View Full Version : Bit suggestions?

May. 15, 2012, 03:41 PM
I'd like some opinions of what type of bit I should consider trying with my horse. I've had him for a year and he came to me with a fairly fat KK Ultra loose ring, that I've continued to use until recently. When I first got him, he would consistently go behind the bit. That went away and now he'll occasionally lean on the bit, "snatch" the bit and/or toss his head... so both myself and the pro that rides him for me thought it may be time for a bit change.

I've always been one to keep it simple (stick to plain snaffles) and for now we switched him to a thinner french link loose ring. He's going better in it but it's a hair too small for him and I'll need to get a bigger one. He also just had his teeth done and I think that helped, too, as he had some mild hooks. Have been contemplating trying him in a HS Duo since he's sensitive but am worried that may encourage the leaning. They're expensive so I'm hesitant about getting one, though I think he may like a milder bit. I think he has a bit of a low palate also. Should I stay with the FL or try something different?

To complicate matters even more, I just ordered a Micklem bridle to see if he'd find that more comfortable. He's one of those "face scratchers" and it seems a lot of people here like the Micklems on horses like him. I plan to try it first with my plain jane FL bit and see if it helps. If not, back to Smartpak it goes, lol.

Thoughts? He's an interesting horse-- lazy but at the same time, quite sensitive-- I've never had one like him before!

May. 15, 2012, 03:53 PM
I probably sound like a broken record b/c I know I have praised them before.

HS Duo was a wonderful bit for my horses, I can't believe I held off for so long b/c of the price. Now I have 2 or 3, go figure!

I don't know much about Micklem bridles or what bits work with them though. So I can't say how the combo would work out.

May. 15, 2012, 08:54 PM
Wow, can't believe nobody else has a suggestion... but thanks, Bellissimo-- I guess I'll try the duo and see what happens. I can always return or sell it if it doesn't work for him. I'll probably also try a larger version of the thinner french link, I worry that the one I have will pinch his lips.

From what I understand about the Micklem, you can use any kind of bit with it just like a "normal" bridle or opt to use it bitless. I'm not wanting to go bitless personally.

May. 15, 2012, 08:59 PM
I ride my mare with the Herm Sprenger KK Shaped Aurigan Loose Ring (http://www.smartpakequine.com/herm-sprenger-kk-shaped-aurigan-loose-ring-7104p.aspx?cm_vc=Search) and the Micklem bridle. I really like this combo.

May. 15, 2012, 09:29 PM
In a similiar theme:

I really like this bit for horses that go BTV. My horse LOVES it.


Mullen/happy mouth/ plastic bit/loose ring.

Its not good for a horse that isn't somewhat sensitive to the bit, not good for a horse that leans really hard. I haven't had a problem, my horse isn't afraid to take contact, its very inviting. It really helped me a lot. Some horses just don't like snaffles. Its not the prettiest bit, but hey it works for me!

My other favorite bit is the JP Korsteel oval mouth bit (in general).

May. 15, 2012, 11:40 PM
My tiny mouthed, low palated Arab really likes the JP Korsteel oval mouth bits. He has one with a copper center piece and one that's just plain. He goes equally well in either one. He flings his head and acts like you're trying to kill him in a single jointed snaffle.

May. 15, 2012, 11:45 PM
I ride my mare with the Herm Sprenger KK Shaped Aurigan Loose Ring (http://www.smartpakequine.com/herm-sprenger-kk-shaped-aurigan-loose-ring-7104p.aspx?cm_vc=Search) and the Micklem bridle. I really like this combo.

My horse(s) go in the same setup, but with the HS d-ring/eggbutt instead of loose ring

May. 16, 2012, 08:22 AM
Slightly different scenario, but I switched my gelding to a HS Duo from a JP double-jointed full cheek snaffle to the Duo (after the implication from a trainer that bitting up might not be an all bad idea).

I made the switch because although he would sometimes get a bit strong to a fence, he would get himself behind the bit on the flat. I rationalized that a softer bit might encourage him to not get so behind the bit, and would also mean that as I held him a little bit to the jump, if I did happen to catch him going over, it wouldn't be as bad.

End result is that the bit has worked quite well for him, for both jumping and flat.

May. 16, 2012, 11:52 AM
I'm a huge fan of the Sprenger french link Aurigan loose ring snaffle. The link itself is more delicate than the link in many other brands, and a lot of horses really like that alloy. Of course, it will pinch if it's too small.

I've never ridden in a Micklem, so I don't know how that affects the action of the bit, though.