Sometimes riders change their bit frequently and others have their same bit from twenty years ago. It is difficult to know whether your bit is perfect, reading the description on bits can sometimes be like reading your horoscope. They all sound like they could suit your horse. A good option is to work through a process of elimination of how your horse is behaving because of the bit, other tack or riders/way of riding.
Research shows that our more modern design of bits are suited to the horses mouth anatomy foremost. Some bits are more anatomically shaped for comfort and the rest of the aids come in training or time in the saddle. Other bits are designed with pressure points in place, whether the horse is a dense bred and his sensitivity is not quite there like a finer more reactive built horse.
Changing the bit can benefit as long as your looking at the right category of bits. How to know?
Some of the things you may want to consider with your next bit choice are;
Does my horse have much room in his mouth; do I need to consider a thinner bit?
Is my horse reactive to contact, do I need to consider a thicker bit or synthetic bit?
Is my horse sensitive, I need to consider less movement of the joints?
Or is my horse stronger and I need to consider more movement in the mouthpiece?
Myler Bits released some very simple images (below) of horses who were uncomfortable in their bits. The response from riders stating their horse was one of the following, was an indicator that they needed to consider a change
Image 1. Horse coming behind the vertical: look towards a tongue relief style.
Bombers Happy Tongue, Neue Schule Turtle Top, Fager Sara, Trust Medium Port, Myler MB33WL
Image 2. Horse carrying head high from rein pressure.
Bombers Moulded Mullen, Fager Gustav, Neue Schule Turtle Tactio, Bombers Ultra Comfy Lock Up, Trust Inno Sense Flexi Soft, Myler MB02
Image 3. Opening mouth from bit pressure being too much.
This depends on where youre starting from and what bit youre using now. If using single joint, moving to a curve double joint will help such as Sprenger Dynamic RS, Bombers Ultra Comfy Lock Up or Myler MB04.
Image 4. Horse poking his tongue out the side of his mouth.
Your bit is applying pressure in the wrong areas of his mouth. This image does not necessarily mean that he is tongue sensitive. It may indicate that you are using a bit that is too dramatic. If your horse does this, send us a message.
Image 5. Horse pulling against the contact
Your bit may be too dull and your horse is not respecting the contact. It is important not to jump too dramatically in scale of strength. Again, all depends on what bit you are using now as to what to move to next. Styles which create more movement are; Fager Julia, Fager Bianca, Bombers McHardy, Sprenger WH Ultra, Bombers Control Plate Dressage.
6. Reefing. Pulling against the bit to release pressure of the bit.
This is usually a sign of being tongue sensitive and your bit applying too much pressure over the hand. You may want to consider moving to styles such as: curved 3-piece bit such as Sprenger Dynanic RS, Fager Sara, Fager Maria, Bombers Ported Barrel, Bombers Happy Tongue or Trust Medium Port.
Still confused? Click the button to right of the page and send us a message.