Western Horse Bits
Since every horse is unique, riders often find that one style of western bit works better for a particular animal than another. Furthermore, the amount of encouragement each animal needs to perform correctly varies greatly. If you are looking for new bits, then you may have many questions about finding the right one.What are the parts of a bit?
All horse bits are made up of four basic parts. The sides of the bit are called the cheek. This part contains the purchase, which is the part of the bit above the mouthpiece, and the shank, which is located below the mouthpiece. Generally, bits with shorter shanks are harsher than those with longer shanks. The mouthpiece is the part that goes into the horses mouth, and it can come in many different styles.What materials are bits made out of?
Bits can be made of various materials including cyprium, sweet iron, and stainless steel. Cyprium bits are durable and promote salivation while staying shiny. Sweet iron bits have a pleasant taste, making most horses more willing to put it into their mouths. Stainless steel bits can cause horses to feel restless unless they have a copper roller.What are the differences between snaffle and curb bits?
All bits are either snaffle or curb. A snaffle bit puts pressure on the side of the horses mouth when pressure is applied to the reins. Curb bits put pressure on the horse’s tongue, roof, and chin. Curb bits generally give horses more time to react to signals they receive from the reins and the horses body.What are different types of horse bit mouthpieces?
Riders can find a variety of different horse bit mouthpieces, including:
- Jointed mouthpieces: One joint in the center spreads pressure to the roof, lips, and tongue.
- Double-jointed mouthpieces: These bits form a U shape in the horses mouth when pressure is applied.
- Double-twisted wire mouthpieces: Two pieces of wire with an offset joint in the middle make these wire bits extremely severe.
- Chain mouthpieces: Made of a piece of chain, they apply pressure to the corner of the horses mouth.
- Mullen mouthpieces: The gentle slope of these bits applies gentle pressure to the outside edges of the horse’s mouth. Those with a narrow port apply more pressure on the tongue while those with wider ports put more pressure on the roof of the mouth.
It can be very challenging to find the right bit for each animal. Horses with the right bit should carry themselves in a balanced manner with their heads in an upright and alert position. They should not throw their heads or move them up and down when pressure is applied to the reins. Finally, the animal should be willing to close its mouth around the bit and remain calm when pressure is applied to the reins.