A snaffle bridle is the simplest kind of bridle for young riders. It is made up of the following different parts:
- cheek piece 1 (attaches to the crownpiece)
- crown piece 1a (attaches to the cheekpiece)
- browband 2
- noseband 3
- throatlatch 4
Snaffle bridles come in four main sizes: pony, cob, full and oversize. How do you know what size will fit your horse? It is easy to understand that you would not buy a pony-sized bridle for a 17 hand Percheron. But sometimes it is not so clear. When you’re not sure, it is helpful to know how to measure your horse for a bridle.
Measuring A Horse for a Bridle
Use a soft fabric measuring tape with inch or centimetre increments.
The dotted lines in the pictures below, illustrate the position of the tape measure on the other side of the horse’s head, where it is unseen.
Measure for the crown and cheek pieces, parts 1 and 1a in the picture of the bridle above.
To do this, measure from the corner of the horse’s mouth, up along the line that the cheek piece would follow, over the ears (for the crown piece), and to the other corner of the mouth.
Measure for the length of browband.
Measure from the back edge of the horse’s ear, around his forehead, to the back edge of his other ear.
Measure for the length of noseband.
Measure the circumference of the horse’s nose, approximately one inch or two finger widths down from the prominent cheek bone towards the nose.
Measure the length of throatlatch required.
Measure from back of your horse’s ear, under his throat, to the back of his other ear.
Let’s look at different measurements and relate them to horse bridle size. Click here to see a bridle size chart. Refer to the chart to answer the following questions.
1. You’ve followed the instructions for Step 2, measuring for the browband. The measurement was 14 1/2 inches (37 centimetres). What horse bridle size category does this correspond to?
2. The measurement you took for the noseband was 26 inches (66 centimetres). What horse bridle size does this correspond to?
3. The measurement for the throatlatch was 23 inches (58 1/2 centimetres). What horse bridle size does this correspond to?
Now you know how to measure a horse for a bridle! Be sure to take along your measurements (and tape measure) when you go shopping!
Common Core: 3.MD.B.4, 4.MD.A