Bits!!!!

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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I seem to be having some success selling bits on my web page and Facebook ...and I am being asked if I stock some very odd sounding and looking bits (well to me - very old school don't you know ;) )

So I have been putting in some research and seems I can source pretty much everything I am being asked about, but frankly some of them look and sound absolutely horrendous from the horse's point of view anyway :(

In my vague and probably fruitless attempt to try and discourage the use of unnecessary and more extreme contraptions, so far I have stuck with pretty basic stuff that does the job in as humanely way possible without giving my customers the benefit of my gobby opinion and lecture on hands, hands, hands!

Can you all tell me if you don't mind - your most usual bits, why you use them and any new fangled ones that work for you and why? I think my age and conscience might be leading me away from potential sales and perhaps over reacting slightly to the myriad of bits that are out there these days?
 

joellie

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2011
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I am hopeless at knowing all the different bits, my boy was ridden in a pelham before i got him but I just put him in a loose ring snaffle and have kept him in it since. Too be honest I am not sure what all the different bits are for and I would be frightened of hurting my boys mouth even though i wouldn't be heavy handed.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
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I have Little Un in a Myler low port comfort snaffle with a hanging cheek, it's a very mild bit & also very light. He's a sensitive lad who doesn't have a lot of room in his mouth & doesn't need a strong bit to control him - if he gets strong it doesn't phase me & he's quickly reminded that it isn't nice for either of us! I've used other bits for him in the past but this one suits him best. The pelham with the same mouthpiece, ridden with two reins, was too heavy for him & if he started to get tired he'd head toss in it - I genuinely think he found it too much weight on his poll. My friend, who had limited use of one hand, used to hack him in a wilkie,but then she never rode in a contact & couldn't afford for him to get strong if she needed to stop. I did try him in Jim's Myler mullen mouth with full cheeks, but he didn't seem to like that at all - to solid in his action maybe though ironically it was the first bit that Jim ever truly accepted a contact in - just goes to show how much of it depends on the horse's likes & dislikes.
 

Lissie

Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2016
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3 ring gag with a straight bar Mullen mouth - I use it for hacking and jumping in the school. It's what she was in for this in her previous home so I've stuck with it. I can hack her on the snaffle ring if alone, she's in full work, not had days off and not cantering.

Cheltenham gag - I will be going back to this for hunting next season with a drop noseband instead of the grackle. Will probably use it on busy fun rides too.

American gag - I used this for hunting when she got too strong in the cheltenham. Used with a grackle this season but have swapped to a drop and gives me much better breaks so will hunting next season in the above.

No she's not snaffle mouthed, she is very forward and strong she came to me like that. By using these it means I don't have to get in her face or haul her about. I'd rather use a stronger bit on a horse like her than be a snaffle and her mouth in bits. It works for us.
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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When Gracie first arrived, I used a Sprenger KK Ultra, that I'd bought from a friend for £15. Was astounded to discover that they retail at about £115!!! :eek: Anyhoo, at 5.5" it turned out it was too small for and I had to up to a 6". I then found a Neue Schule looky-likey, in the form of an Eldonian Harmony...

Screenshot_20180317-205706.jpg
....at a fraction of NS prices, I paid about £25. Gracie goes brilliantly in it... she's been much softer than in the Sprenger, which may have pinched.

Ironically, I flogged the Sprenger to a yard mate for £30 and her horse goes much better in it, so win, win all round really.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Jess hates jointed bits, if I really want to ride in a snaffle I have a shires dog bone one with copper bits on it that's ok. I also have a mullen butterfly Pelham (always ridden with 2 reins) or an assortment of hackamores which is her preferred option,German, s-hack, bosal, all work pretty well.
 
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Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
My girl came with a snaffle and I was told under no circumstances to try anything different. She was ridden in a pelham by her previous owner. I still don't know enough about bits to consider trying new ones. I would probably ask someone more knowledgeable if I thought a change might be needed. The ginger one is in a snaffle too and so far so good. It's what he came in. Whether or not he was ridden in anything different for xc I don't know, but being as we are only pootling it doesn't matter as he seems just fine as he is. I think there are some very interesting bits out there which I am sure have a place depending on the horses job. But I think there are probably some not very nice ones:(which people often use because they either don't know where else to turn or get pressured into using by the yard "guru".
 

PePo

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
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When Gracie first arrived, I used a Sprenger KK Ultra, that I'd bought from a friend for £15. Was astounded to discover that they retail at about £115!!! :eek: Anyhoo, at 5.5" it turned out it was too small for and I had to up to a 6". I then found a Neue Schule looky-likey, in the form of an Eldonian Harmony...

View attachment 92091
....at a fraction of NS prices, I paid about £25. Gracie goes brilliantly in it... she's been much softer than in the Sprenger, which may have pinched.

Ironically, I flogged the Sprenger to a yard mate for £30 and her horse goes much better in it, so win, win all round really.
Where'd you get that from?

Pete's in a low port myler, but looking to experiment a little.
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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Raininghamshire
Hanging cheek French link when chanter was in work.

Tried loads with ginger and still struggling in fAct I ordered the NS Verbindend last night before I read this thread.

He likes a happy mouth to jump in just a loose ring with a peanut. In a metal version for flat work I can hack in my own in this but in company use a cherry roller type for breaks
 
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horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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I almost never ride in a bit.
But for a little more finesse I like a snaffle.
I mostly use a full cheek.

When I start taking western dressage lessons if this WEATHER
********EVER******
Breaks
I will probably be using a bit more often.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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I'm intrigued @Cortrasna what type of things are people asking you for?

Thinking more about this I might ask for a different 'snaffle' option if I were wanting to do dressage, I would love a full ported, non-jointed, D-ring snaffle for Jess as I think she'd be happiest in that (that's the western curb mouthpiece she's happiest in), something like the bomber happy tongue, but I'm not prepared to pay their prices to try it out or for occasional use :)
 

horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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I use a western curb on
Occasion too.

Sonny started his FIRST job as a roping horse so he was in a curb all the time.

I'm sure he was in a curb for his second job as a pony horse on a racetrack.

I have a lot of strange bits ive collected
Over rhe years but would never use.
 

GaryB

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
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I don't know what my bits are called (!!) I have a snaffle ringed on which has a link in the middle, and for fun rides and jumping I have a Dutch gag with the same mouthpiece
 
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Prjsmk

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Dec 1, 2017
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Cob has a straight bar eggbut snaffle happy mouth, tried a sweet iron with a copper peanut lozenge (loose ring) on him but he didnt like it.


some people just want to up the harshnes of the bits think thats the issue all the time, sometimes they just need a simple bit! A girl who rode my mums cob a few years back had him in some crazy bit! Then she stopped riding and after a few months we got the hint she wants coming back so i got on to ride him in this bit, any time i touched the reins slightly he shot forward, wasnt happy at all! Mentioned it to my mum anyway recently brought back in to work in basic snaffle (metal) not sure what it is called, but its pretty basic one and hes fine again
 
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Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Very interesting to read all of the bits you prefer for your own horses - obviously huge variation depending on the nature of the beast. It only took me about 3 years to find a bit that Dolly was really settled and happy with - not sure who was the slow learner me or her.:rolleyes: she goes beautifully in her Neue Schule Tranz Angled Baucher and I just hope I never have to fork out for another one for her - my God the stupid prices??
I do have some sympathy for those of you with very strong horses, obviously in some cases going easier on a bit and changing your style of riding will solve some tanking issues - but I know from my own experience, especially with tree trunk neck cobs that very often they will go really nicely in a gag of some sort but will fight you all the way in something like a snaffle. So softer/kinder bit isn't always the answer is it?
 
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