How to Bridle a Horse

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Check that you have the correct bridle size.,
Halter your horse so the main part is around the horse’s neck.,
Pick up and position your bridle.,
Drape the reins over your horse’s neck.

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Switch hands holding the bridle.,
Have the horse drop his head for the bit.,
Slip the crown of the bridle over the horse’s ears.,
Adjust the brow band.,
Buckle the throatlatch.,
Check the fit of the bridle.,
Remove the halter once you’re satisfied with the bridle’s positioning.,
Hold your horse by sliding the reins from their neck and gathering them in your hand.

If this is the first time you’re using this bit on this particular horse you should be sure that you’re using a proper sized bridle. If it’s the wrong size it will make the horse uncomfortable.Bridles comes in three sizes: pony, cob or Arabian, and full. Measure your horse’s head from the center of his poll to the corner of his mouth, and compare this measurement to the crown and cheek piece of the bridle.
If the bit is too small it can pinch the horse’s mouth.
If the bit is too large it will slide around in the horse’s mouth. Also an over-sized ported or jointed bit can cause pain or damage to the roof of the horse’s mouth.;
, (Let the noseband hang.) This gives you something to keep the horse in check, but won’t get in the way of the bridle. Do not have the horse tied when you do this., Pick it up from its crownpiece (top part) in your left hand, letting the rest of it hang. Move any small straps to the outside of the cheekpieces, so they won’t get tangled.

,, Now hold it in your right hand.

Hold the bridle so that the two sides are a good distance apart, with the crown up and the throatlatch straps hanging free and not tangled in any other straps.
Make sure you take up all the reins so that you don’t create loops for your horse to step in and keep all the straps off the ground.

, Once he does, hold the bit in the palm of your left hand, with your right forearm paralleling the horse’s top of his neck (your hand should be right near his ears). Gently press the bit next to the horse’s teeth, and insert your thumb back into the horse’s mouth to make it open if you must.

If your horse won’t lower his head or accept the bit, offer them a treat while offering the bit. Hold the bridle in your right arm with the crown of it near the horse’s ears, and rest its bit and a treat (a bit of apple or sugar cube) in your palm.
Slip the bit into your horse’s mouth with the treat. Hold the bit low where you’ve been holding the treats. Gently set it against your horse’s teeth as close to where her top teeth meet her lower teeth as possible. Hold your sugar cube against the bit.
Make sure that you’re holding the crown up and ready to slip on before you put the bit in their mouth.
Make sure you have the bit in before you put the bridle’s crown over their ears.

, You want to maintain gentle pressure on the bit so the horse doesn’t let it out of his mouth. Avoid crushing the horse’s ears. It you have to slip one ear under the crown and then the other, do so gently.

Give your horse a treat to reward them for being good. This is optional, and probably not needed for a calm, experienced horse.

, The brow band should always rest against your horse’s forehead smoothly. It should be set 1-2″ below the base of the horse’s ears. Check from the front to make sure it’s straight and isn’t pinching the horse’s ears.

While you’re adjusting the brow band, adjust the headstall and cheek pieces to make sure everything is straight. Double check by looking at the bridle head-on.

, The throatlatch isn’t there to hold the bridle in place, and should be buckled with enough slack for 4 fingers to slide between it and the horse’s neck. The throatlatch operates as an extra precaution to prevent the bridle from falling off. This means that the throatlatch needs to be loose enough to maintain slack, even if the horse drops his head.

Make sure you can fit 4 fingers between the throatlatch and the horse, even when their head is bent downwards. To remember about how loose the throatlatch should be, imagine it as a necklace.

, The brow band should be smooth and in the correct position (so it won’t be pinching your horse’s ears or head). Check that the bit sits evenly in your horse’s mouth. There should be two wrinkles on either corner of your horse’s mouth. Too few wrinkles and you need to shorten the cheek straps.

Make sure it sits evenly on your horse’s head. If you do have to adjust the cheek strap check that the rest of the headstall is still even.

, Unsnap the halter from the remaining cross-tie. Untie the lead rope from your horse’s neck and unbuckle and remove the halter.

This is when you should check the length of your reins. The need to be long enough that you can take up contact with your horse’s mouth.

, Lead them on their left, at their cheek. Hold the reins in your right hand about six inches below the bit.

Keep the bight in your left hand.

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