Using the Right Type of Bit for Your Horse


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The selection of horse bits available today is astounding. Bits for sale come in so many variations it’s hard to keep them all straight. There is no one bit that will work for every horse, and some horses will go through multiple bits as their training advances. If you bought a horse for sale, he probably came wearing a certain type of bit. But do you know if you currently have the right bit on your horse’s bridle?

What Makes a Bit Wrong?

Bits come in a variety of different styles, and each style exerts a different type of effect on the horse’s mouth. Some styles are harsher than others, and should only be used on highly trained horses and by experienced riders. Typically horses will be started off with a mild bit and, as their training advances, they can be moved up to the more advanced bits.

Overbitting a horse refers to putting a bit that is too harsh for a horse’s training level onto his bridle. Overbitting is common as an attempt to deal with training issues. If a horse is rushing under saddle or is getting strong and trying to evade a rider, many riders put a harsher bit into the horse’s mouth to force him to respect the rein cues. Unfortunately overbitting a horse usually results in even more training issues.

Bit Fit

Even if a bit is appropriate for a horse, it must fit the horse’s mouth correctly. The bit should be long enough to fit through the horse’s entire mouth without pinching the corners of his mouth, but it also should not extend too far out beyond the outside of his mouth or it will slide back and forth.

The port of the bit, which refers to the diameter of the bit mouthpiece itself, must also be the correct size for the horse’s mouth. Using a bit with a very large port on a horse with a relatively small mouth will put unnecessary pressure on the horse’s tongue.

Signs That You’re Using the Wrong Bit

Many horses will make it quite clear if you are using the wrong bit. Head tossing and evading the bit while being ridden are some of the most common symptoms of a bit that is too harsh or doesn’t fit well. Horses may be reluctant to travel in a proper frame and may attempt to evade the bit. Refusing to open his mouth for the bridle can also be a sign that a bit is a poor match for a horse.

Keeping a Bit Fitting Well

Once you find a bit that works for your horse, remember to properly adjust the bridle. Your horse will also need to have his teeth floated on a regular basis to keep him comfortable when wearing a bridle.

There are many bits for sale, and you are sure to find the right bit for your horse. Continue to look at tack for sale until you find the perfect matching bit. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

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