Bits for Horses - The Many Options

When it comes to bits for horses, riders have a wide selection to choose from. Many bits are used for certain instances during the schooling process, while others are ideal for day to day riding. Other bits for horses have specific functions, such as those used for driving.

Choosing a bit for a horse can be a complex situation. When you look at your options in bits for horses, you are likely to be overwhelmed, particularly if you are new to the equine world. In addition, the bit you choose will also depend on the discipline you are competing in, your riding skill level and how your horse has been trained. You may actually need to try several bits for horses before you find the perfect fit. A loose ring snaffle bit is the simplest of all bits for horses. It has a single joint in the middle (or it may be straight and unjointed) and wide rings that attach to the ends of the mouthpiece.

The loose ring snaffle is the most common bit for training and breaking young horses in. This bit works by applying pressure to the bars of the mouth. On a jointed snaffle, there is some pressure applied to the tongue and action on the roof of the mouth. The one drawback is that the rings can catch the lips and cause pinching. In this case, you might want to try a different style of snaffle bit, such as the D-ring or eggbutt snaffle.

The Pelham bit is a popular bit used in training and general riding. These bits for horses can have a jointed or solid mouthpiece. There is a large ring for the “snaffle reins” to attach to and a set of small rings for the “curb reins” to attach to. A curb strap is used to prevent the bit from rotating and also provides an additional point of pressure.

Another popular choice in bits for horses is the Kimberwick. This bit has a jointed mouthpiece that is close to the bottom of the D rings. At the bottom of the large rings are two small rings for a curb strap to attach to. This bit is used in general riding and most often on horses that pull strongly and need additional curb action to lower the horse’s head and provide more breaking power. The Kimberwick is frequently used on ponies for this reason.

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