Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Bit Special - part 3.

Concluding our Bit Special ...

Fit

Even if you have chosen the perfect type of bit for your horse, if it is the wrong size, it will cause the horse discomfort and could be rather ineffective.

To measure a horse for a bit, look at your existing bit in the horse’s mouth. If you gently pull the bit to one side of the horse’s mouth (so the opposite bit ring sits flush against the horse’s face can you fit one or two fingers between the horse’s lips and the bit ring? Ideally, there should be around ½ inch of bit either side of the horse’s mouth.

If this bit is OK, then remove the bridle and measure it. This is easily done, simply lay the bit on a flat surface and measure between the two rings. Simple as that, you have the size of the bit!

Bit Size Chart

Imperial/Metric





Materials
  • Stainless steel - safe and easy to clean, stainless steel is the normal material that bits are made from.
  • Copper - is softer and can be used to cover other metal mouthpieces, It can be used to help horses mouth the bit and encourage salivation. Many horses like the taste.
  • Cupro Nickel and German Silver - these bits have a light gold colour and have a unique flavour which can help the horse to soften
  • Sweet Iron – is darker in colour and encourages the horse to salivate, This in turn produces a pleasant taste.
  • Rubber – makes a very soft and very kind bit. Because of the nature of the material, bits made from rubber should always have metal reinforcement running through the centre in case the horse chews through.
  • Synthetic – usually light but very strong. They are also quite gentle on the horse’s mouth.
  • Vulcanite – a type of rubber that is hardened by heat. Vulcanite mouthpieces are often very thick meaning that they gentle on the horse’s mouth.

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