Bit­ting The bits you need Bit­ting for com­fort Stick­ing his tongue out Bit ma­te­ri­als ex­plained

Your Horse (UK) - - Contents - HEATHER HYDE founder of Neue Schule Bits

QI’ve heard that it’s good to have mul­ti­ple bits, so you can change them when your horse is be­hav­ing dif­fer­ently. What are the sta­ple bits that I should have in my kit? Lizzy Knight, Ox­ford­shire

AA com­mon ques­tion asked by rid­ers is: “Why is my horse now evad­ing his bit when ini­tially he was so happy?” We re­fer to this as your com­fort­able work­ing win­dow, which dif­fers with in­di­vid­ual horses ow­ing to vary­ing de­grees of sen­si­tiv­ity. I would rec­om­mend hav­ing two bits. If your horse is never strong, then two snaf­fles with dif­fer­ent mouth­piece de­signs are rec­om­mended. If you ap­ply the same pres­sure points within the mouth on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, th­ese con­tact ar­eas may be­come de-sen­si­tised — chang­ing be­tween two bits in this way helps to elim­i­nate this.

Three-ring bits

If you do need more con­trol for faster work then an­other op­tion is up­grad­ing to a three-ring which, when the rein is at­tached to the bot­tom ring, places greater pres­sure on the poll when you ask your horse to stop. If you sus­pect your horse is poll sen­si­tive, then sim­ply use a wider-shaped head­piece, which will spread and re­duce the pres­sure. An­other method of lim­it­ing poll pres­sure is to use the curb strap on the top ring. When fit­ted cor­rectly this will re­strict the lever ac­tion, en­sur­ing that no more than 1kg of poll pres­sure is ex­erted.

It’s a good idea to have a va­ri­ety of bits to suit your horse’s dif­fer­ent needs

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