I feel like a moron...
I bought.a nice D ring 3-piece snaffle at greenhawk the other day and read on its tag that is it a 5 1/2 inch bit. I don't ever recall that on any of my western bits.
Is there a standard bit size? That most bits are made at?
And where does 5 1/2" fit? Is it a regular fits most horses size!?
And in this case... does size matter a whole lot?
Most bits are five inches I'd say, as a safe bet.
5 1/2 is bigger than you think....You could try it on and see how it looks. I see a lot of the bigger english horses showing in them. The warmblood schoolmaster I tried to elarn on a couple years ago wore a 5 1/2 like that.
in a loose ring snaffle you edge up a half inch, so you have an extra quarter inch on each side. in a D ring, a closer fit is better. You can always try it on , or measure it against one of your existing snaffles.
you saw pictures of Z, right? with the mongo head. ? he wears a 6 inch snaffle, loose ring.
my boy Charlie uses a 5 1/2 or 6 if that helps any (we call him Jug head for a reason) along with the DraftxQH gelding Im training right now.
5 seems to be the most common and pretty much all my bits are 5"
I have the reciept so I will go back and do an exchange-a-roonie-doonie cause miss Squiggy may be beasty, but not THAT beasty XD
my arab is in a 4.5, most other horses are a 5", my BO's large headed draft cross is a 5.5", and for reference, my cousins percherons are between a 6" and a 7".
if its a loose ring, as was mentioned, you want them a bit bigger. If your in doubt, just compare it to a bit you already have.
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! :)
It is normally, that you measure your horses mouth and then add 1/2".
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