Tuesday, 16 November 2010


There are many factors that should be considered when choosing which bit is appropriate for your horse, for advice on which is most suitable for your needs, someone with lots of experience who knows you and your horse should be consulted.

Bits work on many different areas of the horse’s head: the tongue, bars, corners of mouth and lips, roof of mouth, side of fact, chin groove, poll and nose.

There are essentially five difference types of bit. All work on different areas of the horse and therefore have a different result. Within the different types, bits have varying severity, for example, in the snaffle family, a Dr Bristol is far more severe than a French Link, even though they are both snaffles. To help explain how this works, we have had a look at the different families of bit to help you decide which one is right for you.


As well as choosing the type of bit, consideration needs to be given to the appropriate material:
  • 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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