September 02, 2021
Are you confused about which bit material to buy? Feeling left behind when it comes to bit material discussion?
Let us talk it through.
There are many different materials when it comes to plastic, PVC, Leather, synthetic or rubber bits but all of them have one thing in common: They are not as solid and durable as metal and are more likely to get brittle or damaged.
Some horses may bite or chew on synthetic bits. We often see this when it comes to be mouthy or tongue senitive horses. Or sometimes the horse may be expelling another pressure from his body, onto the bit. Once chewed into, the bit should be thrown away and a replacement sort after. The softer the material, the easier it will be bitten trough. The harder the material, the higher is the risk of getting sharp edges on the mouthpiece. Dressage legal rubber bits will have a steel cable to provide security should the bit break. Yet we dont want to get to this!
In saying all that, a soft synthetic bit can work so well for horses with sharp bars, narrow mouths or perhaps novice hands. Some horses prefer the material of synthetic or may show a re activeness to metal bits.
Anybody who uses such a bit should ensure that the materials are food-safe, solvent free and do not contain plasticisers.
Metal bits have the greatest advantage of metal alloys is a high breaking strength and a long lasting durability. However there are significant functional differences between the existing metal bit materials being used in a horse’s mouth.
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chrome and nickel. It is solid, long-lasting and has a high breaking strength. It is neutral in taste and therefore does not increase the mouthing activity of a horse. Because of the low production costs, the majority of stainless steel bits are made in the Far East and – depending on the manufacturer – may provide significant differences in quality. Sprenger have a great range of stainless steel products that fulfil the highest quality standards.
Copper, Iron and Sweet Iron bit materials because of their natural oxidation process which can be used to increase the mouthing activity of a horse. Due to the oxidation the material tastes slightly sweet for the horse. Sweet Iron bits do rust once the bit metal reacts with moisture. Sweet Iron has a taste that stimulates the awareness of the bit to the horse and can have a quicker feeling. Brands such as Fager and Bombers manufacture many of their bits in Sweet Iron.
Whilst brands such as Sprenger prefers to use copper as a bit material because it does not rust. Golden coloured copper alloys except Sprenger Sensogan and Aurigan are in general alloys of copper and aluminum. Aluminum is cheap and easy to work with, which makes it a useful alloying addition to harden the copper. The problem is that it largely eliminates the natural oxidation process of the copper – the reason why copper qualifies as the preferred bit material. Therefore common copper alloys do not increase the salivation and mouthing activity of the horse.
Sensogan by Sprenger has been developed based on scientific research in order to be used in the horse’s mouth. It is nickel-free and consists of the micronutrients copper, manganese and zinc. Manganese hardens the copper without influencing the natural oxidation process. Sensogan has been toxicologically tested by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover and practically tested by professional top-level riders and the German Riding School. It is proven to increase the salivation and mouthing activity of the horse which positively influences the horse’s comfort, concentration and willingness to perform.
Fager manufacture a large range of their bits in Titanium. Titanium is a
is valued for its low density, high strength and resistance to corrosion.
All Fager Titanium bits are quality checked and made of 100% medical Titanium, ensuring you utilise and feel the full benefits of this fantastic metal.
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.
We usually recommend a Titanium bit for sensitive mouthed horses who can react to other metals e.g. red marks or sores developing, despite a soft contact from the hands.
Titanium gives a super light feeling in the hand and quicker response when compared to a heavier bit, particularly when combined with the correct mouthpiece for the individual horse.
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