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How to Measure for a Bridle
Snaffle bridles are available in four main sizes: pony, cob, full and oversize. If you're shopping for a bridle and you're unsure of your horse's size, you can estimate the required size based on your horse's halter size. For example, if he fits perfectly into a full or regular horse sized halter, he will probably fit a full sized bridle.

Another alternative is to borrow a bridle to try on your horse, and choose your new bridle depending on how the borrowed one fits. For example, if you borrow a full sized bridle and it is a bit too big when adjusted, choose a cob sized bridle. (For help adjusting the bridle, refer to How to Adjust a Snaffle Bridle.)

If neither of these methods are an option, you can measure your horse for a bridle using a soft fabric measuring tape with inch increments, and compare your measurements to the bridle specifications.

Refer to the illustration for help identifying the bridle parts to measure.

1) Measure the length of crownpiece (with cheek pieces) required.

Measure from one corner of your horse's mouth, over the poll, to the other corner of his mouth.

2) Measure the length of browband required.

Measure from the back edge of the horse's ear, around his forehead, to the back edge of his other ear.

3) Measure the length of noseband required.

Measure around your horse's muzzle at a point about one inch below his cheekbones.

4) Measure the length of throatlatch required.

Measure from back of your horse's ear, under his throat, to the back of his other ear.

Tip: Leather bridle parts may stretch slightly over time with use and conditioning. Factor possible slight stretching into your sizing decision as you select a bridle so that you can be sure it won't become too big for your horse.

Note: Most bridles come with reins that are styled to match the bridle. A variety of reins in brown and black and with different widths are sold separately. If you would like to have an extra set of reins on hand, or if you prefer a style that is different from the kind that came with your bridle, you'll find plenty of reins to choose from. Consider these many types:

Helpful Tips:
Bear in mind that some bridle manufacturers, particularly German and French makers, produce roomier bridles than others. The difference in size may mean that if you have a horse that fits on the smaller end of full size, you may be able to move down to a cob size. Conversely, if your horse is wavering between full and oversized, you can most likely stick with a full size in a German or French made bridle.

Also, horses themselves present challenges due to breed-specific conformation and for this reason additional bridles pieces are available. For example, many Morgans have short faces that lead one to select a cob size bridle, but their wide foreheads then require a full sized browband. To accommodate such conformation issues, some manufacturers produce breed-specific bridles, such Collegiate's Quarter Horse sized bridles. These bridles are designed for the Quarter Horses with foundation-type heads—wide at the top but with a narrow, refined nose. It can be difficult to fit this type of Quarter Horse into either a standard full or cob bridle.

Browbands and bridle parts, can be purchased individually.

For more assistance or to request a catalog, call 1-800-989-1500 to speak with a Dover Saddlery product advisor, or stop by any of our retail stores. Visit for a complete store listing and the full product offering.

Related Topics:
How to Adjust a Snaffle Bridle
How to Measure for a Bit
Overview of English Bridles
How to Fit a Halter
Types of Halters