What Is... A Horse Headstall - Page 1 of 2
Western horse headstalls come in two main types, browband and one ear. Our article and photos below describes the main parts of both types of these headstalls.
Headstalls: What They Are, The Main Parts
A headstall for a horse is a hanger put on a horse's head used for holding a bit, bosal, nose piece, or other piece of equipment to control a horse while riding. When a headstall is combined with a bit (or bosal, nose piece, etc.) the combination is known as a bridle.
To the right is a photo of a bridle with a leather headstall. The main parts of the headstall are:
One Ear Headstalls
Western Headstalls also commonly have another style (besides a browband) called a "one ear." Instead of a browband, one ear headstalls have an ear piece that goes around one of the horse's ears. It serves the same purpose as a browband, which is to keep the headstall from sliding back. A one ear headstall is shown in the photograph to the right.
In the photo notice that the ear piece is its own individual piece of material (in this case, leather) and is designed to slide freely. This allows the ear piece to be slid along the top of the headstall to the best location to accommodate the horse's ear. There are also headstalls that have an ear piece for each ear. Logically, these are called "two ear" headstalls.
Some one ear headstalls have a split cut into the crown piece for the ear instead of a separate piece. "Split ear" headstalls are popular with many riders, but care must be taken so that the split is adjusted so it does not rub the horse's sensitive ear. A split ear headstall is shown at right.
Plain Or Fancy
Headstalls come in a nearly endless variety of styles made from a wide variety of materials. Common materials include leather and horsehair, and synthetics such as nylon and biothane or beta biothane.
Pictured at right is a leather browband horse headstall. It has tear-drop shaped cheek pieces with hair-on cowhide inlays in the cheek pieces and the browband.
Horse Headstalls (you are on page 1 of 2)
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The headstalls below are available from HorseSaddleShop.com
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