View Full Version : Bit collections...any must haves?

May. 10, 2010, 03:46 PM
So, let's say you were starting a general bit collection, for no particular horse.

What bits would you say are necessities?

May. 10, 2010, 03:50 PM
So, let's say you were starting a general bit collection, for no particular horse.

What bits would you say are necessities?

Hmmm......my first picks would be....

Single jointed snaffle.
Double jointed snaffle.
Mullen mouth (with and without rubber).

May. 10, 2010, 04:11 PM
I would say...
Snaffles in: D-ring, full cheek, loose ring
Mouthpieces: Single jointed, french link, Dr. Bristol, slow twist, corkscrew, throw in a single-twisted wire and a double-twisted wire if you want and maybe a triangle bit too.
3-ring elevator
Something in an alternative metal (like copper) and something in a happy mouth.

May. 10, 2010, 04:25 PM
I'd have to agree with SkipChange. And some folks ideas of what are the basics are very different. And depends on the types of horses you're showing. My essentials for hunters would be different than my essentials for jumpers.
D-ring, full cheek, loose rings, pelhams, 3 rings, gag, hackamore

and variations on the mouthpieces of those: plain, french link, slow twist, corkscrew, twisted wire, mullen mouth, rubber covered, copper, rollers

May. 10, 2010, 04:29 PM
1) Some sort of loose ring snaffle
2) Thick Eggbutt double jointed snaffle
3) Twisted wire

Loose rings are good for horses that like to pull or younger horses
Eggbutts are good for horses with a nice mouth
And a twisted is good for added control or strong horse that needs to back off when asked

To me, this collection runs top to bottom with only three bits.......

May. 10, 2010, 06:41 PM
The 3 ring elevator is a great bit to have around.

May. 10, 2010, 06:44 PM
I like doublesstable's way of explain why she'd choose the ones she did.

Here's what I'd put in a "teaching collection"-- the smallest, most basic type specimens you'd show people just starting out.

Loose-ring french snaffle
An egg-butt snaffle
A Nathe of some sort. The soft mullen mouth part is what's important
A three-ring elevator bit of some sort

From these, I think I could figure out if the horse needed more or less stability, thicker or thinner mouth piece and how some kind of leverage and maybe some poll pressure would work.

A pelham isn't included because I'm thinking about training horses, and I don't find there's anything I can *teach* a horse with too many reins in my hand that I couldn't get done some other way.

May. 10, 2010, 06:57 PM
Every bit you can buy for under $10.00

May. 10, 2010, 07:19 PM
Herm Sprenger French Link Loose Ring 14mm snaffle for training. I can get almost anything to go nicely in that bit.

Never been a fan of 3-rings. Like pelhams for certain horses that like to put their heads in the air and fall in on course (especially for equitation). But I like to flat almost everything in the first bit I mentioned.

May. 10, 2010, 08:20 PM
My basic bit collection is a KK copy loose ring, a french link D, a bean link D with a slightly thicker mouth, and a soft rubber loose ring. I want to add a rubber mullen mouth pelham, once I can find one that's the bendy kind in a 5'5", but other than that, I have found that the 4 bits I have, have worked on everything I have ridden. There are very few horses in our barn that go in anything but double jointed snaffles, and even then, the bigger bits are used only as a training tool or at shows, and then it's back to flatwork until the same results can be achieved in a snaffle.

Small Change
May. 10, 2010, 08:25 PM
One of everything, minimum. Preferably in pony and a common horse size. Buuuuut this is advice coming from a third generation bit collector. I think there are 209 on the tack room wall, which doesn't count the ones attached to bridles, or purchased since I did the last count. ;)

May. 10, 2010, 08:25 PM
I want to add a rubber mullen mouth pelham, once I can find one that's the bendy kind in a 5'5"

Have you tried a happy mouth pelham? My equitation gelding went the best in that than anything else.

May. 10, 2010, 09:13 PM
french link loose ring. Like a KK training snaffle.
A regular snaffle that is not heavy.
A regular snaffle that is not heavy but not fat
A dr bristol - usually good extra strength when I retrain exracers
Happy mouth snaffles. The D ring is nice
I have a rubber pelham too that I have to retrain exracers.
Full cheek something mild
A copper roller snaffle.....
I have two simple Level 1 mylers too

These are bits I will not sell but will not necessarily always be using them.

Most of our horses are ultimately in the french or a light reg snaffle - loose ring, eggbutt or D ring.

May. 10, 2010, 11:34 PM
Bold are things that others may not have thought of.


loose ring, d ring/eggbut, full cheek
in combination with
nathe mullen mouth
metal mullen mouth
single jointed in stainless and copper
french link/double jointed
dr. bristol
slow twist
single twisted wire
double twisted wire
copper roller
jointed Mikmar snaffle

Usually would pick softer bits to have D/loose ring/eggbut and twisted ones/wire ones to have full checks. I would want one single joint with full cheeks though.

Baucher (french link and single jointed)


metal mullen mouth
rubber mullen mouth
single jointed
french link/double jointed
twisted (corkscrew or slow twist, both preferably)
pessoa "magic" (locking so that it doesn't break very far in the middle)

Three ring- (optional)
single jointed
double jointed

single jointed gag
straight mikar with angled mouthpiece

bradoons (thin single and double jointed)
weymouths (medium port and mullen mouth)

Also... a side pull and a jumping hackamore.

May. 10, 2010, 11:45 PM
Out of my 50 bits I have used like 5...

Loose ring link bit
French Link Dee
Dee Copper Roller
Rubber Pelham
a simple hackamore ('cause you never know when you have a tooth issue!)

May. 11, 2010, 12:27 AM
I have one (or, um, two) of a bunch of different bits, but I've found that a waterford is an excellent thing to have around. In addition to the other basic ones listed above, a waterford is something to try when other bits don't seem to be doing the job.

I ride my jumper in a loosering Sprenger KK Ultra right now, but he's gone in just about everything, so I have just about everything in my trunk!

May. 11, 2010, 02:23 PM
KK ultra (mine is a D-ring)
3-ring, prefer french link
Mullen Happy mouth (actually ideal would be the sprenger duo mouth piece but $$$)
Jointed D-ring Segunda

Those are my go to bits for most horses, pretty much any horse has gone well in my kk ultra or my mullen happy mouth. The segunda is just a show bit though.

Other bits that I like to have on hand:
Various loose rings-hollow mouth, french link (I have a sweet iron that my horse loves)
Various D-rings: Dr bristol, slow twist, twisted dr bristol, regular
I don't have many full checks but haven't felt the need for them much, and I am not a huge fan of pelhams they really depend on the horse for me at least.
If you have kids riding and teach lessons I would keep a few kimberwicks around.

Basically like others have said one of everything! But those first I listed are the bits I find myself using the most.