Bit advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-24-2010, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Bit advice

I just wanted a little advice on the best bit to use on my horse. Right now i'm using a bitless bridle but for some reason (after we were on trail and i maybe pulled a bit hard to stop him running into the other horses - he was way to excited and had decided by this point that listening to me was out of the question) he isn't quite liking it any more; so i thought i might go back to using a bit but haven't used one in several years.

So, my horse is pretty easy going (except when he's on trail), listens most of the time and mostly listens to my seat and legs. I'm still not sure going for the bit option is the best for us but i wanted to at least try it and see how he goes. We don't compete, probably never will because he has hip issues so can't canter too well. I was looking at some kind of snaffle bit, i need something that will be very easy going on his mouth. I noticed though when i started looking that there are a few different types of snaffle (and now i'm going to show how little i actually know); there's a jointed kind, and a one with a link in it (french link?). What are the differences? would i be better going for a dee-ring snaffle or something else? Also, eggbutt horse bit? how is this different than a dee-ring.

Could someone also please tell me how i would measure my horses mouth to get the correct size? i think the last one he had was 5" but i could be wrong.

Sorry for all the questions, i hope they make sense.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-24-2010, 09:17 PM
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A snaffle is probably the best bit for your needs.

The French link or double-jointed mouthpiece is generally considered to be milder than a single-jointed bit, as there's less "nutcracker" effect when rein pressure is applied. The mouthpiece conforms better to the shape of the horse's mouth. There is something called a Dr. Bristol bit, that looks rather like a French link but is more severe. You may end up experimenting, since some horses have definite preferences about the style of mouth and it can affect their performance. Thicker mouthpieces are milder in that pressure is distributed over a wider area, but there's a lot of bulk in the horse's mouth. Thinner mouthpieces are harsher in that the pressure is distributed over less area, but many horses find them easier to carry because they're not as bulky.

The eggbutt and the dee ring bits both accomplish about the same thing - eliminating the pinch-points at the rings of the loose ring snaffle, with a little added "sideways push", but less than a full-cheek.

The best way I can tell you to measure for a new bit is to measure the old one - from hinge to hinge, just the part that goes in his mouth - and compare to prospective new bits.

You might find JDI's Sticky in the Tack forum helpful; she's quite the bit guru, and has put together an excellent catalog of mouthpieces and cheek styles, along with their effects.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-24-2010, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I've been looking at the french link eggbut and it seems like it'll be the best fit. I came across the dr. bristol bit and had no idea it was harsher than the french link, they look so similar. thanks for pointing that out.

I can't measure the old one as i sold it stupidly, but someone in another post told me to use string and measure that way which seems easy enough.

I'll check out the post you mentioned.
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