Millbrook Tack Blog

Millbrook Tack Blog

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Anatomical Bridles: Game-Changing Or Just A Trend?

Anatomical Bridles: Game-Changing Or Just A Trend?

Posted by Erin Tupper on 26th Apr 2023

Buying new horse tack? Learn about anatomical bridles.

According to Millbrook Tack's equestrian experts, anatomical bridles are game-changing.

A number of top tack makers are currently putting legitimate research into making bridles that fit our horses better than ever. For instance, Schockemohle has its Equitus line of bridles with minimal pieces, making for less facial interference and pressure. It is designed to avoid all of the main nerves and the TMJ, and the flash nosebands are attached in a way that does not create a pressure point on the bone.

We have more tools than ever to help us understand how the design of an equestrian product can help or hinder the horse and rider. Horses considered sensitive to the bit are sometimes actually bothered by the bridle. An anatomical bridle can change undesired behavior. Occasionally, a pressure point causes a horse to come above the bit or toss its head.

There are certainly varying degrees of “anatomical” when discussing bridles.  The Schockemohle Equitus bridles are an excellent example of highly anatomical (but gorgeous!) bridles. Many bridles are now adding additional padding on the crownpiece and noseband, using a cutback design on the headstall to allow plenty of clearance for the ears and TMJ, and nosebands designed to avoid putting pressure on the cheekpieces. Some horse tack brands are switching to a style of crownpiece with less leather and more padding, dispersing the pressure on the poll better.

Top Brands for Anatomical Bridles

Halter Ego bridles are fabulous examples of bridles with plenty of anatomical features and beautiful, high-quality ones that will last in your tack collection for a very long time.

If the Schockemohle Equitus line isn't for you, consider Schockemohle's anatomical line of bridles that aren't quite as minimalistic but have loads of design features that will keep your horse comfortable and better able to do their job.

An anatomical bridle can be beautiful AND purposeful, but it's worth noting that regardless of the features, the bridle must be fitted appropriately. While it is always best to consult an expert or your trainer, here are a couple of points to look for:

  • If the bridle is pulling into the ears but is the right size in the cheekpieces, noseband, etc., chances are the browband is too small.
  • For a regular snaffle bridle, the rule of thumb is two wrinkles in the corner of the mouth. However, some bit styles suggest less. If questionable, contact the bit and tack maker.
  • The noseband should fit about an inch below the cheekbones.
  • If there is a crank noseband, it should fit along the same line as the cavesson itself, meaning it should not be pulling higher or lower.
  • If you need to measure for size, measure from one corner of the mouth, over the poll, to the other corner. You can also measure the circumference of where the cavesson sits and where the browband sits.

Contact Millbrook Tack for Horse Tack Help

If you have any questions about which bridle is correct for you and your horse, get in touch with our team of horse tack experts here at Millbrook Tack! Give us a call at (616) 281-0777 or email