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Why Selecting The Correct Bit For Your Horse Is Important

The horse bit is meant to work by exerting pressure - The horse will then yield from the source of this pressure. It is important that the bit is fitted properly for it to function correctly and to be as comfortable as possible for the horse.

The bit hangs in a space behind the front "cutting" teeth and in front of the back "grinding" teeth. This space is known as the "bar". When pressure is exerted on the reins the bit will then work to put pressure on one or more points as a signal from the rider. The point(s) of pressure and severity depends on the type of bit used.

How the horse reacts to this depends on the skill of the rider, the education and the previous learnt behavior of the horse, and the clarity of the signal. Using a bit incorrectly or using the wrong type of bit can damage sensitive parts of the horse’s mouth and can create problems. Some of the most common problems are:

Unfortunately many people believe that if their horse is not responding they need to change to a stronger, harsher bit. This is furthest from the truth as a harsh bit can do serious damage to your horse’s sensitive mouth and breakdown the line of communication between horse and rider. To force your horse into submission through the use of pain is just plain cruel and unnecessary.

The types of bits are too numerous to list, but here are some examples:

Bits come in several different mouthpieces and (for snaffles) rings. Some of these include:

Mouthpieces:

Rings:

Remember, it is meant to be collaboration between horse and rider, not a battle of wits, so choose carefully when selecting the bit for your horse.

Bit descriptions courtesy: Wikipedia