Do you ever find yourself lost in a sea of bit options? This blog is dedicated to helping you sort out the basic bit types. In our upcoming blogs, we will explore different bit mouthpieces and the different materials used in bits. There are a lot of options and a ton of information about bits, so we hope you will find these bite sized blogs helpful in sorting things out.
BASIC BIT TYPES
- Full Cheek Snaffle
For the traditional Hunter look, the Full Cheek Snaffle is available in a variety of mouth pieces. Each mouthpiece determines the function of the bit. The full cheeks prevent the cheeks from pulling through the Horse’s mouth. And, when fitted with bit loops that attach to the bridle, the bit becomes more stable for increased lateral control. The Korsteel Twisted Copper Mouth Dr Bristol Full Cheek Bit is one of our best sellers.
Commonly seen today in the English events of breed association horse shows, the Kimberwick uses a curb chain for increased leverage. The Uxeter Kimberwick has two rein slots, each changing the desired result. The upper slot is used to increase the pressure on the tongue, while the lower slot is used to increase leverage and curb chain pressure. Checkout our best rated Kimberwick, the Coronet Uxeter Kimberwick Bit.
The Pelham bit, with its double set of reins, combines the function of a snaffle and the action of a curb bit. The top rein provides snaffle pressure to the tongue and corners of the mouth, while the bottom rein increases leverage and curb chain pressure. The Neue Schule Warmblood Show Pelham is one of many Pelham bits on sale now.
4. Eggbutt Snaffle
A very mild bit, the Eggbutt Snaffle is designed wide enough to be gentle on the bars and will not pinch the horse’s mouth. The Tabelo eggbutt snaffle bit is a brand new option available for Western riders.
5. Ring Snaffle
A functional bit for all types of training, the loose rings of a Ring Snaffle help increase the bit movement, promote salivation and keep the mouth soft and the body supple. Western and English riders across many disciplines find loose ring bits a must have in their bit trunks. Myler bits offers many mouthpiece options on their loose ring bits including the Myler Level 1 Wide Barrel Loose Ring Comfort Snaffle Bit.
6. Dee Ring Snaffle
One of the most basic forms of bitting, the Dee Ring Snaffle is a relatively mild snaffle that comes in a variety of mouthpieces. Whether you are starting a horse, or just going back to the basics, this bit helps with lateral movement while achieving suppleness from jaw to tail. One popular option is the Korsteel Waterford Hunter Dee Ring Snaffle Bit.
7. Tom Thumb Snaffle
One of the most basic shanked type snaffle bits, the Tom Thumb Snaffle serves as an excellent transition bit from a Ring Snaffle to a longer shanked snaffle or to a Curb Bit. This bit uses a small amount of curb pressure or leverage. The loose cheeks move independently allowing for more lateral flexibility. The Weaver Leather Tom Thumb Snaffle Bit is one of our most popular Tom Thumb snaffle bits.
8. Double Rein Bit
The Double Rein Bit, as its name implies, can be used with four reins. For normal use, the reins are attached to the shanks. With the dee rings located at the mouthpiece, the second set of reins helps achieve more snaffle action. A Ringed Bit Converter is sometimes used on Pelham bits to allow you to use just one rein.
9. Curb Bit
The Curb Bit, one of the major bit types, is considered a leverage bit because of the action of the curb chains. When the reins are pulled and the curb chain is engaged, it applies pressure to the chin groove. The term Grazing Bit is commonly referred to as a Curb Bit with the bit shanks bent back to allow the horse to graze. Reinsman offers Western riders many options.
10. Gag Bit
The sliding action of the Gag Bit applies pressure to the lips and corners of the mouth. This action along with the give and take of the rider’s hands help elevate the horse’s front end. Some Gag Bits offer variable rein loops for greater lateral pull. The Nunn Finer Oval Link Shaped Cartwheel Bit is a useful gag bit to have in your bit box.
The Hackamore is designed to create pressure just above the soft tissue of the nose. When the curb chain is engaged, it also applies pressure to the chin groove. It is designed for getting quick stops from forward motion. Hackamores are available with a variety of nosebands from moderate to severe. They include fleece lined leather, flat leather, rubber, bicycle chain covered with rubber or plastic, laced leather, braided leather or rope. When combined with a mouthpiece, the Hackamore gains more lateral control. Western and English riders use hackamores such as the Professionals Choice Brittany Pozzi Hackamore for horses that don’t enjoy or need a bit in their mouth.