single set of reins attached to that bit.
Dressage bridles are traditionally black, which coordinates with black dressage saddles, but you will see brown tack in dressage occasionally. Dressage bridles are generally padded bridles with flash nosebands. Nosebands can be either regular buckle or crank style. Anatomic Dressage Bridle is a huge trend, with large variations in design and lots of shine and bling!
Figure 8 bridles have a noseband that crosses from top of the cheek on one side, to the chin on the other side. This forms the figure 8 after which the bridle is named. A Figure 8 bridle keeps the horse's mouth closed, or allows the horse to have more airflow through the nose.
These bridles generally impart traditional look to the horse. Hunter Jumper bridles come in different styles for the hunter show ring, or show jumper ring. Hunter Jumper bridles come in a fancy stitch, or simple plain noseband styles.
Weymouth or Double Bridle uses two bits at once, a small snaffle called a bradoon and a curb or Weymouth bit, and require the use of two sets of reins. Double bridles are usually only seen used in upper-level dressage, in Saddle seat riding, and for showing in certain other events that require formal attire and equipment. In the right hands, this bridle can improve performance; in the wrong hands, it can seriously hurt the horse's governing capacity.
The Weymouth is practical for riding and racing in dressage and other ceremonious equestrian games such as Eventing.
A bitless bridle is a general term describing a wide range of headgear for horses or other animals that controls the animal without using a bit. Direction control may also be via a noseband or cavesson, if one is used. It might be used temporarily for the retraining of a horse that has been ridden by a heavy-handed rider or has suffered a mouth injury. It might be used because a horse has dental issues or difficulties tolerating a bit to such an extent that behavioral issues developed. Other riders choose to use a bitless bridle for the overall comfort of the horse.
The snaffle bridle with a drop noseband can be used for dressage and eventing. The lower band or drop band is used to hold the horse’s mouth closed while riding. Using a drop noseband is not allowed in hunt seat competition. The drop noseband can be removed converting the bridle to a snaffle bridle.
Horse reins create that all-important connection between a horse’s bit and a rider’s hands. Most bridles come with reins that are appropriately styled to match the look and purpose of the bridle.
English reins come in a variety of styles for Dressage, Hunter Jumper, or Endurance.
Horse reins come in laced, rubber, web, or woven styles. All horse reins should match the color of the bridle they are being used with.
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