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Bitless headstall

This bitless headstall can be easily adjusted for a perfect fit. The bridle shown here is worn by a Thoroughbred, but it will also fit stocky Norwegian Fjords.

The headstall (strap that goes from noseband, over the poll, and back to the noseband) and the jowl strap assembly (strap that goes over the poll, crosses under the jowls, and connects to the reins) each have two buckles, one on either side of the head, for a wide range of adjustment.

The browband, noseband, and cheekpieces (lower parts of the headstall on either side of the face) are fully lined and stitched for strength and firmness. The jowl straps, crown piece (upper part of the headstall that goes over the poll), and jaw strap (strap under the chin that completes the noseband) are single ply leather for flexibility.

Why use a bitless bridle? The owner of the bridle shown is a professional trainer and instructor. She uses her Thoroughbred Rhett for lessons. She says:

"... Rhett is SUPER happy with it. The reason I wanted to try it was he was PULLING BAD! Rooting REALLY, REALLY BAD. If you were not strong in your abs, he would pull you out of the saddle. He was getting sour from being a lesson horse and folks hanging on him.... He does not like a person asking much from the reins. [He wants] lots of seat and legs and little reins.... You can tell folks that they REALLY DO WORK!!"

Click "Enlarge" to see larger photos of Rhett on his second ride with the bitless bridle. He is going well on light contact and seems calm and willing. All photos: © PJ Walter, 2010, all rights reserved

This headstall is made from USA-tanned bridle leather in your choice of black, dark brown, or medium brown (shown). Choose either solid brass (shown) or stainless steel hardware. The buckles are securely stitched in place with no staples or tacks.

For best fit, please measure your horse or a well-fitting bridle to determine:

  1. Browband: distance across the forehead from the back side of one ear to the back side of the other ear. Aim for a comfortable fit -- a wee bit long is better than a bit too short.
  2. Headstall: distance from one corner of the mouth over the poll to the other corner of the mouth
  3. Noseband: distance around the nose about 2 inches above the corners of the mouth. This measurement will be a bit lower on the nose than where a typical English noseband should lie. Aim for a trim fit -- NOT tight. One finger should slide easily between the hard jaw bone and the measuring tape.

This particular item is a custom, one-of-a-kind project made for a past client. Items in this Custom Projects section are for information only; they are not available for regular sale.

Price: For inspiration, not for sale