The Society of Master Saddlers takes a look at both buckles and hook stud fastenings on the bridle.
Buckles or hook stud fastenings? Which you choose may well come down to personal preference but which is actually best?
Found at the bottom of the cheek pieces with their main function being to attach the bit to the bridle and reins.
Hook Stud fastenings are traditionally seen in this country and are the fastenings of choice within the racing industry, often seen as fiddly and difficult to undo but providing a much neater overall appearance.
Buckles seem to be becoming increasingly popular especially within the dressage and eventing worlds. The buckle allows the leather to lie flat against the horse’s head meaning there is less chance of rubbing or chaffing as the buckle is on the outside.
As the buckle is actually stitched into thick leather, they are generally seen as the stronger more durable option.
Which to choose could also depend upon the horse that you intend to bridle. Horses with small heads tend to suit the hook stud fastenings more, with large hunter type horses complemented better by the buckles.
In the interest of safety whichever type of fastening you choose should be inspected regularly, cleaned and oiled to prevent the leather from drying out and becoming stiff and any bent or loose hook studs should be replaced immediately.
Buckles with any sharp edges or that have become loose or bent should also be replaced by your Master Saddler.
To find out more information on the Society of Master Saddlers visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact on 01449 711642.