The Double Bridle
How to fit and combine the Weymouth and bradoon
The double bridle consists of two bits; a Weymouth and a bradoon. The bradoon should be equal in size and shape to the standard snaffle bit you use on your horse as it is to be fitted in the same place in the horse's mouth. The Weymouth is attached a little lower in the mouth, where the horse's jaw is narrower. Therefore the Weymouth should be 0.5 - 1cm smaller than the bradoon,
It's important that the cheeks of the Weymouth fit closely to both sides of the horse's mouth. If there is too much space between the corners of the mouth and the cheek pieces then the bit will slide across the bars, making it uncomfortable, or worse the bit may tilt. The correct size and position in the horse's mouth becomes even more important when using specially designed mouthpieces, for example the Sprenger Bemelmans Weymouth or the KK Dressage bit. When attaching the curb chain the rider should be able to move the Weymouth up to an angle of 45°.
The Weymouth works on different parts of the horse's head:
- tongue and lower jaw bone
- poll (by leverage)
- lower jaw bone (through the curb chain)
The potential effectiveness of the influence on the poll depends on the length of the upper and lower cheeks. The most common lower cheek size is 7cm. Weymouth bits with 5cm lower cheeks are often called "Baby Weymouths". This expression might imply that it's made for beginners but it is not because the rider's aids and their effect are more direct and quicker due to the short cheeks. Nevertheless, the pressure on the poll and lower jaw is less effective with shorter cheeks due to the different leverage.
When choosing a bit combination, it's important to bare in mind that the space inside the horse's mouth is limited and the palate can be flat. When using a Weymouth with a high port, pressure can be exerted into the sensitive palate. We highly recommend choosing a Weymouth that offers space for the tongue without squeezing the palate - for example, the previously mentioned Sprenger Bemelmans or KK Weymouth bits feature a port that is angled forwards in order to avoid pressure on the palate.
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