By Lucy Nicholas
Today, we will look at specific bits – Mylers, Sweet Iron Bits and Double Bridle bits.
Knowing the difference between the common bits on the market can help you decide which type of bit is right for your horse.
It is important to remember that horses are individuals, and this means our equines have different mouth conformations. Depending on the conformation of your horse’s mouth, they will require bits with different types of action, mouthpieces and thicknesses. Some riders are tempted to select bits with a thick diameter because they believe it to gentler, but this is not always the best choice for every horse. This is because some horses do not have the clearance between the upper and lower jaw to physically fit a wider bit. If you are unsure of the conformation of your horse’s mouth, ask your horse’s equine dental technician, vet or dentist! You may have to try several bits to get to the bottom of your horse’s bitting requirements, but being as informed as possible about the functionality of common bits is the best way to save money on bits, and ensure your horse has what he needs.
Let’s take a look at the bits already mentioned –
Myler is a brand, but it is also a bitting system! The design offers a curved mouthpiece, sometimes with a port whereas most traditional bits lie flat on a horses tongue.
The generous forward curve of the Myler bit curve also ensures that pressure is evenly distributed across the tongue.
Myler also focuses on stability in the mouth, and myler cheek pieces have hooks to fix the position of the position of the bridle and reins on the cheek ring.
The top slots are for the cheek pieces to stabilise the bit inside the horses mouth and hold it off the tongue when pressure is not being applied by the rider.
Myler mouthpieces are slimmer than many traditional bits, which some horses get along well with, as some horses simply do not have room for a very thick bit and therefore cause resistance.
Many types of bit design are available in sweet iron, such as Snaffle Bits, French link bits and Pelhams and Gags. Sweet iron bits are often also made with copper lozenges, for example a copper lozenge in a jointed snaffle, or a sweet iron copper roller snaffle.
Sweet iron bits offer the sweet taste of iron with the sour tang of copper, which many horses like, and for those horses who are strong, tense or heavy in the hand, sweet iron can help them can become lighter and more responsive.
Sweet iron is strong, and a mouthpiece made of Sweet Iron will last many years. This metal will almost always discolour, so be prepared to expect this happening; but fear not, your bit is still in excellent condition if this happens!
The main bit involved in the double bridle is the bradoon, a snaffle bit designed specifically for use in the double bridle. The bit mouthpiece is usually single-jointed, and the bit ring is usually a loose-ring, less often an eggbutt, or baucher. They are traditionally thinner and have a smaller ring than a typical snaffle.
The bradoon is accompanied with a weymouth, also known as a curb bit, it is the second bit of a double bridle set. (Tom Thumb pictured). This bit works in the same manner as a Pelham’s bottom rein.
A vast range of equine bits is available from The Saddlery Shop from top quality bit manufacturers and designers.
We are happy to help customers with any queries relating to bitting. Click here to visit our bit range – https://www.thesaddleryshop.co.uk