I found out about the Freedom Bridle from my saddle rep, who happened to have it with with her and kindly let me try it. Originally, I was interested in this particular bridle due to it’s curved cheek pieces, as they allow for a better field of vision for the horses. This is especially important for Teddy, as he only has one eye. Sometimes he will peek or shy at things, especially in an environment that’s new to him. Adding little blinkers (or fleece covers) to the cheek pieces of the bridle is a common practice to manage spooky or distractible horses. Teddy needs as much vision as he can get and beccause blinkers block what a horse directly sees behind him/her, I believe they would make Teddy more anxious. In my opinion the Stübben Freedom Bridle doesn’t just manage, but actually addresses the problem in a simpler and more effective way.
The theory is, if a horse has an improved field of vision, it reduces spooking and overall anxiety. I’ve definitely noticed a difference with Teddy in the Freedom Bridle as he’s not shying away from things as much as he used to. He seems to accept the connection better and is overall much more comfortable, which I can contribute to the wonderful features of this bridle. Teddy has a thick mane, so where normal bridles often create pressure points, the Stübben Freedom Bridle does the opposite. Unlike other anatomical bridles, there is literally nothing touching the the top of poll. The bridle was also designed to eliminate pressure on the sensitive nerves on the horse’s face. It also has a removable flash so you can turn it into a regular caveson.
Like the other Stübben bridles, their Freedom Bridle is made of high quality leather. Stübben leather starts out a little bit stiff, but it breaks in relatively fast. While it’s not as buttery soft as PS of Sweden, the leather from Stübben seems much more durable. They tend to run on the large side, so if your horse normally takes a full size, then you will probably need to go down to a cob. Teddy is an oversize and fits into the horse size perfectly. As the little guys, Pony size is also available for as a special order request.
– Curved cheek pieces to allow for a greater field of vision
– Crown piece that truly eliminates poll pressure
– Bridle designed not to touch any of the sensitive nerves on the horse’s face
– Durable, high quality leather
– May not be suitable for horses with more refined heads
– As of now, they are not legal for dressage, but are legal for eventing dressage.
Would I recommend this bridle?
A big YES!!
Overall, I really like this bridle for all the reasons mentioned. I highly recommend it for any type of horse, especially for those that are particularly sensitive or limited in vision.