JESSICA Kurten got 2007 off to a flying start when she won the British Open Show Jumping Championship. Her unusual-looking bridle also caught the eye of one eagle-eyed reader at Olympia in 2006.

What’s different about it?

AT Olympia in 2006, Jessica was using a bridle where the throatlash sits quite low on the horse’s jaw and the noseband is attached to the throatlash.

Jessica began using this bridle as an experiment after buying it at a show in Germany. Like many riders, she is keen to alleviate poll pressure, and this bridle is cut away at the ears and was designed to take some pressure off this nerve-rich and sensitive area. The design of the combined noseband and throatlash presumably adds to the stability of the bridle.

Does she always use this bridle?

NO — Jessica is now using a different bridle with a Stubben Comfort padded headpiece, often referred to as a poll protector.

“This costs a fraction of the other one and the headpiece can also be fitted to any make of bridle,” explains Jessica.

The Stubben padded headpiece is said to disperse the pressure that can cause the horse to become resistant to the bridle. The noseband can also be threaded through the outside of the headpiece, which also removes some pressure.

Where can I get one?

THE headpiece is priced at £15.95. Contact Stubben UK Tel: 01536 744 554 www.stubbenuk.co.uk

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (3 May, ’07)