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How to Properly Fit a Western Headstall and Bridle

Ensuring your horse’s bridle fits correctly is vital. It should not be too tight or too loose; aim to fit about two fingers under the headstall comfortably. A tight bridle can cause discomfort by pushing the bit too far into the horse’s mouth causing discomfort. Conversely, a headstall that is too loose will force the bit to sit too low in your horses mouth and not in the bit saddle, forcing the bit to rest between their teeth. In most cases, your horse will tell you right away if the headstall is too loose or too snug- listed to them!

I always follow the phrase: “You want your horse smiling not laughing.” Meaning there should be about 1wrinkle not 2 or 3 above their mouth.

Regardless of your riding objectives – be it working with cattle, entering the show ring, or exploring trails – a well-fitted western headstall/bridle is essential for keeping your horse content and comfortable.

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