Most riders agree that bits can cause pain to horses. A too-severe bit in the wrong hands, or even a soft one in rough or inexperienced hands, is a well-known cause of rubs, cuts and soreness in a horse’s mouth. Dr. Cook’s research suggests the damage may go even deeper — to the bone and beyond.
Bits work by exerting pressure inside the horse’s mouth. The are often assisted by bridle types that create additional pressure around the horse’s head—cheeks, chin or nose. The idea is that, by moving away from the discomfort of the pressing bit, the horse moves in the direction the rider wants to go.
Yes, it is entirely possible to train a horse to be ridden without a bit right from the early days of its training. … If you ride your horse at home, out on the trail, or at very small shows where there are no rules regarding bits, and you feel safe with your horse in a bitless bridle, you don’t need a bit.
The two basic types of bits are snaffle bits and leverage (curb) bits. These differ in the areas on the horse where each applies pressure. In addition to these two types of bits, there are hackamores, which generally do not have a mouthpiece.
they can eat w/ a bit in their mouths but if you let them graze they get to where they try to yank the reigns out of your hands to graze whenever grass is near and they also get green slimy mouths and make for a dirty bit…. … The only time I have seen horses eat with a bit in is when they are greedy grain eaters.
Some horses have physical conditions or diseases that require an early retirement. Other horses can be ridden late into their life without issues. As a general rule, most horses should stop being ridden between 20 to 25 years old. Any horse, no matter their age, still requires a decent amount of exercise.
One of the most common types of snaffle bit is the eggbutt, which is the considered to be the gentlest type of snaffle bit because it doesn’t pinch the corners of the mouth. It has an egg-shaped connection between the mouthpiece and the bit-ring.
Gag bits are used mainly for horses that are strong pullers or for horses that need retraining. Gag bits are most commonly seen in polo, eventing (especially for cross-country), show jumping, and hacking, mainly for increased control at times where a horse may be excited or try to run off with the rider.
A bit should extend approximately a quarter-inch (0.6 centimeters) beyond the horse’s lips on either side, and it should fit comfortably across the bars (the toothless gap between the incisors and molars) of the horse’s jaw.
The hackamore has more weight, which allows for more signal before direct contact. This allows the horse a greater opportunity to prepare. With a snaffle bit, you can do as much as it takes to get the job done, whereas the hackamore helps you can learn how little as it takes to get the job done.
I’ve worked with horses of both types, both can be ridden properly with a halter + leads but you just have to do things a bit differently 🙂 Horses that are intimidated easily need more leg cues, horses that are headstrong may need some stronger pulls and possibly a light jiggle of the end of the leads.
Bitting Cheat Sheet #2- Bits for Starting or Re-training Horses.
The kindest bit is the one in the mouth of the rider with the softest hands!! Any bit can be strong in the wrong hands! But for your horse why don’t you try a loose ring happy mouth.