How to Measure for A Bridle

Except for the movies, in which you can ride a horse without a bridle and the horse always knows the directions, bridles are of great importance in the real world to ride on the horses and to give them directions and instructions.How to Measure for A Bridle

So, are you a horse lover and want a new bridle for your horse and confused which size to pick and how to measure for a bridle? Let me guide you. They come in five standard sizes. Which are listed below:

  • Small pony
  • Pony
  • Cob
  • Full size and
  • Oversize

You can choose one of these standard sizes for your horse. Go to the store, try a few standard sizes of bridles on your horse, if it fits your job is already done except that you will need to pay for it.

However, your horse may have smaller or larger head, thicker throat latch, smaller nose or any other quality depending upon the type of your horse.

The size of your horse does not always show the correct size of his head.

Your horse will not be able to function properly with a tighter bridle or even very loose bridle; you’ll always need a perfect size for the good performance of your horse.

Please keep in mind that always measure for a bridle very carefully because wrong saddle and bridle measurements can put the rider and the horse’s health at risk. Therefore, it is important to follow the Bridle measurement guidelines.

How to Measure for A Bridle

Apart from controlling a horse, bridles also make your horse look more attractive. Always measure for a bridle very carefully because wrong saddle and bridle measurements can put the rider and the horse’s health at risk. In this blog post, I’ve shared some guidelines on how to measure for a bridle.

To solve this problem, you can measure the size of your horse’s head by yourself to find the perfect bridle for your horse. Take a soft fabric measuring tape in your hand.

Now let’s measure your horse’s head. I am providing the standard sizes with it so you could easily guess which size is the perfect fit for your horse.

You’ll need to measure these parts of your horse for bridle, that are listed below:

  • Crown piece and cheek piece.
  • Brow band
  • Noseband
  • Throat latch
  • Bit ring

Measuring of crown piece and cheek piece

This includes the part which starts from the corner of the horse mouth over to the poll area and then back to the mouth. It’s like U-shape, start measuring from the mouth, up to the first eye (this part is known as check piece, this gives the measurement of the cheek of a horse), then cross behind horse’s head reaching the second eye and back to the mouth.Measuring of crown piece and cheek piece

Most bridles have double cheek piece attached to crownpiece, across the cheeks to the bit ring.

Standard sizes of crown pieces and cheek pieces are listed below:


Crown Cheek
Small Pony 53 cm 18 cm
Cob 69 cm 23 cm
Pony 64 cm 20 cm
Full size 71 cm 25 cm
Oversize 76 cm 28 cm


Measuring of Browband

This area includes the forehead of the horse. Start measuring from the base of one ear (back corner of an ear), moving across the forehead to the second ear. Do not keep it very tight, it may pull the crown piece forward and disturb the bridle.

It is used to keep the bridle in a place and prevent it from sliding to the back side of ears when the rider puts pressure on it. It is also used to keep the throat latch fixed on its place. It is recommended to keep it approximately one inch loose.

However, don’t make it too loose because you want a perfectly comfortable bridle for our horse charming.

Standard sizes of the browband available in the market are:

Small Pony 36 cm
Pony 37 cm
Cob 40 cm
Full size 43 cm
Oversize 46 cm


Measuring of noseband

Set your measuring tape about one inch below the end point of cheekbone of your horse and measure this area in circumference (circular path). Also, keep this area a bit loose because it may apply some pressure to the nose when reins are attached.

Noseband is directly attached to the crown piece. A wide noseband makes your horse look even cooler. However, some riders don’t put noseband in bridle to show off the beauty of their horse.Measuring of nose band

But it is recommended for new riders to use noseband for better control over their horses. Let’s check out the list of standard sizes of the nosebands available in the market.

Small Pony 53 cm
Pony 61 cm
Cob 66 cm
Full size 71 cm
Oversize 76 cm

Measuring of Throat latch

Throat latch is used to prevent the bridle from slipping off over the head of horse when it rubs with an object or when the rider pushes the bridle during riding. To measure this part, set the measuring tape on one ear of your horse.

Start measuring from the back side of the ear to downward below the throat latch and then up to the back edge of the second ear.

Proper measurement of throat latch is very important because a tighter latch can hurt your horse and a very loose throat latch can also slip over the head of a horse and may cause you fall off on the ground and get injured.

Keep it a bit loose for approximately 2 inches (2 to 3 fingers) for making it more comfortable for your horse. Look over the standard sizes of throat latch available in the market:

Small Pony 42 cm
 Pony 48 cm
Cob 53 cm
Full size 56 cm
Oversize 58 cm


Measuring of bit ring

Bit is a metal piece that rests on the sensitive part of the horse gums where there are no teeth this part is known as bars. Bits are used to communicate with your horse while riding, to give a command and to control its movements.Measuring of bit ring

Measuring of a bit is a bit tricky process. It is very easy though and you can do it in your own way.

To learn about different types of horse bits, visit the following page:

Your Guide to Different Types of Horse Bits

Let’s try the simplest one. Take a piece of ribbon, tie a knot on either side of it. Set the knotted side in the horse’s mouth on either side such that the way you would set the bit on the gum side.

Fix it in mouth straight, pull the second piece to the corner of the second side of the mouth and mark it with a marker and then pull the ribbon out of the mouth of your horse. Now simply measure the ribbon by a scale and note down the measurement.

The length of the bit depends upon the size of the mouth of your horse. The standard size of a bit is 5 to 6 inches long. It is very important to buy the perfect and most comfortable bit for your horse because it may hurt the horse.

Most riders now use a bit-less bridle. Bits are widely used to give instructions to the horse but you can instruct the horse simply by the movements of hands, legs, by increasing or decreasing the grip on rein etc.

Bit can actually hurt the horse when used improperly. Only a very skilled rider can use a bit properly. Otherwise, you are hurting your horse. I recommend not to use bit too much even if you are a skilled rider.

Some tips on how to measure for a bridle

You don’t always need to take a measuring tape and run before your new horse to get the measures of his head, instead, you can simply ask his last owner to give you his size or old bridle so you could easily measure the bridle, note the values and get a new one.

Click here to learn to measure individual bridle parts.Some tips on how to measure for a bridle

If this is your old horse, simply measure the old bridle or bring that to the market with you and get one of the same sizes.

Or you can borrow a bridle, try it on your horse and estimate his size, like if your horse’s size is between cob and full size and more close to the cob. Purchase the cob. Keep in mind that the leather stretches over time, buy the one that is not very loose for your horse. If you are buying the horse tack for the first time, please check the following blog post to learn more about it:

Fiebing’s Yellow Saddle Soap Review, the Hard Soap to Buy

Here is a quick video on how to bridle a horse:

Feel free to comment if you have any question. 🙂

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