Horse Showing

Bit-Buying Tips

August 3, 2011

Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your next bit.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

bit in horses mouth

Choose a bit that will not pinch your horse's mouth. Journal photo.

Buying a bit for your horse can be intimidating. There are thousands of styles and brands out there to choose from. To help you narrow down your choice, Tom Balding, Billy Klapper and Greg Darnall offer this advice:

  • Choose a branded bit. The brand gives a guarantee of the product, and if there is a problem with the bit, you have someone to go back to.
  • Run your hands over the bit to give yourself an idea of what it will feel like in the horse’s mouth and to ensure that there are no sharp points or rough edges that could injure the horse.
  • Make sure the bit’s joints move smoothly and freely but are not overly loose. You want close-fitting, nonpinching joints.
  • Check the symmetry of the bit and make sure that one side is not heavier or lighter than the other side.

From saddles and hackamores to grooming techniques and proper trailering, there are numerous ways to enhance your American Quarter Horse experience. So, how do you know what is right for you and your American Quarter Horse? AQHA’s “Tack Talk” DVD can answer your questions about the tack you need for you horse.

Here are a few things to avoid in a bit:

  • Poorly shaped mouthpieces
  • Uneven size and shape of mouthpieces
  • Oversized joints in the shank and mouthpiece
  • Uneven size and shape of shanks
  • Off-centered ports
  • O-rings that are not round
  • Bent or uneven shanks
  • Straight pieces that are not straight
  • Sharp points and rough areas
  • Places that will pinch
  • Cheek pieces too high or low
  • Poor quality metals
  • Improper angles
  • Irregular or discolored metals
  • Unbalanced symmetry
  • Cracks in joints or other metal weaknesses
  • Overly loose joints

Dennis Moreland has been creating and demonstrating tack for more than 30 years, and he shares his vast experience with you on one informative DVD, “Tack Talk,” available exclusively through Quarter Horse Outfitters.