HI Spy: Tell Us a Bunch about Your Bits

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    What type of bit do you use the most?Are you a bit hoarder? Is there a pile of intertwined stainless steel, copper and sweet iron metal at the bottom of your tack trunk? Or do you stick to your tried and true favorite bit, passing it on from one horse to another? As you’ve probably discovered, there’s an endless variety of bits, and there are numerous types of bit buyers.

    Some riders like to experiment. If there’s a new, innovative bit on the market, they have to buy one and see for themselves. Of course, that can lead to some misguided purchases, where a horse tells the rider in no uncertain terms that they are not happy with the newfangled device. On the other hand, a simple change in equipment can lead to a real breakthrough in a horse’s training. Without boldly going where no one else in the barn had gone before, and experimenting with the new bit, the rider might have never found success with their horse.

    Then there are traditionalists who rarely waver from their philosophy that every worthwhile bit has already been created. There are English riders who believe that a properly trained horse should perform in just a snaffle, and western riders who expect to school every horse in a low port curb. At the opposite extreme are the riders who espouse a different belief: They embrace the bitless bridle, believing it’s the most natural and humane way to communicate with their horse.

    So where do you stand when it comes to bits? Do you have an entire collection and believe that for every horse there’s a bit?  Or do you have a particular go-to bit that works on every horse you ride?  We’d like to know. Give a testimonial for your favorite bit or reveal your bit fetish by sharing a list of every bit you own. Contribute your story by clicking on Submit a Comment below. We’ll select some of the answers for an upcoming issue of Horse Illustrated.

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    100 COMMENTS

    1. I use a eggbutt snaffle. But if I go out on the trails, I use either a curb bit or a 3-ring gag bit (Wonder bit). I also use the gag bit at horse shows if I am running barrels.

    2. That is a tough question…it varies horse to horse and who rode them last. I will ride some in a bosal, my own gets ridden in a straight bit, english or western I am a firm believer in a full cheek snaffle, but I will ride in any old snaffle or a bit thats all rollers, my favorite I can’t quite afford but borrow when I can is a myler, my horse and every horse I met loves them.

    3. For bits, I have only ever ridden in a light snaffle and a tom thumb bit. Call me lazy, but I find that just riding in a halter works great for me.

    4. We have lots of bits, but only 2 horses. For Maybel, i experiment a little with the bit i use but for the most part i use a curb bit. We also have plenty of snaffles that we have used on other horses.

    5. On my sensitive 11 year old Of Track- Thoroughbred, I use a thin loose ring snaffle, that is jointed in the middle. On my 21 year old thoroughbred, i use two different bits. One for Hunter pleasure classes which is a jointed Eggbut snaffle and one for jumping is a happy mouth jointed pelham.

    6. On my ex-police horse, a Tom Thumb snaffle. On my Mustang, a bosal. On the police horse I’m rehabilitating(had a rider with the worst hands I have ever seen that turned a soft mouth into a hammer mouth) an egg butt snaffle. I don’t think a curb bit is a safe bit in some hands and, the officers I work with should NEVER have access to a curb.

    7. I ride my 5 year old Hanovarion/TB cross in a snaffle. I trained her is a full face initally to help with turning, but in less than a year we were in a snaffle. Training (pushing forward) & equitation (soft hands, proper position) go a long way to solve “bit problems”.

    8. I Love Snaffles, I only ride and train with snaffles. I Also think that for every horse there is a bit, not just one bit for all. I ride a horse who goes best with a bitless, but I train my young clyde mare with D ring snaffle, with copper rollers. She plays with the bit with her tongue, and has a nice soft mouth. I also have a horse who needs a full cheek snaffle, and that works best. I just think it depends on the horses training, and life style that makes it accept certain bits, and it is really unnecesairy for people to switch to harsh bits, just because their horse doesnt listen -training or a vet check is usually all it takes. There could be a problem with the horses training, or teeth.

    9. I favor a loose-ring French link. It is mild, fits most any horse, and I haven’t had one object to it yet. It’s also my answer to the charge that the single joint of the snaffle can pinch uncomfortably. I started with it in response to a TB that just could not wear a D-ring snaffle. It wouldn’t sit in her mouth correctly.
      For TBs off the racetrack, I will ride them in a snaffle with a flash noseband just until they learn not open their mouth and lean on the bit. I find a kimberwick is good for eventing cross country just to have it in reserve in case. However, my basic philosophy is that if you can’t keep basic control of a horse with a snaffle, then it’s not a horse I want to ride. That is not say that a different bit won’t be needed to achieve higher or more sophisticated levels i.e. double bridle, curb, etc.

    10. My favorite is a thick three piece eggbut snaffle. It lays flatter on the tongue and doesn’t jab the roof of the horse’s mouth, the thickness makes it softer and the stability of the eggbut prevents pinching. Overall I’ve found this to be my favorite bit although I do ride one of my western horses in a tom thumb or curb and I also have one english horse that does best in a kimberwick but I at least started them all in the snaffle.

    11. I tried a variety of bits on Kacey when he firsst came to me and didn’t know how to walk – tom thumb (with & without a curb), western gag, etc. When he started responding to voice & body queues, I started using a side pull hackmore and he responded beautifully. He especially liked it on the trail because he could graze when we stopped to rest without that pesky metal in his mouth.

    12. I have a collection of bits at the barn and I have been pretty steady on using a jointed pelham with a roller. I’ve tried a variety of bits on my horse and that one has always worked the best. I’ve tried snaffles and a three ring elevator, but I always seem to turn back to the pelham.

    13. My horse seems to go best on just a plain snaffle. Even though we ride Western, he hates the curb bit with a passion. It’s also a lot harder to keep him under control with any other bit. Snaffles also seem the most gentle; which I really get concerned about.

    14. I ride my strong jumper in a three-ring elevator snaffle. We tried and failed for a while with Segundas, curbs, Kimberwicks, and a whole rainbow assortment of Pellhams, but this bit was just right. Although we wanted him to keep his head down, the pelhams were all too strong. I love the elevator on him. As they say, it is “Just right!”

    15. I like to stick with the basic snaffle and think that if you have to use a wicked strong bit, then a problem is simply being overlooked and the easy way taken while leaving the poor horse frustrated and at wits end.

    16. My mare is a big fan of the happy mouth bits. Right now I have her in a Dee ring version with a happy mouth roller mouth piece. These bits are really great.

    17. For me, it’s less about the bit (or lack of one) and more about the horse. I find that as I bring a horse from groundwork through breaking, and on to more advanced work, his bit needs change. The horse who went well in a single-jointed dee ring when he was young may be happier in a french-link loose ring later on. The colt I started in a bosal will hopefully progress to a snaffle bit and then on to an appropriate curb bit once he’s learned to neck rein.
      Also, before I ever choose a bit for a horse, I carefully evaluate his mouth. Has he had his teeth evaluated by a vet or equine dentist within the past 12 months? Does he still have his wolf teeth? If his teeth haven’t been checked or he still has his wolf teeth, I take care of that before I ever even think about bitting him. Then I look at the structure of his mouth. What is his tongue like? Is it small and flat or thick and fleshy? Is his pallet low or high? A horse with a higher pallet will find a port more comfortable, and will likely do well with a sing-jointed bit. A horse with a lower pallet may be happier in a double-jointed bit or mullen-mouth (dogbone) type mouthpiece. If his tongue is small, a wider diameter bit is probably going to be more gentle and comfortable for him. If his tongue is fleshy, then he might not have enough room in his mouth and may have trouble swallowing around it. Then I use a soft measuring tape to determine the width of his mouth – a bit that is too narrow or too wide for the horse’s mouth may pinch or rub him.
      Of course, there is a lot more to choosing the “right” bit for the horse than just analyzing his physical characteristics, but examining his mouth’s conformation is a good way to start. The rider/trainer’s experience and skill level, his or her knowledge of and “feel” for the horse, the horse’s level of training, and the horse’s overall sensitivity are all important factors to consider when choosing a bit. Then there’s the trainer/rider’s understanding of bits, how they work, their severity and purpose. Many people mistake leverage (curb) bits with jointed mouthpieces as “snaffles”, and it’s a common misconception that all snaffles are mild. But neither the former nor latter is true. Any bit with a 1:1 pressure ratio (no leverage) is a snaffle, while any bit with a shank is a curb bit, which have varying degrees of leverage. And there is a huge difference in severity between a French-link snaffle and a twisted-wire snaffle. Understanding how bits are constructed and the pressures they generate when the reins are enacted is critical to choosing the right bit.
      In any case, whatever the horse’s bit needs may be, a good rule of thumb is to use the most gentle bit you can, and to try several different types of bits on a horse to see what he goes well in.

    18. Because I do hunter/jumpers if my 8 yr old TB is in a plain raised bridle, I will use a loose ring happy mouth mullen mouth, but if he has a flash on, I will put him in a JP loose ring oval mouth french link.
      I put my 4 yr old in a plain rubber D and my 15 yr old Appendix in a thick egbutt snaffle.

    19. i have a normal d-ring snaffle, a twisted snaffle, and a kimberwick with a chain.
      all for my QH mare who needs some “buffing” to her to get her kinks out lol

    20. My horse has never been ridden in a bit. I ride her in a bosal or a rope hackamore. I ride my other horses in a loose ring snaffle unless we’re in a show then its a curb bit since its required.

    21. My horse seems to do best with a plain snaffle. I like to experiment with different bits, and the snaffle seems to work best with every horse I have had except a select few. Also, the snaffle seems like the most gentle bit, which I like. I think the way a rider handles the reins affects the bit choice a lot.

    22. I’ve tried to find a bit that works for both me and my horse, meets rulebook standards, and helps me to communicate better with my boy. Currently, he uses a rubber Mikmar, and for a once easily distracted and silly horse, he’s now a champ in his new bit. And every now and then, if i can’t use the Mikmar at a certain show, i ride in a plain twisted D-ring. Finding the right “connection” through a bit is important to me in finding out what is pleasant and works for both of us.

    23. I started out with a hackamore, and found that it wasn’t as effective as I would like, because it cut off my horses breathing and I still didn’t get the results I wanted. So, I found out that my horse had been trained on a snaffle bit (even though she is ridden western) and I got a snaffle and tried it and it gives me more and better results.

    24. Just a simple snaffle. We also make sure it tastes ok, because we want our horses to enjoy the bit, sometimes we even buy stuff to dip the bit in that tastes good!

    25. I use a western curb bit with a rowel with 3″ long shanks. My horse was trained in English for dressage and jumping, so this bit works fine for her as she does western right now.

    26. I like snaffles for just about anything. The main thing is that the bit has to be the right size. And the hands have to be gentle.

    27. I trail ride in a rope hack. However, I used to ride in a curb and for an upcoming show (my first) I plan to ride in a snaffle. You shouldn’t need to have complicated devices to controle you horse. If you think you need somthing with 15 unique selling points than you really need some training on your horse.

    28. i use a slow twist for my very hot seventeen hand warmblood…but I realize fully how strong it is…one saying i love is “the bit is only as evil as the hands that hold it!”

    29. I ride my 16 hand thoroughbrede “King” in a bitless bridle when at home and show him in a rubber bit at shows.

    30. I have tried many bits like the snaffle,the tom thumb and many more, but I have always come back to one bit, and that is the curb bit.
      When it comes to bits and bitless bridles i believe you should use whatever makes your horse comfortable
      and works for you. if your horse is comfortable it’s more likely to perform well, and listen to you.

    31. I use a JP Korsteel french link d ring with a copper french link. My horse loves it! He is round and supple in it. I’ve tried bitless bridles and my horse hates them, he gets confused and upset. I can easily ride him in a halter however.

    32. In my opinion, its the persons hands that make the difference not the bit. For western I use a tom thumb snaffle with really short shanks, and for english I just use a plain D-ring snaffle.

    33. I go by the rider and the horse – that’s the most important thing. You don’t want a rider who pulls on the horse’s mouth a lot (i.e. more than likely a beginner) to be riding a horse who is wearing severe bit. When I’m riding my horse, I use a plain ‘ol snaffle because she just turned 4 and is still learning. We’ll probably bump it up this summer before show season is in full swing, but that’s what’s working for us right now.

    34. i agree, it most definitely depends on the rider, as well as the training of a horse. common sence tells us not to throw a greenie in a big fancy curb with huge shanks. i think as the horse progresses in its training, it should depict on when the bit is changed. i use a D ring with copper rollers for my western pleasure horse, Dayzi, as she is only 4. this summer i am bumping her up to a curb, because she is ready. :] remember, a little bit goes a long way!

    35. My favorite bit is the D-ring snaffle. It’s very mild, easy to keep a contact with the horse’s mouth in, and applies some pressure on the opposite side, which helps in steering. I use this bit on my one horse, and plan on using it for my future horses as well.

    36. I like Using a D-Ring with my horse, except I hate when the rains get caught on the straight side. I think that it depends on the horse, your skill level, and and disipline that determines what bit is best for you.

    37. I use a d-ring on my boy. I love the d-ring bits. there gentler and can work for many horses. I actually share the bridle with two other people.

    38. I use rubber snaffles on all my horses. I had a a rubber full cheek snaffle for my old show horse, and I had a full cheek smooth snaffle that I brought with me just in case he was getting too fresh at shows. The others just have D ring or loose mouth rubber snaffles- why create hard mouths when proper training allows me to work with them with rubber?

    39. My retired show horse, Hi Tech Image, just loved the correction bit. Now his younger replacement, MWS Zippn By Indy, loves his grazing bit. He also loves his bosal and so did H.T. when he was a junior western pleasure horse. I too own about 50 bits of sorts. But will go back to the basic d-ring snaffle for training new things.

    40. It depends on the horse and the activity. I used a full-cheek snaffle on my first horse (a children’s pony hunter), a thick egg butt snaffle on my 2nd horse ( a TB/Appy cross used primarily for trail riding), and two bits on my current QH field-hunter prospect: a loose-ring snaffle for ring work, and an Ulster Kimberwick for trail riding/fox hunting. I may switch to a jointed pelham for shows, when we get that far.

    41. My horses almost always just use a plain snaffle. I don’t use hackamores, though, because they’re based on pain (all the ones I’ve seen anyway). I think the way a rider deals with the reins has something to do with which bit a horse should have.

    42. My rule is, if it scares me when I look at it hanging on a tack shop wall, then I don’t want to put it in my horse’s mouth. But I do like a pretty bit. I have an old western curb bit I used for parades and it has a mild low port, but the shanks are engraved silver with a floral design. My horse looks dressed up when he wears it.

    43. i use a mullen mouth pelham to collect my hunter for shows, but when we are just riding for fun i use a twisted wire snaffle.

    44. We have tried a few different types of bits with my barrel horse. My mare didn’t really care for any of them, then a friend recomened a bit that wasn’t very popular. Its called a pinchless bit. It is a stright bit that has a roller in the middle. Its stainless steal that in between the roller has some copper rings around it. She seems to do alright and doesn’t fight the bit near as bad. Now I use it for every horse. It doesn’t bother any horse I have used it on so far. I don’t experment with my horses too much I don’t want to mess with things too much because I don’t want to ruin my horse.

    45. When I met Cody, he was using a roller bit, and he hated me putting it in his mouth. One day I saw this beautiful Aluminum Hackamore, very lite-wieght w/a soft leather nose. When I put it on him for the 1st time, he looked at me, with a complete look of LOVE & HAPPINESS…Cody loves his new head gear, and so do I. His teeth will be healthier & last longer… 🙂

    46. I both of my horses I use a french snaffle, they are happy with this bit, its comfortable for them, and they never jerk their heads or chew on it.

    47. Most of the horses I ride do just fine in a low-port Kimberwicke, which is what I use on my own horse. For the horses that are completely opposed, I keep a French-link eggbutt snaffle on hand. They all seem to agree with it. Experimenting with different bits can be great, but if you’ve found one that suits your horse well, I say stick with it!

    48. i am one of those people who believe each horse should have its own bit which suits it best.we have 5 riding horses on the farm, and they all have their own special riding equipment.there is a loose ring snaffle, eggbutt snaffel, double jointed snaffle, two plain pelhams and a bitless bridle.the bit is matched to the horse, according to level of training and horse/rider preference. we also frecuently borrow or house horses for other people, which are usually tried in the bitless first if the owner doesn’t specify. however our own horses are all very relaxed and well trained, so for any rides (we do trail/pleasure riding) under two hours or 20km, we ride in halters.i believe that one never really needs a stronger bit than a plain/straight pelham, and we do not allow our horses to be ridden in gags, portmouth pelhams or any kind of strong bit(specialised). western bits used are straight mouth on a very loose rein.my own horses are both ridden in western and english. for english riding i use either a pelham with connecters or a snaffel (depending on the mood in which my horse is) and for western a snaffle for the one mare and a western (straight mouth, short to medium shank) for the other, both on a very loose rein.

    49. My qh has a HARD to fit mouth. We tryed a 5″ and that was to small a 5 1/2 is to big and a 5 1/5 is also to small that it pinches. any advice? thanks

    50. I have two rescued horses. One is an ex racehorse (with no training since off the track 8year ago) and the other is a Warmblood that was a dressage school master. I ride them both in full cheek snaffles and have found they work well for each of them. I would love to have a wider selection of bits but buying bits for a rather large horse isnt always easy or inexpensive. I would love to try a hackamore or bitless bridle on my Warmblood. I tried a bosal on the Thoroughbred and it wasnt pretty. I will stick with my snaffles for now.

    51. My horse has always done best on a plain snaffle-all of them have. So that’s usually just the one I keep around. That is, unless I have a horse I’m working with that is fighting the bit a lot, then I’ll try a different one. Snaffles really do seem the gentlest, but the way a rider handles the reins can affect it a lot.

    52. i have tried many different bits but i have always been coming back to the curb bit. that is the one that my horses have all liked.
      i believe you should use whatever bit makes your horse comfortable weather it be a bit or a bitless bridle.
      and whatever is safe for both you and the horse to use.

    53. In my 36 years of riding I have used a regular old snaffle 99% of the time. My horses have always been responsive and easy to handle in them. It doesn’t seem to matter if I started them as babies or one I acquired as a teenager. I just put them in a snaffle and away we go out riding. Why change now?

    54. Snaffle bits are simple, gentle, and in my experience, cues given with a snaffle are easy for horses to understand.

    55. I have always used some type of snaffle bit. I think they are the easiest for the horse to understand. My wonderful quarter horse loves her full cheeck snaffle. :0)

    56. I think that a snaffle is just fine (I use it on my pony), but if you need to reach for a harsher bit, here’s my advice: try to go for one harshness level lower than you think you need. If you get a bit that is too harmful it will cause more pain for the horse than you.

    57. I choose the Coper Tome Thum snafle for my Trial rifing becasue it calms the horse and keeps him level headed. For my Reining i use a coper curb with a medium to low port for control adn calmness for my speed running i use a curb with sweet iron because it gives him energy

    58. For my 2 year old filly who just started saddle training, we have a snaffle bit. Our Stallion needs a stronger control so he wears a curb bit. For us, it depends on the horse. =)

    59. I personally like the idea of bit-less riding, though I have never gotten a chance to use it much. i ride with a plain old snaffle. It gives all the control I, for most of my aids come from my legs and body.

    60. For me it depends on the horse. I start riding all my horses in a french snaffel for the firse 6 months, and depending on the level of acceptance and attention(from the horse) I choose to move up to a myler bit, tome thumb, kimbrewick(english only) or a low to med port curb. Each of my horses has a different bit that they respond to.

    61. Like everyone else, it depends on the horse. My gelding responds very well to a simple snaffle bit with a curb chain, whereas my mare does well with a medium port curb bit. I think that if you have a high-strung, unresponsive horse, a higher port curb bit will fix that issue pretty quickly since it’s designed to really get in their mouth and make them listen. A softer, more attentive horse would probably do best it a very simple snaffle and light pressure. As Cindy Rucker once told me, “It’s not the bit, but how you use it.”

    62. It depends on the horse, for sure! And how horse and rider work together. A good rider, with gentle hands might be able to use anything from a kimberwick to a loose ring snaffle! You can turn a kimberwick into a gentle communtication instrument or a snaffle into a tourturous item.

    63. Bits are a serious thing. Any young horse, that is just starting for the first year, needs the softest bit possable. If you start them with cranks, pellum, gags, and so forth you can ruin your horses mouth.
      Just remember:
      Every 1 inch of a shank = 10 lbs. of pressure to the mouth.
      The thinner the mouth piece the more severe it is in a horses mouth.
      The typical single joint bit makes a ^ shape in the horses mouth and puts pressure on the roof of the horses mouth. That is why all the jointed bits that I use are eather a french link (double joint) or shaped to fit a horses mouth (example Myler Bits)

    64. I use two bits on my gelding. When we ride dressage, I use a copper alloy boucher bit. The boucher applies some pressure to the poll with the other benefits of a plain snaffle, which makes it perfect for my horse. When we jump and go galloping, I use a copper full cheek snaffle with bit keepers. It has a medium thickness mouthpiece, and the full cheek gives me the little edge I need to keep him sane (he LOVES to jump and gallop)!!

    65. I use bitless bridles on most of my horses. The first horse I had had a pelham bit and it fit him but he hated and fought against it,so I got him a running martingle and he hated it. So I decided to go bitless and he responded to my cues so I have mostly bitless horses.

    66. My new horse Lance used to use a D ring Dr. Bristol but we lost it one day when they took him camping. It was left on his trail bridle in the trailer. I had to use a full cheek double-jointed snaffle and Lance did great in it. From then on we’ve used the snaffle and it works fine. My old pony was getting too strong for her Happy Mouth, so we gave her Lance’s old D ring Dr. Bristol and that works well.

    67. I use a rubber D-ring on Laverne. She tolerated her steel jointed bit, and she chews, so that did not do well on her teeth. Now that she has the rubber, she chews like there is no tomorrow. She loves it!

    68. The first AND ONLY bit we use is a simple broken roller bit… It’s soft on the mouth but can have force behind it when needed… It’s worked well on my follow horse, my mom’s head storng loco horse, my barn sour horse, dad’s cuttin horse, my bro’s old Paso Fino, and now my 24 year old American Saddle Horse that’s about as stubborn and onory as the people make the old men in stories to be… It’s the only bit I’d EVER use on any of my horses…

    69. I use only a simple, gentile bit. A thick D-ring snaffle with copper. My horse is sixteen and is best in a snaffle, although I have never tried a bit-less bridle I would like more info on them before I try one,can they hurt the horses nose or poll? Is there a certain way to use them? Are they actually gentler on the horse than a snaffle? I think bits should always be comfortable for the horse.

    70. I use a tom thumb bit on all of my horse unless my daughter rides english then I have a egg butt snaffle for that. A lot of times we ride with just the halters and lead ropes for reins. They love riding like that. I don’t like harsh bits but they can be used if needed by a person with the right hands not someone who rides the bit and is heavy handed.

    71. I have a hollow mouth o ring snaffle for my 5 year old paint. works great since she’s soft in the mouth. My half Arab on the other hand LOVES her wonder bit. She naws on the other ones and wont stop.

    72. Since I do Third Level dressage and my horse is pretty quiet, I use a double ringed snaffle. The double ring is because I need two sets of reins, and my horse doesn’t need much more than a snaffle.

    73. I don’t use one! My horse, Comet, hates bits and we only go on trail rides and the occasional log jumps in the field. I have a hackmore bridle that fits him well, my bay can be strong at times, and since I’m a skilled rider (at least I think so) I can be trusted to use a hackamore without risking the horse.

    74. I only use a plain snaffle. I need a bit to control the horse I ride because she is headstrong. I don’t see the point in getting a bit that hurts my horses mouth for no point. Talk about cruelty. A snaffle is all I need.

    75. I use jointed copper snaffles for both my horses. They seem to prefer the copper mouthpiece as opposed to steel, and I like to use whatever my horses are most comfortable in.

    76. Most the time I don’t use a bit I usually use a rope around my horses neck or muzzle and he responds best to that but when I do use a bit its a Copper Mouth Curb but like I said I don’t usually use one

    77. Nothing ever more that a soft egg-butt Happy Mouth, even when my wild (or at least he thinks so, he’s mostly kidding himself) young Hanoverian chooses to go flighty on me over a four footer. For the higher level dressage on him I use a happy mouth Double bridle bit, because it is required, but he likes to have something mild in his mouth and be able to suck on the Apple and carrot flavors. Yes, I keep my beloved Beval bit box stuffed with Happy mouths of every shape and color for every kind of horse who’s reins are slapped in my hand. You never know! I don’t like any other kind of bits because, with every horse I ride, I find these make their mouths soft and they salivate. So I have faith.

    78. I have used a fat snaffle on many many horses with awesome results and used a good sized french link on many of the same horses with awesome results. I did have to switch my bit preference to a sweet iron snaffle bit with my horse Charlie who absolutely refused to stand for the mentioned snaffle AND french link. I am fond of whatever the horse likes best.

    79. I have a whole collection of snaffles and curbs but the horse dictates to me what one it prefers. I never use the show bit though for anything other than showing.

    80. You can never have too many bits! Although my pony goes in a simple D-ring snaffle, my large collection includes pelhams, several snaffles, elevators, kimberwicks and more. I think I also have a few western bits.

    81. I used to use a Tom Thumb on my horse, but he didn’t like it so I switched to an eggbutt snaffle, which was a good thing because I later switched to riding English. He goes very well in it!

    82. I start my horses out with a D ring, perhaps with rollers on it to keep them concentrated on it. Then I graduate them with a tom thumb because it has more of a shank, but still has that snaffle feel. Once the horse is subtle and capable to do what I ask of it, I switch into the curb. I am a big fan of the correction bit with a long shank, and perhaps with the occassional roller for the horses that get bored. For the horses that are bad tempered (which never lasts long), I put them in a cathedral until their bad habits are gone. Then I return them back to the correction bit.

    83. A good ol’ eggbut snaffle is all I need!I don’t belive in harsh bits.They can be desructive in bad hands and fantastic in good!

    84. I had a copper mouth eggbutt on him when he didn’t like the taste of copper the plain stainless steal worked out – for all his riding problems we’re ironing out his bit has been simple.

    85. My tried and true bit is the French Link snaffle. For English it’s the Eggbutt French Link and for Western is the 6 inch shank. Great for horses who need something a little stronger than a traditional broken snaffle, but not so harsh as a port.

    86. I choose the Happy Mouth snaffle with a roller ball. It’s perfect for him because it doesn’t break sharply on the roof of his mouth, it’s made of a somewhat softer plastic, and it tastes like apple!

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