Placing the Noseband strap over the Headpiece
By placing the noseband strap over your head piece, you can reduce the pressure on the poll by 60%. If you are able to have a bridle with a mono crown (single leather strap with both the noseband and cheek piece straps on it) that can help towards reducing poll pressure and improve bridle fit.
Ensure at least one Finger space between the base of the ear and the Head piece
By allowing more space around the base of the ear, your horse has more room to move and improve bridle fit. Horses use 16 muscles to move around their ear, so aiding this with space will make them more comfortable. Often head pieces and browbands that are too small restrict the space around the ear.
Checking your cheek piece and noseband strap buckles are not on the TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is where the lower jaw or mandible connects with the upper jaw or maxilla through the temporal bone of the skull. It can be quite obvious when a horse is chewing. When you are fitting your bridle pay very close attention to the buckles of your noseband and cheekpiece traps. If your bridle is too big and the buckles are sitting on the TMJ this needs to be changed. You horse may become uncomfortable. Just think of a your belt sitting on your hip bone, not comfortable. So make sure the buckles are below the TMJ to improve bridle fit.
Ensuring your noseband and check piece strap are not overlapping at the buckles
Similar to the above, ensure the buckles and straps of your noseband and cheekpiece are not overlapping. Take a look if your cheek pieces are too long and need adjusting. Try to always have your straps sitting side by side and not overlapping.
Ensure at least one finger, but two be better, space between the check bone and the noseband
Looking to the noseband, the pony club rule of two fingers below the cheek bone still applies. Allowing the space below the cheek bone will reduce rubbing and making the bridle a more comfortable bridle fit.
Have two finger space ( get a ISES taper to check correctly) between the front nasal bone and the noseband tightness
Noseband tightness, one of the most problematic areas in our beloved sport. Ensure your horses noseband tightness is set to two fingers spacing under the noseband at the front nasal bone. The best tool to help correct fitting is a ISES noseband taper. It will ensure the noseband is not too tight. Remember tightness of 0-1 finger on a horses nose can cause tissue damage, and over time the same pressure would cause bone damage to humans.
Poor Bridle Fit
Good Bridle Fit
Horse welfare comes first
Doing all these checks to your bridle will help towards a happier horse. It will reduce pressure in areas and allow the horse more movement and freedom.