How to fit a Weymouth (Double) Bridle
Fitting a Weymouth bridle can be a bit daunting for most people the first time. The following is a step-by-step guide to help you fit a double bridle to your horse.
To start with the main difference with a Weymouth bridle to a Snaffle bridle is you have an extra set of reins, a leather strap which is called a "Sliphead" and a curb bit.
The bits that are used on a Weymouth bridle are called a "Bit" and "Bridoon". The "Bit" is the curb bit, this looks like a Pelham bit without the rings that you would normally connect your top reins to. The "Bridoon" is the snaffle bit and should be 1/4" wider than normal to allow room at the corners of the mouth for the curb. The bridoon bit should sit exactly like an ordinary snaffle would, slightly wrinkling the corners of the horse's mouth. It has a seperate "Sliphead" leather strap which should buckle on the offside.
The cheek straps that you would normally have your snaffle bit connect to on your snaffle bridle is now used for the Curb bit. The Curb "Bit" once in the horse's mouth should lie slightly below the bridoon when viewed from the side. You will need to extend the cheek strap to accommodate this. The first time you fit a double bridle to your horse it is best to have the straps open at the buckels on the cheek pieces to make it quicker and easier to adjust the straps once the bridle is on.
Before placing the bridle on your horse have a look at where the bits are sitting while you are holding it. The Snaffle bit or "Bridoon" should sit at the same height as it would on a snaffle bridle and the "Bit" or Curb should be slightly below it.
Place the bridle on your horses head as you would with a snaffle bridle, taking care as you place the 2 bits in the horse's mouth. Once on, adjust the buckels to make the bridle comfortable for your horse. Do up the throat lash and noseband as normal, ensuring the noseband is not sitting too low, as this could interfere with the bridoon.
The curb chain should already be fastened onto the offside hook of the Bit. Twist it clockwise until it is flat and attach it with the appropriate link to the hook on the other side. If there is extra links left over, hook the last link over the top. The chain should be loose while the curb rein is loose.
To check the curb chain, take up the curb rein and move the bit to about 45 degrees. The curb chain should sit neatly in the chin groove. Too loose and it will encourage the horse to open its mouth and resist, too tight and it will act like a vice and the horse will be very uncomfortable. You can also use a leather chain protector to make it more comfortable for your horse.
Remember, a double bridle shoule only be used on a horse that is already well schooled and by an experienced rider.
My name is Annie and I have over 30 years experience in the horse industry. Thanks for stopping by and reading my guide. For more imformation, drop by my eBay Store and check out what a quality Bridle should look like.
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Annie from Elite Saddle Company.