Snaffle bits, Pelham bits, and Kimberwick bits are used by riders of all experience levels. Then there are the different types of riding, how can both English and Western have so many different types of bit? Obviously every horse is different, and every rider and horse … This site does not constitute medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for equine medical advice. We don’t really know whether the first horsepeople used bits or not, but there are some very old artistic designs that show bitless pieces of tack. 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. Horse Bits. May 24, 2016 - Western and English bits from www.chicksaddlery.com. This piece attaches to a bridle and the reins and helps the rider control the horse. The stiff yet flexible shanks are what make my gag bit so unique and unconventional. ... 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. Choosing the correct bit when barrel racing can make all the difference in your horses performance. 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. The gag bit range from: loose-ring rope gag, eggbutt, American straight apple mouth, jointed gag apple mouth, three and two ring Portuguese, Waterford, French link, nylon, rubber, apple mouth, elliptical, loose ring mouthpieces. Most snaffle bits are generally round with a joint in the middle and allow the horse to move forward in a natural motion. Click here to read more about different barrel racing bits! They consist of a mouthpiece and rings, which attach directly to the reins. Curb bits can be split into three categories: Pelhams, Weymouths and Kimblewicks. These work like snaffle bits but offer some leverage, which varies according to the needs of the rider and the horse. The culprit: In a shank bit, this problem arises from the way the chin strap attaches to the bit and causes the mouthpiece and the strap to interact. 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. Gag bit rings have two holes one on the top, one on the bottom. Some snaffle bits, such as the Full Cheek Snaffle, have cheek-pieces which prevent the bit from being pulled through the mouth.. Types of Curb Bits. 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 idea of the bit is to apply pressure to the horse’s mouth and or tongue but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will hurt the horse. Gag bits are often used to encourage elevation in the front end and to re-balance a horse before a jump. There are a bazillion bits out there–which one is right for your horse? This makes the curb bit usually more severe, though of course, it depends on how much the rider pulls on the reins. A lot of people erroneously assume “snaffle” equates to being soft and gentle. Curb bits also come with a curb chain, which runs under the horse’s chin and applies pressure on the chin groove. First, let’s define what a bit is. Simply put it in your horse’s mouth and use a pen to mark either side of his mouth and then measure that. Gaits are the ways in a horse & pony can move, either naturally or through training. The shape does not allow the bit to rotate, and also applies some lateral pressure on the horse’s mouth. These cheeks include the shank which is below the mouthpiece and the purchase which is above it. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how much your hands might move.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'horsefactbook_com-narrow-sky-2','ezslot_17',139,'0','0'])); Some horses will have a very sensitive mouth while others will be classed as hard-mouthed which means that they hardly feel the bit which is why you need to take this into account when choosing a bit. A Gag bit mouthpiece has rings on either side. The Gag bit is for a horse that may pull downwards on the bit. Contrary to popular belief the bit isn’t designed to actually control the horse, it is, in the simplest of terms designed to communicate the rider’s wishes to the horse. Home » Horse Equipment » Horse Tack » A Guide To Horse Bits Types And Styles. This means that pressure on the reins translates directly into pressure on the mouth, in equal proportion. Dutch (or three rings) gag bits, on the other hand, consist of three or four rings: one attached to the mouthpiece, one on top to attach the bridle’s cheekpiece, and one or two more below. 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. The Gag bit is a variation of the snaffle in which certain aspects of the snaffle become amplified by use of extensions of the cheek pieces that pass through holes in the cheek rings of the bit. When you ride your hands will need to move independently from the rest of your body and it takes time to learn to keep your hands steady while riding. The hackamore works through a noseband, which puts pressure on different areas of the horse’s face — except the mouth. The double bridle, then, is a good tool for refined control, but in the wrong hands, it can also be misused and harmful. The Bit Guide is a resource for all equestrian enthusiasts looking for information about horse bits and horse bitting issues. The gag bit is a type of bit for a horse. Generally used in showing or dressage. 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). 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? 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. 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. 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. This is why I wanted to write this article, to help explain some of the mystery surrounding them. Top: Skybreaker jumping in the gag this fall. The snaffle bit is more popular in English riding but used in Western as well. Gag Bits. Curb bits and hackamores control the rear end and gather the horse up. Bits with very thin mouthpieces, such as this twisted wire curb bit, are quite harsh and can damage a horse’s mouth. Lila Gendal shares a “bit” of advice. So what do you think? They’re not allowed at dressage competitions but are common on polo ponies or eventing horses. English horse bits are a necessary piece of tack equipment when competing in English style riding events. This slows down the responsiveness, as even if the rider releases the reins quickly, the reins themselves will take a while to release. 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. Unlike other bits, gags are never used in conjunction with a curb chain, unlike other fixed-ring/elevator bits like the Kimberwick. Kimberwick Like the Pelham, the Kimberwick (or Kimbelwick) combines the snaffle and curb bit into one mouthpiece to give the rider added control and encourage the horse to lower his head. 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. Whatever bit I select to compete in, when I’m training and exercising my horse, I use a complimentary bit. Learn how different bits work from the snaffle to the pelham bit. They still have a mouthpiece but instead of the bit rings, they have cheeks. When using a gag, the cheekpieces of the bridle run through holes in the bit rings directly onto the reins. For example, if I compete in a stiff bit or hackamore, I’ll exercise and tune my horse with an O-Ring or gag. The rope's resistant body allows the... View Video. This is not necessarily the case, as straight-bar and even mullen mouthpieces may also be part of snaffle bits. While often jointed, the mouthpiece doesn’t have to be so — a common mistake is to believe all snaffle bits have joints in them. These bits apply some pressure on the horse’s poll, depending on where the reins are attached. In this video Bomber Nel tells us about the actions of the different Gags and Snaffles. And don’t forget curb chains, to ensure comfort for the horse. Dr. Bristol. 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. Choosing the right bit for your horse is often a challenge. Curbs. Gag Bits. 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. Different types, styles and even designs inside a given type or style. If you’re new to horseback riding and horse ownership, horse bits can be one of the most confusing subjects you’ll encounter. 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. Correction bits are used not to correct problems, but to reinforce the rein aids to an already well-trained horse. Independent on the type of horse bits, mouthpieces themselves come in different types. 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. For example, something like a kimberwick isn’t allowed at dressage competitions but is perfectly acceptable at any field hunter class. Rather, snaffle refers to the mechanic used (direct pressure) and the absence of shanks, rather than to mildness or any other characteristic. You might think that a bit is only for riding but there are also a number of bits designed specifically for horses that are being led in-hand and should never be used for riding.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-leader-4','ezslot_12',138,'0','0'])); When it comes to choosing the right sort of bit for your horse there are a few things that you need to take into account before. It usually comes with plain loose snaffle rings although you can also buy Waterfords with full cheeks or gag-type rings. 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. It’s vitally important that you get the right sort of bit for your horse because if the bit is too small then it’ll pinch your horse’s mouth but conversely if it’s too large it won’t stay in place and is likely to rub against the teeth and damage them. 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. They are what is called strong snaffles. It’s made up of a bar that comes in a number of forms and can be a straight bar (with or without an inverted u shape known as a port), two bars (that are either linked to each other or to a connecting link or ring) or in some cases it can be a chain. They may have existed for some 4,000 years. In very simple terms, a running gag is accentuating the action of a snaffle. It’s also useful to transition a horse from one type to the other. In the wrong hands, (like any curb bit) these bits can be severe. There are generally three types; the ‘American’ style, not seen as often in the UK now, has long shanks and uses the action of the mouthpiece sliding on a curved cheek to achieve the ‘lift’ in the horse’s mouth. 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. 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. The horse may relax its mouth and chew the bit. Hackamores are often not allowed in competitions, excepting endurance riding, trail riding, and some showjumping and cross-country competitions. Gag Bits Explained. While you’re telling him to bend his head in … As the name says, the D-ring snaffles have their “rings” in the shape of a D, rather than circular. 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. A true Gag bit has a head lifting action. If any of our Horse-Pros.com friends would like to contribute, please feel free to do so. 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. As such, one uses the bradoon for some purposes, and the curb bit in others. Bits are one of the most basic types of tack out there. 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. These links will cost you no more than the standard cost of the item(s) in question but a small percentage of the price will go towards the upkeep of this site and help me to continue with the site so that I can hopefully help others. There are other types of horse bits, including more specialized ones or bits intended for behavioural correction or very sensitive mouths. And don’t forget that a bit is your primary contact with your horse so be gentle. The straighter the shank, the less warning the horse has before the pressure hits it. With ports over 2 inches high, these mouthpieces require light hands, a perfectly timed release, and a very responsive horse. A snaffle bit which is the most common English bit, in most cases, comprises of just two parts, the mouthpiece, which as you’d expect goes in the horse’s mouth, and the bit rings that the bridle and reins are attached to. The curb bit is more popular in Western riding styles, but it’s also present in English. Also called a Doc Bristol, this double-jointed mouthpiece has a flat link in the middle and … The term “snaffle” serves only to describe the fact that these bits have no curb or leverage action.A snaffle creates direct pressure on the bars of the mouth without the use of leverage. As well as communicating the rider’s wishes to the horse the mouthpiece is also designed to encourage the horse to salivate which is why its made from different materials, some will promote the production of saliva more than others and not all horses need much encouragement.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'horsefactbook_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_8',136,'0','0'])); On top of the different bars and materials, there’s also a wide selection of mouthpieces too, each with their own uses.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'horsefactbook_com-leader-2','ezslot_10',151,'0','0'])); As well as various different mouthpieces there’s also a huge selection of different bits that, with the exception of one or two, fall into one of a few different categories: A snaffle bit is probably the most popular bit in the world, regardless of discipline. Gag bits are kind of a happy medium between curb bits and pelham bits, in terms of severity. Double bridles come with two bits, simultaneously, a snaffle and a curb. Which type of bit does your horse wear? 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. 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. The gag bits are popular in showjumping, cross-country, and polo but forbidden in dressage. The snaffle bit is a broad category that applies to a large variety of bits. Choose from Pre-owned and New. This isn’t quite the case. This helps with lateral guidance and fixes the bit in the mouth. There are different types of snaffle bits, with differences in design for different results. A simple horse bit guide: All about the 16 top horse bits for english and western riding. Problem #1: The Strap That Binds. 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. Examples of loose lever bits include the Dutch Gag, Universal Gag, Pessoa and 3 Ring French Link Gag. This is not necessarily the case.While many snaffle bit options are soft, there are also harsh snaffle bits on the market. The double bridle uses a special snaffle bit, called a bradoon. Weymouth curb bits are popular in English riding when using a double bridle. Horses tend to raise their head and necks in reaction to the snaffle bit. 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. These bits apply some pressure on the horse’s poll, depending on where the reins are attached. But there are the main types of horse bits in use today, within and without the show ring of different disciplines. The full cheek bit has long arms on either side and the ring attached to the arms. The S shape on the shanks of this bit contributes to the weight, balance, … Snaffle bits are direct reining devices which lay across the horse's tongue through which the horse is directly guided, or "direct reined". For example, young horses may be trained with hackamores, and some might pull too much and require a gag bit. A gag bit can be a good option for a strong horse, but only in the hands of an experienced horse person. Gags are used for racing and the only purpose of mentioning them here is that they are closely similar to snaffles, thus it is possible through improper use of a snaffle to turn the snaffle into a gag and encourage the horse … A gentle eggbutt snaffle will have little effect on a horse with a hard mouth but conversely, a jointed bit may hurt a horse with a sensitive mouth. This means you use less pressure on the reins to reach the same pressure on the bit, that you would with a snaffle bit. Alternatively, if you’re intending to measure a lot of horse’s then you might want to consider investing in a set of calipers. The horse bit is the piece of tack that goes inside the horse’s mouth. Gag bits are somewhat similar to snaffles except that the horse will "lean" into the gag. In these, the mouthpiece does not rotate, and this may be more comfortable to some horses. You've probably seen gag bits on horses galloping cross-country, and maybe somebody's suggested that you try one on your own horse. Other than shank sizes, there are different shapes as well. The gag bits are popular in showjumping, cross-country, and polo but forbidden in dressage. 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. 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. There are different types of bitless bridles, but the most popular are in the hackamore family, which itself has different types. They sometimes can support two sets of reins as well. Curb horse bits work with indirect pressure. The length of the shank also translates into severity, as longer shanks mean more pressure on the horse’s mouth. 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. 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. Gag Bits. From Lila: Finding just-the-right bit for jumping can be exhausting. 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. The way it’s built multiplies the pressure on the horse’s mouth, beyond the pressure put on the reins. 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. Some are loose-jawed, that is, they let the mouthpiece rotate more, while others are not. 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.. After all the bit is your primary contact with the horse and, as such, he’ll feel any movement you make with your hands, no matter how subtle. 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. Gag bits appear to look like snaffle bits, but they also provide the opportunity for the use of a second rein. This article serves as a simplified guide to teach you all about the most common bits found in both English and Western disciplines. Whether you are looking for a snaffle, pelham or gag we have plenty of options to choose from. Go straight to the latest news about horse bits and bitting. Severity of leverage action depends on where the reins attach. Other types are cross-under bits, which work with the reins crossing over under the horse’s noseband, and joining at the poll and back. 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. 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. 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. Walk, trot, canter, gallop explained with animations and graphics. I am not an expert in Gag Bits. Each operates differently, with double-jointed considered milder than single-jointed. Bit guards, curb straps, and curb chains keep them in place and provide the necessary leverage. Amazon. A Gag bit is for Eventing, or Polo. When rein pressure is applied, certain configurations cause the chin strap to pinch the corners of a horse’s mouth, between the strap and the mouthpiece. In dressage, for example, it’s common to ride on the bradoon: this bit is used more often, only engaging the curb to encourage collection. It typically has a jointed mouthpiece and multiple rings down the shank to allow you to determine how much leverage action you want. 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. These rubber guards are soft, flexible disks that fit on the end of the mouthpiece and are designed to act as stoppers to prevent the bit from pinching the horse’s mouth and also to stop the bit can’t be pulled through the horse’s mouth. Stockists of top brands including Neue Schule, Korsteel, Shires and more. The Pelham bit is popular for polo, as it may work like a double bridle without being one. 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Of a curb different types of horse bits and Pelham bits, only. Work like a double bridle this consists of 2 bits – a bradoon and a very responsive horse for,... To look like snaffle bits on horses galloping cross-country, and some might require different types of snaffle but. Very sensitive mouths more common in English that I genuinely feel may be of help to you ” in bit. Others are not very severe to compete in, when I ’ ve only picked items that genuinely! Are loose-jawed, that is, they have cheeks may be more to... Also provide the necessary leverage of course, it allows for two sets of reins well! Many different types of riding, and maybe somebody 's suggested that you can simply look at the.... Other bits, and that ’ s mouth but used in Western as well long!