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May 11, 2022
Finding the right bit for your horse can be very overwhelming! There are so many choices. Have you walked into your local Saddlery and looked at a wall of bits that look the same and have no idea where to start?
Lets break it down....
1. Finding the correct size:
If you don't have access to a bit measurer, keep this rule of thumb in mind.
An Eggbutt or Fixed Cheek Piece should fit snug against your horses cheek. A Loose Ring should have approximately 5mm space between the the corners of your horses mouth and the cheek piece to prevent their lips pinching. The loose ring should be able to move freely. With this in mind, if you choose a Loose Ring it should 10mm wider than your Fixed Cheek.
The thickness of your bit should fit the anatomical needs of your horses mouth. If your horse has a small gap between the upper and lower jaw bone, then a thinner mouth piece would suit (12mm-14mm) If your horse has a larger gap between the upper and lower jaw bone, than a thicker mouth piece would suit (14mm-16mm)
2. Finding the right mouthpiece.
Single Jointed Bit - The single jointed bit transfers the riders rein aids to the edges of the horses tongue and lower jaw bone. As the rider picks up contact, the bit forms a 'V' shape and applies pressure on the tongues edges. This is typically described as the 'nutcracker' action.
Double Jointed Bits - Double jointed bits distribute the pressure from the riders rein aids across a wider surface in the horses mouth. The center piece allows the bit to adapt to the shape of the horses mouth, making it more comfortable for the horse and more effective for the rider.
Mullen Mouth or Straight Bit - These bits apply an even pressure across the horses tongue and are ideal for horses that don't accept jointed bits well.
Ported Mouth Piece - Unlike the straight mouth piece, the ported mouth piece doesn't apply steady pressure on the horses tongue. it is ideal for horses with fleshy tongues or ones that don't like tongue pressure. You may see the horse being mouthy or chewing a lot.
3. Finding the right Cheek Piece.
Loose Ring - The Loose Ring allows the riders aid to be felt on the tongue, with applying minimal poll pressure. The moveable rings slow down the aids from the riders hands to the horses mouth.
Fixed Ring - The Fixed Cheek applies slight leverage on the poll with rein pressure. It provides a more direct aid between the riders hands and the horses mouth. The fixed cheeks keep the bit steady and calm in the horses mouth.
4. Finding the right Metal
Sweet Iron - Sweet Iron will oxidize when it comes into contact with moisture; this oxidation process encourages salivation which improves acceptance of the bit. This process changes the blue colour of the Bomber horse bit to a brownish grey.
Titanium - Titanium is a tasteless metal which naturally adapts to the temperature of the mouth, encouraging the horse to accept the bit and be more comfortable. Usually recommend for sensitive mouthed horses. Titanium gives a super light feeling in the hand and quicker response when compared to a heavier bit.
Sensogan - A combination of copper, manganese and zinc. The combination of these metals increase the salivation and mouthing activity which positively influences the horse’s comfort, concentration and willingness to perform.
Synthetic - Majority of top bit brands have a synthetic bit range which have been uniquely developed, to ensure 3 key attributes; texture, durability and comfort. Ensure your synthetic bit has a flexible stainless-steel cable core for legality for dressage and your safety.
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