Harnessing up-------------BITS - Page 3

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Harnessing up-------------BITS

This is a discussion on Harnessing up-------------BITS within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Expensive bit
  • Tight bit on horse

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    10-29-2012, 04:27 PM
Green Broke
Anatomy of the bit.
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    10-29-2012, 06:52 PM
Green Broke
Sometimes on a bit, I do not know if it is more prevalent on a driving bit, but sometimes the purchase part of the bit is too tight on a horse’s cheek.

I don't notice it as much or ever on my riding bits, but I usually ride in a simple snaffle and I also think the leather on a driving bridle is heavier/ thicker than a riding bridle, thus causing the problem.

If it looks as if your bit is too tight on your horses cheeks you can, not use it, sell it, or CAREFULLY bend it outwards in a vice. Not responsible if it breaks in the vice, I would never do this with an expensive bit. I do have one bit that works with one bridle but is too tight with another.

This Buxton bar bit is nice as it is built to be wider at the purchase than the shanks; the "bar" is shorter thus opening up the area between the purchases.


Same with this kimberwick bit.


This Liverpool is the narrow bit, see how it goes straight up and it can hit
the horse’s cheek. This bit needs bending in the vice. Be careful to bend the correct way to use the smooth mouth mouthpiece, because if you bend the purchase outward the bit will no longer be able to be reversed to the rough mouth, (good thing IMHO), because the purchases will be bent inward if you reverse the bit. I hope this makes sense.

    11-01-2012, 09:17 AM
I'll check that out. Thanks for the advice. It may be that she just doesn't like bits, I ride her bitless in a rope riding bridle.
I went to a driving event. Marathon and saw the carts and obstacles. The people were very nice to explain it all. They had a supplier there and I got a driving whip and a rack to hang my harness so it doesn't get all bent out of shape hanging on hooks and nails. MY goodness harness can get expensive. They had a beautiful one there but it was $1500 for a single horse harness!
    11-01-2012, 09:56 AM
Green Broke
I am so glad you got to go to an event. Did you go to the one in OK last weekend? Driving people are so nice, most want to help you be safe and to succeed in your driving endeavors. Congratulations on a new driving whip too.
Did you stay for the marathon?

I know some of that stuff is outrageously expensive, my first harness was a used, made in India one, $100. Then I bought one at an auction, $225, and then I bought one from the local Amish man, $400. In 1992 I bought a used Smucker's deluxe harness for $500, then I saved and saved, in 2008 my mom gave me a new Smucker's Super Deluxe bridle for X mas, $400, I bought the rest of the harness in 2009 in the deluxe style, new $900. Mom wanted to spurge on the bridle, because that is what most people see first and remember most, Smart!

I think Smucker's Harness is the best buy for the money. It does not mean I wouldn't get a Freedman's or a Hunt's or a Bowmann's harness if I won the lottery.

Like everything it takes time to move up in equipment. All my harnesses are sold or worn out except both of the Smucker's , the one I bought used is now my everyday harness.
    11-01-2012, 11:31 PM
Yes I went to the one in OK. I really only got to see the Marathon as the other events were on other days. Everything from tiny minis to charging Fresians went through the obstacles. I chatted with the bystanders and found out about the levels. I will definitely come to another event. I got lots of great advice to especially from the harness lady.
    11-04-2012, 09:41 AM

Yes those bits at the Kentucky Drive were gorgeous. Hope they get the mini ones made.
    11-06-2012, 12:53 PM
Thanks, Taffy! This post is timely, as I am starting to look for a bit specifically for driving our Link. Right now, I think I'm going to try a simple two slot Liverpool Mullen mouth. He drives well in a full cheek snaffle, but I would like something a little bit more appropriate to driving. Our used tack store has some fantastic Buxton bits, but they seem a little too big of a step up from the full cheek.
    11-06-2012, 04:42 PM
Green Broke
I agree with you. Your guy looks like he doesn't need a great big heavy buxton.
I think I mullen mouth liverpool would be good for your draft, maybe even get a liverpool with 2 rein slots in stead of three, either one would be fine for pleasure driving around the farm or going in local driving classes.
    11-08-2012, 10:12 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Lady 16    
Yes those bits at the Kentucky Drive were gorgeous. Hope they get the mini ones made.
They say the mini bits will be out soon.
"Sid The Wonder Mini" should like it.

We need a photo of "Sid The Wonder Mini"
    11-12-2012, 07:42 PM
I got at 4 3/4's snaffle with the tabs that hang down. It is not as beautiful as Taffy's bit but it seems to be nice and smooth and of good quality.

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