As a showumper I have changed several horses since the age of 10. As we all know, all horses are different and special in their own way. Hence it is very important to find the right bit that allows a horse to move and jump its best while giving the rider enough control.
Through my experience I have found that I prefer flat working my horse in a snaffle bit. I usually choose the lightest possible snaffle which allows me to have enough control. That way I make sure every horse I ride carries the bit well and does not come behind the bridle, while it responds to my commands adequately.
In this article I have incorporated 3 of my favorite snaffle bits, which I use on my horses at home.
1. The Eggbutt Rubber Snaffle Bit
I like the shape of this mild snaffle as it lessens the possibility of pinching. The width and the rubber make this bit very soft, encouraging green or sensitive horses to take the bridle.
2. The Loose Ring Jointed Snaffle
The loose ring jointed snaffle is the classic snaffle every rider has used. It is ideal for flatwork and comes in many different widths and ring sizes. The thiner the bit, the stronger it becomes in the horse’s mouth as it applies more pressure. You can try a few on your horse and see which one works better in your case.
3. The Loose Ring Waterford Snaffle
I find the loose ring waterford snaffle a great solution for horses that are a little too strong in a normal snaffle. The mouthpiece lays across the horses tongue, giving lots of freedom and keeping horses from leaning on it, while allowing for more control as it becomes solid when asking for a stop. The rider using this bit should be careful with the use of hands, as a sawing movement can result to a very harsh feeling in the horse’s mouth.
TIP – If a horse is too difficult to ride in a snaffle even at home try using draw reins before thinking of bitting it up.
That was a quick insight into how I like flatworking my horses at home. NOTE that if a horse is good in the competition arena with a snaffle you should be more than happy to keep it that way! However, an other article will follow with the bits I find useful in the ring other than snaffles.
Feel free to share your experience about the bits you have found the most useful.
See you soon! 😉