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The Big Bitting Question

horse looking uncomfortable in bit

It is widely known and accepted that poorly fitted saddles and bits can cause horses to ‘act up’ and not perform at their best. Therefore, as owners, we get a saddler out to find the perfect saddle for our horses. However, when it comes to bits, many of us follow the phrase “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.

I have definitely been guilty of this, however, recently I have started to think maybe I should be trying something new. I know that some horses do need a stronger bit, but I love snaffle bits and will always choose and use one of these first.

When I got Scottie, he came with nothing. I can’t remember now what bit I rode him in when I went to view him, but I’m sure it was a loose ring snaffle. He was lazy and wasn’t strong, so when I got him, I went for a simple bit.

Korsteel loose ring french link with a copper link.

I chose the copper because I had heard it was good for getting the horse to salivate. This bit did the job and I had no real problem with it. However, I had a spare bridle and hated the faff of taking the bit off or the bridle apart to be able to lunge in his pessoa, that I decided to buy a second bit, to make my life easier. I decided there was no point in getting the exact same bit, so I chose something similar, but a bit different.

Korsteel eggbutt french link.

This bit was considerably narrower than the first bit and he lunged really well in it. I can’t remember what made me think about swapping his bits, we weren’t having any problems, but I did. I started riding in the eggbutt and lunging in the loose ring and saw a massive difference while hacking. We were coming back from canter in groups much quicker and just generally being more responsive to the bit.

This bit has worked really well for us. However, I think it is caused by his flash, as he has done it for both bits and has had his teeth done with nothing obvious, but he gets a bit of a twitchy lip and very itchy lips after being ridden. So I am starting to think about making a few changes to see if these things stop.

The first thing I am thinking is to try a different noseband, probably a grackle, rather than his caverson and flash. However, his current bridle is a very nice shade of brown which I struggle to find, so would probably need a whole new bridle and I’m not sure it would make a difference as the grackle still rests in a similar place to the flash.

The second option is a change in bit. It is fair to say that both bits Scottie is currently in are fairly cheap bits. Going for a more expensive brand might be a better option due to the better shape and metal.

I really like Neue Schule bits, I have heard very good things about them, especially being used with ex racehorses, which makes them a tempting choice for me. And when I look at them, there are two bits which are very similar to what he is in already.  The Tranz Angled Lozenge Eggbutt and the Tranz Angled Lozenge D-Ring. The eggbutt is what he is in now and the description sounds best for what Scottie needs. However, the D-ring is narrower, more like the current bit he is in.

I think I will probably be treating myself to one of these bits soon and trying it out!


Last Updated on 14/01/2022

2 thoughts on “The Big Bitting Question”

  1. I’ve switched Jak to straight bar rubber bit, so you’re more than welcome to borrow my Tranz Angled Lozenge, is the loose ring snaffle version, but may give you an idea of how he finds it 🙂 Pretty sure it’s 5.5

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