The difference between a cob bridle and a full size bridle is the cob bridle is a smaller size for a smaller horse. Generally, there are five bridles sizes - small pony, pony, cob, full-size or horse and oversize. It's important to have a bridle and a bit that fit your horse's mouth. If a bit or bridle doesn't fit correctly, it can cause both pain for your horse and lead to ineffective cuing or injury.
Cob vs. Full
The nose band on a cob bridle measures 11 inches, while the nose band on a full bridle measures 12.25 inches. A brow band on a cob bridle comes in just an inch shorter than the 15.5 inch brow band on a full bridle. The same is true for the cheek piece, which is 10 inches and 11 inches for the cob and full bridle, respectively.
Two ways you can find the proper size for your equine is by your horse's current halter size or by borrowing a bridle from a friend and fitting your horse. If your horse currently fits into a full halter, then the bridle size will probably be the same. If you borrow a cob bridle from a friend, and you find it is a little too tight on your horse, then a full bridle set on the lowest adjustments will probably work best.
If you can't find a bridle for fitting, you can measure your equine to determine the correct size. You will need to determine the measurement of the crownpiece, browband, noseband and throatlatch. To measure the crownpiece, you need to determine the length from the corner of your horse's mouth, over the poll, and to the other corner of the mouth. For the browband, measure from the back edge of the ear, around the forehead, and to the back edge of the opposite ear. Measurement for the noseband is around the horse's muzzle about one inch below the cheekbones, and for the throatlatch, measure from the back of your horse's ear, under the throat, and to the back of the opposite ear. Keep in mind that leather bridles may stretch slightly over time due to use.
Some breeds require breed-specific bridles. For example, Morgans usually have short faces that require a cob bridle, but a wide forehead that is best suited by a full-sized brow band. For cases like this, some manufacturers produce bridles for specific breeds, such as quarter horses with foundation-type heads that are wide at the top with a narrow nose.
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Dorothy Stephenson is a writer with experience in travel, health, nutrition, equine science, real estate, history, green living, fitness and agriculture. She has written for publications such as "EQUUS," "American Farrier’s Journal," "Today’s Diet and Nutrition," "Military Officer" and "The Washington Examiner."