How to Make Browbands for Horses

Updated February 21, 2017

A browband is the part of a modern bridle that stretches from just under the ears, across the brow of the horse. The headstall runs through the end of the browband, over the top of the horse's head -- or poll -- and back down through the other side of the browband. The purpose of the browband is to prevent the headstall from slipping back off the poll and down the horse's neck. You can make a browband to replace a broken bridle part or create a special ribbon version for the show ring.

Place the tape measure just behind and underneath the horse's first ear, stretching across the brow to the same point at the other ear. Add 5 inches to this measurement and note it down.

Cut a 3/4 inch strip from the leather, using the strap cutter, then cut it to the correct length.

Fold the end of the leather in 2-1/2 inches and mark where the holes will go. Punch two holes into the leather where it is folded over and place two rivets side-by-side, to hold the leather together and create a small loop. Repeat this process on the other end of the leather.

Choose two colours of ribbon and select a 2.5 yard length of each, 0.3 inch wide for a horse or 0.2 inch wide for a pony. Glue both pieces of ribbon together at one end with the hot glue gun.

Glue the seam of the two ribbons to the underneath of the browband at one end. Bring the first colour ribbon over the top of the browband at an angle, then take the other colour ribbon underneath the browband, angled so that it crosses over the top ribbon.

Continue to cross the ribbons around the browband, keeping an even tension on both ribbons. When you reach the other end, glue the ribbons to the inside of the browband and trim off any excess ribbon.


Choose between tooling leather and Latigo. Tooling leather can be dyed and stamped, Latigo is already treated and coloured. Ribbon browbands are not suitable for turnout classes, where your horse should be wearing a plain leather halter or bridle.


You can buy browband strips ready-cut, but this is a far more expensive option.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather
  • Tape measure
  • Strap cutter
  • Hammer
  • Rivet setter
  • Rivets
  • Leather cutting scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
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Based in England, Tami Mason writes for and various other websites. Mason has worked as a proofreader and copy editor since 2007 and is a trained interior designer who also specializes in art history, art and crafts.