Recommendations for a new bit.......

       The Horse Forum > Horse Tack > Horse Tack and Equipment

Recommendations for a new bit.......

This is a discussion on Recommendations for a new bit....... within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

Like Tree21Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-27-2013, 05:54 PM
Recommendations for a new bit.......

I purchased an 11 year old gelding a few weeks ago. I still need to by all my tack (including saddle). I have an old bridal (which I'll replace) that has a long shanked snaffle bit that he doesn't seem to like so I thought I'd get something else. He's pretty laid back and responds very well to neck reining and I've been told, he's been a trail horse for a long time. Thought I'd mention also, that I purchased this particular horse for a beginner.

So I looked online to get an idea of what kind of bit to purchase that doesn't seem so aggressive. Well....there are more bits out there than I ever imagined! I'm confused and I'm looking for suggestions. Any recommendations??

Sponsored Links
    08-27-2013, 06:01 PM
If it has shanks, it's NOT a snaffle, it's a broken-mouth curb. A snaffle has no additional leverage (so it's leverage ratio is 1:1...for every ounce of pressure exerted on the reins, the same amount is applied to the mouthpiece). Shanks add leverage. The longer the shanks, the more leverage is added. Leverage plus the nutcracker action of a broken mouthpiece equals confusion and often pain for the horse.

That being said, do you know what kind of bit his previous owners used? If not, the best bet is to always go with the mildest bit that will work. I would try him in a loose ring snaffle (single or double jointed) and see how he goes. If he likes it, great. If not, and you KNOW he's trained to neck-rein, maybe try a short-shank low port (or Mullen mouth) curb with swivel shanks.
Posted via Mobile Device
Wallaby and Corporal like this.
    08-27-2013, 06:02 PM
What was he ridden when you tried him out? That would be a good starting point.

Or just start from a nice French Link

And work up from there.
Corporal likes this.
    08-27-2013, 06:24 PM
Thank you for the replies! I don't know what his previous owners used and I don't know much about bits. I thought if it was split in the center....that meant snaffle. What is a good online place to purchase these bits??
    08-27-2013, 06:37 PM
Is there a trainer or someone working with this beginner or are they on their own?

Perhaps post a picture of the bit you are using? I am wondering if it is a Tom Thumb, since those could looked like a shanked snaffle to a beginner. And almost anything is an improvement over that.

I like the one GH posted, but if you intend to neck rein and the horse is controllable you may be able to just ride is a rope halter.
Northernstar likes this.
    08-27-2013, 06:39 PM
Originally Posted by dbr549    
Thank you for the replies! I don't know what his previous owners used and I don't know much about bits. I thought if it was split in the center....that meant snaffle. What is a good online place to purchase these bits??
No worries, it's a common misconception. is a good place to start.
Posted via Mobile Device
    08-27-2013, 08:49 PM
Here's a pic of this "old" bit he does not seem to care for. I'm sure the rust on it isn't tasty either! I thought this was a snaffle. Can you identify it?

Yes, the beginner will be going for lessons.

I read something about cast iron bits tasting sweet to them. Also read about a roller or ball in the middle of the bit for them to roll in there mouth. I really don't know the advantages of those bits or if I should consider them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_6096 (Medium).jpg (62.9 KB, 85 views)
    08-27-2013, 08:57 PM
Eep!! I wouldn't like that bit, either! Holy leverage, Batman! I believe that is indeed a version of the Tom Thumb we were speaking (that is just a ridiculously poorly-designed bit all-around).

A good way to test the "severity" of a bit is to place the bit between your forearm and bicep at you elbow and either manipulate the reins yourself or have someone do it for you so it takes the same action on your arm that it would on a horse's mouth. The way it feels on your arm is the way it feels in your horse's mouth.

A lot of horses like sweet iron. Some like copper rollers, others don't.

Just remember: jointed mouthpiece plus shanks of any length is bad all bad, especially in the hands of a beginner.
Posted via Mobile Device
    08-27-2013, 09:03 PM
Yeah.....he kind of thought the same thing. Well I certainly don't want to use it again.
    08-27-2013, 09:13 PM
OP-I find it really helpful to be able to try bits....unless you have someone you can borrow from, that is difficult. With a beginner-I would stick with something like the bit GH recommended. You can always move up if there is an issue. But beginners tend to pull a bit more than an experienced rider, and you do not want them making the horse sour. That was why I suggested the halter. That is what I use on my guy for my grandson or kids that ride.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bit recommendations for trail riding LostInTheWoods02114 Horse Training 14 04-11-2013 09:06 AM
OTTB Bit Recommendations Megfab Horse Training 5 07-05-2012 01:03 PM
Bit Recommendations smilin1590 Eventing 9 06-10-2012 01:21 PM
Mild curb bit recommendations RunJumpRide Horse Tack and Equipment 7 04-12-2012 07:10 PM
Bit Recommendations??? Please help! mycocopony8 Horse Tack and Equipment 4 03-07-2012 08:40 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0