A Guide To Horse Bits Types And Styles

Bits are the essential part of accessories and horse’s equipment with extremely important function in horse’s cooperation and control during the ride. When facing the need to purchase them for the first time, you might get overwhelmed and confused, since the market offers wide range of different types and styles and not all horses accept every type of bits. Also, not all bits suit every need. Here’s a list of the most common ones you should consider before opting for the right one for you and your horse.

Snaffle Bits

This is the most common and well-known type of bits with rather simple design and manner of functioning. Snaffle bits is basically every model of bits without shanks and the construction includes mouthpiece and ring. It attaches directly to reins, which means that the pressure applied onto reins transfers directly onto bits and horse’s mouth in equal portions. The model is easy to place and maintain, price is affordable, but the jockey has to watch not to exceed in applied pressure to avoid hurting the horse. D-ring snaffle, Eggbutt snaffles and Full check bits are just some modified models of regular, simple snaffle bits.

Curb Bits

Crucial difference between snaffle bits and curb bits is the way pressure transfers. With curb bits that include shank of a different length, the pressure transfers indirectly, which means that jockey has to apply lower pressure onto reins to achieve equal pressure as with snaffle bits. The length of shank determines the rigidness and severity of the bits, directly proportional. Also, the shape of the shank determines the promptness of pressure transfer. If you purchase the bits with straighter shank, the horse will get higher level of shock when you apply the pressure onto reins. There are numerous designs and styles of curb bits available.

Double Bridles

This is slightly more complex model of bits which combines two previously described models, snaffle and curb bits. It is designed for advanced and more delicate control of the horse, but its construction may harm the horse more  easily if not used properly. Bradoon, special snaffle bit used in this model of bit, applies pressure directly onto bars and mouth, while curb bit pressures chin, tongue and palate. Jockey uses four reins for this model and develops skills to use snaffle part or curb part at the time depending on the type of direction he wants to give to the horse.