What is your bit doing for you? February 10, 2015 08:27
A rider should always use the most simple and mild bit, which allows them to control their horse safely and get the desired performance out of their horse. Your bit should be
soft enough to encourage your horse to move forward, take your hand a little and even to pull a little. This does not mean to pull you around and not respect your hand.
Bits are used for stopping, turning and for controlling the impulsion the rider creates with their leg and seat. Out of all the tack we use, we rely heavily on bits for our safety. We want to know we are in control and capable of stopping our horse should they spook or take off. When purchasing a bridle or a saddle, safety is a very distant if even present thought. Yes, we want good quality leather and to be in the correct position and have comfort so we can stay on but safety is not our top priority when making these purchases. Yet time and time again riders spend four thousand to six thousand dollars on their saddle and thirty dollars on a poorly made bit. Why is this? We often hear people saying they are looking for a specific kind of bit and some thirty dollar bits work well and some bits are only available at a higher price, meaning one hundred dollars and up. What makes a bit cost more? Where is the value of a well-made bit?
At a quick glance, a thirty dollar bit and a two hundred dollar bit can look very similar. When you have a closer look, you will start to notice different materials, finishes and hand-fabricated parts. Put the two bits side-by-side and look at the material from which they are made, feel the finish of each bit. Pick up both bits and feel the weight of each. Look at the detail and shape of the mouthpieces. Next time you buy a bit have a closer look!
Next week we will go into the different materials used to make bits and what each material means to your horse.