The four main types of bridle are the snaffle, double, western, and endurance. Traditionally these bridles come in leather which, provided that they are well maintained, will be long lasting and comfortable for the horse to wear. You can also get synthetic bridles (such as nylon) which come in a varying colors and are easy to clean and maintain.
This is a commonly used bridle which can be easily modified to suit the type of horse and it's way of going. By simply changing the bit, noseband or both you can increase or decrease the severity of the bridle.
The width of the leather itself, also plays a part in the way it will look on a horse; for example a Cob horse should wear a snaffle bridle that is slightly wider than that of an Arab which would be better suited to a slightly thinner bridle.
The size of the bridle will vary from Pony, to Cob to Full size, depending on the type of horse and the size of their head.
A snaffle bridle consists of:
This is a bridle which offers the rider a higher degree of control such as when riding Dressage. It is similar to a snaffle bridle with a headpiece,browband and cheek pieces. The noseband must be a cavesson so that it does not interfere with the action of the bit.
The double bridle consists of two bits; the curb bit is attached to the cheek pieces, while the bridoon bit is attached to the bridoon slip head which goes up under the headpiece and through the browband holding it in place.
This is made of thin leather and is quite minimal in appearance, one reason being so that in hot climates the horse is not bulked down with leather wear to allow the horses skin to breath. It is also easier to repair if a long way from home.
The bridle consists of a headpiece with either a full browband, or a split eared browband which goes around each of the horses ears independantly, or a one eared browband which goes around only one of the horses ears.
This is frequently worn without a noseband.
The bit used with this bridle is a western curb bit with the reins being split at the end rather than joined with a buckle.
This is clever in design as it allows the bridle to be easily changed from a bridle into a headcollar which is excellent for long distance rides where quickness and practicality are essential. The bit can be removed to allow the headcollar to be used or for the bridle itself to be used as a bitless bridle or scrawbrig where the reins are attached to the headcollar.