English Bridle Guide
While all English bridles are similar, each English riding discipline traditionally uses a slightly different type of bridle - either in terms of color or style of the bridle.
Fox Hunters generally use the most traditional type of English Bridle. These "Field Hunt" bridles
are made of wide, flat, unadorned brown leather and are paired with snaffle bits, or pelhams with double reins.
follow similar formal traditions with a simple snaffle bridle
, but the browband and caveson is often with raised or braided leather. The leather color is also in the brown family, but will generally match the saddle, so either oakbark, dark brown, and sometimes havana are the common shades. Hunters are almost never shown with any type of "bling" or color in their bridles. Drop, figure 8, or flash nosebands are not commonly seen.
and Event Bridles
are definitely a case of "form follows function." Whatever the rider requires to get a good, clean, fast round over fences or cross country is what they will use! Figure 8
, drop, and flash nosebands
are common, and you will even see the occasional English or Mechanical hackamore. Brown is probably the most common color, but black, particularly among European riders is represented as well.
, black for dressage bridles is nearly universal, although brown tack is becoming popular with the fashion forward. At the lower levels a basic black snaffle with flash noseband
is by far the most popular style, while at 3rd level and above it is replaced by a Weymouth or Double Bridle
. Just about anything goes as far as browband bling in the Dressage court. In an otherwise very formal and traditional sport, the browband seems to be the place Dressage riders express their individuality - rhinestones, back flashing in a variety of colors, or metal adornment are all common.