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How to Correctly Put a Saddle & Bridle on a Horse?

put a saddle and bridle

When referring to horse riding equipment, many people may not know that putting on a horse saddle and bridle at first is the best choice. If you have ever encountered a professional horse rider, you’ll notice that they emphasize the perfect fitting of saddle and bridle on the horse. Likewise, it will cause pain to the horse without a proper fitting or even result in sores.

Using the right horse tack items will make a difference in the riding routine if they are quite comfortable. In general, they should provide support and relaxed fitting, so there’s no future issue.

See also: Why do Western Saddles have a Horn?

In case you are familiar with the proper technique of tacking up the horse, you can take advice from an expert. Before getting on the horse’s back, make sure your saddle is in the actual fit position. Likewise, it must not slip off as soon as you lay your foot on the stirrup.

Before Saddling the Horse

As you look further to put a saddle on your horse, make sure you have all the basic essentials. Here are a few points that you can follow –

  • You can tie up the horse with quick-release knowledge that helps to secure the animal in one place.
  • Now, there must be communication between the horse and the rider. It’s essential to be on the brighter side of tacking the horse.
  • You must brush down the horse’s hair and groom it properly before placing anything on it.
  • Always make sure that there are no remains of dirt or other objects stuck to the horse’s hair.
  • Lastly, as you place the saddle blanket, make sure it doesn’t have anything stuck on its layer.

Read also: Are Western Saddles More Comfortable for the Horses?

Pro Tip:
Make sure you tie your horse in an open space before placing the saddle. Even before you place the saddle, make sure you have placed the saddle pad on the horse’s back. Always remember that a bridle should be fixed after you are done saddling the horse.

Start Saddling the Horse

As you start placing the saddle on the horse’s back, learn to follow the steps of using different saddle types. You can saddle your horse in the following steps –

Place the Saddle Pad in the Right Position

You have to stand on either side of the horse and place the saddle in the correct position. Always know that a saddle pad is bigger than the actual size of the saddle. Also, do not let it slide too much upward for any reason.

  • Go for the Saddle:- As you place the saddle on the horse’s back, make it slide back and forth to adjust to the placement. Secondly, see if the saddle horn is at the end of the horse’s neck, or else it will interfere with the horse’s movement.
  • Fasten the Girth:- You have to fasten up the girth that comes from underneath the horse. You must also give a clear idea about the rightward placement of the horse saddle. Also, bring the girth to the right side of the horse so that it doesn’t interfere with its movement. In addition, before you attach the girth, just be sure it’s not twisted or covered with anything that causes trouble.
  • Take a Look Around:- Now, you have to check the fitting of the saddle on either side in order to secure it in the right place. You have to make the straps and stirrups sit in the desired place. For that, you will check if it’s right as per your riding discipline and also comfortable for your foot placement.

Begin with the Bridle Part

You must think about why we are coming to the bridle part at the end. Well, it’s always better to horse bridle at the end so that the horse is not much irritated. Also, as the experts say, you cannot tie up a horse once you are done with the bridling session.

See also: How to Measure for a Well-Fitting Saddle?

Here are a few points that you can follow before you begin bridling the horse. It includes –

  • Before bridling, you can put on a halter which will allow you to keep the horse in control.
  • Next, you can groom the head and the horse’s other area before you begin the bridling process.
  • The further process that you have to see is the noseband and throatlatch area that comes under the primary parts of the horse bridle.
  • If you are not familiar with the bridging process, you can take help from an experienced person.

As you look forward to putting a bridle on the horse, always make sure the type of bridle you are using. Likewise, the proper setup of the horse’s bridle is essential, so there is no interference between the rider and the horse’s communication.

Steps to Bridle the Horse

1. Untie the Halter:

At first, you should remember that suddenly putting a bridle on the horse’s head will make them alert. In a matter of time, they can shift their behaviour, and you may not be able to make them calm. Thus, if the horse is already said to have a halter, it will be easier to switch it with a bridle within time.

2. Place the Reins correctly:

Now, after untying the halter from the halter’s head, you can place the reins in the right place. It’s needed that you take over the reins from the horse’s head and lie them back on the horse’s neck.

3. Grab the Bridle:

The foremost thing you have to do is bring out the bit and headstall and detangle it using your hands. Now, you must face the horse by standing on either side and holding the bridle in your hand.

See also: Everything to know about Bridles and Reins

4. Start Placing the Bridle:

With a steady hand, hold the headstall and place it over the horse’s head. If the horse’s height is above your reach, you can surely use a small stool instead. Also, be sure that you place the bridle just above the bridge of the horse’s nose while adjusting it, going back and forth.

5. Place the Bit inside the horse’s mouth:

Here, you need to be more gentle, as applying a bit can be risky. Firstly, you should open up the horse’s mouth with more concern. Now, applying a little pressure on your thumb, you must insert the bit at the exact place where it needs to be. Also, be careful as you might cause pain to the horse; avoid pressing it against the tongue.

6. Buckle the Straps:

Once everything falls right in place, the next thing is to buckle up the straps that include – the noseband and throatlatch. It depends on the type of bridle you are using, as most Western styles do not have a noseband.

Buckling the Throatlatch

When you are almost done with bridling your horse, it’s time that you must tie every strap in a proper manner. So, it’s important that you must buckle the throatlatch and noseband according to the adjustments. Now, you may not know, but there’s a huge difference between Western and English saddles.

  • Western Bridle

When bridling a Western-style bridle, you probably won’t need to tie any noseband as if there is no required use of a noseband in setting the bridle for the Western style of bridles. However, if there is a throatlatch, it’s a must to confirm the fit by slipping two fingers through it.

  • English Bridle

While using an English bridle, it’s a must to tie the straps of both – the noseband and the throatlatch accordingly. Likewise, if you want to check the fitting of the English style of the bridle, it’s necessary to confirm it by slipping two fingers in between.

See also: Best Horse Bridles by Use

If you know how to place these bridles correctly, it will likely benefit you due to the horseback ride. Furthermore, you have the adjust the fitting as per the rider and the horse’s comfort level.

How to Position a Bit?

Once you have placed the bridle in the right place, it’s necessary that you place the bit with utmost care. The reason is that the bit sits inside the horse’s mouth. So, if you have to know whether the bit is in the correct position, you may check it using different methods.

If you know the “wrinkle method,” it’s the best way of fitting the bit inside the horse’s mouth. Likely, it’s going to help the rider in order to ride the horse correctly. Also, if you see any discomfort in the horse’s behavior, that simply means you need to change the fitting of the bit. Furthermore, you must adopt the right way of checking the fitting of your horse’s equipment.

Here are a few ways that may help in positioning the bit in the right place –

  • Make sure that your horse is in a good mood. Likewise, it is often seen that when a horse is not behaving correctly, it’s better not to place anything at the time.
  • Secondly, make the right choice of using the most appropriate bit per your riding routine.
  • Thirdly, if the bridle is not buckle, you can directly place it on the horse’s head. More so, it is going to save you time and also not cause you any issues.
  • Lastly, it is every rider’s basic routine to know whether the bit is place between the spacing of the horse’s teeth.

See also: Guide to Bitless Horse Bridle

Needless to say, if the bit is somewhere very near to where the horse is ridden, that’s when it will make their anguish. Hence, it will impact the ride in a negative manner. Thus, it’s highly important to confirm the settling bit’s placement in a horse’s mouth.

What do you mean by “Untacking” the horse?

Once you are done with the riding routine with the horse using a bridle and other tools, it’s necessary that you untack the equipment. Moreover, you must take the horse to the area where you want to untack the items. Before doing that, make sure you tie up your horse and start by removing the stirrups and unbuckling other straps.

While looking forward to unbridling the horse, it’s a simple process that includes the same steps you used to place the bridle. Likewise, you have applied it in reverse form. Before enabling the process, you must keep the horse’s head slightly lower so the noseband slides away easily. In general, removing a bridle is quite an easy process. All you need to make sure of is that the horses stay calm and do not move away in any direction.


It can be tricky to place both saddle and bridle on the horse at the same time. However, if you are taking the proper considerations, it will be easier to follow up with the process. If you want to buy bridles or saddles online, you can always look up our website.

Related Source:-

How to perfectly measure a horse saddle?

Different Parts of Horse Saddle

Horse Saddle and Strength

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