A bridle http://bit.ly/1LtRWjz that fits well and is adjusted correctly will help your horse be relaxed and comfortable. It will also help you convey your cues accurately. Since each part of the bridle works in conjunction with every other part one improper adjustment will throw your cues off and cause confusion and discomfort for your horse. A customer recently told me “I had a good cutting run in the first go but I thought I might need to adjust my curb strap a bit tighter for the semi-finals. My horse is real sensitive and that 1 inch tighter adjustment on that curb caused her to throw her head each time we turned to the right. I put the curb back where it was and she’s been fine ever since.”
Guidelines for correctly adjusting your bridle:
- The cheek pieces are the correct length when the bit is in the proper position in the mouth. When fitting a bridle begin by adjusting the cheek piece buckle(s) so the bit rests loosely in the mouth. Tighten the buckle one hole at a time (if you have buckles on each side tighten them evenly) until the bit is positioned correctly and is level in the mouth.
- When a bit is positioned correctly it should be snug against the corners of the mouth. It should not be tight enough to cause wrinkles or loose enough to be hanging below the corners of the mouth and potentially bumping teeth. With snaffles (non-leverage bits) the curb is attached to each snaffle ring between the mouthpiece and rein. The curb will help to keep the snaffle rings from being pulled through the horse’s mouth when turning or doubling. It should hang loosely. With a leverage bit the curb is always attached in the bridle ring where the headstall is attached. It should be adjusted to make contact with the chin when the reins are pulled slightly.
- The browband must comfortably hold the cheek pieces in position without being so tight that it pinches the base of the ears. The browband keeps the cheek pieces in place so the bridle does not slide backward.
- The throatlatch holds the cheek pieces on the face if a horse tries to rub the bridle off. It should be adjusted so you can easily slip your hand between it and the horse’s cheek.
Dennis Moreland headstalls http://bit.ly/1OBDreB and bridles http://bit.ly/1LtRWjz are designed with closely spaced adjustment holes to allow very minor adjustments to be made. The buckles are secured in place by extra stitches hand sewn just below the buckle. All are made with the finest quality leather and stainless steel hardware and will fit a variety of breeds and sizes of horses. For more information please call 817-312-5305 or email [email protected]
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