Horse bridles consist of the following parts - headpiece, cheek pieces, throat lash, browband, noseband and reins. These are then attached to a bit which goes in the horses mouth and is then fitted to the horses head to enable the rider to control the direction and speed of the horse. The headpiece which goes over the top of the horses head at the poll area and runs just behind the ears can come as a plain piece of leather or with comfort padding. Some bridles also shape the headpiece to go around the ears.
The cheek pieces of the bridle attach to the headpiece at one end and to the bit at the other end and can be adjusted to suit horses with different face lengths. The noseband runs round the circumference of the horses face and is used to keep the horses jaw closed. The browband runs horizontally from just under one ear to just under the other ear and is used to prevent the bridle from slipping back from the horses poll.
Some bridles come with fancy browbands which are raised or covered in diamantes or patent leather to make them stand out. Finally the reins attach to the bit and the rider holds these, most bridles come with reins however some do not as there are a wide variety of reins from plain leather, plaited leather, rubber covered, half rubber covered etc. There are a number of different types of bridle including plain cavesson bridle, flash bridle, grackle or figure of eight bridle, hunter bridle and double or Weymouth bridles.
Bridles come in a variety of different colours, the most popular being Black and Havana (Dark Brown). Other colours you may come across include Oak, Australian Nut and Tan to name a few. Although it makes no difference to your riding which colour bridle you choose nearly everyone chooses to match it as closely as possible to the saddle and other leatherwork they use. Different manufacturer’s shades of colours do sometimes vary slightly; this can be due to the method a particular manufacturer uses for dying the leather or the colour of dye they happen to use.