A bit is one of the basic elements necessary for horse riding. Until we're learning
Every horse and rider have their individual preferences that stem from various reasons - for horses they are based on the type of jaw, sensitivity, and whether they tend to chew on the thing that's currently in their mouth or not. Riders pay attention to comfortable and precise contact with the steed and how a particular horse reacts to a particular bit. Usually, the choice is tightly knitted with the equestrian discipline.
From this article you will learn the following:
A bit is an element of a bridle. It is placed inside the horse's muzzle during riding and it is used for precise contact with the horse and to maintain control. It affects the whole muzzle: tongue, jaw, the roof of the mouth, and mouth edges. To the bit rings (elements that are placed outside the horse's mouth) are attached reins and cheek straps, which help to keep the bridle in its place.
There is some free space in the horse's mouth between the front and back teeth. That's where the bit comes. Formerly, it was made of a piece of leather; currently, it most often is made of metal or synthetic materials. This piece of a bridle allows you to show the horse the direction and to maintain control.
Beginners usually wrongly recognize the bit
You should pay close attention to red flags that might show you that your horse feels uncomfortable while using a particular bit. These are nervous head movements, trying to bite the bit, putting the tongue over the bit, opening the muzzle, moving the tail, stiffening of the body. Then you should try using other types of bits because with these symptoms it will be difficult to have a good training session - it's as if a runner would try to run a dozen miles in uncomfortable shoes.
Bits can be made of different materials, they can also be of different ring shapes and different shape of elements coming inside the horse's mouth. Bits also have different sizes, which you have to fit your horse's jaw size.
Standard bit sizes are as follows: 11,5cm (ponies), 12,5cm (Hucul ponies, Polish ponies, Arabian
Choosing the bit's size is quite a simple task because it has particular dimensions. A bit more difficult is to choose the bit's type. You should take into consideration the following factors:
Answering these questions will help you realize what you are expecting from the bit. It's really worth thinking this purchase through because a bit should serve you for years. It also has enormous influence over your communication with the horse - take extra care to make it a positive influence.
This type of rings causes a bit stronger pressure on the horse's cheeks, which makes it easier to make turns. It's a good choice for inexperienced horses, but also horses that are trying to pull the bit inside their mouths - the shape of the rings makes it impossible.
Recommended for young or exceptionally strong horses, but also steeds that try to pull the ring inside the mouth or bite it. Due to the pressure on the horse's cheeks, this type of bit makes it easy to make turns, even the short and sharp, which is why it is often used in show jumping.
It's valued for its versatility and possibility of being attached to the reins in many ways. You can also tie the bit with a strap under the horse's chin, which will cause more direct pressure on the bit, or attach two pairs of reins. The rings allow the bit to act as a lever. This type of bit is usually used in cross and for horses that are "to the front."
Curb bit should be used along with a bridoon. Then the horse has two mouthpieces in the mouth, and the rider has two pair of reins, which he/she has to be able to use simultaneously. Reins attached to the bottom part of the curb bit affect the jaw. We never ride on the curb bit only, because a simple mouthpiece and a lever make a strong cannon bit, which is not meant to steer the horse, but only to give him very strong signals. A curb bit is only an additional cannon bit. It is usually used in dressage.
It looks like a combination of a curb bit with a bit. Because it puts pressure on the occiput and jaw, it allows the rider to position the horse's neck and head as the rider wishes. Sometimes you can use two pairs of reins (especially with horses that thrash their heads). The bottom pair of reins
Note! The last three bits - shank, curb bit, and pelham - should be used only by experienced riders or under the careful eye of a professional. Under no circumstances can they be used to "tame" unruly horses. Strong pressure of such cannon bit causes frustration, pain, and sometimes a jerk of the reins might even break the horse's jaw. Remember that the basics are proper seat and work from the ground. Rough cannon bits are only meant to highlight already achieved goals, they do not work as shortcuts!
Considered as a quite delicate one, especially if profiled like in the picture above (comfort version) - provides proper space for the tongue and evenly distributes pressure. Then it can be a proper bit for young horses and they are usually willing to take it. However, you should be careful not to act too strongly with one rein, as this kind of a bit, especially in its basic form, can shift in the horse's mouth.
This one is a good choice for horses that tend to put their tongues over the mouthpiece or do not accept the pressure of a regular bit. Tongue bits are bent in such a way that they leave some space in the horse's mouth due to which horses accept it and are more willing to chew on it.
It is a very popular type of bit, so it might be surprising for some to hear that wrongly fitted or used is a pretty severe bit. It puts pressure on the tongue and the bottom edge of the jaw. It is good for horses that are active in the muzzle and for young steeds, as it provides proper control. However, sometimes it might act as nutcracker - break in the middle part, which is painful for the horse and forces him to open his mouth.
This type of bit is delicate and is appropriate for more horses. It easily fits the horse's mouth and can be used with young and sensitive horses. The shorter the joint in the middle of the mouthpiece, the rougher the action of the bit.
A bit with a mobile element attached to the mouthpiece encourages the horse to chew and prevents putting the horse's tongue over it. Sometimes you can see bits with rolls that spin around the mouthpiece axis, boosting saliva production and encouraging the horse to work better on the bit.
It's an innovative type of a bit that excellently fits the horse's mouth. A slight bend provides the horse with high comfort, which in turn causes the horse to relax while riding. This type of bit might be single- or
Innovative Limo bits - comfort and high quality
In our equestrian store Equishop, you can now find innovative Limo bits. This brand stands out with its philosophy that highlights harmony and understanding the horse's needs. Mouthpieces from Limo are made of synthetic material: thermoplastic elastomer. They are hexagonal in girth. Their elements come in two levels of hardness (you can choose either one) and they can have
Limo bits are offered with a wide variety of rings, they are precisely made, and are of exceptional quality. They allow you for a precise and at the same time subtle contact with the horse, which in turn will let you achieve equestrian goals in a safe and comfortable way for both you and the horse. The Limo brand on their site writes that "if you focus more on the comfort than the result, you cannot be wrong." It's good to always have these words in mind while choosing a bit for your horse.