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Horse Bridles and Halters

Horse BridleBridles and halters
An English Dressage-style bridles and halters (British English: headcollars) are an arrangement of straps around the horse's head used for control and communication with the animal.

The halter is the simplest piece of equipment, consisting of a noseband and headstall that buckles around the horse's head and allows the horse to be led or tied. The lead rope may be short, no more than ten feet long, for everyday leading and tying, or much longer, up to 25 feet, for tasks such as for leading packhorses or for picketing a horse out to graze. Some horses, particularly stallions, may have a chain attached to the lead rope and placed over the nose or under the jaw to increase the control provided by a halter while being led. Most of the time, horses are not ridden with a halter, as it offers insufficient precision and control. Halters have no bit.

Bridles often contain a bit attached to reins and are used for riding and driving horses.

A hackamore is a type of bitless bridle usually used to train young horses, or to go easy on an older horse's mouth. Hackamores are more often seen in western riding.

English bridles have a cavesson style noseband and are seen in English riding. Their reins are buckled to one another, and they have little adornment or flashy hardware.

Western bridles used in Western riding usually have no noseband, are made of thin bridle leather. They may have long, separated "Split" reins or shorter closed reins, which sometimes include an attached Romal. Western bridles are often adorned with silver or other decorative features.

Double bridles are a type of English bridle that use two bits in the mouth at once, a snaffle and a curb. The two bits allow the rider to have very precise control of the horse. As a rule, only very advanced horses and riders use double bridles. Double bridles are usually seen in the top levels of dressage, but also are seen in certain types of show hack and Saddle seat competition.

A longeing cavesson is a special type of halter used for longeing a horse. Longeing is the activity of having a horse walk, trot and/or canter in a large circle around the handler at the end of a rope that is 25 to 30 feet long. It is used for training and exercise.


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