Top Tack! 5 Anatomical Bridles We Love

Top Tack! 5 Anatomical Bridles We Love

Over recent years the hype about anatomical saddlery has taken the equestrian world by storm, opening our eyes to a really important topic. We all know the risks of riding in an ill fitting saddle, right? Thankfully, fitting a bridle is a lot simpler… We wish! Unfortunately, just because your horse’s bridle looks ok, doesn’t mean it is!

Top Tack! 5 Anatomical Bridles We Love

What is an anatomical bridle?

Straight lines are the enemy! If you were to place an old fashioned snaffle bridle alongside an anatomical alternative, there’d likely be some pretty drastic differences. The appearance of an anatomical bridle isn’t about fashion, they’re created to be functional. Each element is shaped and positioned taking into account the bones, nerves, tendons, ligaments and contours that you’d find on a horses’ head. Putting comfort over tradition, they’re a much welcome twist on a classic. Straying from outdated ideas, they draw upon extensive research and testing. Loved by owners and horses alike, they allow focus on your aids without distraction or discomfort!

Knowing Your Horses Head

The most delicate area of your horse is their head, home to lots of sensitive structures.

Nerves: The nerves found in your horses head are called the Cranial nerves, they play vital roles in lots of functions including balance, heart rate, hearing, smell, vision, sensation, taste, swallowing and salivation.

Eyes: Unlike humans, horses eyes are on the sides of their head. This means that they have a much wider field of vision, almost 357° in fact. Because of this, some cheekpieces inhibit your horses ability to see properly.

Ears: We all know that a horses ears aren’t just for hearing, but communicating too. Body language is key to equine communication, both with their field buddies and their rider. There are 16 muscles in your horses ears, allowing them to move independently up to 180 °. Bridles which cut straight across the back of the ears press on these muscles, causing discomfort and making it difficult for your horse to behave naturally.

Poll: The ‘poll’ is the area directly behind your horses ears, incorporating the first two vertebrae, as well as many muscle structures, tendons and ligaments. If your horse is uncomfortable through their poll it’s essentially like them having a headache, causing a dull nagging pain that’s both physically and mentally debilitating.

Signs Your Bridle Might Be Uncomfortable

Wouldn’t it be nice if our horses could speak! It’s a phrase we’ve all muttered at some point. Sometimes when it comes to tack it’s tricky to know which behaviours are simply naughty and which are a sign of pain. When a bridle is causing discomfort it can result in a long and varied list of symptoms, including:

  • Headshaking
  • Nostril clamping
  • Pinching of their muzzle
  • Striking out at their face
  • Rubbing their face
  • Spooking
  • Tension
  • Leaning on the reins
  • Resisting bending
  • Reluctance to step through from behind
  • Refusing at jumps
  • Resisting their bridle

If your horse is displaying any of these, now’s the time to act!

Our Top Picks

Horseware Micklem Bridle

Horseware Rambo Micklem® Bridles

More comfortable, more humane! As equestrians, we all know someone who swears by using a Micklem. But what set’s them apart from your average flash bridle? Horseware Micklem Bridles were one of the first widely available anatomical styles, winning a BETA Innovation Award in 2008. Unlike the options that proceeded them, they relieve pressure to prevent discomfort, pain and numbness. The kinder and more sympathetic choice for your horse, they’re anatomically designed to:​

Sit higher on the face to reduce pressure on the nasal bones
Avoid pressing on motor and sensory nerves
Prevent damage inside the mouth by avoiding protruding molar teeth
Contour to the shape of your horse’s face
Spread pressure evenly over the poll
Avoid the ears

Shires Velociti Bridle

Shires Velociti Bridles

In many ways the new kid on the block, you might never have heard of the Shires Velociti range, but we know you’ll love it! Offering so much more than just top quality leather and free reins, these bridles boast a range of anatomical features, at a price that won’t blow the budget! Designed for everyday riders like you and I, they’re a total steal! While they’re available in a whole host of styles to suit a variety of horse types and disciplines, they all share some very important features:​

Anatomically shaped nose bands to avoid the sensitive facial nerves
Anti-shock padding on the headpieces, nosebands and browbands for improved comfort
Pressure relieving FreedomFit headpieces – Featuring a poll gap, cutaway ears and wide fit.

Schockemohle Equitus Alpha Anatomical Bridle

Schockemohle Equitus Alpha Bridle

Part of the Schockemohle Feel-good Anatomic Line, the Equitus Alpha Bridle is designed with one simple goal - Ultimate comfort by less pressure! To achieve this, they're packed with anatomical features including:

A softly padded headpiece with a narrow connecting link to bypass the ligament attachments in the poll area.
A shaped headpiece leaving room for the ears to rotate freely.
A downward cut throat lash for improved positioning, to avoid obstructing the airways.
A cut-out noseband to create space for the cheek bones and bit.
A diagonally cut rear strap providing jaw relief to aid relaxation.
A pre-shaped design, ensuring the bridle is soft and supple from the first wear.

Collegiate ComFiTec  Anatomical Training Bridle

Collegiate ComFiTec Training Bridle

​Ever noticed the term ComFiTec and wondered what it actually means? That’s easy: Comfort, Fit and Technology. Honouring it’s heritage, this brilliant bridle is packed with all the outstanding features you’d expect to see in a product twice its price! With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that so many of us are swapping our bridles to ComFiTec! Here’s what to expect:

An anatomically shaped headpiece to evenly distribute pressure across the poll for comfort.
A padded crown that is cutback around the ears for freedom of movement.
A noseband that is ergonomically designed to alleviate pressure on the upper jaw and molar teeth.
A cheek strap and padded cheek ring placed to reduce pressure on the facial nerves.

PS of Sweden Nirak Combination Bridle

PS of Sweden Nirak Combination Bridle

​Not all control comes from the bit. The PS of Sweden Nirak Combination Bridle was created for horses that are forward going and strong, working best from nose pressure. Perfect for those that fold in their neck, struggle to relax and avoid the contact. Features of the Nirak include:

A combination noseband which when used with a suitable bit brings peaceful communication between the horse and rider. Designed to avoid harsh bits for stronger horses, the cheek pieces and noseband are connected. This allows mouth and nose pressure to be used simultaneously.
A wide, softly padded headpiece with a central air gap to avoid the sensitive areas.
A cutback headpiece allowing ear movement and freedom of rotation for improved overall comfort.
Unique elasticated cradles to suspend the bit in the horses mouth for a more consistent contact and improved communication.

​We hope that you found this blog helpful. If your horse is showing any symptoms of pain we recommend you contact a professional to further investigate the issue. You can shop all of the products in this blog online at or why not visit us in-store?

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