I’ve never been a person to have a lot of extra stuff. I find something I like, and then use it until it dies, hence my one bridle. Even my bit collection is pretty small, with about 5 bits total.
Two of those are for my old horse, and are too small for Simon. One is western, and one is for my DraftX… so that leaves Simon with his one and only bit.
I use a 5″ Myler Comfort (Level 1) Snaffle on him. It’s… okay. The D rings are absolutely giant, so I don’t love it for dressage or much flat work. Feels like I don’t have a close connection with his mouth. He likes the shape and contour of the Myler mouthpiece a lot though. For the most part, this bit is sufficient except when he gets nervous/fresh and roots really bad at the canter. That problem plus the giant D rings is why I’ve got bit experimenting.
This is a 5″ egg butt french link. Simon used to go in one of these when he was greener, but we had some problems. He started trying to rear when lunging in side reins (and I promise you, the side reins were NOT tight) and the bit cut the sides of his mouth. Even when I let that fully heal and tried this bit again, it irritated the sides of his mouth to the point where I think I literally threw it away.
When Jen and I played dressage Simon, he went in her 5.5″ Myler Baucher. Overall, I really liked this bit. I think it stuck out a bit extra on the sides, but I was really happy with how he went in it. Unfortunately, Bauchers aren’t really good bits to use for the hunter ring… so that leaves me searching more.
Searching for a hacking bit, I tried a friend’s 3 ring. I put my reins on the 2nd ring since I didn’t need THAT much leverage. Overall he was very fussy in this bit during our ride. I think part of that had to do with it maybe being a smidge low, but I also think he didn’t like the movement of the bit from the loose rings on each side.
Most recently I’ve tried the bit my trainer rides him in, a D Ring Edge bit. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the sides of this bit are more like a triangle than they are rounded. It gives you some extra breaks because of the shape. Simon respects this bit, and I can be super soft with him while hacking. What he doesn’t like though is the single joint. Sometimes we’re going around fine, and then he just starts mouthing and mouthing and chewing it in irritation. I feel like he may have a shallow pallet, and this shape isn’t working for him.
So… where do I go from here? I feel like I am running out of options to try. Ideally, I could show hunters & dressage in this bit… but at least hunters. What I have coming up soon is a Happy Mouth French Link that I’m getting used.
What kind of bits do y’all recommend?