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Bridles & Bits

Learn About the Parts of Bridles & Types of Bits

Single Bridle

What is a Bridle?

The bridle is a type of horse tack that goes on the horse’s head and is the main source of communication and control with the horse.

Jack Bit

What is a Bit?

The bit is an important piece of tack that fits in the horse’s mouth. The bit, bridle and reins function together to give the rider control of the horse.

The bit applies pressure in the horse’s mouth and reinforce the rider’s leg and weight aids. A skilled rider on a well schooled horse needs to use very little pressure on the bit.

Bridle parts

Parts of the Bridle

Headpiece (Crownpiece): Goes over the crown of the horse’s head to hold the bridle on. Connects to the cheek pieces.

Throatlatch: Keeps the bridle from slipping off over the horse’s head.

Cheek Piece: Connects the headpiece to the bit.

Noseband: Goes around the horse’s nose and is often used to keep the animal’s mouth closed, or to attach other pieces of equipment, such as martingales.

Reins: Connect the rider’s hands to the bit and the bridle.

Bit: The metal part of the bridle that goes in the horse’s mouth. Primary source of control through the horse’s mouth.

Browband: Extends over the horse’s forehead and prevents the bridle from sliding behind the poll onto the upper neck.

Bridle Sizes

What Sizes Do Bridles Come In?

Bridles come in different sizes including pony, cob, horse and over sized. There are even bridles for miniature horses!

Are There Bitless Bridles?

Yes, a bridle without a bit in the horse’s mouth is called a Hackamore.

Hackamore

A Hackamore is similar to a bit but does not go in the horse’s mouth. Hackamores are a special type of noseband that applies pressure to the horse’s face, nose, and chin to allow you to control the horse or pony.

Types Bridles

Are There Different Types of Bridles?

There are many types of bridles including English and Western, with variations in style, shape, and color within each riding sport.

Single Double Bridle

Single Bridle or Double Bridle?

Two primary types of English bridles are single bridles and double bridles. A single bridle has one bit and one set of reins and is used with beginner riders. A double bridle has two bits and two sets of reins.

What Is Tack?

Tack is equipment or accessories used on horses and ponies, such as saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, and harnesses. When you get a horse or pony ready to perform a job or to be ridden, it is called tacking up. A room that stores tack is called a tack room, and a place where you buy tack is called a tack shop.

What Is Horse Tack?

Nosebands

The main difference in types of English bridles is the type of nosebands.

Some types of noseband include:

Cavesson Noseband

The standard English noseband.

Flash Noseband

Contains two pieces, a cavesson noseband adjusted high, with a bottom chin-strap below the bit. It is used to keep the horse’s mouth closed and hold the bit in position.

Dropped Noseband

Same as a Cavesson, but rests lower on the horses head, at the end of the nose bone, with the chin strap below the bit. Used to keep horse from opening mouth to evade the bit.

Figure-Eight Noseband

Contains two pieces, a cavesson noseband adjusted high, with a bottom chin-strap below the bit. It is used to keep the horse’s mouth closed and hold the bit in position.

Name the Parts of the Bridle

Drag and drop the names of the bridle parts into the correct location. Check your results below.

Put On the Pony’s Bridle Game

Click the Green Flag. Drag each bridle part onto the pony to tack him up.

Bridle Icon

Welcome to your Bridles Quiz

Your Name (Required for leaderboard & certificate)
Email (Optional for emailed quiz results)
What is a bridle?
What sizes do bridles usually come in?
What do you call a bitless bridle?
When riding, what do you hold in your hands that connects to the bridle?
What is a standard English noseband called?
What is a browband?

Leaderboard

RankQuiz NameUserCorrect Score
1Bridles Quiz83
2Bridles Quizmy grey pony100
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5Bridles Quiz100
5Bridles Quiz100
7Bridles Quiz83
7Bridles Quiz83
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10Bridles QuizFaith66
10Bridles QuizFaith66
12Bridles QuizFaith0
12Bridles QuizFaith0
12Bridles QuizFaith0
15Bridles QuizElla100
16Bridles QuizElla66
17Bridles QuizLucy Anne33
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19Bridles Quiz100
19Bridles Quiz100
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Examples of English Riding Bits

Beginners usually start riding using one of the bits below.

Full Cheek Snaffle

Full Cheek Snaffle

The full cheek snaffle bit is often a popular choice for novice riders and green horses.

The cheekpiece of a full cheek bit design prevents sideways movement of the mouthpiece, and can improve the delivery of the rider's steering and turning aids. The full cheeks also can work well with young horses because they apply pressure in the horse's mouth and also the cheeks, which can improve the rider's control when steering with the reins. The snug fit also prevents excessive movement of the bit from unstable hands of novice riders.

Loose Ring Snaffle

Loose Ring Snaffle

Egg Butt Snaffle

Egg Butt Snaffle

D Ring Snaffle

D Ring Snaffle

Do You Know the Parts of Horse Bits?

parts of horse bits

Play the Horse Bits Matching Game

Match the correct bit name with the horse bit image with this memory game.

Play the Parts of a Horse Bit Game

Drag the words to the correct location and check your answers