A bit of the beginning

Since the downturn in weather and my out of state trip, will put me out of using Rugby Player this week, I decided that I will work with Z getting her used to a bit. I’ve wanted her started in a bitless rig so no reliance by her or the rider would be placed on the bit. However, I’ve always planned on using one eventually and now that I know her dental has been fixed, and I have a bit that fits her, it’s time to try it out.

I had a choice of a loose ring or an eggbut snaffle. Here the loose ring is on the left and the eggbutt on the right.

The loose ring needs an intelligent hand as any movement of the hand causes the bit to shift in the horses’ mouth. For those that may not feel good about the steadiness of their hands, this bit should be avoided. The upshot though is that for horses who lean, get heavy in the bridle, or (like Big Guy) goes behind the bit, the loose ring can be minutely adjusted by the movement of the riders’ hand, and require the horse to change it’s position – meaning the leaner suddenly has nothing to lean upon!

For Z, I’ll be using the Eggbutt. An Eggbutt gets it’s name from the oval shape of the ring which is fixed. It will give her more stability as she tries out the bit in her mouth. It will also be impossible for her to suck the bit sideways into her mouth, which can be done with a smaller ring snaffle.

Both of these bits have a peanut center. Looking around Julian is right – it is a French Snaffles but NOT the kind with the flat middle piece (and definitely not a Dr. Bristol). The large round piece allows the bit to the bit to lay in a curve over the tongue, and not break at a right angle while in the mouth.

I’ve ridden in this bit for some time and like it. With Big Guy I use the loose ring version due to the aforementioned leaning.

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2 Responses to A bit of the beginning

  1. What is odd, thought, is that my bit has the centre piece rotated 90 degrees compared to the one in your photo. That may just be the way that they are made over here. After all there is a lot of tradition in the way that bits are made.

    Anyway it’s a nicer bit either way than the wire-wound Tom Thumb that a certain influential ex promoted.

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