Rusty Bits, opinion? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Rusty Bits, opinion?

I finally got cuious enough to see if you could use a rusty bit, because it was late at night and I was bored. I googled it and many of the answers were: yes. You can use a rusted bit.

They suggest that you take steel wool to it to smooth out any sharp edged and to get the flakes off of it, and to polish it down to the actual metal. They also insist that horses enjoy the sweeter taste of rust and it is similar to copper in the horse's mouth.

Do any of you know if this is true? Have you used rusted bits before? I have used bits that have had some rust on the D-ring, but never on the bit itself. Let me know your thoughts and opinions on it!
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post #2 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 12:41 PM
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I have no used one. But I had a friend who swore by them. Said it worked perfect for her Arab and that he preferred them. Up until then, I had never head of someone doing that (Pony Club background). Personally, I wouldn't but I don't think it would hurt them if it was smooth.
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post #3 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:00 PM
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I have heard it's okay to use them as well. There are bits, like sweet iron, that are made to rust over time. I think making sure there are no flakes, and no sharp edges are important.

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post #4 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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I think I might try it with a rusted snaffle in my garage. I've long since switched my horse from a tomthumb (was the bit she "came" with) and to a regular snaffle. Now I'm curious as to what she would think of the rusted one.

Hmmm!
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post #5 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:25 PM
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She'd probably salivate all over the place. That's the point of copper and sweet iron bits, more or less, to make them salivate. Personally, I don't like my horses drooling all over themselves (or me for that matter) and frothing at the lips, but for some reason it is desirable in some show rings.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #6 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:25 PM
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There are products to try to de-rust things, is it lime? I think you can try to soak it before you scrub. I found some instructions online somewhere once on how to take most of the rust off. I'd just make sure you clean it very well after.

I've used copper and sweet iron, it doesn't make my horse salivate all over himself. Nor does he get foamy at the mouth.

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post #7 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:30 PM
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You can go to an auto parts store and find this rust off stuff in the paint and body section that will remove rust without damaging the metal. It is called Evapo-Rust. The stuff really works. You pour the liquid in a bucket, drop the rusty parts in and let them sit for half and hour to a hour, pull them out, and wala! No more rust. We used it on some rusty bolts and various metal parts when putting my husbands Nova's front end back together. It really does work. But be sure to wash the bits before giving them back to the horses too.


Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:33 PM
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I may have to try that.. then run the bit through the dishwasher on high heat to sanitize!
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post #9 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:35 PM
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The stuff is reusable too. You don't have to toss it when you're done derusting bits. Also, I don't suggest using anything that has been painted in this stuff. It will remove the paint. And, depending, it might dye your metal too. We stuck some blue painted bolts in, and all of our silver bolts became blue-y tinted. Was cool, but not exactly asked for lol.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #10 of 23 Old 07-25-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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I was going to say...I don't think I'd use that because it would have to go into my horse's mouth and I don't like the chemical idea, but the dishwasher idea makes me feel better about it.

I did take steel wool to it and it began to shine again, so I'm happy with that reaction. Honestly, I've never used a sweet iron in my horse's mouth before, so I'm interested in seeing how she would take to it.

I'm going to look like some hobo at the barn with a rusted bit! Haha, but its worth the curiosity as long as it doesn't hurt her. Thanks for all the tips! I'll try and get pics and definitely an update when I do use it. Pics are a bit hard for me to get since I tend to be the only one at the barn when I'm there. But we'll see!
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