11 Best Horse Bridles to Consider [In-Depth Review]

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Finding the best horse bridles is among the most important things you’ll do as a new rider.

The horse has several facial nerves close to the skin, right in the location where the bridle fits.

The wrong one can cause enormous discomfort to your steed!

Here we will show you some great options and how to find the best bridles for horses.

Start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for more details.

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Best Horse Bridle at a Glance

Check this comparison table for a quick guide. Read the review for further details.

Preview
Editor's Choice
Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping
Runner Up
HORZE Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle w/reins
Best Western Bitless Bridle
Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
Best Sidepull
English Western Horse Leather BITLESS Bridle SIDEPULL Halter REINS 77RS11MG-F
Top Benefit
Mono crown piece
Padded anatomical crownpiece
Great for horses that respond to pressure
Great for horses that do not like bits
Editor's Choice
Preview
Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping
Top Benefit
Mono crown piece
Check Latest Price
Runner Up
Preview
HORZE Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle w/reins
Top Benefit
Padded anatomical crownpiece
Check Latest Price
Best Western Bitless Bridle
Preview
Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
Top Benefit
Great for horses that respond to pressure
Check Latest Price
Best Sidepull
Preview
English Western Horse Leather BITLESS Bridle SIDEPULL Halter REINS 77RS11MG-F
Top Benefit
Great for horses that do not like bits
Check Latest Price

Top 11 Horse Bridles (Equestrian Review)

#1 Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping and Laced Reins – Winner

Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping

Henri de Rivel is a well know brand of horse tack. They offer a line of bridles in different styles.

These bridles are a good mid-price range when you’re looking for an anatomic bridle without the cost of a high-end brand.

Physical Attributes

  • Comes in dark brown (havana) and black
  • Anatomical bridle
  • Fancy stitched browband and noseband
  • Patent leather piping in the same color as the bridle
  • Mono crown piece
  • Padded brown and noseband
  • Laced reins
  • ½ inch check pieces

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in Cob, Horse, and Oversize sizes

Benefits & Drawbacks of Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Reasonably pricedDoes not come with a flash noseband
Pressure balancing crown pieceCrownpiece can see improvement with thicker padding
Suits hunters, eventers, and show jumpers
Padded noseband and browband provides extra comfort

With a deeper understanding of a horse’s facial anatomy, bridle design has evolved.

Initially, anatomical comfort bridles were only available from premium bridle brands, with a hefty price tag.

However, riders sought to improve the comfort of their horses.

With this demand, more and more brands added ergonomic bridles to their ranges, many at more budget friendly prices.

This Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown fits the bill. The leather is not too wide, which makes it suitable for a variety of disciplines. 

The fancy stitching of the noseband and browband help pretty up a plain head.

All of these are great features, but our favorite feature is the anatomical crown piece. This is a wider piece of leather that sits across the horse’s poll

As the crownpiece is wider, it helps spread out the pressure from the bridle across the poll. It is also padded and shaped, so it rests comfortably behind the ears.

Because this option does not come with a flash noseband or a loop to put one through, it is an excellent choice for hunter riders.

How it compares to others and why

Compared to bridles without an anatomical crownpiece, this is a better option.

The shape, width, and padding will all make your horse more comfortable. It is slightly fancier than some options but still subtle enough for any show ring.

Compared to our favorite anatomical comfort bridle from CWD, this isn’t quite as good as it has less padding in the crown.

And the leather, while good, isn’t premium quality. However, it is also much cheaper than a CWD bridle.

Expert Tips

  • To keep your bridle in top condition, clean it regularly with saddle soap. Don’t forget to condition it regularly.
  • If you want to keep this bridle for shows only, we suggest storing it in a bridle bag to protect it from damp and dirt. We love the classic, leather-trimmed bridle bag from Baker, who also makes quality horse blankets
  • If your budget won’t stretch to a Baker bridle bag, The Tuff Rider Classic Bridle Bag is a durable a cute choice.

To keep your bridle in top condition and safe, you need to clean and condition it regularly. Learn how here.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle

If you want a nice bridle and a decent price, you will like this option, just like this equestrian – “Great bridle and good price for the quality. Nice soft padded leather and the reins are also very comfortable and soft.”

Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping
  • Contoured Padded Mono Crown
  • 1” Padded Fancy Raised Browband and Noseband with Patent Leather Piping
  • Patent Leather Keepers and Runners
  • ½” Cheek Pieces | 5/8” Laced Reins
  • Stainless Steel Hardware

Related: How to Clean Horse Tack Properly

#2 Horze Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle With Reins – Runner Up

HORZE Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle w/reins

Horze makes a variety of horse gear and wear, offering good quality and reasonable prices. This is one of our favorite Horze bridles.

Physical Attributes

  • Fancy stitched
  • Brass buckles
  • Flash noseband
  • Continental reins
  • Raised noseband
  • Padded noseband
  • Padded anatomical crownpiece
  • Rich brown color
  • Cheek pieces buckle facing out

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in Pony, Cob, Horse, and Warmblood sizes

Benefits & Drawbacks of Horze Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Reduces poll pressure, & has added for comfortThe way the cheek pieces and reins buckle are not suitable for hunters
Cheek pieces make it easy to change the bitThe flash noseband loop, even if the flash is removed, will not suit hunters
Continental reins provide better feel and grip for the rider
Refined for an attractive fit, suitable for showjumpers and eventers

We chose this particular Horze bridle review because it is an excellent all-around bridle.

It is a good option to have as a schooling bridle as you can easily swap bits if you want to use it on more than one horse.

Like all modern bridles that take the horse’s comfort seriously, this also has an ergonomic mono crown.

While it is not suitable for the hunter ring, this is a good bridle for the jumpers or eventing.

It comes with reins, so you won’t have to buy these separately. Also, it has continental reins, which many riders find better than rubber reins.

How it compares to others and why

The brass buckles on this bridle give it a classier look than other options.

We love that it comes with more rider-focused continental reins when many options come with laces or thick, stiff rubber reins.

The price sits in the middle, so you can expect decent leather quality.

Expert Tips

  • If you have a horse that is strong, switch to using continental reins. They are easier to hold than thick rubber reins and give you a better grip.
  • Also, because they are made with fabric and leather spacers, they are thinner and more comfortable to hold.

If this is one of your first bridles, you might notice that English bridles have lots of different parts. You need to take it apart for a thorough cleaning, but putting it together is certainly confusing at the start.

Learn how to put together an English bridle in this video.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Horze Constance Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle

For a lower prices bridle, this one is great quality according to this equestrian – “Wonderful quality, especially for the price. Soft supple leather, padded browband, and noseband.”

#3 English Western Horse Leather Bitless Bridle – Best Sidepull

horse bridle

This pretty bitless bridle has a western flair with a beaded browband and noseband. But it can be used by both English and western riders who like the sidepull style of bridle.

Physical Attributes

  • Mahogany color
  • Turquoise, black, and white beading
  • Stainless steel fittings

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in full size

Benefits & Drawbacks of English Western Horse Leather Bitless Bridle 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great for horses that do not like bitsOnly comes in one size
Good choice for a horse with a sore or injured mouthOnly one color choice
Value for money

How it Compares to Others and Why

Compared to others this bridle does not use a bit. It also has colorful beading, which most other options do not.

Expert Tips

Just because a bridle is bitless, it doesn’t mean that is harmless to your horse. It is important to learn how to use it properly. See what this expert advises in this helpful video.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About English Western Horse Leather Bitless Bridle

Despite its price, this bridle is good quality according to horse rider, Samantha – “This side pull bridle is very adjustable, good quality leather and is made very well.”

English Western Horse Leather BITLESS Bridle SIDEPULL Halter REINS 77RS11MG-F
  • Full Horse Size
  • Mahogany/Beaded
  • Challenger hand crafted from quality harness leather, double stitched and oiled for durability. Beautifully accented with a beaded inl
  • ay along browband and nose. Features stainless steel rust-free hardware. Fits most average to large horses. Sidepulls are a perfect bitless training aid for horses that are not bit ready.
  • Great for horses with sensitive or injured mouths. Complete with 7.5' long x 5/8'' wide tie end reins.

#4 Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose – Best Western Bitless Bridle

horse bridle

If you want a good quality western style bitless bridle, this is a great choice. It is simple and attractive, coming in three different colors of leather.

Physical Attributes

  • Knotted rope noseband
  • Stainless steel buckles

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in rose, black, or russet color leather
  • 1-inch wide leather in most parts

Benefits & Drawbacks of Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle 

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great for horses that respond to pressureThe knotted rope noseband can cause too much pressure
HandcraftedDoes not fit all horses well
Durable

How it Compares to Others and Why

This bridle is a hybrid. It is has some side pull action and nose pressure action, making it a little bit different than other bitless options

Expert Tips

Learn how this bridle works from the designer himself, Justin Dunn.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle 

Equestrian, Janet, is a big fan of this bridle – “I bought this and was instantly impressed. It is beautiful and very well made. It looks great on my horse and since I bought mine, two of my friends also bought one!”

Sale
Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
  • Durable, weather-resistant harness leather
  • Dipped in oil and dressed with butter
  • Leather is hand Rubbed for a great feel
  • Two strategically placed Knots encourage horse to give to pressure and seek release

#5 Schockemohle Stanford Anatomic Bridle – Top Anatomical Bridle

horse bridle

This is a fantastic anatomical bridle. The crown piece is particularly well designed to relieve pressure on the top of the horse’s head. It is great for horses that have sensitive heads.

Physical Attributes

  • Padded crown
  • Padded noseband
  • Comes with two browbands so you can change looks
  • Flash attachment

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in black leather

Benefits & Drawbacks of Schockemohle Stanford Anatomic Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Helps freedom of movementExpensive
Makes your horse more comfortableOnly comes in black
Flash attachment strategically places
Cavesson avoids sensitive nerves

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a premium bridle, so it is more expensive than other options. However, its design provides the horse with more comfort than any standard bridle.

Expert Tips

Learn how to correctly fit an anatomical bridle here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_tgU-ACJMY

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Schockemohle Stanford Anatomic Bridle

 See what these riders have to say about the Standford and other Schockemohle bridles.

#6 Dr. Cook Leather Western Bitless Bridle– Top Bitless Bridle

horse bridle

Dr. Cook brought the various bitless bridle options into the mainstream. A Dr. Cook bridle works differently by applying pressure around the whole face, instead of one area.

Physical Attributes

  • Raised leather
  • Metal ring rein attachments

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in average horse size

Benefits & Drawbacks of Dr. Cook Leather Western Bitless Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Distributes pressure instead of keeping it in one placeNot the cheapest
Made from quality English leatherNeed to be cautious with full face pressure

How it Compares to Others and Why

This bridle differs from many others because it doesn’t use a bit. It also differs from other bitless options as it distributes pressure around the entire head instead of in one area.

Expert Tips

Learn how to fit a Dr. Cook bridle from this experienced user.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG5yrMR1sWY

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Dr. Cook Leather Western Bitless Bridle

Check out this video review from an experienced equestrian about the Dr. Cook bridle.

#7 Flexible Fit Equestrian Black Nosebandless Snaffle Bridle ‘Clarice’ – Best No Noseband Bridle

horse bridle

This is a unique bridle as it does not have a noseband. It comes in a variety of styles, not just the black version featured here. You can also get it with different browbands such as this one and if you like bling, this one.  

Those a just two other options. You can see Flexible Fit’s full bridle range here

Physical Attributes

  • Anatomical crownpiece
  • Cutaway ears
  • Padded headpiece

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in pony size
  • Single piece of leather for crown piece
  • Comes in black leather

Benefits & Drawbacks of Flexible Fit Equestrian Nosebandless Snaffle Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Reduces poll pressureDoes not come with reins
Good for sensitive horsesHard to find it in a full size
Good quality leatherMost models only come in pony size
You will need a second bridle if you want to use a noseband

How it Compares to Others and Why

When comparing this bridle to others it stands out because it does not have a noseband and the crownpiece uses only one piece of leather. This helps reduce pressure on the horse’s poll and other areas of the face.

Expert Tips

If you want to learn more about different bridle styles, I really recommend this educational video by equine vet, Hilary Clayton. It goes through various bridles and explains how they work and the benefits of anatomical designs.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Flexible Fit Equestrian Nosebandless Snaffle Bridle

See an expert horse trainer review Flexible Fit bridles and how she thinks they’ve benefited her horses.

Flexible Fit Equestrian Black Nosebandless Snaffle Bridle 'Clarice' Pony
  • Made from the highest quality English leather
  • Anatomically designed monocrown crownpiece with gel padding for evenly distributed pressure
  • Designed around your horse’s anatomy to avoid major blood vessels, nerve groups, and the TMJ
  • Cutaway ears for maximum pressure relief
  • Backed by our two year quality guarantee

#8 Wonder Care Genuine Leather Crossover Bitless Bridle – Best Crossunder Bridle

horse bridle

Bitless bridles come in several configurations. They each work differently and it can take some trial and error to find the style that your horse prefers.

This is called a crossover or crossunder bitless bridle. It crosses over the nose and the poll, placing pressure around the horse’s whole head.

Physical Attributes

  • Steel buckles
  • Soft leather
  • Padded noseband
  • Padded browband

Quantitative Measurements

  • 3/4 inch wide reins
  • Comes in small, medium, and large
  • Brown or black leather

Benefits & Drawbacks of Wonder Care Crossover Bitless Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Made with vegetable tanned leatherRuns a little big
Good quality leatherA little plain looking
Comfortable for the horse if used correctly

How it Compares to Others and Why

Some horses really like this type of bitless bridle as it gives them a sense of security and doesn’t focus pressure on one part of their face like other bitless options.

Expert Tips

Always take care when using a bitless bridle. While in many ways they are wonderful, it is easy to think that just because you don’t have a bit, your horse feels now pain. 

However, as bitless bridles use pressure, it is easy to apply far too much, which makes removing the bit pointless. With that said, you can learn how to ride bitless, so you can have many happy adventures with your horse.

I highly recommend you watch this video from expert horse trainer, Warwick Schiller, who is always very insightful. Here he talks about bitless bridles.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Wonder Care Crossover Bitless Bridle

Horse rider, Sasha, loves to use this bridle when trail riding – “Excellent bitless bridle and reins set. I use this for trail rides and in the arena. The under chin cross-strap provides more control than halter style bitless bridles.”

Wonder Care Genuine English Leather Crossover |Crossunder Bitless Bridle Headstall with Reins - Brow - L
  • Material: 100% Vegetable Tanned (chrome free) Genuine Leather. Stainless Steel hardware. Soft Leather for browband and noseband padding.
  • Workmanship: Sewn on imported machines, finished and polished by hand.
  • Comfortable to the horse, safe, gentle and effective
  • Please refer to sizing chart before ordering. The bridle needs to be adjusted for the horse at the first application.
  • Provided with 3/4 inch wide full leather reins.

#9 Tough 1 Bridle/Halter Bag – Best Bridle Bag

horse bridle

Before I continue on to some more of my favorite bridles, I thought I’d include a bridle accessory that every horse owner should have – a bridle bag.

This is one of my favorite bridle bags because it is a great price and comes in some fun colors. This bridle bag takes only one bridle or halter. However, there is a bigger option, which takes three, which you can see here.

Physical Attributes

  • Poly lining
  • Single verticle zipper closure
  • Internal hanger
  • Carrying handle

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in hunter green, red, purple, royal blue, and black
  • 12 x 6 x 5 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks Tough 1 Bridle Bag

BenefitsDrawbacks
Great value priceOnly holds one bridle or halter
Protects leather tack from scratchesNot padded
Protects leather tack from dampnessNot water resistant
Suits both English and western bridles

How it Compares to Others and Why

Compared to others in my guide, this is actually an accessory. I wanted to include it because it is a great way to protect your bridle. It is also a great price and would make a nice gift, if embroidered, for the horse rider in your family.

Expert Tips

Every equestrian that has their own horse needs to have some tack essentials.  Learn what they are from two expert equestrians in this video.

Sale
Tough 1 Heavy Denier Nylon Bridle/Halter Bag, Royal Blue
  • Item Package Dimensions: 12.2 L X 32.8 W X 35.6 H (Cm)
  • Product Type: Sporting Goods
  • Item Package Weight: 0.798 kgs
  • Country Of Origin: China

#10 Stübben Freedom Magic Tack Bridle with RFS

Stübben Freedom Magic Tack Bridle with RFS

Stübben is a German brand with a long history of durable, quality horse tack. This is one of the most innovative bridles on the market.

Physical Attributes

  • Specially designed cheek pieces
  • Padded noseband
  • Increases horse’s field of vision
  • Padded crown piece
  • Horse anatomical bridle

Quantitative Measurements

  • Comes in brown or black

Benefits & Drawbacks of Stübben Freedom Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
No ear restrictionDue to the design benefits, this isn’t the most attractive bridle
No part of the bridle crosses any of the 16 ear musclesThe brown version is a bit too light in color
Non to very little pressure on facial nervesNot suitable for hunters or equitation
Sensitive areas of the neck and throat receive no pressureDoes not come with reins
Excellent for horses that do like the pressures created by a standard bridle
Wide padded piece under cavesson strap

This bridle provides the most freedom around the horse’s head than any other bridle on the market.

The horse has complicated anatomy of nerves and muscles in its face.

As there is very little protection of these nerves, an incorrectly fitting bridle can cause pressure and even pain.

The Freedom bridle aims to avoid all these negatives.

It does not interfere with any of the ear muscles, and Stübben claims it will not trigger a horse’s flight response.

How it compares to others and why

Compared to standard and even other anatomical bridles, this is certainly unique.

No other bridle looks like the Stübben Freedom. In fact, it is a bit strange looking, probably because its design stands out from the rest.

However, as far as the comfort of the horse goes, this is the best anatomical bridle.

The sparkly browband gives it a bit of flash, but it is far from a traditional look. If you have a passion for horse comfort, this is the most extreme choice to go for. 

Yet, not every horse will need this bridle, and a standard ergonomic bridle will keep your horse happy.

However, if your horse is particularly sensitive around its head and is not going well in another type of bridle, it is worth trying this option.

Expert Tips

  • This is an expensive bridle, most suitable for the most sensitive horses. It is certainly effective, but other options incorporate modern design into a more traditional look, so look to those first.

Learn all about this bridle, how it works, and its benefits from Stübben directly in this video.

What Other Horse Riders Are Saying About Stübben Freedom Bridle

This is a really in-depth, honest review of how the Freedom bridle has benefited this accomplished eventing rider’s young horse.

#11 Schockemohle Montreal Select Padded Bridle

Schockemohle Montreal Select Padded Bridle

Schockemohle is a German brand that offers a selection of bridles in different styles. This is one of our favorites.

Physical Attributes

  • No flash
  • Super soft headpiece
  • Fancy stitching
  • Curved browband
  • Throat lash adjustable on both sides
  • Padded noseband
  • Silver buckles
  • Rich brown color

Quantitative Measurements

Benefits & Drawbacks of Schockemohle Montreal Select Padded Bridle

BenefitsDrawbacks
Relieves poll pressureDoes not come with reins
Anatomical pre-shaped nosebandExpensive option
Unique crownpiece shape to reduce neck pressureCurrently only available in Cob size, but other sizes should become available
High-quality leather
Well padded headpiece

It is clear Schockemohle put a lot of thought into the design of this bridle.

The crown is very soft allowing for the maximum possible reduction of pressure points. It is one of the best anatomical bridles available. 

For a bridle with a lot of padding, it blends in nicely without looking over the top.

The noseband is pre-shaped, so it fits your horse better from the first time you put it on.

How it compares to others and why

This bridle has the most thought put into its design as far as comfort goes for the horse than our other options. The padding across the poll is thick and soft with the aim for maximum comfort of sensitive areas.

It not only relieves poll pressure and reduces ear restriction, but it also helps reduce neck pressure.

With other anatomical bridles, the wide headpiece is thinly padded on the inside, but covered with bridle leather on the outside.

This bridle has a thin strip of leather that goes over a wide area of thick padding.

Expert Tips

  • Even though this bridle does not come with reins, make this into a positive. It allows you to choose reins that best suit you.
  • You don’t have to buy Schockemohle reins to go with it, just reins that match the color.

Related: Best Tack Cleaner You Shouldn’t Miss!

How to Choose the Best Anatomical Bridle

Choosing the best anatomical bridle has to consider your budget. If you have a higher budget you will get a better quality, more comfortable bridle.

When choosing a bridle look for ones with a wide headpiece, shaped to avoid ear pressure.

The more padded the headpiece, the more comfortable you can make your horse.

If possible try the bridle on the horse to make sure it fits correctly and is not accidentally putting pressure on facial nerves.

FAQs

What bridle is best for my horse?

The best bridle is one that fits correctly. This is not only to do with the bridle itself but how you tie it up when it is on. Choose a bridle with a padded noseband, browband, and crownpiece.

What type of bridle should I use?

Start with a snaffle bridle without a flash or figure eight noseband. Always try to go as simple as possible and add more if your horse needs it. The best horse bridle to use is an anatomical one.

What are the best horse bridle brands?

Which bridle brand is the best does have a personal element. However, when you take that out, certain brands always come out on top The best bridles brands include CWD, PS of Sweden, Ovation, Passier, Stübben, and Fairfax.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a new bridle, we have covered some of the best bridles for horses here.

Anatomical is the way forward to ensure your horse stays comfortable.

With many brands creating their own anatomical bridles, you can now find a choice in all budget ranges.

We love all the options here, but the top pick is the Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping and Laced Reins.

Henri de Rivel Pro Mono Crown Fancy Bridle with Patent Leather Piping
  • Contoured Padded Mono Crown
  • 1” Padded Fancy Raised Browband and Noseband with Patent Leather Piping
  • Patent Leather Keepers and Runners
  • ½” Cheek Pieces | 5/8” Laced Reins
  • Stainless Steel Hardware

cute brown stallion wearing the best horse bridle

Have you used any of the above? Which one is your pick for the best horse bridle? Please share with us!

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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