View Full Version : Bits with a wider mouthpiece
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:26 AM
I am back to playing around with western tack with my OTTB (yes, I have gone to the dark side, and they have cookies! :D). My moose-melon gelding has a BIG head (wears a warmblood / OS bridle in English tack), but I have one slide-ear headstall that actually does fit him. Am still looking for a browband bridle that would fit, but so far am still looking!
Anyhow....he takes a 5.5 / 6 in a bit....where would be a good resource? I ride him in a jointed bit with a decent sized shank on it (Pelham); I did try him in a sweet iron with a medium port but he seemed annoyed by it (more the port than the material I think). His mouth is fairly short from the corners of his lips to the bottom of his mouth, if that helps.
Jul. 10, 2012, 11:32 AM
Look at Myler bits. You can get most mouthpieces in the shorter shank in a 5.5. Ebay has a few draft size western bits in a 6. I bought a couple cute ones for my old fjordX in a 6 inch.
You can also order a custom size mouthpiece on multiple shank and mouthpiece types from NRS. I did that a few years ago for the above horse and was very pleased with the bit. Can be as plain or fancy as you want. I think I did a Billy Allen type of mouth piece in 6" with a shorter shank and just a hint of silver trim for around $150.
Jul. 10, 2012, 01:36 PM
Mylers - you can pick your cheekpieces and then your mouthpieces, so basically they are customized to what you want, and they offer bigger width mouthpieces. My gelding takes a 4.5 and standard sizes are typically a 5" which is annoying! Lucky me, I prefer Mylers, so it works out that they have his size!
Jul. 10, 2012, 02:08 PM
Hey good luck with finding that size! Kid used the gelding in 4-H where they insisted he had to have a "Western" bit to do Western classes. I was unwilling to spend the $150 on a bit that wasn't what he went best in, so I got my husband (farrier, blacksmith) to modify an extra Uxeter bit in the 6" size horse needed.
Husband reshaped the cheek pieces into a shanked bit, with a short reach above the mouth and shank below is almost just a rein loop, for that touch of curb pressure when needed. Same distances as horse used in his Driving bit and English bit.
Bit looks very nice, though we did get some laughs about using "that pony bit" on him. Short shank is noticable, since his lips show below the rein loop. Horse went really nice for the kid, which is what REALLY mattered. Horse was big, had a big head with a strong nose, so no little 5.5" mouthpiece was ever going to be comfortable for him. Horse has to be happy, comfortable in his tack, to let the kid be happy riding him!
Maybe your local Farrier or a blacksmith would remodel a bit with the appropriate size and shape of mouthpiece, to have Western looking sides. As I said, husband remodeled an Uxeter (slotted Kimberwick) in stainless steel, so he didn't have to fiddle with making swivel sides or the mouthpiece at all. There was enough sidepiece metal, to make the reach above with seperate curb strap slot, TINY shank below mouthpiece and loop for rein. Not fancy, kind of looks like a shortened Tom Thumb bit side, so that is fine to pass as "western". Husband does excellent work, bit is well finished and shiny. No one ever guesses it was not purchased as is. We have had folks ask where to buy one like it.
Jul. 10, 2012, 03:37 PM
Good Luck! I'm in the same boat with my Saddlebred. He has a wide head. Takes a normal horse size bridle, but an oversize browband, and a 5.5" (minimum) bit.
There aren't many options. Pretty much a Tom Thumb (hate 'em) or a traditional grazing bit. We have to shop at the Big and Tall Shop http://www.drafttack.com/page26.html