Items

Forums
 
Common Bits You Should Know
 By Winniefield Park   •   12th Mar 2017   •   3,864 views   •   0 comments
Walk into a large tack shop and you’ll probably walk past a large wall full of shining bits. The bit is one of the most common symbols of the horse world. Most horses are ridden with a bit in their mouth, although more people seem to be exploring bitless riding. But even though there looks to be hundreds of bits available, there are really only three main types, and one of these is a combination of the other two. Here’s a look at just a few of the most common bits you’ll see so when you’re choosing a bit, or even just deciding what bit to draw on your equine artwork, you’ll know where to start.

Snaffle
Probably the most common bit, used by riders of every discipline, is the snaffle bit. In it’s primitive and simplest form, a snaffle bit is a bar of metal with a ring attached to either end. You’ll see some very ancient examples in museums exhibits and books. Today, we use snaffles that are a bit more comfortable for the horse with different types of mouthpieces and bars.

Loose Ring Snaffle
Loose Ring Snaffle

A snaffle works inside of the horse’s mouth. When the rider pulls a rein, it pulls back the ring, and that pulls the mouthpiece back against the toothless bar of the horse’s mouth. This cues the horse to turn its head to that side. When both reins are pulled, the bit (should) be pulled back evenly, applying pressure to both bars. If the snaffle has a joint in the mouthpiece, this can have a slight nutcracker effect and may put some pressure on the roof of the horse’s mouth.

The most common snaffle bit is the loose ring snaffle. This usually has a jointed mouthpiece and the rein rings turn freely because they are attached to the small loop of metal at each end of the mouthpiece.

Eggbutt Snaffle
Eggbutt Snaffle

Another very common snaffle bit is the eggbutt snaffle. On this bit, the rein rings are attached with a wide hinge joint, rather than just a ring. The mouthpiece can be quite thick and taper in towards toe joint in the middle of the mouthpiece. This is a very mild bit, and won’t pinch the horse’s lips like a loose ring would. It can be too thick for some horses, however.

Half Spoon Snaffle
Half Spoon Snaffle

The full-cheek and half spoon snaffle have posts that extend from the rein rings to prevent the bit from sliding through the horse's mouth. The full cheek has posts that point up and down, while the half spoon, more often used for driving, has only the bottom post.

Curb
A curb bit affects more than just inside the horse’s mouth when the rein aids are used. When the reins are pulled back, the mouthpiece turns in the horse’s mouth. This pulls the headstall down across the top of the horse’s head. And, it pulls the curb strap up against the horse’s chin. The curb strap or chain is important because it prevents the bit from rotating too much. Curb bits can have short or long shanks. The longer the shanks, the more leverage can be applied. Curb bits can have straight or jointed mouthpieces and straight or curved shanks. All affect how severe the bit is.

Western Grazing Bit
Western Grazing Bit

The western grazing bit probably the most common western curb bit, and the bit on an English double bridle the common English curb bit. The Tom Thumb, although often called a snaffle, is really a curb bit. The kimblewick is a common English curb bit, even though it looks more like a snaffle.

You’ll see the bit and bridoon combination on dressage horses and horses shown in park classes. But curb bits aren’t usually used alone in English riding. Curbs are very commonly used in western riding.

Pelham
A bit that tries to be both curb and snaffle is the pelham. There are western and English pelhams. These bits have a rein ring on the mouthpiece, and another on the end of the shanks. Most often they are used with two sets of reins, so the rider can cue with either the snaffle or curb action. You might see these on gaited horses, or hunters.

Pelham Bit
Pelham Bit

All bits, with exceptions of gag bits and hackamores, are combinations of, or types of curbs and snaffles. And, it’s rarely the bit that makes a horse, but how the bit is used.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  bits,
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Tack      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
Common Bits You Should Know
12th Mar 2017   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
Horse bits can be defined into three main types, and one of these is a combination of the other two. Here’s a look at just a few of the most common bits you’ll see so when you’re choosing a bit, or even just deciding what bit to d ...
Difference Between Curb Bit and Snaffle Bit
30th Jul 2017   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
Do you know what type of bit this is? Is it a curb or a snaffle? How can you tell? What is the difference between a curb and a snaffle bit? Whether to call a bit is a curb or snaffle can be hard to determine, because in some circl ...
Snaffle Ring Types
15th Oct 2017   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
Why are there so many types of rings on a snaffle? The rings on snaffle bits are the most obvious part because when a horse wears a snaffle, the ring isn't hidden inside the horse’s mouth. Now you might recall, that a snaffle bit ...
Horse Foam Bit Review
2nd Aug 2020   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
What’s the newest in horse bits. According to Youtuber RaleighLink14, you might want to check out the foam bit. The idea is that the thickly sponge covered bit is much softer on a horse’s mouth than any other material. But, says t ...
Is Riding Bitless Less Humane Than Riding With Bits
19th Jan 2021   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
Much is made about riding about a bit, and many people that feel that going bitless is more humane. Australian trainer Warwick Schiller discusses why that may not be true, and that some ‘bitless’ bridles may be even more severe th ...
🎠 What is the difference between a snaffle bit and curb bit
22nd Mar 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
What’s the difference between a snaffle bit or a curb bit. An OSU Extension equine specialist compares snaffles to curbs and clears up some common misconceptions about the difference between these two distinct types of bits. Hint: ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
💉 Wild Horses Dying at High Rate from Unknown Disease
27th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
Wild horses at the Cañon City Wild Horse and Burro Facility are dying at a worrisome rate. Two herds were captured in Northern Colorado last fall and in recent weeks dozens of horses have died after an outbreak of an unknown disea ...
🐎 Aggressive Horse Fine Under Saddle but Miserable on Ground Work
24th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
It’s not unusual for a horse to be a joy under saddle but miserable to work with on the ground. This pony is 21 years old, and while he’s a perfect child’s pony while ridden, he’s a menace to adults and children when handling him ...
👹 CreatureComforts Pushes Rare Breeds to Top of PonyBox
22nd May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
An effort by one breeder has highlighted the talents of a rare breed, placing several within the top 100 rankings. Leading the pack was 16-year-old Hungarian Warmblood mare CC Charlies Scam as she sat at the #1 ranked spot. With h ...
🔖 Equestrian 101 - Learning to Ride
19th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
If you think you’d like to learn to horseback ride, or are just getting started here are some great tips from a reporter whose family members are horse enthusiasts. Whether coach or rider, the agreement seems to be, the lessons l ...
🐎 Corolla Wild Horses Off To Rough Start in 2022
17th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
The foals being monitored by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund have had a rough start this spring. The first foal, a colt named Charlie unexpectedly died before he was a month old. He had appeared perfectly healthy. But the group had a ...
🌹 Rose To Prominence falls to Jack Flash in Fight for PonyBox Elite
15th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
PonyBox leader *Rose To Prominence was both #1 ranked horse and held the record for the highest jump until being usurped by 3Pxy *Jack Flash* who also held the top win streak with 2,078. ...
🏇🏼 Rich Strike Against All Odds Win of Kentucky Derby
14th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
ICYMI, the Kentucky Derby was held May 7th and the winner was a horse that ran because another horse was scratched and then started the race with 1-80 odds. Drone video shows how Rich Strike ran an impossible race to steal a win f ...
☁️ Dream Alliance by Ebony Friesians Record Jump at 105
8th May 2022   |   Horse Tack   |   Winniefield Park
* Dream Alliance * may have slipped from the top spot, usurped by challenger ?YouAreMySunshine but she still holds the record for the highest jump at 105 inches. The 15.3 hand Friesian mare foaled on March 6, 2022, and is bred and ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2022   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
143 Members Online 271,298 Registered Members 3,053 News Articles 13,457,690 Unique News Article Views 323,766,086 Website Views