Need some advice on bridle size

So I splurged on a PS of Sweden bridle for Nilla. Her best way of going is in a hackamore and a spidepull. It’s basically a double bridle without any bits.

Double Bitless Bridle

She is absolutely terrible about bits. She gapes her mouth, throws her tongue around and really likes to stick her tongue over the bit. When I tried her out before buying her, the previous owners used bailing twine to tie the bit over her nose so she couldn’t put her tongue over it. It’s an effective trick, but it’s not a solution to the problem.

You thought I was making it up, right?

Even with a flash tightening as much as possible, she finds a way to stick her tongue out. She’s also very distracted and spends more time fighting the bit then paying any attention to the rider. I have tried tons of bits. One trainer actually pulled out a giant rubbermaid bin filled with bits and we tried lots of them. She doesn’t like anything that’s a bit.

With just a hackamore, she’s very hard to steer. With just a sidepull, she’ll basically pull your arms out and run off with you. When I first put them both on, everyone thought I was crazy. Then I started riding around and getting her to bend and listen. The next day the trainer rode her and was exclaiming over the genius of it. Prior to this she hadn’t felt comfortable cantering Nilla, but this bridle combo made her feel like she actually had enough control to not die.

However, outside of myself and the trainer, no one who rides her knows how to use a double bridle. Even my husband just sort of mashes both the reins together and hopes for the best.

Due to The $900 Facebook Pony’s postings, I was wanting a PS of Sweden bridle. I was planning on getting the cool noseband bridles to address Nilla’s gaping issues. And then I saw that they make this:

Cavemore Revolution

It was like they knew us and invented it just for Nilla. So I put the bitted bridle plan on hold and ordered this piece of brilliance. 

I was very torn between the cob and horse size. I have a cob bridle that fits Nilla on one of the longest holes. I also have a horse bridle that fits on the next to last highest hole. I also had to drill about 10(!) holes into the horse sized flash band on her one bridle to get it to fit. So she’s pretty clearly in between the two sizes. The real deciding factor for me in picking cob sized was that I got a hackamore a few months ago for Nilla and the noseband was way too big. I actually had to swap hers and Dijon’s hackamore nosebands to get it to fit her. So I figured I better get a cob sized in this bridle.

 I’ve been following the tracking obsessively and it finally arrived today so I unbagged it and went over to the barn to try it on right away.

When I tried it on her, I was starting to panic as it seemed too small. Everything is on the largest hole and it just barely fit on her. I thought the under jaw strap was way too far back and the hackamore itself too high up. However, when I got home and could look at the PS website (no cell reception at our barn), it looks like it’s perfectly sized.

I took a ton of pictures of a very fidgety mule – this was the best I got
PS of Sweden Model Shot – for comparison

I am also going to email PS of Sweden because I absolutely adore this bridle. I love the quality of leather and all the other details I want to do in another full post, but I’m not sure if I should get a larger size. However, I thought I’d consult the internet hive mind.

Please let me know your thoughts on the sizing in the comments. I really appreciate it!

10 thoughts on “Need some advice on bridle size

  1. the900facebookpony

    It looks workable. It could go up a little on the hackamore part, but if you're on the loosest hole on the curb then that won't work, and it's not TOO low as it sits now. Remember too that once the winter coat is gone things might fit a hole tighter everywhere. I've been using cob size everything on my horse so I don't have any input as to just how much bigger a full size is.

  2. achieve1dream

    I am no help with sizing.. sorry, but I have to say using a sidepull and hackamore together is brilliant! I can't wait to see how this new bridle works when you start riding in it. I'm kind of confused on how it works with one rein lol. Looking forward to seeing more! I hope someone can help you with the sizing. 🙂 It looks pretty close to the model horse to me.

  3. Olivia

    Thanks! That's a good thought on the winter coat. I didn't think about that. I did shave off the goat beard, but everything else is fuzzy so it probably will fit better in the summer. My concern with going up is it being too big so the summer coat thing makes me think this is the right size. I'm going to ask them if they'll just sell me a horse sized curb strap if they don't think I should go up.

  4. achieve1dream

    Ooooh okay!!!!! I thought that was one rein with a split on the end. I couldn't tell that it was two. Two makes much more sense hehe. It will be really nice for you. It looks sharp! 🙂

  5. Olivia

    Thanks! It's really cool and the features and quality are great. I can't wait to do a review once I make sure I'm keeping this size.

  6. SprinklerBandit

    To me, the fit looks ok as is, but the angle of the picture+winter hair doesn't make it all that easy to see. I like to keep in mind that most leather (not the nasty plastic cheap stuff, but actual leather) will relax a bit if you take care of it and condition it regularly, especially the first few months. Good luck! It looks like a really nice piece of equipment.

  7. Nicole Sharpe

    I agree that it looks about the right size. To be completely honest, in your first picture (old setup) the hackamore looks like it's too low on her nose and could possibly interfere with the soft tissue of the nostrils, which I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to do. So I too would go up a little on the hackamore. I'm not sure about the curb strap problem; though this may be slightly blasphemous, you could always buy a different curb strap to put on the bridle in a pinch.

  8. Olivia

    Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. I know it's too low in the first shot – part of the problem with having 2 nosebands on is that they both can't fit where there supposed to be. It's not actually pressing on soft nasal tissue though, I have checked. It's just not where it really should be. That's part of why the PS bridle is a really good solution – only 1 noseband.

    I did think about just buying curb piece, but part of what I'm hoping to accomplish with spending real money is not having a ghetto, hacked together bridle. I am in touch with PS of Sweden about possible getting a larger noseband or curb strap.

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