What Is A Horse Headstall? - Page 1 of 2
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 communicate with a horse while riding.
Note: Links with green underlines are shopping links and will open in a new window.
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
As we said above, a headstall is a hanger put on a horse's head used to hold a bit, bosal, nose piece, or other piece of equipment to communicate with a horse while riding.
When a headstall is combined with a bit (or bosal, nose piece, etc.) the combination is known as a bridle.
Below is a photo of a bridle with a leather headstall. Underneath the photo is a description of its main parts.
Below: The main parts of a horse headstall.
The main parts of the headstall are:
- Crown piece. The crown piece goes over the top of the horse's head, behind its ears. As the crown piece extends down the side of the horse's head it meets up with the cheek pieces.
- The browband. The browband goes in front of the horse's ears, across the brow. Its purpose is to keep the headstall from sliding down the horse's neck. If a headstall does not have a browband it will probably have an ear piece (see One Ear Headstalls, below). The purpose of the ear piece is the same as the browband: To keep the headstall from sliding down the horse's neck.
- Throatlatch. Not all headstalls have a throatlatch, but they are also very common. The throatlatch goes underneath the horse's head behind the throat.
- Cheek pieces. The cheek pieces buckle onto the crown piece then continue on down each side of the horse's head, or cheeks. Cheek pieces have fasteners of some type at the bottom in order to attach a bit, bosal, or nose piece. The type of fasteners can vary widely.
Great places to find headstalls include:
One Ear and Two 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.
In the photo of the one ear headstall below 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" or "double ear" headstalls.
Below: A one ear headstall.
Fixed Ear Headstalls
Some one ear headstalls have a piece for the ear cut right into the headstall. These are commonly called "fixed ear" headstalls. Since the earpiece is in a fixed location, it cannot slide freely.
Below: A fixed ear headstall.
Split Ear Headstalls
Still another type of one ear headstalls (not shown) 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 to adjust the headstall so that the split does not rub the horse's sensitive ear.
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. Some headstalls come with bling in the form crystals, fancy buckles, or other eye-catching accents.
Below: A fancy headstall with bling.
Horse Headstalls (you are on page 1 of 2)
What Is / Are...
- What Are 5 Reasons Horse Trailer Lighting Matters?
- What Are Chestnuts and Ergots?
- What Are Cowboy Chinks?
- What Are Ermine Spots?
- What Are Horns?
- What Are Horse Blood Marks?
- What Are Horse Vaccines and How Do They Work?
- What Are Horse Whiskers?
- What Are Leads?
- What Are The Parts Of A Western Saddle?
- What Are Saddle Rigging Positions?
- What Are Some Horse Fencing Basics?
- What Are Some Interesting Horse Facts?
- What Are Some Interesting Charts and Graphs With Horse Information?
- What Are Some Options For Temporary Horse Fencing?
- What Are Slobber Straps?
- What Are Synthetic Saddles Made Of?
- What Are The Rodeo Catch Pens?
- What Are The X's In A Cowboy Hat?
- What Are The Three Legal Head Catches?
- What Are Wolf Teeth?
- What Is The Angle System For Branding?
- What Is A Bosal?
- What Is A Bull Riding Vest Made Of?
- What Is A Domain Name?
Why would I need one for my farm or ranch even if I don't have or want a website?
- What Is A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch?
- What Is Flag and National Anthem Etiquette At A Rodeo?
- What Is Floating A Horse's Teeth?
- What Is Freeze Branding?
- What Is Freeze Branding......What Do Horse Freeze Brands Look Like?
- What Is A Galvayne's Groove?
- What Is A Gooseneck Trailer Hitch?
- What Is A Headstall?
- What Is A Pony Express Mochila?
- What Is Hermann Oak Leather?
- What Is Larvicidal De-Worming?
- What Is The Flying Gallop?
- What Is The Mark Out Rule?
- What Is A Nord Fork?
- What Is The Rodeo Return Gate?
- What Is Rotational Grazing?
You Might Also Like
Link To This Page
If you found this page useful or interesting and would like to link to it from your own website or blog, you can use the small code snippet below to make a link. Thanks!
Use ctrl+C in Windows or command+C on a Mac to copy the link.