Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bridle Paths, Bridles, and Bits

Siaga, although used to wearing and using a bit to some degree, is primarily used to wearing hackamore type thing, which is like a slip loop that goes around his nose and clips onto the halter. When the left rein is pulled, the hackamore tightens on the right side, causing pressure, which the horse then moves away from to turn left.

Anyways. Because Siaga is a horse in a pony body, his head is hard to fit. Pony size is too small for him, and most horse sizes are too big. So anyways, when Siaga was younger, I bought a red nylon bridle for him, and while it fits, I do not trust the buckle style, and I fear that if I for some reason end up fighting his head for something, then the buckles will let loose and the bridle will fall off.

Also, someone, I am pretty sure it was my old boss Erica, gave me a pretty western bridle that has no throat latch, only comes along his cheeks, and around behind his ears with one ear loop. Right now it has a tom thumb snaffle on it, but I will be switching it out for a loose o ring snaffle so that I can start riding him with a bit.

Now, my concern with the leather bridle is that because it has no throat latch, he could very easily toss his head hard or snag it on something, and it would come right off. Also, it is not tight enough to allow the bit to be raised enough to be kept out of the way of his tongue- which usually results in him putting his tongue over the bit, however, it has been a while since I've put the bridle on him, and so I will have to try it and try it with both the tom thumb and the loose o ring snaffles to see what works best.

And while it sucks massively, I have never had his teeth taken care of, so I need to get a vet out to do a float job and a removal of wolf teeth as soon as possible, which likely won't happen until June or July, which is OK. We have time to save up the money to afford the farm call for the vet, the cost of floating and possible sedation (unless I get him used to holding his mouth open, eh?) and also the removal of the teeth. I don't need anything like a professional bit seat or hook removal or anything.

Right now, it doesn't really matter the condition of those teeth, since he does well enough with the hackamore and I can put of further bridle training until later.

Oh right. Bridles. So anyways, I want to take the throat latch off of my red nylon bridle and put it on the brown leather bridle, I know it won't look nice, but if I can't get it to fit right then I need a way to hold it on his head safely.

As for the bridle path... He needs it clipped. For those of you who don't know, a horses bridle path is the area right behind the ears where the headstall of the halter or bridle sits. When the mane grows in there, it can get tangled in the bridle or halter and/or make putting on and taking off halters and bridles very challenging, which is why I like to keep Siaga's clear.


  1. Most one eared western bridles do not have throat latches. Mine for Bonnie does not. As long as the bridle fits correctly there is no need for the throat latch.

  2. I've figured that as long as he doesn't try to scratch his head on his leg or a tree or something it should be fine.