Top 7 Picks of Western Horse Bridles (Buying Guide)

The best western horse bridle is one that uses high-quality materials and is soft and supple, and easily helps you control your horse.

02/22/2024 04:29 am GMT

If you’re struggling to find the perfect option, let me help you out!

Below are my top 7 picks that you really can’t go wrong with.

Let’s start with a quick look at the best bridles, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

Western Horse Bridle Top Picks at a Glance

If you see the value in these products and choose to purchase via my referral links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

7 Best Western Horse Bridles (With Reviews)

The right horse bridle can help you control your horse easily and even improve the relationship between you and your animal.

Western horse bridles vary in materials, price, and quality and you get a wide range of choices. You need to choose one based on your riding expertise as well as the needs of your horse. 

If buying the best western horse bridle seems to be a daunting task, then this guide will help you.

#1. Winner: Weaver Leather Designer Hardware Working Tack Headstalls

Want a rugged-yet-stylish bridle? Then look no further than the Weaver Leather™ working headstall/bridle. It has a soft buttery feel and you will feel the difference while riding.

Weaver Leather bridles can be used on warmblood and draft horse breeds. 

Check out the video below to see how they’re made:

Features and attributes

  • Made using canyon rose, oil-dipped, weighted harness leather
  • Hand-rubbed for performance and beauty
  • Soft and supple
  • Jeremiah Watt buckles and conchos
  • You can choose from five different styles and six color options.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Attractive and comfortableA few users reported size issues. For example, it did not fit a 900 lb. gaited horse.
Durable and easy to adjustOne user felt that it lacked “suppleness.”
Generously sized – easily fits a 16.1 hh horse with room to spare
Matches several Weaver horse tack items

How it compares to others

Weaver Leather brand is well-known for its tack collection and equestrian products. Whether you are a recreational, trail, or professional, or experienced rider, you will love their supple and soft western bridles.

They also carry a wide variety of choices in color and styles. Its price is also reasonable.

You will feel the difference when riding – where other bridles are dry and rough, Weaver Leather Designer bridles are soft and supple. The size and fit are also good for draft breeds.

Expert tips

  • Adjust the bridle to the shortest setting for a 15 hh quarter horse with normal head size. It works best for an average-sized horse.
  • The bridle/headstall set does not include split reins. You can find them on the company’s website.

Check out this video to learn about the size of a cob bridle.

#2. Best Budget – Tahoe Tack Double Stitched Leather Browband Western Headstall 

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02/22/2024 04:29 am GMT

Tahoe Tack is another reputed brand of western tack and it has been around for almost 2 decades.

You will love this affordable bridle made with high-quality leather and also the fact that there are several color choices and size options in it.

Take a look at this video:

Features and attributes

  • Chicago style screws make changing bits a breeze
  • High-quality well-oiled, durable, smooth leather
  • Suitable for various horse breeds: miniature (300 lbs.), standard (1200 lbs.), pony (up to 800 lbs.), etc.
  • Adjustable on both sides
BenefitsDrawbacks
Soft and suppleShort throat latch – almost on the last hole.
Ideal for breaking ‘green’ horses and for daily useDoesn’t come with chin strap
Available in uncommon sizes like miniature/pony
Comes with clear assembly instructions – easy to assemble
Clean and non-distracting appearance
Extremely versatile – can be used for a variety of western disciplines like rodeo, trail, ranch riding, barrel racing, gymkhana, etc.

How it compares

Tahoe Tack bridle is attractive, functional, and comfortable to use. It is durable and long-lasting as well. Most users were able to adjust them easily for different horse head shapes/sizes.

The price is super affordable. It is also one of the few bridles that are available for pony and miniature horse breeds. Please note that it does not come with bits, curb chains, and reins.

Expert tips

  • It is a bit plain – so you can dress it up with conchos.
  • Oil the bridle liberally to prevent irritation to your horse and also make it flexible enough.

#3. Best Overall: Circle Y Distressed Beaded Leather Browband Headstall for Horse

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Accents? Beads? Floral hand-tooling? Check all of these boxes and more with this ornate headstall from Circle Y – a brand that has been making horse tack since the 1960s.

Your horse will look gorgeous in this bridle! Here’s a video review that will help give you a closer look:

Features and attributes

  • Made with premium dark-grain, walnut-colored leather; Has cream underlay with multi-color beading
  • 5/8th-inch width
  • The conchos provide an antique look and feel.
  • Lightweight
BenefitsDrawbacks
Gorgeous lookHigher price
Easy installation

How it compares

Circle Y is a reliable all-American brand making tack for decades. This headstall/bridle is attractive, ornate, and uses high-quality leather. You will feel the difference when riding.

The price is on the higher side but totally worth it. There should be some more size options.

#4. Best Set Bridle + Reins: Tahoe Tack Barbwire Leather Western Hand Tooled Browband Headstall with Matching Split Reins

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02/22/2024 04:36 am GMT

You will love the convenient 72-inch matching split reins that come with this bridle from Tahoe Tack.

Features and attributes

  • Made with durable hardware and high-quality leather
  • Double reinforced seams
  • Hand-tooled design
  • Chicago screw ends for easy changing of bits.
  • Available in full size, tan color – browband 19.5-inches, bit to bit is 44.5 to 50.5 inches
BenefitsDrawbacks
Reins are great for trainingLeather tends to be stiff and needs plenty of breaking in.
Beautiful detailing

Expert tips

  • Oil the reins to break them in faster.
  • Some users experienced size issues – especially in the browband gaps.

How it compares

Price-wise, Tahoe Tack barbwire western reins are similar to the other entries here. The leather used is great although slightly stiff and needs breaking in.

Other than a few size-related issues, this is a great bridle for trails or pleasure riding.

#5. Best Sidepull: CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Bridle Sidepull Bridle Reins

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02/22/2024 05:09 am GMT

Challenger sidepull bridle comes with split reins. The sidepull design eliminates the need for a bit and keeps your horse comfortable and pain-free.

Features

  • Handcrafted, harness-quality leather, oiled
  • Double reinforced
  • Nose and browbands are padded for extra comfort. They also have lovely beading and accents
  • Full-size bridle (no cob sizes)
  • Note that the reins are a mix of western and English – so you get extra straps.
BenefitsDrawbacks
AttractiveNo size options.
Easy to install

How it compares

This is not a standard western riding bridle – more of a mix of English and western. There is an extra band for stability. The side-pull reins are pain-free for horses having oral injuries or aren’t used to bits.

#6. Best for Draft Horse Breeds: Tough 1 Western Leather Browband Draft Snaffle Bridle

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02/22/2024 05:24 am GMT

Draft horses often need special tack items depending on their size. With Tough-1 western leather browband snaffle bridle, you won’t have to worry about sizing issues.

Features and attributes

  • Complete headstall/snaffle bridle with  snaffle bits and split reins
  • The browband measures 17.5” with 6-ft sets of reins and a 6-inch snaffle bit
BenefitsDrawbacks
This snaffle bridle fit most draft horses that are 17 to 18hhNot quite as durable as I’d like.
Has a perfect length of reins

How it compares

Many large draft horses are difficult to fit but most users were able to use the Tough-1snaffle bridle and install it easily.

However, the durability could be an issue as a small percentage of riders reported broken straps within weeks.

Expert tips

  • Remove the chin strap if your horse has a large head.

#7. Best Leather Bridle: Weaver Leather Stacy Westfall ProTack Oiled Browband Headstall

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02/22/2024 05:18 am GMT

Weaver Leather headstall or leather western bridle is hand-crafted out of fine Hermann Oak harness leather. It also features shiny hardware which will make your horse stand out.

Features and attributes

  • Features well-oiled leather 
  • Buckled bit ends
  • Chicago screws
  • Attractive oral engraving on the Jeremiah Watts conchos and nickel brass spots on the browband
BenefitsDrawbacks
Easily fits standard-sized quarter horses, Appaloosa, and ArabsThe browband bridles are slightly big.
Soft, well-oiled, supple, and durable
Adjustable
Value for money

Expert tips

You might need to drill extra holes in leather straps.

How it compares

Weaver Leather Stacy Westfall fancy western bridle is about $10 more than average. It fits most horses well but some riders experienced size-related issues.

Attractive, soft, and high-quality materials make this bridle worth the price.

Related: Different Types of Western Bridles

What to Look for When Buying Best Western Horse Bridle?

Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best western horse bridle:

#1. Size

Look for the bridle that can fit your standard horse, draft horse, pony, or miniature horse. Manufacturers specify the sizes so you can easily pick the right one (full size, cob size, pony, etc.).

Here is how to measure your horse for bridle and headstall:

  • Use a soft measuring tape having inch increments
  • First, measure the crownpiece – this goes from the upper corner of the horse’s mouth on one side over the poll to the other side on the upper corner of the mouth.
  • Measure the browband – this goes around the ears when erect.
  • Noseband – measure across the muzzle about an inch below where the cheek pieces will sit.
  • Throatlatch – measure from behind the ear to under the horse’s throat around the head.

Check the video below for a visual guide:

For reference:

  • A 16 hh thoroughbred horse will need a full-size
  • A 15 hh Quarter horse might need a cob size.

These are just examples – always measure your horse thoroughly or borrow a bridle and order one similar to the best fit.

#2. Riding Discipline/Purpose

Always consider the discipline the horse is being ridden or the purpose behind riding. If you need a basic bridle for ranch riding, then you need not invest in an ornate, hand-crafted bridle.

A race bridle will be different and so will English bridles.

Check: Western vs English Bridle

#3. Materials

Bridles come in rawhide, leather, or synthetic leather. Choose the material based on your discipline and budget.

High-quality bridle leather is on the higher side but it is also more durable. Make sure you select well-oiled and supple leather.

#4. Your Horse’s Needs

Always ‘listen’ to your horse as well. Some horses respond quickly to slight pressure while others need a bit more coaxing. Some have sensitive mouths or oral issues. For such horses, look for bitless quality bridles.

FAQs

How much do western bridles cost?

Based on the material and craftsmanship, a western bridle can cost anywhere between $20 and $200.

What size does a cob bridle fit?

a horse with fitted western horse bridle on it

The cob size is approximately one size smaller than the full size. In full size, each piece of the bridle will be about an inch greater than the pieces of the cob size bridles. Cob-size bridles typically fit horses with average-sized heads and 15 hh.

How to know which size bridle to buy?

Accurately measure the crown piece, browband, throatlatch, and noseband using the steps given above. If needed, seek the help of a tack shop assistant. Many bridles are adjustable, so you can easily install them.

Final Recommendation

Every horse needs a bridle so you can control it with ease. Western Bridles help you communicate with your horse so you can develop a great relationship with it.

We recommend the Weaver Leather Designer Hardware Headstall as it is comfortable, soft and supple, attractive, and well-made. It easily fits horses measuring 16 hh.

Do check out our other recommendations as well.

a black horse with one of the best horse bridles on it

What are your favorite Western horse bridles? Let us know in the comments below!

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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