Seats of Empire title

Introduction

Ancient Saddles

Medieval Saddles

Medieval / Renaissance saddles

Pack Saddles

Peytrals and Cruppers

Bridles

Complete panoplies

Clothing and Armour

Accessories, Diverse

Footwear

Examples of Riding

Markets and Events

Contact and Ordering

Bridles

Earlier (pre-1600 CE) depictions of bridles show little or no detail of how such equipment was attached or adjusted, and the scanty archaeological evidence tends to support that idea that it was not just because the artists did not judge such detail to be relevant. The reason is quite straight forward. In pre-modern times such tack was not mass produced and bought off the peg to applied to a random horse, or swapped between mounts as today. They were generally bespoke pieces made to be a reasonable fit to a particular animal, and so did not need the degree of adjustability expected today. Another aspect is the fact that in earlier times, the bit was normally fixed to bridle. A challenge has been to create bridles which look like those earlier styes, but nevertheless allow for some degree of adjustment as expected nowadays, and to allow owners to attach their preferred bidle themselves.

From 1600 onwards, while bespoke items continued to exist, bridle forms rapidly attained familiar modern styles.

medieval bridle.

A bridle of the the thirteenth century based upon the Pierpoint Morgan Old Testament Miniatures manuscript (“Maciejowski Bible”).

a thirteenth-century bridle.

Detail of the Maciejowski Bible image showing the basis for the left/preceding bridle.


medieval bridle.

A bridle of the the thirteenth century based upon the Pierpoint Morgan Old Testament Miniatures manuscript (“Maciejowski Bible”).

a thirteenth-century bridle.

Detail of the Maciejowski Bible image showing the basis for the left/preceding bridle.


thirteenth-century reins

The reins shown in the Maciejowski Bible commonly show a ring at the centre whose purpose is debatable.

thirteenth-century reins.

Detail of the image in the Maciejowski Bible.


medieval bridle.

A custom medieval-style bridle.

seventeenth-century bridle.

A bridle of the late seventeenth or eighteenth century style.


Roman bridle.

A Roman bridle.

Roman bridle.

Detail of the Roman bridle.