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How To Bridle A Horse - Page 2 of 2

This page covers opening the horse's mouth, finishing bridling, and how to remove a bridle.

Bridle A Horse - Page 1

Bridle A Horse - Page 2

Bridling, Step Three

Use your thumb to encourage the horse to open his mouth to accept the bit. Do this by sliding your thumb into the interdental space, as shown in the photo.

Horses that have been bridled a great deal will open their mouth when your thumb slides in. If the horse does not open its mouth, you can wiggle your thumb around or gently tap the tongue or gums as a reminder of what he is supposed to do.

Below: Slide your thumb into the interdental space to encourage the horse to open its mouth.

Insert your thumb into the interdental space

Bridling, Step Four

When the horse opens its mouth, raise your right hand up and back (toward the horse's ears) to lift the bit inside the mouth and past the front (incisor) teeth.

Use your left hand to guide the bit, and to keep the curb strap (if the bridle has one) behind the chin.

As in the previous step, be careful not to bump the horse's teeth with the bit as it enters the mouth.

Below: The bit is just entering the horse's mouth. The fingers of the left hand are guiding the curb strap and the bit, and the right hand is slowly lifting the bridle.

Raise the bridle into the horse's mouth

Bridling, Step Five

Now slide the crown of the bridle over the horse's ears. It's usually easiest to do one ear at a time.

Do NOT scrunch or smash the horse's ears in this step - they don't like it, and it could cause them to pull away, or hit you in the face with their head. Instead, fold the ears straight forward or straight back.

Below: The bridle in the photo below is a style with a brow band. Some bridles are a "one ear" or "two ear" style, meaning they have small loops for the ears to fit through instead of the brow band. When bridling, regardless of the style of bridle, fold the ears forward or back to fit behind the brow band or through the ear loops, and avoid smashing the ears.

Do not smash the horse's ears

You're Done!

After the horse's ears are in front of the crown, straighten and neaten the forelock, making sure there aren't any tangled hairs.

It's also a good idea at this point to just step back for a second and look things over, making sure there are not any buckles or cheek pieces too close to the eyes, etc. It's also a good idea to step to the other side of the horse and make sure everything looks OK on that side, too.

When you're sure everything is fine, buckle the throatlatch (if the bridle has one), remove the halter from around the neck (if you left it on) and you're finished!

A bridled horse

Bridle A Horse - Page 1

Bridle A Horse - Page 2


Removing A Horse's Bridle


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