The bridle - the most important piece of equipment
In classical horse training, the bridle is the most important tool and often the first piece of equipment to be purchased when buying a horse. It is used, for example, for in-hand work, training under saddle or simply when taking the horse for a walk or lunging. However, the lunge should never be buckled into the snaffle ring. It is better to use a combination of bridle and cavesson, either combined in one bridle or on top of each other. The lunge can then be attached to the cavesson and there is no risk of injuring the horse's sensitive mouth.
The difference between snaffle and double bridle: What to use when?
The name of the bridle is determined by the respective bit that is buckled in. Over time, the terms bridle - for a snaffle bridle that is buckled with a snaffle bit - and double bridle - for a bridle that is buckled with two bits, a bradoon and a curb bit - have become common. But beware: In the discipline of working equitation and also in academic riding, one-handed riding on a curb bit is used at higher levels. In this case only one bit, namely the curb bit, is buckled into the snaffle bridle.
The snaffle bridle
The snaffle bridle is particularly suitable for:
- The basic training of the young horse
- In-hand work close to the horse's body
- Take a walk
- Lunging (with the aid of the cavesson)
The double bridle
The double bridle is particularly suitable for:
- The training of advanced riders (both horse and rider)
- In-hand work close to the horse's body
- Riding with one hand
The bitless bridle
The bitless bridle is particularly suitable for:
- In-hand work close to the horse's body or on the long reins
- Breaking in horses that are sensitive in the mouth
- Combined with a curb bit with two sets of reins
- Lunging (in use as cavesson)
The correct fit of the bridle
A bridle usually consists of a noseband, a throatlatch, a browband and the cheekpieces into which the bit is buckled. When the bridle is used with a curb bit and bradoon, an additional crownpiece and cheekpiece is needed, as there are two bits in the horse's mouth. The Portuguese and Spanish bridles differ from the English bridles in that they have no flash and no classical noseband with extra cheekpieces. Instead, the noseband is attached to the cheekpieces by a small flap. The typical Vaquero bridles also lack the throatlatch. It is not absolutely necessary for a good fit on the horse's head.
Our bridles are handmade from vegetable tanned cowhide by a traditional saddlery in Spain, giving them a high quality and authentic look. They are made in a one size that fits most Iberian breeds (PRE, Lusitano, Andalusian horse). The straps are easily adjustable on both sides, so fitting on full and warmblood heads is usually not a problem. If you are unsure about the fit, a size chart is available for each model.
The snaffle and also the curb bit should always be buckled in such a way that two folds are formed in the corner of the mouth.
The right style for every horse - Baroque, Spanish or Portuguese
The Portuguese and Spanish bridles look good on almost any horse thanks to their discreet decorative buckles and elegant design and workmanship. Whether you are wearing a stylish Vaquero outfit or a baroque rider, there is a bridle to suit every occasion.
In the discipline of working equitation, for example, you can ride in the style of the Spanish cattle herdsmen, the Vaqueros. Their equipment includes the typical Vaquero saddle and a bridle mostly made of brown cowhide with a mosquero that serves as fly protection. Usually they are ridden with one rein on a curb bit or with two reins on serreta and a curb bit. However, the first variant is more common, for reasons of practicality. This is because when working in the "campo", the Vaquero leads the reins in one hand and in the other he holds his tool, so to speak - a long stick, the garrocha.
If you like it a bit more flashy, you might prefer the Portuguese style. The bridle and the saddle are equipped with eye-catching buckles and fittings. The Portuguese Riding School in Belém, near Lisbon, for example, rides in this splendid style.
Portuguese style baroque bridles
Baroque bridles in Portuguese style are particularly suitable for presenting the horse at shows. But also those who do not want to miss that certain extra at home will find something suitable at Picadera . The decorative Cortesia buckles and the narrow straps make the bridle look very elegant on any horse's head. The model is available both as a snaffle and double bridle in various leather colours - natural brown, brown and black - and with silver or gold buckles.
If this is still too plain for you, you might prefer the Charpentier snaffle bridle, which is adorned with matching fittings and an ornate rosette at browband in addition to the elaborate buckles. The rosette is removable. The wider straps make the bridle look a little more solid and look great on a long head with a concave profile, such as a Lusitano.
Spanish Vaquero bridles
The bridle of the Vaqueros is kept rather simple. Light, cone-shaped leather applications, the pinas, decorative stitching and the buckles made of burnished iron nevertheless provide that certain something. Traditionally, there is a Mosquero, which are soft, leather fly fringes, on the headband. Very practical for working in the field - or going for a ride - where horses like to be plagued by flies. In Spain the leather colour brown is very popular and you see it most of the time. The bridle Vaquero Clasico is available in natural brown, dark brown and black.
Some horses are irritated by the leather Mosquero, which swings over the eyes with every movement. That is why there is the matching Vaquero browband with pinas, but without the mosquero. This is also a good alternative in the winter months when fly protection is not needed.
Bitless Bridle - the multifunctional bridle
The bitless bridle Oslo has a Portuguese style and is a real eye-catcher. It can also be used as a cavesson. This makes it a great multifunctional bridle: the D-rings can also be used to strap in a bit with the help of bit straps.
This makes it suitable for gently breaking in particularly sensitive horses, for whom a bit is only to be used in the course of training, and at the same time ensures easy handling because the equipment does not have to be constantly changed. The crownpiece and the browband are softly padded and have an extra comfortable cut-out for the horse’s ears, which increases the comfort for the horses - a plus point especially for young horses.
Bridles from Picadera - the perfect combination of functionality & design
The equipment used should be as individual as the training path of each horse-rider pair. Of course, good quality and functionality are the most important factors when choosing equipment, but not only. Style is also important - especially if you feel you belong to a certain movement or discipline and want to show it. And after all, clothes make the man, or in this case: a beautiful horse wants to be shown off accordingly.