Bit N00b. Curious about what makes certain bits harsher than others - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-19-2012, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Bit N00b. Curious about what makes certain bits harsher than others

I'm very uneducated when it comes to bits. I know the basics of least harsh to very harsh, but I want to know why. Here's my understanding as of now. The least harsh bit is a french link, then a snaffle. Typically snaffle seems to be the "go to" bit due to it's simplicity.

I remember reading one one forum that a slow twist snaffle is harsher than a regular snaffle. The tighter the twist and thinner the bit--the harsher. Why is that?


What makes this


Harsher than this


It makes sense to me that adding shanks will increase pressure, due to the laws of physics. I get that having a smaller piece of metal can cause a more precise point of pressure, which could make it harsher, but if a snaffle and a slow twist snaffle are of the exact same thickness, why is the twist considered more harsh?

Just interested in learning more about a subject I know very little about. Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 12:38 AM
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The twist makes it have edges on it instead of being smooth
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 01:20 AM
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I think there is a sticky on one of the forums, about bits, isn't there? Tells all about them. Might be worth looking for that.

You have to spend some time envisioning how the bit fits in the horse's mouth, and how it moves when a pull is put ont he reins and such. Imagining that will help you see why a snaffle with a twist would hurt more. Since th bit pushes down on the hrose's bars (basically , the gums of his jaw), anything with a sharp edge will hurt more, and a thinner bit will apply the same pressure over a smaller area, thus more psi and more pain. Physics, just like you said.

Some horse really hate the single jointed snaffle because it pinches the tongue, while others hate the double jointed becaause it applies more downward pressure on the bars and top of the tongue.

But ultimately, its the hands of the rider that will make even a gently bit harsh, and a severe bit delicate.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 07:19 AM
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As the other posters have said, basically the two sorts of "harshness" are leverage and pressure area.

The twisted bit has sharper edges that would dig in more - the tighter the twist the more tiny edges there are. It is similar to how a thin bit puts more pressure on - but with the combination of the edge.

It's not as simple as "soft bit - harsh bit". To a horse with a small mouth or low palette and thick bit is going to be very uncomfortable - so for him the best bit would be a thin bit. Just like single jointed snaffle can be soft but completely unsuited to a particular horse.

French snaffles can use too much tongue pressure, often the softest bits are considered to be straight bars - or even rubber covered straight bars. Of the jointed, I would say the KK training bit is the softest.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-20-2012, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I think there is a sticky on one of the forums, about bits, isn't there? Tells all about them. Might be worth looking for that.

You have to spend some time envisioning how the bit fits in the horse's mouth, and how it moves when a pull is put ont he reins and such. Imagining that will help you see why a snaffle with a twist would hurt more. Since th bit pushes down on the hrose's bars (basically , the gums of his jaw), anything with a sharp edge will hurt more, and a thinner bit will apply the same pressure over a smaller area, thus more psi and more pain. Physics, just like you said.

Some horse really hate the single jointed snaffle because it pinches the tongue, while others hate the double jointed becaause it applies more downward pressure on the bars and top of the tongue.

But ultimately, its the hands of the rider that will make even a gently bit harsh, and a severe bit delicate.

Thank you! I'll look for that sticky.
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