The basic bridle -- the piece of tack that goes on your horse's head and guides the horse where you want him to go -- consists of a headstall, cheekpieces, the bit and the reins. A bit attaches to the bottom end of each cheekpiece. While assembly may vary slightly depending on the exact design of the bridle, the basic process for attaching a snaffle bit is fairly simple. The snaffle can be easily used on both English and Western bridles.
Attaching a Snaffle Bit
- Locate the front of the snaffle bit by holding it out in front of you and folding it in half, bending the bit at the jointed section in the middle. If the two sides of the bit fit together smoothly, you have it facing forward. If the sides will not fit together smoothly, you have the bit backward.
- Unfasten the ends of the cheekpieces of your bridle. In most cases, this will mean that you have to undo the buckles at the end. If you are using a Western headstall that uses either ties or Chicago screws, unfasten them by untying or unscrewing them.
- Insert the metal rings on either end of the bit into the corresponding openings at the end of the cheekpieces of the bridle. Make sure both the bridle and bit are facing the same direction.
- Refasten the ends of the cheekpieces around the metal rings of the bit. Once the buckles are fastened, the bit will be attached to the bridle.
Some styles of snaffle bit may have holes in the metal rings, specifically intended to hold the bit. If your bit has these holes, run the strap of the cheekpiece through the hole, then fasten it.
If your bit does not have these holes, simply fasten the cheekpiece around the metal loop. Fasten the reins below the spot where you fastened the cheekpiece, or your bridle will not function properly.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.