The snaffle bit is more popular in English riding but used in Western as well. On the other hand though if you’re intending to train your horse for a particular purpose or train him to correct a bad habit such as leaning on the bit (where the horse ‘rests’ his own weight on the bit and uses the rider for support and balance) then this will affect the style of bit you use. It typically has a jointed mouthpiece and multiple rings down the shank to allow you to determine how much leverage action you want. Gaits are the way a horse or pony can move, either naturally or through training Horse & Pony Gaits Explained Review the animations and graphics below to better understand the … Dr. Bristol. There are different types of snaffle bits, with differences in design for different results. One such type is the Chifney bit, which is special for anti-rearing and often worn to lead horses, in special stallions when near mares, to control them further. Hackamores are often not allowed in competitions, excepting endurance riding, trail riding, and some showjumping and cross-country competitions. Usually, they consist of a mouthpiece with two rings, as in a snaffle, but these rings come with holes on either side, through which the gag cheekpieces run. This piece attaches to a bridle and the reins and helps the rider control the horse. This is because there are a lot of them. Walk, trot, canter, gallop explained with animations and graphics. If you did I’d be grateful if you could share it please as it would really help me. With ports over 2 inches high, these mouthpieces require light hands, a perfectly timed release, and a very responsive horse. Choosing the correct bit when barrel racing can make all the difference in your horses performance. The shank, on the other hand, is what gives the leverage and again can be short or long with shorter shanks giving the rider less control and the longer shank giving them more control. In the Loose-Ring snaffle, the mouthpiece is attached to a full-round ring, and can slide around on it, allowing the bit to lay in the most natural position, whatever horse it is used on.. While the pressure is more direct in the snaffle, a sharper or rougher made snaffle may be harmful, and a heavy hand on the reins will also make it harsher. They’re not allowed at dressage competitions but are common on polo ponies or eventing horses. This means that pressure on the reins translates directly into pressure on the mouth, in equal proportion. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-banner-1','ezslot_5',148,'0','0']));There are a number of different ways to measure a horse’s mouth for a bit and in an ideal world you’d use an old one as a size guide but if this isn’t possible then you can use a bit sizer. ... Million dollar NRHA rider Casey Deary and Professional Barrel Horse Trainer Dena Kirkpatrick discuss how a bit's mouthpiece effects a horse's innate instinct to go to or push against pressure. When you consider that the bit, in most cases at least, sits inside the horse’s mouth it’s important to get the right one. May 24, 2016 - Western and English bits from www.chicksaddlery.com. The world of horse bits can often seem like something of a black art, and with so many different bits and mouthpieces on the market, it can be easy to see why. Snaffles normally have either a straight mouthpiece or are single jointed and can have a variety of different ring styles, each with their own purpose, some of the most common ones are:eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-mobile-leaderboard-2','ezslot_15',137,'0','0'])); Also known as a leverage bit because the arms (or shanks) pull against the curb chain (or strap) and bridle to not only apply pressure to the horse’s mouth but also to the poll, checks, and chin. A Gag bit is for Eventing, or Polo. The mouth of some horses will be more sensitive than others so it’s always better to use the ‘kindest’ bit you can.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-box-4','ezslot_6',134,'0','0'])); It’s always important to use the right bit and mouthpiece for the job, after all, you should never use a curb bit with a specialist mouthpiece such as a spade-shaped port as a correction bit. Curbs. The cheekpiece on a gag snaffle has two holes (one at each end) with a rope or leather cord running through them that the reins are also attached to. The horse is responsive to any movement or pressure on those bars and instinctively moves away from it, which means that they actually move in the direction the rider wants them to go. Correction bits are used not to correct problems, but to reinforce the rein aids to an already well-trained horse. The double bridle, then, is a good tool for refined control, but in the wrong hands, it can also be misused and harmful. Deciding which bit to use for your horse is an essential aspect of horsemanship that can be difficult for any equestrian. These bits apply some pressure on the horse’s poll, depending on where the reins are attached. As such, it works as either a snaffle or a curb bit, although it’s generally classed as a type of curb bit. If you have trouble stopping or turning your horse, the answer probably isn't a more severe bit, but a solid review of the basics. Because the cheek piece and reins attach to different rings (instead of freely moving on the same ring, like in a snaffle bit) there is leverage action. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_9',632,'0','0'])); Curb (or leverage) bits on the other hand are slightly different. The definition of a snaffle is a simple bit that has one set of reins and therefore only applies pressure to the horse’s mouth. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'horsefactbook_com-mobile-leaderboard-1','ezslot_14',140,'0','0'])); Many bits will are interchangeable with different disciplines so if you’re intending to just ride for fun then it doesn’t really matter what sort of bit you choose as long as you’ve taken the above into consideration. Like, a lot. Quiet-mouthed horses generally go well in it, but fussier horses such as thoroughbreds, or horses with low palates such as draft horses, can often object to the nutcracker action. Then there are the different types of riding, how can both English and Western have so many different types of bit? Snaffle bits is one of the simplest bit designs. These bits apply some pressure on the horse’s poll, depending on where the reins are attached. The bit works with the reins to apply this pressure but in the case of curb bits, it can also work with the bridle to exert additional pressure on various parts of the horse’s head such as the cheeks, chin, and nose. Picking the right one might be a daunting thing to do, so in this article, we’ll explore some different types and designs of horse bits and their different usages and characteristics. The snaffle bit is a broad category that applies to a large variety of bits. The Gag bit will cause the lowering of the horse’s head through and increase in poll pressure. Ideally, the cheek pieces should have a stopper fitted to limit the upwards action of the bit. The curb bit is more popular in Western riding styles, but it’s also present in English. You might not think that your level of experience will make a difference when it comes to selecting a bit but it actually makes a big difference. So equip yourself with an understanding of how bits work - and the different action of each bit, to make choosing the right bit easier. If any of our Horse-Pros.com friends would like to contribute, please feel free to do so. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-netboard-1','ezslot_19',154,'0','0']));While some bits are more severe than others even the mildest bit will hurt the horse in the wrong hands so it’s crucial to get the right bit, not only for your horse’s strength and the level to which he’s trained, but also for your level of experience too. Love Valley: The Town Where Cars Aren’t Allowed, Only Horses, Best Horse Breeds for Beginners & First Time Owners, 8 Oldest Horses in History that Lived to be Very Old. Other than shank sizes, there are different shapes as well. Curb bits can also be used with or without a curb chain or strap that attaches to the top of the purchase, this helps to reduce the pressure that is applied to the horse’s poll. The Pelham is a single mouthpiece bit with a cheekpiece that includes a shank, allowing the use of two sets of reins. Quiet-mouthed horses generally go well in it, but fussier horses such as thoroughbreds, or horses with low palates such as draft horses, can often object to the nutcracker action. Gag bits are popularly used on horses where more leverage action is required. Gag bits are somewhat similar to snaffles except that the horse will "lean" into the gag. The length of the shank also translates into severity, as longer shanks mean more pressure on the horse’s mouth. While you’re telling him to bend his head in … It's easy to see that a gag looks different from a regular bridle--with its distinctive cheekpieces that pass through holes in the top and bottom of the bit rings to attach directly to the reins--but how is its action different? In the wrong hands, (like any curb bit) these bits can be severe. This helps with lateral guidance and fixes the bit in the mouth. These all have different functions, pros and cons, and ways they work. This has a disadvantage in that the reins have a long way to travel when released. Entire books have been written about bits and finding the best bit for you and your horse. The gag bits are popular in showjumping, cross-country, and polo but forbidden in dressage. Horse Bits. The purpose of a gag bit is to enhance the upward, lifting action of the snaffle bit, so as to afford greater control, especially with a horse that may be inclined to bear downwards on the bit. When you pull your right rein out from your hip to the right, the metal part of the shank that attaches the bit to the bridle is going to jab your horse’s right cheek due to the combined action of this bit’s shanks and broken mouthpiece. Snaffle bits, Pelham bits, and Kimberwick bits are used by riders of all experience levels. And don’t forget that a bit is your primary contact with your horse so be gentle. The purchase is fixed to the bridle and can be short or long, a short purchase will move much quicker in the horse’s mouth whereas a long purchase will be much slower. Curb bits can be split into three categories: Pelhams, Weymouths and Kimblewicks. Gag bit rings have two holes one on the top, one on the bottom. Amazon. Bit guards, curb straps, and curb chains keep them in place and provide the necessary leverage. A hackamore is a type of animal headgear which does not have a bit.Instead, it has a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the face, nose, and chin. These are quite expensive allow but you to quickly measure any horse by opening the arms and placing them either side of your horse’s mouth.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_3',616,'0','0'])); While it’s important to have the correct sized bit you might not be able to find the exact right size for your horse. Simply put it in your horse’s mouth and use a pen to mark either side of his mouth and then measure that. Weymouth curb bits are popular in English riding when using a double bridle. English horse bits are a necessary piece of tack equipment when competing in English style riding events. Gag bits are kind of a happy medium between curb bits and pelham bits, in terms of severity. The Pelham bit is somewhere between a snaffle and a curb bit. While grooming one of my geldings the other day I somehow managed to get my foot under his and boy did it hurt, especially as the weather was so cold. This blog contains affiliate links, however, I’ve only picked items that I genuinely feel may be of help to you. Independent on the type of horse bits, mouthpieces themselves come in different types. If this is the case though don’t worry, its better to go for a bit that is slightly too big and then use bit guards (or cheek guards). Shop our vast selection of horse bits, there's something to suit all your needs. There is no one perfect bit for every horse; snaffle bits, gag bits, and walking bits each have their own specific designs and purposes. Most snaffle bits are generally round with a joint in the middle and allow the horse to move forward in a natural motion. Jointed mouthpieces may be single-jointed or double-jointed. Double bridles come with two bits, simultaneously, a snaffle and a curb. Gag Bits Explained. The latter is actually two pieces joined by a link, which itself may come in different styles, such as ported, French, Dr Bristol and ball double-jointed mouthpieces. Most online saddleries have a wide selection of bits but I prefer to use horse.com because I find their collection of both Western and English very good.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'horsefactbook_com-narrow-sky-1','ezslot_16',141,'0','0'])); I hope you found this article helpful. As the name says, the D-ring snaffles have their “rings” in the shape of a D, rather than circular. The Gag cheek piece is made of rounded leather or of rope that run through these holes. Gaits are the ways in a horse & pony can move, either naturally or through training. This means you use less pressure on the reins to reach the same pressure on the bit, that you would with a snaffle bit. A gag bit can be a good option for a strong horse, but only in the hands of an experienced horse person. The mouthpiece may slide on the full, loose ring, so that it rests on the most comfortable position for the horse, rather than fixed. It’s also a mistake to believe a snaffle is any mild bit. As it works with four reins, the double bridle has both effects on the horse, with pressure on the bars and mouth coming from the snaffle bit, and on the chin, poll, tongue, palate, and bars from the curb. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'horsefactbook_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_4',150,'0','0'])); The mouthpiece, which is common to both snaffle and curb bits, can vary greatly in the material its made from as well as its physical appearance. It is most commonly associated with certain styles of riding horses.. A hackamore is also described as a piece of equestrian equipment used on horses who do not work well with a metal bit in their mouth. The cheek pieces of many curb bits will also be highly decorative which doesn’t affect the way the bit works but does look nice.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-leader-3','ezslot_11',152,'0','0'])); Also known as double bridles, they are in reality two bits rather than two bridles (although the bridle will have two cheek straps) and are typically used with two sets of reins or a rein converter which means you only need one set of reins. The idea is that the bit applies subtle pressure to the bars of the mouth which are made of sensitive cartilage. This is a plastic shank with a stopper on one end, the idea is that you put it in your horse’s mouth with the stopper positioned against his cheek. Usually, they consist of a mouthpiece with two rings, as in a snaffle, but these rings come with holes on either side, through which the gag cheekpieces run. Of course in the wrong hands, even the mildest of bits will hurt the horse but when used properly and with consideration then no a bit won’t hurt a horse’s mouth at all. Some bits, such as those with a high port spade-shaped mouthpiece, require a horse to be specially trained to a certain level before they can even consider using this type of bit so you’re likely to do your horse’s mouth a lot of damage if you use something like this too soon. The bit has no leverage, but its single joint provides a “nutcracker” action, squeezing the bars of the mouth and placing pressure on the palate. Curb bits also come with a curb chain, which runs under the horse’s chin and applies pressure on the chin groove. This site does not constitute medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for equine medical advice. So what do you think? When it comes to competing or showing your horse though there are a lot of rules around the style of bit you can and can’t use. Horse’s reaction: Every time you use a direct rein with this bit, you’ll simultaneously stab your horse’s cheek on the same side. As such, one uses the bradoon for some purposes, and the curb bit in others. A true Gag bit has a head lifting action. There are different types of bitless bridles, but the most popular are in the hackamore family, which itself has different types. This isn’t quite the case. These can be straight-bar mouthpieces (which, as the name says, are a solid bar of metal or other material such as rubber or plastic), jointed mouthpieces (which often give a nutcracker pressure on the horse’s mouth), a mullen mouthpiece (solid, but with a curvature that accommodates the horse’s tongue), and ported mouthpieces (also has a curve, but more pronounced; often acts on the roof of the mouth as well). This additional pressure can either be used to back up that created by the bit or instead of it.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'horsefactbook_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_1',133,'0','0'])); To sum it’s purpose up in just one sentence, the bit is an aid used by the rider to communicate with the horse. Rather, snaffle refers to the mechanic used (direct pressure) and the absence of shanks, rather than to mildness or any other characteristic. Home » Horse Equipment » Horse Tack » A Guide To Horse Bits Types And Styles. These work like snaffle bits but offer some leverage, which varies according to the needs of the rider and the horse. These give varying positions to attach the reins, according to the need. Browse or search our horse bit guide to find information about specific bits and bit families, learn about proper bit sizing and different bit materials, and stay up to date on issues regarding horse bits in a variety of equestrian disciplines. 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