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Big Bridles for Big Ugly Heads

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  • Big Bridles for Big Ugly Heads

    I've known for a while that my oversized bridle is not an ideal size, but a few nights ago my husband snapped a photo of me on my mare and I realize now that not only does her head make the bridle look the equivalent of a string bikini, it's just not fitting well.

    The crown/cheeks are seemingly fine and i have plenty of room for adjusment there, but the noseband is an issue. We're at the last hole there and the head piece/hanger/strap is about an inch spaced from the cheek pieces. So I mostly just have a cavesson problem. Browband could be a little bigger, headpiece does lay on her ear bulbs a little bit.

    I'd like to stay with traditional noseband but i don't think I'd like a plain cavesson. Padded at least. I wouldn't mind trying a figure 8/grackle, but those tend to make heads look bigger I think?

    And I really do love my mares big head. I think it's gorgeous but it's funny, people constantly refer to her as "him"

  • #2
    Bigger straps, particularly nosebands, tend to tone down coarse or "ugly" heads. Of course, no telling what we are dealing with without a picture.. I am a sucker for horses with BFHs... aka Big Fat Heads.

    I find that narrow nosebands and patent look can really make them look like a cart horse. Subtle bling on the browband like pearls or mirrors -- not crystals -- make a comely head seem more stately.

    With the BFHs, some things:
    - Extra big browbands - they usually have big temples, which means they need more browband space - curved browbands make their temples seem less coarse and broad, and also offer more room so the bridle is not pulled forward onto the ears
    - Thicker and padded nosebands, but not huge - avoid patent as it draws attention to their nose

    These specs in mind, some bridles that fit well on ugly heads:
    Passier Ingrid Klimke with the Special Caveson.
    Kieffer Andromeda
    Stubben 2800
    Stubben 2010
    Eponia Ginger Bridle

    Additionally, rolled bridle with a thicker noseband can be a good uniform look.

    Some things that will make a bridle less flattering is an improperly fit bridle. Too thin a browband will pull the bridle forward and part the cheek-pieces, making gaps. Too long cheek-pieces or too low a bit, will make the bridle seem flapping and not uniform. When adjusting the cheek-pieces, the buckles should always align near or with the eyes -- any lower or any higher, and it makes a less clean look.

    IME with the coarse heads, the less busy in terms of buckles and straps, the better. I prefer hook/stud cheek pieces vs buckle for that reason.

    Hope that helps.

    EDIT: I just typed all this assuming it was in dressage forum.. but I see you are a hunter jumper... Ooops. I guess this info is not very relevant to you, sorry!


    • #3
      ^^^But relevant to others! . It's a good post.
      Finding Cures, Saving Children. Sept. 29, 2019 Saddle Up for St. Jude event. Donate here.


      • #4
        Custom tack racks!


        • #5
          Originally posted by beowulf View Post

          EDIT: I just typed all this assuming it was in dressage forum.. but I see you are a hunter jumper... Ooops. I guess this info is not very relevant to you, sorry!
          Well that explains the "patent" I was wondering about that.


          • #6
            I would look for a wider but perhaps unpadded noseband. Aramas makes one that I like a lot for its design.
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • #7
              I have a horse with a big fat head. I have a beautiful Edgewood for shows with a thick nose band and it looks stunning. I also have a Smart Pak brand that I use for schooling that I like. Obvious not the same quality as the Edgewood but still a nice bridle for a decent price.


              • #8
                I had a wb with a giant moose head, we tell him to stop pushing people around with his giant moose nose (he's my bffs horse now). When I was doing hunters on him I put him in a wide nose band rodrigo pessoa bridle and it was really pretty on him. I think wide nosebands really help balance out large blocky heads.


                • #9
                  A wider cavesson does look better on a big head.

                  Perhaps this

                  I've always thought that the large head looks best in a wide flat cavesson, but I realize that they are out of fashion and are not what you want.


                  • #10
                    I'm also a fan of the Ovation wide un-padded noseband for big and coarse heads. I recently came across this bridle in the same style which is a better price if you're price conscientious. I have had other KL Select pieces and found the quality to be good for the price.

                    A blonde & her hunter:


                    • #11
                      I was also going to suggest KL. I like the Red Barn Ocala wide nose. The leather quality is usually quite nice.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HJdaydream View Post
                        I'm also a fan of the Ovation wide un-padded noseband for big and coarse heads. I recently came across this bridle in the same style which is a better price if you're price conscientious. I have had other KL Select pieces and found the quality to be good for the price.

                        I have this bridle. Purchased new off of eBay. It's lovely.


                        • #13
                          Edgewood! I tried a few other brands but the wide, padded noseband helps to cancel out all the “real estate.”


                          • #14
                            If your looking for low budget shires make some wide nose bands