horse tack, bits

Bitting Mouth Piece Types, Materials & Sizes

Before shopping for a new bit, think about how & where your current bit fits & performs.

Bitting options are vast. Selection of the style of mouth piece can be confusing enough. There are also choices in mouth piece materials, correctly fitting & positioning the bit for optimum comfort & performance.

Before shopping for a new bit, think about how & where your current bit fits & performs. Examine your horse’s mouth. Is a wolf tooth interfering with good communication? Your horse should have it’s teeth inspected annually by a vet who is knowledgeable on equine dental care. Most horses need their teeth floated every year.You might discover behavioral problems such as head tossing or rearing might be caused by an injured tongue,cheek or bars. Worn or sharp edges on a old or poor quality bit can also cause injury, & be certain the bit fits you horse and is adjusted correctly.

Bits are manufactured in a variety of materials. Stainless, blued, carbon or chromed steel. Aluminum,copper, nickel plate,& chrome plated malleable iron. Many horseman people prefer bits of cold-milled steel, referred to as sweet iron. Sweet iron does rust. It has a pleasant taste, & creates more salivation in the horse’s mouth which is desirable. As the horse salivates, the tongue moves & relaxes his lower jaw more. The horse’s mouth is more comfortable & responsive. A Copper mouth piece, or copper inlay is also quite common. It offers a similar result without rusting. Chrome plaited bits are traditionally used in English disciplines.

Bits are offered in a variety of sizes from 3″ mini size to 8″ draft. The most frequently used size for average size horse is 5″. Pony size 4″, Arab 4 3/4″, standard size is 5″ however 5 1/4″ is commonly available also. 5 1/2 & 6 are usually for larger sized horses like warm bloods.