How to buy the correct horse bits

Apr 7


Innes Donaldson

Innes Donaldson

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Having your horse measured to find out the right size horse bits is crucial to their health, behavior and for successful riding. Bits for horses are v...


Having your horse measured to find out the right size horse bits is crucial to their health,How to buy the correct horse bits Articles behavior and for successful riding. Bits for horses are very important for achieving best levels of communication between the rider and the horse. They will give you signs when they are uncomfortable with a wrong sized bit and it is a sin to believe that one size fits all. However, it is better not to wait for signs of an ill-fitted bit and have your horse measured at the first possible opportunity. If you want a happier horse, better communication with them and ultimately a better riding experience - don't underestimate the importance of correct fitting bits for horses.

So how can you measure your horse to determine which will be the right size and therefore the most comfortable bit for them? When fitted correctly, the mouthpiece should extend each side of the lips to a measurement of approximately quarter of an inch. If it is too tight, the bit can end up pinching the skin when parts of the cheek move. Having it too long outside of the mouth is also considered to be a bad fit. Horse bits are made in such a way that different parts should make contact with specific areas in the mouth. On fitting, it is important to make the checks that it fits perfectly at each point to avoid discomfort or a distressed horse.

If you simply need to change bits for horses from an old one to a newer one, assuming that the old bit was a good fit, measure it and make a note of the measurement for when you purchase the new one. If you are fitting them with a bit for the first time, you can take measurements using a piece of string that is roughly 30 centimeters in length and by tying a knot about 5cm in from one end. Place the knotted end in the horses mouth so that it rests against the lips of one side and pull it through to make a mark on the other end by the lips.

There are different types of bits for horses that work on varying parts of the horse's head - the corners of its mouth and lips, the groove of the chin, bars, the poll, nose, roof of its mouth, the tongue and the side of the face. Here are some of the more popularly used bits for horses:

* Snaffles - They are used for many equestrian activities and can in themselves be different in form. Bars can be straight, jointed or double jointed according to the specific needs of the rider. Each of the different bars will put pressure on different areas of the horse's mouth. The rings can also be differently fitted - fixed rings which prevent pinching, loose to allow more movement, a D-ring to aid steering and so on.

* Pelham - This is where the two bit of a double bridal have been combined to become one. It is possible to use the Pelham with one or two reigns, helping to further refine the control and communication with the horse and its actions. These type of bits for horses are thought to severe to be used in dressage and must only be used by those with lots of experience.