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FOUND a source for leather snaffle bits! FYI!

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  • FOUND a source for leather snaffle bits! FYI!

    Bedford Tack in Shelbyville, TN whipped these up for me today.

    Click image for larger version

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    They're a work in progress and open to suggestions, but they're not very expensive, so I'm willing to work with it!

    They are harness leather, sized to order and the edges are beveled to make them round.

    I told them I would inform the interwebz that they are making them and so here I am!

    Bedford Tack: (931) 437-2219
    Last edited by eponacowgirl; Mar. 21, 2015, 12:05 AM.
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    Nice, but awfully thin?
    Shop online at


    • #3
      May I ask why a leather bit? Softer for the horse? Will they eventually chew through them? They are lovely.


      • Original Poster

        Honestly, it's a crap shoot for a fussy mare I have who goes... okay... in a baucher but is freaking brillant bitless.

        My trainer finally sighed and said "Maybe a leather bit??" so, I called and asked if they could make them and they agreed, they had no idea what they were doing and neither do I, but if it makes the princess happy, then... it's worth a shot.

        Yes, they could certainly be chewed through but I'm not concerned about that with my girl.
        Big Idea Eventing


        • #5
          Lauren, where exactly are they located? This close its just as easy to head by! I'm wondering if the pony may like it?


          • Original Poster


            Big Idea Eventing


            • #7
              Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
              BWAHAHAHA!!!! How'd you do that?! Sooooo cool! (I'm a google goddess, but a techtard per the thread in the Equestrian Olympics forum.)
              Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

              You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


              • #8
                Originally posted by jen-s View Post
                BWAHAHAHA!!!! How'd you do that?! Sooooo cool! (I'm a google goddess, but a techtard per the thread in the Equestrian Olympics forum.)



                • #9
                  Might be a dumb question...

                  Are these dressage legal? I just looked in the rulebook and it appears that they would be ("Flexible rubber or synthetic mouthpieces are permitted."), but leather bits are not addressed specifically.
                  RIP Jove 1993-2016


                  • #10
                    how is the leather cured? i've been thinking of a leather bit for my mare and would want one without toxicity but with apple or peppermint flavour instead for her. though i can just imagine how drooly she'd be,lol.


                    • #11
                      Leather bits are legal for dressage. It is addressed on the same line as rubber bits.
                      Leather bits are not flavored.


                      • Original Poster

                        FWIW, my two fussy defensive mares went quite well in these today.

                        I have a couple others I'd like to try them on, but Bedford is going to have to run some kind of cable through them before I'm brave enough! LOL
                        Big Idea Eventing


                        • #13
                          are they extremely flexible? that's an interesting idea, probably act like a soft, gentle waterford bit? even the so-called flexible happy mouth bits are fairly rigid.


                          • #14
                            A synthetic alternative is the Herm Sprenger Duo. Flexible, thin-ish plastic. Not as soft as leather I assume, but much more flexible than happy mouth. More durable than leather. I don't often see them in tack shops but they are in the HS catalog. Shops can order them if needed.


                            • #15
                              And oh, yes, the HS are much more expensive.


                              • #16
                                What about something like this? They have it in the racing world...



                                • #17
                                  I've seen several different leather bits on racing tack shop sites and have been tempted to try them over the years for sensitive mouthed horses. Usually they are thicker than the ones OP posted. Makes sense and better than wrapping with latex tape.
                                  "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                                  • #18
                                    The link above to the racing bit is not legal.
                                    The bit must be made entirely of leather. It can NOT be a metal bit wrapped in leather.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I tried my mare in a Nathe and she REALLY didn't like it. I was kind of thinking the leather would evoke the same response, but it certainly did not.

                                      She has gone well in a waterford and a happy mouth previously, so I think this is a similar feel for her with less bite.

                                      It's also very light weight and she gets a little twitchy about her ears and poll (goes best in a micklem) so I think that helps, also.

                                      One of my students pony goes in a waterford to jump and a french link on the flat and is very defensive of any bit contact. I wouldn't jump her in this but she went right to sitting in the contact when I worked her on the flat. Relaxed back, no tension. No "popping" up when I tried to make an adjustment.

                                      I rode my gelding in it today, who normally goes in a happy mouth and is very soft mouthed, and he curled up and wouldn't sit on it at all. Very interesting testing these!

                                      I have one more soft mouthed TB who goes in a nathe that I'd like to try in it.

                                      I do find it interesting that a waterford is not legal for dressage, but a strip of leather is.
                                      Big Idea Eventing


                                      • #20
                                        Years ago I used a leather bit when breaking a young horse...I have no idea who made it, but it looked just like the ones the OP posted, and about the same thickness. It was soft for this baby we used it on.