How to choose the right anatomical bridle ?

bridon anatomique antares

A bridle has a key role to play when riding as it connects the rider to their horse. That’s why it is vital to choose the right bridle to ensure your horse is comfortable and happy.
In this article, we help you to choose the most suitable anatomical bridle for your horse.
Whether it is comfort, style, practicality or quality, Antarès always designs bridles and double bridles with the horse’s welfare in mind.

Anatomical headpiece: Influences comfort and riding performance

At Antarès, we’ve developed two sorts of headpiece to match all types of horses and meet the expectations of their riders. Both headpieces provide the horse with unparalleled levels of comfort and safety.

  • The Origin headpiece is specially shaped and lightly padded to limit any pressure on the horse’s cervical vertebra. What’s more, your horse’s ears are unobstructed.

The Origin headpiece can be used for horses that need a degree of flexibility.

  • The Precision headpiece : Designed by Antarès and developed by equine health professionals to ensure it performs well is use. Again, it is specially shaped and features two ergonomic pads. These free up the first vertebra in the horse’s neck from any pressure.
anatomical headpiece

The Origin headpiece

The Precision headpiece

anatomical headpiece

What to look for when choosing your Antarès bridle

  • Needs : Type of horse, riding level, riding discipline, etc.
  • The headpiece
  • The noseband

We’ve tried to simply rank the main points you should check when choosing an anatomical bridle.


Type of horse

Firstly, it’s important to specify how much comfort you need based on your type of horse. Check how your horse reacts in areas sensitive to pressure, such as ears, the bridge of the nose or the zygomatic arch. Then you can start looking for the bridle that best meets your horse’s needs.

Riding level

Your riding level also has a bearing on what you are looking when choosing a bridle. For instance, if you’re a beginner, we recommend you use a single bridle suited to your type of horse.
As you improve, you’ll be able to choose and use more complicated bridles based on your riding discipline and the bridle action suited to your horse.

Riding discipline

Each riding discipline has its own technical requirements. That’s why you should clarify what you want so that you use the best tack for your horse.

Hunter-class riding

At Antarès, we’ve developed an anatomical hunter bridle exclusively for this type of riding.

Hunter bridle

Hunter Origin anatomic bridle

Laced Origin reins

laced reins

This bridle gives your horse both comfort and peace of mind. It comes in fine brown leather with beige topstitching.
Sold with laced reins.


Go to our website for more details on the Origin anatomical double bridle. This bridle is properly stylish and comfortable, making it a perfect match for your dressage competition tests.

dressage anatomic double bridle
Haras de Malleret

The headpiece

As mentioned above, our bridles and double bridles feature an anatomical headpiece.
We offer two different types of headpiece:

The noseband

There are several types of noseband, so here are some examples with details on the actions they perform :

  • The German noseband : Reputed for preventing horses playing with their bits or to stop it moving in their mouths. However, its position over the nasal passages can restrict breathing under effort. If it’s too tight, it will bother the horse and cause it stress while raising the risk of oral lesions. Using this type of noseband requires experience.
German noseband

Click here to see if you adjust your bridle correctly.

  • The figure-8 noseband : This controls horses that tend to gape by restricting jaw movement. It mainly acts on the bridge of the nose. It helps the rider to better control their horse’s head movements. It is often used with some padding or a small sheepskin lined cushion to keep the horse comfortable.
figure 8 noseband
  • The combined noseband : Inspired by the French (single) noseband, this type has an additional leather flash. It is designed to reduce how far the horse can open its mouth yet not to be overly harsh. The leather flash attaches to the noseband and is easy to remove. It is ideal when the bridle action is only needed occasionally.
combined noseband
combined noseband
  • The Y noseband : Maintains good contact with the horse’s mouth. This noseband gives better control over horses prone to avoiding contact with their bits or those tending to prefer an overly hard contact. It gives the close contact of a combined noseband by restricting pressure on the nasal passages.
Y noseband
  • The comfort noseband : Provides the same performance as a combined noseband with added comfort for your horse thanks to its wide, comfortable padding.
comfort noseband

comfort noseband
  • The pull-back noseband : Delivers the same effects as a classic/French noseband. The name, pull-back noseband, stands for the type of noseband strap for the bridle. As it is thicker, the fastening buckle no longer touches the horse’s skin.
pull-back noseband

Each noseband exerts a different degree of control compared to a classic/French type. That’s why we recommend you properly adjust your bridle to not injure your horse.

Here’s a link to our blog post on the subject.

Antarès tips

The stronger the action exerted by the noseband, the gentler you must be. Here’s our recommendations on Antarès anatomical bridles according to various yardsticks :

Maintaining your anatomical bridle

Looking after your leather is still the best way for long-lasting.
We have designed our own leather care products so that you can keep your tack in tiptop condition.

Here are the 3 steps to follow:

  1. Cleaning
    Use a sponge or a toothbrush for those difficult-to-reach areas to remove most of the dirt. Then, continue cleaning with our soap.
  2. Conditioning
    Apply some conditioner to your bridle using a clean tissue. Don’t overdo it. We recommend applying conditioner once or twice a month to not saturate the leather.
  3. Oiling
    Applying oil to your bridle is vital to keep the leather soft and supple. Be very careful though not to apply too much! We recommend using very small quantities of oil and very rarely ! If you use too much, there’s a good chance the leather may become slack and stretch.
leather care
© Tina Dufour

We hope this article will help you find the anatomical bridle that best meets your horse’s needs.

Do also read our blog post to choose the right reins for you.

Click here to view our entire range of bridles.