Choosing the best horse bit to use is an important decision that can have a major impact on your training and the relationship with your horse. You need a bit that will help you communicate effectively with your horse, but one that isn’t too harsh so you can gradually progress with your training. A good trainer should have a variety of bits and will be happy to help you select the right one for your horse’s mouth and needs.
A simple snaffle is the best choice for beginners to use since it will not be overly taxing on your horse’s mouth. If you are riding a young or green horse, this type of bit will allow your rider to start teaching the horse to respond to rein pressure. You may have to spend some time getting the horse used to having a foreign object in its mouth, but once it accepts the bit, it will be easier for both of you to work together.
Another option for a beginner is a loose ring snaffle, which will allow the horse to feel more of the rein cues without adding too much leverage to the bridle. However, you should be aware that some horses will chew and rub against this type of bit. This can be a sign that they need something more aggressive, so it is important to monitor their mouth and head movements carefully.
For horses that need a little more power than a snaffle or a curb, the Professional’s Choice Feather Shank Correction Bit is a great option. This port bit features copper to encourage salivation, shanks that swivel to refine communication, and a mouthpiece that is made of a material that will oxidize over time to provide a pleasant taste for the horse.
The Stubben Easy-Control Loose Ring Snaffle is another mild bit that is suitable for beginners to use. The loose ring design allows the horse to feel the simplest of rein cues, which will be very effective for beginners. This style of snaffle is also a good way to transition a horse from a snaffle to a curb bit because it mimics direct rein pressure while still providing the leverage that a curb requires.
A snaffle with a French link mouth piece is an excellent choice for jumping, as it provides more control over the horse’s mouth. This snaffle is available in a wide range of sizes, so you can find the right one for your horse. However, it is not recommended for beginners, as it can be too severe if the horse doesn’t take to it immediately.
For more advanced riders, a Dutch Gag is a great option for controlling the horse in competition situations. This type of bit has a three-ring design that provides more control over the horse’s mouth than a two-ring snaffle. It is often preferred by jumpers because it has a Dutch gag mouth piece, which encourages self-carriage and makes for a more responsive ride.