There’s been a distinct movement in bridle re-design in recent years which focuses on the horse’s anatomy and how to reduce pressure points caused by a bridle on particular areas of the horses head. Recent focus has centred on research on the horse’s cranial nerves, so we’re seeing the term ‘Anatomical’ arise more and more when it comes to bridles. There are several anatomical bridles on the market; the latest to arrive is the Collegiate Comfitec and the Schockemöhle Equitus ranges, but what does ‘anatomical’ actually mean and how can it benefit your horse?
Much like humans, horses have pressure points and sensitive nerves, including their face. There are numerous cranial nerves that have different roles, some are related to smell, balance, vision, neck muscles and even heart rate. Pressing on these areas can cause hindrance to all or some of these functions. Let’s think about our own bodies for a second, imagine being asked to walk across a balancing beam whilst someone is pushing on your pressure points, it’s likely that you’ll fall or at least wobble. In the same instance, how can you expect your horse to remain well balanced if the bridle is putting pressure on the ‘balance’ cranial nerves?
Collegiate has addressed this head on. This diagram of their new Comfitec Bridle illustrates how pressure on the cranial nerves are being avoided or relieved in 6 areas.
In a similar light, Schockemöhle Sports anatomic “Equitus Alpha” bridle also focuses on the sensitive areas of the horses head. The innovative bridle alignment avoids the main facial nerve; sparing important blood vessels and arteries and reduces the pressure on the horse’s neck. The re-designed check pieces can be attached directly to the noseband making adjustment very easy. The shaped headpiece and noseband have been designed to release pressure from the horses head, nose and neck, making sure that your horse has the maximum comfort through extra padding.
There are several more styles of anatomical bridle on the market, but if you are planning to compete be sure that whichever one you choose is going to be compliant. The Schockemohle Equitus is FN certified and LPO compliant as well as approved for international competitions. The Collegiate Comfitec range is also approved to FEI regulations.
For more details about the Collegiate and Schockemohle bridle ranges please visit www.countryways.com
Shop Bridles at Country Ways: www.countryways.com/horse/bridlework/bridles
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