How To Properly Fit A Figure-Eight Bridle

Article shared from Heels Down Mag.

 The figure-eight noseband, sometimes called the grackle, is a well-used bridle band in the show jumping and eventing disciplines. 

It offers a fun flair of style with how the leather crosses over the horse’s face and attaches under the chin. But finding the right size and fit for a figure-eight style noseband can be a little tricky.

 Eventer Amanda Ross discusses how to properly fit a figure-eight noseband.

Picture from Practical Horseman.

Here are some key takeaways about proper fit:

The rings should sit behind the cheekpieces. A figure-eight noseband generally has two metal rings that sit on either side of the horse’s face. Amanda explains that the rings should fit behind the cheekpieces of the bridle and above the cheekbone. If they are above those pieces, the rings are pressing into the bone, “which we don’t want,” she said.

The disc should be in the center of the nose and not too low. The disc, or leather piece that fastens both straps of the noseband, should sit in the center of the horse’s face, but not too low that the straps impede with the horse’s nostrils and breathing. If the noseband keeps slipping forward at the rings, Amanda recommends pushing down at the disc with your thumbs, and to fasten it up another hole underneath.

The noseband needs to be firm to be effective. The fit should be fairly snug. The bottom strap of the band should connect over the bit and under the chin. The upper strap is connected just under the horse’s jaw. Amanda recommends this style of noseband to keep horses from crossing their jaw.

Good to know: This style of noseband is popular in show jumping and eventing. It is illegal in the hunters and not very common in dressage.

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