When your horse’s bridle is properly adjusted, he’ll be comfortable, and he’ll have the polished, “custom tailored” look that projects a winning image in the show ring.
1. Adjust the bridle’s cheekpieces so that the bit just creases the corners of your horse’s mouth, forming one wrinkle on each side, as shown.
2. For a polished appearance, the cheekpiece buckles should lie next to the prominent bone at the eye, and be even on both sides. If the buckles on your bridle don’t lie there when properly adjusted, a saddle-repair shop can alter the bridle for you.
3. When you buckle the throatlatch, leave enough slack to fit your fist beneath the strap. That’s snug enough to keep the bridle from being accidentally pulled off, but not so tight that the strap interferes with your horse’s ability to flex at the poll.
4. Adjust the cavesson so the noseband rests about one finger-width below your horse’s cheekbones. Buckle the noseband such that you can slide two fingers comfortably beneath it.
5. The browband should rest in the natural hollow below your horse’s ears, and lie flush and straight across his forehead.
Chris George and her husband, Shane, train out of their facility, Show Sports farm, in Magnolia, Texas. Shane has shown to national success in USA Equestrian competition, and is a multiple American Quarter Horse Association world champion in hunter events.
Adapted from an article that appeared in Horse & Rider magazine.