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Jun 16, 2014

The Importance of Anatomy in Bridle Design

There has been huge movements forward in understanding saddle fitting and designs in the last decade or so, but we are only recently doing the same with bridles. IR Bridles strives to be at the forefront of bridle design especially as each bridle is made specifically for each horse there is scope to adjust the design each time.

A very hot topic at the moment in bridle design is pressure and how to lessen it. Padded comfort bridles have become normal wear for most disciplines but the actual design of the bridle, padded or not, is far more important. Does the ‘comfort’ design actually cause more pressure than a traditional bridle would?

A general rule also used in saddle fitting is to spread the pressure over the widest area possible. Translated into bridles a wide headpiece is best, however if the horse cannot accommodate the width behind his ears this can be worse than starting off with a narrow headpiece.


As can be seen in the diagram above, the horse actually has surprisingly few nerves in his head. What nerves there are are concentrated around the base of the ears, underpinning the fact that it is so important to have the correct length browband and correct design of headpiece.

 IR Bridles now have low profile browband loops as standard to minimise any pressure from the browband.

Standard bridle leather is around 3.5mm thick whereas our new low profile soft browband loops are less than half that thickness at 1.6mm thick. Coupled with our original curved Prolite padded headpiece design this creates as much comfort as possible in this very sensitive area on the horse’s head.

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