War Bridle: How to Use It and Is It Safe

Lady holding his horse war bridle and getting ready for the ride

War Bridle: How to Use It and Is It Safe?

Everyone in the horse world knows what a war bridle is. It is commonly used to successfully control your horse’s movements with ease because of the direct contact that you have with the horse’s mouth. 

You might be wondering how a horseback rider can move the horse in the direction they want, right? It is due to the inclination or natural instinct of a horse to move away from any form of discomfort or pressure, which comes from pulling up the reins. So you’ll be able to control the horse in any direction that you want, no matter the speed.

Though there are many war bridles out there, one of the most common bridles is a loop of rope that encircles the horse’s lower jaw. The rope rests at the horse’s mouth, where the bit usually rests as well.


Just a bit of disclaimer; if you’re a starter who only knows how to use and ride solely with your hand, using reins as your guide to stop, turn and steer your horse, then a war bridle might not be for you. Without proper training and experience, horses and trainers may be inflicted with severe pain, suffering, and injury. 

So, learning how to use a war bridle properly is one of the skills that you should know before learning to ride a horse. Moreover, teaching your horse to ride with a war girdle should be your priority. Do some horse training first so she will respond to cues and light pressure from your legs, it is the easiest method possible before you can transition her into one. 

Is It Safe?

What does it mean? War bridle can be harmful in the wrong hands and can potentially break your horse’s jaws if misused. There are potential risks if used by untrained hands. This is why it’s significant to know how you can properly use the war bridle because it is harsher than a rope halter. However, it is effective in training your horse into submission.

War bridle is popular for western riding. Unlike any other bridles, the war bridle has no headstall, no noseband, and no throat latch. It is just a loop of rope (or cord) that sits in the horse’s mouth that acts as a bit with two ends containing rings on the reins. Just as how simple it looks, it may be too complicated to use for beginners. 

When to Use A War Bridle

Learning how to use a war bridle successfully comes from knowing how it works and why it was created. This “medieval-style bridle” features a simple rope as a bit plus a set of reins attached to it with no headstall. 

You can use it on:

Trained horses (those that are trained to respond and are highly adaptable with cues and legs)

Horses with physical issues (eyes, ears, or face) that can’t use a traditional bridle or a bitless bridle

Horses that are being treated for growths, skin issues, or hair loss

Horse training and challenging yourself (since riding with a war bridle needs extra care and balance)

Ways to Introduce your Horse to a War Bridle

Every animal behaviorist knows how crucial proper introduction of new things, situations, or surroundings is for them. It creates a bond between the animal and that “thing” (whatever it may be). This will help, especially your horse, to remain calm using a war bridle if it is her first time.

Simple and effective tips on how to properly introduce your horse to a war bridle:

Make sure that your horse is tied. You should avoid any unnecessary contact that may lead to injury or failure.

Gently place the rawhide-covered rope mouthpiece into her mouth. Once you feel that she is comfortable, you can do it multiple times to test the waters.

Let the bridle rest in her mouth comfortably

Don’t mount your horse right away

Lead your horse anywhere safe by pulling her with the bridle (casual walks will do)

Once you see that your horse is comfortable with the war bridle on her mouth, gently mount and ride leisurely with caution.

Even if you can successfully introduce the war bridle to your horse, it is appropriate to do so continuously. Consistent and repetitive training is essential if you want your horse to get familiar with the war bridle.

White horse wearing war bridle during travel


Before using a war bridle, proper knowledge and training are essential to prevent unnecessary harm to you and your dear horse. Once you’re confident about your skills, your horse’s behavior, and the methods to use to train your horse properly, you can start using it. 

Training yourself and your horse in a new environment will help both of you grow as partners. Most importantly, seek a professional horse trainer‘s advice and help if you’re unsure about what you’re doing. Having an enjoyable and smooth ride with your horse is often a rider’s dream.

Have A Horse In Coconut Creek?

Millpond Stables in Coconut Creek is your number one choice when it comes to horse care. Our horse boarding services are top notch, our all wood stables are maintained by expert staff. Take horse back riding lessons with seasoned professionals and ride your horse on scenic trails near our stables. Get engaged in the community with local horse shows and gatherings. Are your kids interested in horses? We offer an annual summer camp designed to teach kids how to ride and care for horses. Contact us today to sign up.

Krizzia Reyes is an author for Millpond Stables.

About The Author

As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.