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How to Make a Bosal

| Updated October 24, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Rawhide bosal core

  • Rawhide or leather strips

  • Leather glue

  • Scissors

  • Tape measure

  • Hanger or headstall

  • Reins

Bosals are an invaluable training tool when working with young horses. A bosal is a stiff piece of material that loops around the nose of the horse and is attached to the bridle to act as a guiding tool for horses not yet trained to work with a bit. Bosals are simple and easy to use, although purchasing a commercially made one can be expensive. Making your own bosal is simple and allows you to customize it to fit your specific needs.

Measure your horse's nose for proper fitting of your bosal. A bosal sits in the middle of your horse's muzzle, approximately 2 inches up from its nostrils. Wrap your measuring tape around the muzzle and note the measurement so that you can check your rawhide core to assure it will fit your horse correctly.

Choose the material that you want to wrap your bosal in. Bosals are traditionally wrapped in stiff rawhide, but you can use just about any rugged material you want. Rawhide, leather and stiff nylon are all durable choices that will stand up well to years of use.

Hold your bosal in one hand; glue the free end of your first strip to the bottom of the bosal, next to the large knot on the bottom. Wrap your strip around the nosepiece of the bosal, holding the strips tight and pulling any excess close to the core to prevent gaps or slipping. Run a bead of glue around your core to keep your covering tight and smooth as you wrap.

Cut your strips when you get to the hanger stop on your bosal and wrap the stop separately. The stops are the small bumps with the gap in the middle of the bosal. This section is the groove that your headstall or bosal hanger will attach to, so you need to make sure you wrap that portion separately.

Continue to wrap your upper nosepiece with your strips, pulling the strips as tight as possible. You can wrap the upper portion in a contrasting color if you prefer to give your bosal some flair. Rawhide and leather strips come in a wide range of colors, making your tack as customizable as you choose.

Wrap the large knot at the bottom of your bosal last. This is the section that you will attach your reins to, so be sure that you wrap it smoothly to prevent your reins from snagging on your leather. Glue your strips to the base of the knot and wrap upwards, pulling the strips firmly and applying more glue as you wrap.

Put your bosal in a warm, dry area and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Buckle your headstall onto the nosepiece and wrap your reins around the knot to complete your new, custom made bosal.


  • Use undyed leathers on your bosal. Many leather products are treated with dyes that can bleed onto your horse's coat when the horse sweats, so use only colorfast leathers to prevent damaging your horse's hair.


  • Never use any rough or sharp material to make your bosal. The nosepiece will fit tight against the horse's muzzle and rough edges can seriously injure your horse.