I will do a series of articles outlining some basics about bits:
- their uses,
- when to use them,
- when to move to a stronger bit,
- when to move to a milder bit,
- and when will a particular bit help you with performance on your horse.
I've recommended some bits lately to a few students and I will talk about that too when we get to that section. It will be helpful to know why I recommended those bits.
I will take information from a lecture I did January 2008 at the Grey Bruce Farmer's Week Horse day. (Photo at top of presentation).
I also have a few photos of bits that I will talk about. It's a hobby of mine to collect bits so I have quite a few. If anyone has an interesting one that they want to comment on..... please do!
My History of Bits
I was always a bit mystified about bits....
I've been riding horses on my own since I was 6 years old and I never really understood about bits and their uses.... other then it was used to control the horse.
So when I started into training reining horses 17 years ago, and wanted to use bits appropriately and properly..... I started my quest to learn as much about bits as I could.
When I started asking questions, I often got confusing information about bits. For instance, a bit called a 'training snaffle' is really not a snaffle at all .... but a curb bit referred to as a 'combo' bit with a jointed mouthpiece where you can attached reins to the mouthpiece rings and/or the end of the shanks....
That's confusing..... People often refer to a bit as a snaffle just because the mouthpiece is a simple jointed mouthpiece.
But the mouthpiece has nothing to do with it. It's whether the bit has shanks or uses the leverage principle or not. Still sound confusing?...
I will explain in the next few articles.
Greg Darnall is a good source for information. A pamphlet called "A Bit of Information: Texan Greg Darnall Discusses Bits and Bitting" (Softcover) by Fran D. Smith, Greg Darnall
Western Horseman, Inc., 10/1996, 16 pages (ISBN: 0911647376/ ISBN-13: 9780911647372 )
It really become a fascination for me to learn and understand the different types of bits and their intended purpose. Of course there are only 2 types: a curb and a snaffle.
Hope you enjoy this series of articles on bits.
Questions and comments are always welcome.
If you need help with information on bits, please feel free to contact me.
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