How can I make my bridles neater in the tack room?
First of all, why bother? Seems like an extra step that takes up time!
-Figure 8 your bridle for safety. Nothing says “falling into a poop pile after tripping on reins” like having an unruly bridle in your arms.
-Do it for style. Having a row of tidy, figure 8-ed bridles in a row makes tack rooms look awesome!
-Do it for the next time you tack up. All your keepers will be doing their jobs, and all brow bands and bits will be aligned just so.
-Do it for convenience. It’s easy to move a bunch of tidy bridles from the tack room to the cross ties. Not so easy when it’s a pile of leather (it’s a bit like pulling a ton of polo wraps out of the dryer.)
So how do you do it? Some barns have their own special way to figure 8 a bridle, but for the most part it’s pretty much the same.
I like to put all loose ends into their keepers. Make sure your bit and brow band are level and parallel, as they would be on your horse.
Start by holding the reins, I like to slide my arm into them. The crown piece can hang from a hook or cleaning rack. Grab the throat latch and cross it over the front of the bridle.
Start to bring it around the back, and when you get there put it through the reins. Keep bringing the throat latch around the front again and attach it to the other end of the throat latch. I like to use the buckle as the throat latch is holding the reins in the back.
Now you can take the cavesson and use it to wrap around all of the leather and secure it by tucking the end into the keeper. The keepers should be able to do the job of keeping things organized. If you use the buckle, it may take some extra time to undo the next time you use it.
For the flash, you have a few options. Some folks like to loop it through the bit rings, or just wrap it around the reins under the cavesson a few times before tucking it into the keepers.
I like to wrap the flash on the top of the cavesson.
You have a few choices with the reins, depending on how much space you have in the tack room. If you have an upper and lower row of bridles, you may want to pull the reins from the top of the throat latch up to the crown piece and hang that way.
If you have some space, you can leave the reins as is.
For double bridles, I do pretty much the same, but instead of crossing the throat latch around the front, to the back, and front again, I like to just bring it across the back and secure with the reins looped. Too many bits and leather and cheek straps.
How do you tuck your bridles away??