Forget everything you know about bridle fit. A revolution is sweeping the equestrian industry, taking the long held paradigms of how a bridle should fit and perform and turning them on their head. The Tota Comfort Noseband™ combines anatomical expertise with elite tack design to revolutionize the fit, function, and performance of bridles across the disciplines, from dressage to show jumping.
Brainchild of The Dressage Connection’s Charles Tota, the Tota Comfort System’s unique, contouring cheek piece relieves pressure along the poll and facial nerves of the horse, and was originally devised with the help of Olympians Sue Blinks and Ashley Holzer. One of Holzer’s Grand Prix mounts displayed fussiness and discomfort in the bridle despite multiple fittings and various bit options. The gelding’s scores in the Grand Prix held steady at 70-71%, despite the horse’s athletic ability and talent which should have him scoring 75%+. With traditional bridles putting pressure on the poll and TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, the natural connection between the horse’s mouth and rider’s hands was hampered. The cheek piece, browband, crownpiece, and throat latch all converge over the TMJ joint, and all of the equine facial nerves run parallel to the cheek pieces that connect the crown and browband to the noseband. The Tota Comfort Noseband™ reduces poll pressure by eliminating the forward angle of traditional nosebands along the cheekbone, freeing the TMJ joint and facial nerves. Following trial and error tack fittings and a manipulation of the typical bridle structure, Holzer debuted her gelding with the first of its kind bridle system. Each judge awarded them a 75% or higher for a win in the class.
Photo courtesy of Chloe Hatch Photographer & horse owner Sahar Daniel Hirosh.
Inspired by the success of the new design, Tota began fitting and experimenting with the nosebands on horses around Wellington. The result was happier, more engaged athletes and a major boost in performance. While the noseband was intended to help relieve poll and facial pressure, it has become clear that the curved cheek pieces and overall design simply create a more comfortable bridle and horses that are more willing to take correct contact with the bit and go quietly into the hand. Since its debut on Holzer’s gelding, multiple professionals and amateurs, including Olympians, Pan Am Medalists, and world-renown trainers and riders, have discovered the game changing benefits of the Tota Comfort Noseband.
An examination of the nervous system and anatomy of the equine head compared with the linear design of the standard bridle in any discipline reveals the pressure and stress put on the horse’s poll and face. While being a seemingly straightforward concept, creating a system of support and design that would perform at such a high level took months of research and analysis. The results, however, are immediate. From pleasure horses to FEI competitors, the comfort and fit of this revolutionary tack design are quickly becoming the new standard as riders take the reins.
Currently the Tota Comfort Noseband is available exclusively through our Tota Comfort System retail partners. The hand-stitched, European leather pieces fit to any standard double or snaffle bridle.