The first steps to finding your favorite bit

Finding Your Favorite Bit

So your struggling to find your favorite bit?  Maybe you have tried several different kinds? But you still aren’t getting the results you are looking for.

According to Al Dunning (horse trainer), in a recent live Facebook video, a great bit is one that does what you want it to do.

You see the other day a friend of ours Brodie Poppino, our Dutton Bit Rep stopped by the Saddle Shop to check on our stock.  Ryan commenced to asking him questions and thought I should too.  In the meantime our friend and barrel racer Audriana Hicks popped into the shop.  We talked a lot about bits.  It was great conversation and it really got me thinking.  What is the first step to solving a bit problem?  Brodie’s first thought was of their teeth and Ryan agreed.  It made a lot of since to all of us.

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Step One

The first thing you would want to do is have your horse’s teeth checked.  Some warning signs would be if your horses teeth are in bad condition:  Does the horse lose grain from their mouth when they are eating?  Does the horse resist the bit when trying to put it in its mouth?  Does it sling its head when you are riding? If any of these things are happening you might want to thoroughly checked out by yourself and a licensed veterinarian. 

If your horse can’t hold the bit right in their mouth or if they have a broken tooth or sharp edges no bit is really going to give you the results you are looking for because your horse will be in pain.  You see a horses teeth don’t work like ours do.  They sit on an angle and a horse uses them to grind down their food, while we use ours to bite down.

Step Two

One of the second things you will want to check is the bridle you are using.  You want to assess how the bit is sitting in the horses mouth.  Is your bridle adjusted correctly? Is it sitting too high, too low, too tight or too loose?  If your horse has a slight smile, which means a faint wrinkle on each side of the mouth, the bit is most likely in an appropriate position.  

Step Three

Know your discipline or do the research.  Bits were designed to get many different outcomes.  Therefore, it depends on the discipline you are riding as to what bit would serve you best.  From what I’ve heard the most common bit used in roping is the chain bit.  However, not every roper is going to like the chain bit, but one of their horses might just perform better with it regardless.

Ultimately, your horse will let you know if your favorite bit is working or not.  You just have to listen to their cues, and know if they are doing what you want them to do.  If they aren’t it might be time to assess the situation further.

If you would like a consultation, we would love to hear from you!  Just email us at [email protected]

Thank you so much Bodie and Audrey for taking the time to talk to us about Bits, you guys have no idea how much I appreciate your patience!

I have created a link if you would like to check out Brodie’s Dutton Bits or get information on Audrey’s Crazy H Arena.

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