Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Anyone is welcome to take what they will from my writing and apply it to their own information stores and decide what is useful to them. I included my opinion as a way for others to gauge the bits if they don't know themselves. I have had a number of people PM me thanking me for this write-up, as it is simple and concise. A number of people have joined this board to ask me for permission to use the information elsewhere, and ended up staying and contributing to this community.
If you don't agree with my information that is absolutely fine.
Just as an aside - please keep in mind that I wrote this piece as an english rider, where contact is a must. Any constant contact (I'm talking real contact, not just no slack in the reins) with a mule bit or woodscrew bit, or really any of the "yucky" bits, in my opinion, is cruel. Put either of these in the crook of your elbow and apply a few pounds of pressure as if you were riding with contact. It probably hurts.
Better yet, apply my "bucket" idea to these bits - fill a bucket with a couple to a few pounds worth of water. Attach a rope and the bit so you have to pick the bucket up with the bit. Anything with a non-smooth mouthpiece is going to hurt - and this is just a hand, which is used to being roughed up! What about when you apply that to a horse's sensitive lips, bars, and tongue? It wouldn't be pleasant, not at all. Then consider the type of joint you have - a single joint is going to pinch your hand, whereas a mouthpiece with multiple breaks will be much nicer to handle.
I hope that clears things up!
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com