Your Guide to Anatomical Bridles
The bridle is a key part of your horse’s tack. A comfortable and well-fitting bridle helps the horse and rider to work in harmony. Recently, more brands have introduced anatomical bridles. Like the name suggests, these bridles are designed with the horse’s anatomy in mind to minimise pressure and maximise comfort. Confused by what actually makes a bridle anatomical? Let’s look at the different aspects of anatomical bridles and see why they could be a beneficial option for your horse.
What Makes an Anatomical Bridle Different?
Anatomical bridles can be identified by a few key features that make them stand out from a more traditional bridle. There are several styles of anatomical bridles but they will typically include at least one of these distinctive parts:
An iconic feature of anatomical bridles are the all-in-one style crowns. With no additional straps passing over the poll, pressure points are minimised. The headpiece is also usually wide, increasing the surface area to distribute pressure evenly. Cut back behind the ears, this ergonomic shaping provides further pressure relief and greater freedom for the ears. This is a particularly useful style for horses that are head or ear-shy.
Some anatomical bridles have a wave style browband. The curved shaping follows the natural contours of the horse’s brow, reducing potential pinching across the face. This shape also works in conjunction with the headpiece to allow more freedom for the ears.
Curved cheek pieces are a unique feature of anatomical bridles. Horses have nerves along the cheek and these specially shaped cheek pieces are designed to avoid pressure on the sensitive facial nerves.
There are lots of noseband options available with anatomical bridles. Whilst some look similar to their traditional counterpart, they are shaped to eliminate pressure points and often feature a padded crank fastening too.
Leather and Fastenings
As with any bridle, selecting one with high quality leather not only ensures it is comfortable for the horse but will be long-lasting. The Rhinegold anatomical bridles are crafted with super supple Italian leather and have ‘softee’ leather padding for ultimate comfort. The Rocco Italia bridles also use the finest leather and are designed with a padded leather fob behind every buckle so no metal touches the horse.
Does My Horse Need an Anatomical Bridle?
As anatomical bridles are designed to work with the horse’s facial structure, making the switch could lead to improved comfort and performance. By helping to relieve pressure, your horse may be more accepting of the contact and freer in their work when using a sympathetically crafted bridle. Headshaking, resistance to the contact and rubbing their face are potential signs of discomfort that could be alleviated by trying an anatomical bridle.
There are several styles of anatomical bridles, ranging from those with an all-in-one headpiece to innovative nosebands. Check out some of our favourite options below:
Heritage Anatomical Flash Bridle
With a curved noseband and cheek pieces, this smart bridle effectively eliminates pressure points. The all-in-one style crown is also curved to increase comfort at the poll. Comes complete with soft feel, grip leather reins, as well as a crystal detail curved browband and an additional plain browband.
Rocco Italia Anatomical Cavesson Bridle
Using the finest, softest quality leather, this smart bridle doesn’t compromise on comfort. The all-in-one style headpiece is generously padded and gently cradles the ears. Padded leather fobs sit behind every buckle so no metal touches the horse. The cavesson noseband and cheek pieces are also gently curved to reduce pressure. Supplied with soft feel, grip leather reins.
Rhinegold Italian Leather Anatomical Bridle with Mexican Noseband
Handcrafted from Italian leather, this bridle from Rhinegold is anatomically designed to relieve pressure. The padded headpiece is cut back behind the ears and the noseband features special shaping with double adjustment for the perfect fit. For ultimate comfort, the Rhinegold anatomical bridles also have ‘softee’ leather padding. The sparkly wave browband sits comfortably on the brow, completing the look. Smooth feel rubber reins with smart stitch detailing are also included.
by Jennifer Welsh
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