How to put a bridle on a horse

How to put a bridle on a horse, seems to be one of the most challenging skills for a novice.  But it really doesn’t have to be.  In this post,  I will describe and use pictures to show you an EASY and SAFE way.


  1.  Have the bridle, in your left hand.  If your horse is in X ties, or tied up, remove the X ties or untie horse.  Be standing on the Left Side of the horse, between the head and the shoulders.  Place the reins over the horses head.   Having the reins up on the horses neck will keep them safely out of the way.
  2. Next remove the halter.  I prefer halters that have a snap.  But if yours does not, then just unbuckle it.  VERY IMPORTANT Keep control of the horses head, once you have removed the halter.  I keep control by placing my right hand on the side of the horse face.  This is an important step;  because later when you use your right hand on the bit your hand is already in a great spot!  What you do with the halter once it’s removed is also important.  As you gain experience you will get more coordinated .  But for now, if you are new to this skill, I would just drop it off to your left side.  You don’t want the halter where the horse could catch a foot in it, or you could get caught up in it.  But you do want the halter near by, in case you would need it in a hurry.
  3. Hold the center of the crown piece with your left hand in a fist.  Place your left hand (still in a fist) on your horses face, between and slightly above their eyes.   TIP FOR SHORTER RIDERS.  If you are short, you can hold both sides of the bridle together, several inches below the brow band, instead of holding on the crown piece.  With either method, you will place your left hand on the center of the horses head, between their eyes.  Make sure at this point that the bit is actually touching the lips of the horse.
  4. Now slide your right hand down to the mouth.  Find the bit with your finger tips.  I predominantly have the bit on my index finger, at this point.  And slide your thumb into the horses mouth.  This is where riders, get nervous.  Keep your thumb, in the corner of the horse mouth, where the bit will rest.  The horse does not have teeth in that spot, so you should be safe.  When the horse feels your thumb entering their mouth, their response is to open their mouth.  If your left hand is where I instructed in step 3, then you just raise your left hand up, as the horse opens its mouth.  The bit will then just slide right in!
  5. Then both hands can now gently guide the bridle over the horses ears, and you can begin to adjust the throat latch, the nose band, curb chain, etc.

Easy right?  It takes lots of practice, learning How to put a bridle on a horse. If you practice, it will become easy!  If you have any questions or struggles, let me know.  I’ll be happy to go into more details and help you thru your struggles!

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