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How to Position a Curb Strap With a Snaffle Bit

| Updated September 26, 2017

Curb straps attach to the underside of a snaffle bit to keep the side rings from pulling through your horse's mouth. Fitting the curb strap correctly on your bit is important for the comfort of your horse. Adjustments are made after you bridle your horse.

Snaffle Bits

A snaffle bit has a mouthpiece that is most commonly jointed in the middle. The bridle or headstall and reins both attach to a ring on either side of the bit on the outside of your horse's mouth.

Curb Strap

A curb strap may be flat leather or may include a chain in the center of the buckles. Both sides attach to a snaffle bit on the two rings on either side of your horse's mouth. The purpose of the curb strap when used with a snaffle bit is to keep the bit centered and from slipping through your horse's mouth.

When you pull the reins, the mouthpiece on the bit and the curb strap apply pressure in your horse's mouth and on the top of his head and under his chin so he will stop.

Bridle Your Horse

Connect a lead rope to your horse's halter and tie him to a fixed object such as a post or fence rail. Stand on the left side of your horse.

Unbuckle the halter's chinstrap and pull the halter forward off your horse's head. Place the halter's chin strap around your horse's neck and buckle it on the loosest hole.


  • The halter around your horse's neck acts as a handle to keep him from walking off while you bridle him.

Unbuckle the throatlatch on the left side of the bridle and the right curb strap. Each strap will hang down from the bridle on the side they were disconnected.

Slide your right thumb under the crown of the bridle. The crown is the uppermost part that fits behind your horse's ears.

Pull the bridle's crown over your horses head with the snaffle bit below his mouth. Hold the bit in your left hand and guide it into his mouth.

Pull the crown behind his ears and tuck them inside the crown. Buckle the throatlatch in one of the holes that leaves room for two fingers between it and your horse's skin.


  • The throatlatch keeps the bridle from slipping over your horse's ears. If it is too loose, it will slip off and if it is too tight, it can make it difficult for your horse to breathe.

Reach under your horse's head to the right side and grasp the curb strap. Make certain that it is not twisted and bring it to the left side of the bridle.

Buckle the curb strap onto the bottom of the snaffle bit ring on the left side of the bit. The curb strap should lie under the horse's chin, and behind his muzzle. Adjust the buckle so you can slide two fingers between the curb strap and your horse's jaw line.

Place both reins over your horse's neck and cross them. If you have a one-piece rein, slide it up and over his head to rest on his neck.

Adjust the sidepiece of the bridle so that there is one visible wrinkle at the rear corner of your horse's lips.

Remove the halter from your horse's neck.