bit thickness? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 08-28-2010, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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bit thickness?

I've always wanted to know about this. My horse has three bridles with varying bit thickness. I've got a really thick one, a super thin one and a sort of in between one.

Can you explain the differences in bit sizes for me?

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-28-2010, 11:21 PM
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The thicker the mouthpiece, the more mild. Thinner bits have more of a bite to them.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-28-2010, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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OMG! Thank you for that! Now I know I may switch bits and see how my horse goes with a thicker one. : )

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-28-2010, 11:33 PM
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You're very welcome! :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-29-2010, 09:39 PM
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Sometimes a bit that is too thick can bother the horse as well, if the mouthpiece is taking up too much space in the mouth. If I were you, I'd try all three and see which bit your horse goes best in. As Sunny said though, thinner bits have more bite, as they distribute pressure over a smaller area on the tongue/bars.
What types of bits are you using? It's about more than the mouthpiece. Could you post pictures?
Why are you considering changing bits in the first place anyways?

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post #6 of 11 Old 08-29-2010, 10:16 PM
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I much prefer thinner bits - horses mouths weren't made to accommodate a metal bar so I believe a thinner bit is more comfortable sitting passively in the mouth. I can't stand those huge hollow bits that don't even allow for closing of the mouth or proper swallowing.

Thinner bits can have more bite but they are also more refined. I ride all my horses, even my young breaker, in thinner bits. As long ad you are concious of your hands it isn't an issue.

So it isn't as simple as thin bits are harsh and thick are mild - I always bit so that my horse is as comfy as I can make it when the bit is sitting passively - I want them to be able to carry it comfortably because that is the reward when pressure is lifted.

I should also add that I don't agree with wire bits.

My ideal thickness if it suits the horses mouth is the thickness of a Myler mouthpiece.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-29-2010, 10:26 PM
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My curb bit that I use has a 3/8 inch mouth thickness. It is just thin enough to provide a little bite if I need it but just thick enough that it only bites when I want it to. My snaffles are a bit thicker but not too much. I agree that a thick bit that interferes with how their mouth functions can be just as aggravating to the horse as a thin one that might be a bit abrupt with harsher hands.

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-30-2010, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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It's not more of I want to switch bits, I was just curious to see the differences in them. And as Aspin said, I just want to see what bit my horse works better with.

I currently ride him in the 'inbetween' bit but perhaps I will try him with the thicker and then after a while back to the thinner. Just to see which he works best with.

I've been riding for about 8 years but was never taught much about different tack. In a way I'm trying to broaden my knowledge as I currently don't have a trainer.

Thanks for the help guys! : )

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-30-2010, 09:59 AM
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thicker bits may seem mild. But if you think about it there isnt much space in a horses mouth. And putting something large in there wont have room to move, so every movment of your hands will be felt in the bars of the jaw. A thinner bit on the other hand has more room to move.

But any bit is harsh in the wrong hands.

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post #10 of 11 Old 09-01-2010, 06:40 AM
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I hate thick bits. Different breeds of horses simply don't have the room for all that metal. My warmblood has a big fat tongue, big fleshy lips, and a low hanging palate. He will never quietly and softly chew a bit that is too thick.
As is already written, you have to have a gentle, following hand no matter the bit thickness. Gentle bits don't come from thickness, but from the hand to mouth connection.

Do you have an equine dental specialist that you can consult with?
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