Legal Bits: Two metals? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-12-2010, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Legal Bits: Two metals?

It's been a while since I brushed up on the bit regulations for dressage. Shame on me, I know, but I was consistently using a bit that I highly, highly doubted would ever become illegal, and had no reason to change it.

The horse I'm about to purchase if her vet check goes well has been being ridden in a corkscrew full cheek snaffle. This was due to the fact that she was a bit strong when she first came to the barn. Now, she doesn't need it. And besides, she's going to have to get off it because I DO know I can't be using that for dressage (nor would I want to; she doesn't like that bit at all).

I tried her in a copper roller bit today, but naturally I can't use that one either. She was far too mouthy with the rollers anyway. I'm thinking she likes the copper though, so I'd love to use something with copper inlay maybe. And I read today that these now? It's my understanding that now two-metal bits are legal so long as they're smooth?

Korsteel Sweet Iron Copper Mouth Snaffle -

I was looking at that bit. I have a hunch she'd really like it. I'd be pleased as punch if I could find one with a french link.

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-12-2010, 10:33 PM
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I don't know regulation on dressage bits, since I'm not a dressage rider, but has quite a few bits with copper inlay, etc that might work for you.

I also found this one, which sounded very interesting, but again, since I don't know dressage regulations, you'd have to check with someone else to find out if it's legal.
French Link Eggbutt Snaffle, Copper enhanced

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"

Last edited by apachiedragon; 12-12-2010 at 10:35 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 08:22 AM
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As far as I know if the whole mouthpiece is made of the same metal you are OK. I'm not positive copper inlay is legal though - would be curious to hear too. My feeling it's not, but it's just feeling. I looked up Myler copper inlay bits in Dover and neither say "legal for dressage".

Like this one has copper inlay, but it doesn't say it's legal for dressage: Dover Saddlery | Myler Low Port Dee Bit MB 04 .

This one - no copper inlay, BUT legal:

BTW THIS one is legal (one metal even though it's copper something)

This one is NOT:

Last edited by kitten_Val; 12-13-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 08:24 AM
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In the UK the whole mouthpiece must be made of a single metal. The rings and mouth piece can be different metals though!

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post #5 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 08:47 AM
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I am in Alabama and taking dressage lessons. The tack shop I go to just told me they had changed it so it can be more than one metal.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in the US though...and I keep reading about a change that allows two metals, IF the bit is smooth. That definitely blankets inlay...I don't know if it would blanket something like a french snaffle with a different metal on the link.

Tamara - Good to know I'm not crazy here!

I'm reading more and more about some change made to include two-metal bits that are "smooth to the touch". But some things are dated as early as I don't know if this was changed way back then and nobody really paid attention, or if it was changed and changed back?

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 12:28 PM
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Fairly sure they have lightened up on bit regulation quite a bit this past year. From what I can decipher from the new rules there is no rule about different metals anymore... ?? I hate how the USEF writes their rules :P The best way to know is to call a steward in your area.

"All bits (in A and B below) must be smooth and with a solid surface. Twisted, wire and roller
bits are prohibited. A bushing or coupling is permitted as the center link in a double jointed
snaffle, however, the surface of the center piece must be solid with no moveable parts.
The mouthpiece of a snaffle may be shaped in a slight curve, but ported snaffles are prohibited.
A bridoon is defined as a snaffle bit used together with a curb bit to form a double
bridle. Bits (including curb and/or bridoon bits of a double bridle) must be made of
metal or rigid plastic and may be covered with rubber (in manufactured state); flexible
rubber bits are not permitted, except as noted below, under A. The diameter of the snaffle
or bridoon mouthpiece must be minimum 10 mm diameter at rings or cheeks of the
mouthpiece (exception: for ponies, the diameter may be less than 10 mm). The diameter
of the curb mouthpiece must be minimum 12 mm at the cheeks of the mouthpiece.
Snaffles used in Young Horse classes must have a minimum diameter of 14 mm. Any bit
combining any mouthpiece pictured in Figure 1A with any cheekpiece pictured in Figure
1A is permitted. Type of bit should not vary from those pictured below except where specified,
and bits should be attached only as pictured in diagram. NOTE: FEI Level riders may
warm up only in a double bridle (with both bit and/or bridoon made of metal or rigid plastic)
or metal or rigid plastic snaffles pictured under B. In both cases, bits may be covered
with rubber (in manufactured state) and and flexible rubber bits are not permitted. A cavesson,
dropped, crossed or flash noseband is allowed when a snaffle bridle is used in warmup
or competition, except as prohibited for some tests."

Good luck!

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post #8 of 12 Old 12-13-2010, 01:05 PM
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As far as I know inlays are now allowed. My new boss/trainer rides one of her horses in a steel snaffle with small copper inlays on the back and she has competed with it and had no issues. Of course, Anebel gave you the most surefire way to know -- talk to a steward! Always bring a second bit if you're not sure, because if it turns out you can't have one with inlays then you'll need an alternative that your horse works well in.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-14-2010, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - I will definitely take up your suggestion anabel and call the steward...

Sounds like I'd be good to go in though. If it turns out to be illegal, luckily for me I have another bit I think this mare will like. Always good to have a backup.

Besides, for all I know, she could totally hate this bit! Mares...

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-14-2010, 01:01 AM
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That was a good post, Anabel. You are extremely knowledgeable.
One of the first bits posted on this thread was one that I have used a lot; The French Link Albacon. I love my KK Ultra more, but it's twice the price. The Albacon are German Silver (no actualy silver in it) and horses seem to like them. Also, the Albacons come in various thickness and I appreciate the thinner bit. The Mikmar eggbut is also a nice bit, but thicker and more expensive.

If you want a sweet iron french link, look on some sites that have a more Western riding focus. They do a lot of sweet iron bits.

Eggbutts are ok for dressage, right? Is that a dumb question?
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