Owning and riding horses is a wonderful experience that requires time, patience, money, and dedication. When people very first invest in buying a horse, they soon realise that the purchase price was actually the cheapest part of the entire process. The cost of maintaining and fitting a horse for riding are tremendously expensive. Horse tack if often one of the most expensive things a horse owner will spend their precious money on.
Begin by finding a suitable template online or in the library or research and make several copies of a photo or photos of a bridle you wish to imitate. Study how the bridle looks, how many pieces there are to it and the width of the straps, as well as the hardware. Before you cut your first piece of material, you need to have a working idea of what you want to create.
Measure your horse's head. Take the measuring tape and measure from the corner of your horse's mouth to the top of his head behind his ears. Duplicate this process on the other side. Be sure and write these measurements down. Then you need to measure from under your horse's chin in a complete circle around his nose and back to the centre of his chin. Again, write the number down.
Prepare your materials. You can use nylon rope, or you can cut leather into straps; either way the basic process is the same. For leather, you will need to decide on the width of your straps. One inch is suggested. Cut the straps to your measurements adding at least 2 inches to make your bridle suitable for a larger mount, or cut the nylon, also remembering to add the additional inches. You will need to cut about 1/4 inch more to allow room the burn the ends. You must burn them or they will fray and unravel.
Cut your strap that will be going behind the horse's ears approximately 1 inch below where the left ear is, making your one piece into two pieces. This will be where your adjustment buckle is attached to allow you to make the bridle smaller or larger.
Attach your buckles to the ends of the straps. You can do this with Chicago screws and a screwdriver on the leather bridle, and they make special buckles with spikes for the nylon bridles. You will attach two bit buckles to the mouth straps and a standard buckle to the cheek piece.
Make your noseband by cutting a leather or nylon piece to the measurements you have taken. Remember to add an additional inch for adjustments purposes, just as you did in the first piece you created. You will need to make another headpiece like the ones described in the above steps, this will be attached to your nosepiece with either Chicago screws or, in the case of nylon, a hole can be punched through with a hot ten penny nail and the two pieces tied together with additional nylon straps.
Punch holes for adjustment in the straps above your buckle pieces. With leather, this will be done using a leather hole punch. With nylon it will be a hot nail punched through. You must use heat to seal the nylon to keep it from fraying.
Finally, try your bridle on your horse, and adjust it to fit comfortably. You will find it very satisfying to fit your horse with a piece of tack you have made yourself. You may add any decor or additional details, such as a browband, at this time.
Always consult with a professional the first time you make a bridle.
Always use precautions when using hot metal. You can easily burn yourself if you are not careful.