Fitting the Bridle to Your Horse: Video Tip

by Samantha Capoferri-Fellin
Instructor, Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre

This weeks video tip, fitting the bridle to your horse, describes the differences in the three most common types of bridles used by students at Meredith Manor, and shows you how to properly fit each style to your horse's head.

The types of bridles covered includes:

  • Cavesson with Flash,
  • Drop Noseband, and
  • Figure Eight (also called Grackle or Mexican Noseband)

Key takeaways include:

  • Always start by putting the reins over your horse's head, especially in an open area.
  • Cavesson with Flash
    • Put the cavesson underneath the cheek pieces, at least one finger width below the cheek bone. When tightening, leave one finger width underneath the jaw.
    • Place the flash in front of the bit leaving about one finger width underneath.
    • Close the throat latch leaving room to fit four fingers underneath the jaw.
  • Drop Noseband
    • Attach the drop noseband in front of or over the bit, making sure it is sitting up on the bone of the nose, not on soft flesh, leaving one finger width underneath.
    • Close the throat latch leaving room to fit four fingers underneath the jaw.
    • You can identify a drop noseband by the metal rings attached to the leather.
  • Figure Eight (aka Grackle Noseband or Mexican Noseband)
    • The top straps, those underneath the cheek, should run parallel with the cheekbone with the ring staying above the bottom of the cheekbone.
    • Adjust the lower strap in front of the bit.
    • Leave a finger width for both the top and bottom straps and leave four fingers underneath of the jaw for the throat latch.
    • You can identify a figure eight by the big, fluffy piece in the center and two rings up high on the cavesson.

Happy bridling!


Meredith Manor is an equestrian career college dedicated to preparing students for hands-on, equestrian careers as trainers, instructors, equine massage therapists, stable managers, farriers and more. If you want a career with horses and are considering attending Meredith Manor, request an information packet to learn more.



I will never forget the ability Ron Meredith had to get inside a horse's head to understand the reasons for the horse's response to stimuli. I learned things at Meredith Manor that have carried me through an entire lifetime career with horses and ponies.
Marcia (Fleming) Yeager: 1969 Graduate