15 anatomical bridles to ensure maximum comfort

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  • The best anatomical bridles are designed – as the name suggests – with the horse’s anatomy in mind. They should promote wellbeing, allow the horse to be more comfortable and move freely. Following on logically, a happier horse can and will perform better, so it’s wins all round.

    Anatomical changes to traditional bridle design can include wider, padded and cutaway headpieces, padded, shaped nosebands and browbands and cheekpieces that sit slightly away from the face. Some designs also don’t have a throatlash, so when choosing a new bridle it’s worth browsing your governing body’s rulebook to check that your first choice complies. Jump down for more info about choosing an anatomical bridle or keep scrolling to see some of our suggestions.

    Here’s a selection of the best anatomical bridles (in alphabetical order) for you to browse…

    Albion KB anatomical bridle

    Albion KB bridle

    Colours: Black, mocca or special | Sizes: Cob, full, warmblood or made to measure | RRP: From £235.58 |

    This pressure-relieving bridle from Albion has a wide range of size and style options that you can mix and match to create the perfect fit and look. The slip is positioned over the padded, cutaway headpiece to disperse poll pressure, while the oversized browband ensures ear clearance to minimise nerve pressure and the padded noseband offers extra comfort. Reins not included.

    Bigg Comfort bridle

    Bigg Comfort bridle

    Colours: Havana, black or black patent | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £135 |

    With a range of headpiece and noseband options to choose from, this bridle made by Amy Biggs can also be converted to a double. The headpiece padding is designed to lift the straps slightly from the side of the horses face to help reduce nerve pressure. A mix and match of sizes is available, while bespoke bridles are available with leather finish, padding colour, metal fixing finishes and browband embellishment options. Flexible arrow grip reins are included as standard.

    Collegiate ComFiTec Weymouth anatomical bridle

    Collegiate ComFiTec Weymouth bridle

    Colours: Black | Sizes: Cob, full or warmblood | RRP: £119.99 |

    The anatomically shaped headpiece of this Collegiate bridle evenly distributes pressure across the poll for comfort, with double padding over the poll area to minimise pressure, plus shaped padding around the ears. The ergonomically designed noseband is shaped to alleviate pressure on the upper jaw and molars, while the cheek strap and padded cheek ring alleviate pressure of the facial nerves.

    View now at viovet.co.uk

    Elevator Performance Mexican grackle anatomical bridle

    Elevator Performance Mexican grackle bridle

    Colours: Havana or black | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: From £275 |

    Designed with a softly padded headpiece that is shaped to alleviate pressure from behind the ears and poll, this bridle from Elevator Equestrian also has a sheepskin-lined nose pad and a choice of more than 10 browband styles. The bridle is made of pre-conditioned Sedgwick leather, which is renowned for its quality. Reins not included. 

    Evo Equine Devine anatomical bridle

    Evo Equine Devine bridle 

    Colours: Havana, black or gloss | Sizes: Pony, cob, full, extra-full or Shire | RRP: From £175 |

    A favourite with dressage riders, this Evo Equine bridle is padded with gel memory foam to provide comfort and aid relaxation. The bridle wraps around the horse’s contours and the shaped headpiece distributes pressure over the poll. The noseband, which has a high cut away side to make it suitable to convert to a double and offer good bit clearance, features a dual back fastening system and comfort back pad for a uniform contact.

    Horseware Rambo Micklem Original Competition anatomical bridle

    Horseware Rambo Micklem Original Competition bridle

    Colours: Dark Havana or black | Sizes: Pony, small horse, standard horse or large horse | RRP: £136.95 |

    Designed to comfortably fit the shape of the skull and avoid pressure on sensitive areas, this show quality Horseware bridle is made from hand finished leather with soft padding on the headpiece, browband, noseband and cheekpieces. It comes with tongue protection bit clips and two sets of bit straps. Reins not included.

    View now at naylors.com

    Jeffries Gentle anatomical bridle 

    Jeffries Gentle anatomical bridle 

    Colours: Havana or black | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: From £425 |

    Designed with a unique hinged system that allows the bridle to find its natural resting position avoiding unnecessary pressure on the trigeminal nerve. You can choose the size of each part of this Jeffries bridle individually to find the perfect fit, and it is available in a bitless style or with a cavesson, grackle 0r flash noseband. 

    Mackey Legend Athena anatomical bridle

    Mackey Legend Athena bridle

    Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: Cob or full | RRP: £125 |

    This bridle has a wide padded headpiece that has been cut away around the ears. The padded noseband has been designed to reduce pressure with a removable, wide-set flash strap. Reins are included and the headpiece is also available separately

    View now at viovet.co.uk

    Mark Todd Cut Away anatomical bridle

    Mark Todd Cut Away bridle

    Colours: Black or Havana | Sizes: Full | RRP: £119.99 |

    Manufactured with extra comfort in mind, this smart Mark Todd bridle is made from soft leather with an ergonomically shaped headpiece. Features include an attractive curved browband, wide padded noseband with removable flash attachment and stainless steel buckles and billets.

    View now at viovet.co.uk

    Premier Equine Savuto Anatomic Bridle with crank noseband and flash

    Premier Equine Savuto Anatomic Bridle with crank noseband and flash

    Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: Cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £129 |

    This anatomic Premier Equine bridle doesn’t have a traditional throatlash and has been shaped to contour around the ears, nose and cheekbones to achieve an ergonomic fit for superior comfort. The shaped and padded headpiece distributes pressure over the less sensitive areas of the poll and away from the ears, while the browband is padded and shaped with an elegant round and raised design. The noseband with integrated flash also dips down to avoid contact with the cheekbones. Reins not included.

    PresTeq FaySport anatomical bridle

    PresTeq FaySport bridle

    Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: Pony, cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £179.95 |

    This PresTeq bridle takes twelve anatomical points into account to remove unnecessary pressure or blockages, and offer optimum comfort to deliver maximum performance. It is made of vegetable tanned leather, which is gentle on the skin, durable and eco-friendly. The snap-fastener browband provided with the bridle is made of plain leather, but PresTeq Swarovski browbands are also available separately.

    View now at amazon.co.uk or rideawaystore.com

    PS of Sweden Pioneer anatomical bridle

    PS of Sweden Pioneer bridle

    Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: Cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £200 |

    Suitable for all affiliated competition, this PS of Sweden bridle is designed to increase pressure distribution across the head and avoid the sensitive pressure points of the face. It avoids the facial nerves, upper jaw and cheek bones, while the cheek pieces are kept away from the eyes and the jaw strap has extra padding for increased stability and comfort. This bridle is particularly recommended for young or inexperienced horses, or those who need extra support and stabilisation.

    QHP Sedna anatomical bridle

    QHP Sedna bridle 

    Colours: Black or brown | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £97.95 |

    Designed to avoid facial nerves and distribute pressure evenly, this QHP bridle has a gel-padded headpiece and noseband. The shape of the noseband ensures that the facial crest and facial nerve attachment are avoided, while the anatomical extra-wide headpiece avoids pressure on the ear muscles and distributes the remaining pressure. Reins are included.

    View now at equus.co.uk

    Shires Velociti ergonomic curved flash anatomical bridle

    Shires Velociti ergonomic curved flash bridle

    Colours: Black or Havana | Sizes: Cob, full or extra-full | RRP: £114.99 |

    This Shires bridle has a curved noseband that removes compression from the cheekbones, jaw and sensitive nerve endings, while the padded integrated noseband and flash strap give a greater spread of pressure to create a less restricted feeling. Also available with cavesson noseband.

    View now at equus.co.uk or rideawaystore.com

    Whitaker Chicago anatomic breathable bridle 

    Whitaker Chicago anatomic breathable bridle 

    Colours: Black or light Havana | Sizes: Pony, cob or full | RRP: £125 |

    This Whitaker bridle features a wide, shaped headpiece and adjustable noseband with perforated leather padding that is specially engineered to be moisture wicking and breathable. The keepers are also lined with a special grip rubber to help them stay in place, while the buckles are backed with a small leather disc to avoid discomfort on the sensitive face area.

    View now at equus.co.uk or rideawaystore.com

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    How does an anatomical bridle work?

    An anatomical bridle is specifically designed with the horse’s anatomy in mind. The design seeks to avoid pressure in particular areas, such as on particular facial nerves, which is why they are shaped differently and sit in a different position on the head compared to a traditional bridle. Most anatomical bridles will have a wider, more padded and headpiece that is cut away to avoid pressure on the poll and ears.

    What are the benefits of an anatomical bridle?

    An anatomical bridle is designed to relieve pressure and discomfort. In turn, this leads to a happier horse who is able to move more freely, which results in improved performance. Many horses respond really well to an anatomical bridle.

    What’s the best anatomical bridle for my horse?

    As with all tack, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the best anatomical bridle for your horse. Where possible, it’s worth trialling a bridle before you buy either by hiring one or borrowing from a friend. If that’s not possible, do your research, read some reviews and use this guide to find out what’s on offer.

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