Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
• Horses: 0
Your title is completely wrong, because bits ARE confusing.
For example, we'd normally measure a horses mouth straight across the tongue - I usually use a piece of binder cord with a big knot at one end to stop it pulling through ;) BUT bits are generally straight or curved (mullen), and the latter will be longer, for the same horse, measured along the bit. If you lay it down, however, and measure straight from ring to ring (taking out the curve) then obviously it'll measure the same. In theory.
There's no easy guide to bit sizes which relate to size of horse, except in very general terms. We had a 11.2hh Welsh pony who took a 4 1/2" jointed snaffle but a 4" Liverpool (straight bar) when we drove her. But I once supplied that size for a 16hh TB with a fine head.
The 14hh pony which followed took a 5" jointed snaffle and 5" Kimblewick (Kimberwick) straight bar, the same size as my old 15.2hh middleweight 3/4TB, though when I bought him a stainless eggbutt to replace his nickel bit he needed 5 1/4" because of the shape of the eggbutt rings. Or his mouth had got fatter over the years, I'm not sure which.
Now we have a 16.2hh Warmblood and a 16.1hh IDxWarmblood they both take 5 1/2" or 5 3/4" depending on the mouthpiece shape.
I hope that hasn't confused you even more, because it sure confuses me! :)