Halter vs Bridle: Which of the 2 Should I Get for My Horse?

You just got a new horse, and someone said you need a halter or a bridle. Or, maybe you just want to change the existing halter or bridle on your horse. The problem is you do not always know which one to pick and you are not alone. Horse owners are often torn between these two and have to get advice online as a result. That is why we have compiled this article to share more information about both so that you can make an informed decision.

Our Pick

If the decision rested on our shoulders, we would pick a halter. A halter shares the same purpose as a bridle, with the same set of pros and cons. Except, halters are a safer choice to use and rarely cause injury to the horse. Therefore, when it comes down to choosing between a halter or bridle, the latter get’s our vote.

About Halter

Halters are incredibly efficient and are similar to dog collars, except they go over the horse’s head. They are used to lead, move, tie, and even ride a properly trained horse. Halters have a headpiece and a rope attached. You can choose between different halters made from different materials like nylon, leather, and rope. You also get various types like breakaway halters or grooming halters.

About Halter

The type of halter you pick mostly depends on what you want and how much you care about your horse. One great thing about most halters is that they are built to break free if your horse pulls on them too much. This way, if your horse is stuck and it pulls using a lot of pressure, the halter will break, preventing the horse from sustaining injuries.

One issue with halters is that riding a horse using one is not usually recommended. This is because both horse and rider need the proper training. The reason for this is that it may be difficult to control the direction and speed of the horse.

About Bridle

Bridles are best for directing a horse while riding it. Therefore, it is better to use it for riding. Bridles have a headstall and bit, with the reins attached to the bit. The bridle almost functions like a remote control for a horse. Just like you will use the remote control at home to adjust the volume on your TV, the bridle works similarly. You can use it to control your horse’s speed and direction. A good quality bridle will give you better control over the horse and will not hurt it when you pull. Remember that bridle bits go in the mouth of your horse, and you have to be gentle when using it.

About Bridle

Bridles are excellent choices for horse riding, but only if the rider is familiar with using them. Unnecessary pulling can cause injury to the horse. That is why when choosing a bridle, try different types before deciding on the most suitable one.

You should consider a bitless bridle only if your horse is appropriately trained and has a gentle temperament. You should also do some training before attempting to use a bitless bridle.

Similarities Between Halter And Bridles

A halter and bridle look almost the same. You will find a lot of similarities between them even when you are not paying close attention. If you look at the below similarities, you will understand why it is so easy to confuse them with each other.

  • They both go over the head of the hors. If you look at the head of a horse, you will notice the headstall. Both halter and bridle have this, and at first glance, you may think that they are the same.
  • Both a halter and a bridle have reins attached. The lead or reins are usually attached to the headstall, allowing the rider to hold onto something when riding the horse. These reins may seem like a rope, but they are attached to the headstall.
  • They share the same purpose: you can use a halter or a bridle for the same reason, even if you do not know the difference.

Differences Between Halter and Bridle

As we said earlier, a halter and bridle will efficiently serve the same purpose and may be used interchangeably. The only difference between the two is the bit. Horses have a part in their mouth where teeth do not grow, usually where the bit stays. If you put the bridle on the horse’s head, the bit goes into the horse’s mouth, which helps control direction while riding.

Halter vs Bridle


In the above comparison of halter vs bridle, it is clear that both are excellent choices. However, when comparing the two, it is safe to assume that halters are more efficient, horse-friendly, and multipurpose. Bridles are exceptional choices for horse riding because they offer more directional control. However, keep in mind that using bridles for other purposes will likely do more harm to your horse than good.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *