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Vidaloco 11-10-2007 08:59 AM

humane bits
I just wondered what would be considered a humane bit. I know a lot of people use a broken mouthpiece snaffle. Isn't any bit that has a nutcracker action that a broken mouthpiece has severe? I'm a little confused. Is the narrower the mouth ie wire, twisted wire etc the most severe? This is the bit I use (I ride a gaited horse). I can't see where it would hurt the mouth anyplace. It has an upper set of rein attachments for training young horses and the lower for finished horses. What do you think of this bit?

Spirithorse 11-10-2007 09:53 AM

A single jointed snaffle, like an O-ring, D-ring, etc. should ONLY be used with one rein riding, as in using one rein at a time for control. You shouldn't try to collect a horse with a single jointed bit because of the nut cracker effect, and horses won't want to reach for the bit. They also collapse on the bars, causing some horses to be very busy in the mouth, gape their mouths open, toss their heads, etc.

A double jointed bit, like a french link or the JP by Korsteel Oval mouth copper loose ring snaffle I use on my horse, or like the KK snaffles are nice bits. They are double jointed, so the nut cracker effect is eliminated and the horse will be more willing to reach for the bit. But those go off more on tounge pressure, and some horses need more tounge relief.

Bits that I think are torture devices are as follows:

twisted wire bits, slow twists, dog bone bits, scissor bits, chain bits, gag bits, kimberwicks, bits with shanks on them longer then 6 inches, a lot of gaited horse bits, cathedral bits, tom thumbs (not really torture device, but a piece of poo lol), mechanical hackamores, the Wonder Bit, etc.

Now, ANY bit can be made into a harsh bit in the wrong hands! But I believe that there are some bits (the above) that even the best rider COULD NOT make soft and gentle. Those bits were made to be harsher and to get "better brakes." Just my 2 cents.

Oh, and I don't see anything wrong with that bit Vidaloco :)

Appyt 11-11-2007 12:10 PM


I think that bit looks great.. I like the mouthpiece and it has a nice curve on the bar area and the shanks aren't too long..


I don't agree with your list. Some bits yes I do feel are more severe than others, but a kimberwick? I think this depends greatly on the mouthpiece as well as the hands. I use D ring and O ring simple jointed snaffles with decent diameter mouthpieces and I don't find any problem with them. Wonder bits are normally considered to be mild gags with specific uses.. To simply trailride I don't think they are necessary.. I do prefer to keep it as simple as possible tho.. ;)

Spirithorse 11-11-2007 09:55 PM

Just my opinions :wink: Everyone has their own outlook on things.

Appyt 11-12-2007 08:00 AM

:) of course..

Vidaloco 11-12-2007 02:08 PM

I think bits and saddle fit are the most frustrating things about horses. The horses themselves are pretty uncomplicated but the tack we use is so the opposite. Maybe I try to overthink to much :?
Every time I think I may go bitless I run into a herd of deer on the trail and Vida has a hizzy fit while my attention is elsewhere. Did that this Sat. first time I almost came off in awhile.

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