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Best Horse Bits for 2020

If you are an experienced horse rider, you will know that there are various different types of horse bit out there. But any newcomers could easily be completely overwhelmed by the possibilities.

The right bit for you depends on your horse. You want them to be comfortable, and how comfortable they are could also play a part in their behaviour and receptiveness to you.

For most horses, a snaffle, which is a simple bit, is a good starting point. Below are the best horse bits for most needs, from simple everyday use to something for friskier horses.

Check out our guide on how to pick the right bit for your horse

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Korsteel Copper Roller Jointed D Ring Snaffle
    • Not entirely copper - better for strength
    • Easy moving rollers
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    Korsteel Flexi Rubber Mullen Mouth Loose Ring Snaffle
    • Soft on mouth
    • Easy for contact
    Check Price
    Lorina Waterford Loose Ring Snaffle
    • Good for resistant horses
    Check Price

    The Top 10 Horse Bits Reviewed

    1.
    Lorina Loose Ring Snaffle with Lozenge

    Loose ring snaffles are great for giving your horse a bit more freedom or limiting the likelihood of them biting on the bit.

    Thanks to the lozenge, it is a bit less restrictive on the tongue, with a more rounded and less harsh finish. Double jointing also eliminates the likelihood of nutcracking, and it is available in sizes between 5 and 6 inches.

    Features

    • Lozenge fastening
    • Good finish

    Specifications

    • Joint: Double
    • Ring: Loose
    • Length: 5, 5.5, 6 inch

    2.
    JHL Pony French Link Eggbutt Snaffle

    Great for any horses who need to get used to what a bit does, and how to respond to your actions.

    It makes it easier for riders to control the horse, or for any younger horses who need their head movements restricting a little. They won’t be able to pull their head to a side to go against a command, either.

    Full cheek bars also prevent the snaffle from being pulled through the mouth, which is great for keeping a consistent positioning and getting your horse used to wearing a mouthpiece. It also encourages horses to take contact.

    Features

    • Can control horse with ease
    • Solid material

    Specifications

    • Joint: Double
    • Ring: Full Cheek
    • Length: 4, 4.5 inch

    3.
    Korsteel Copper Roller Jointed D Ring Snaffle

    A mix of stainless steel and copper materials, which gives you both the benefit of being strong and increasing salivation and comfort.

    The rollers also stop the horse from ‘grabbing’ hold of the mouthpiece, which can mean they’re more relaxed and can move their tongue a bit more freely. The single joint creates a nutcracker action which squeezes the tongue and can encourage the horse to raise their head.

    Solid D rings improve the control and sturdiness of the reins, with the benefits of an eggbutt snaffle and full cheek ring without the bulkiness which each of these brings. It is a popular mouthpiece for horses who can get quite heavy-handed and strong, especially when eventing.

    Because it doesn’t encourage your horse to take contact, it isn’t the best for young horses new to riding.

    Features

    • Not entirely copper - better for strength
    • Easy moving rollers

    Specifications

    • Joint: Single
    • Ring: Dee
    • Length: 4.5, 5, 5.5 inch

    4.
    Korsteel Flexi Rubber Mullen Mouth Loose Ring Snaffle

    A mullen mouth is an unjointed bit that is slightly curved to accommodate the horse’s tongue. It encourages the horse to raise his poll without the use of nutcracker action, which is more gentle.

    This is great for any horses who are just starting out riding, such as if they are young. The main action is in the bar. Because it is soft, flexible rubber, it is gentle on the mouth which should make it easier to accept, and is warmer.

    Your horse is still encouraged to take contact, but the loose rings still give them plenty of room to move the bit up and down with their tongue to keep it comfortable.

    Features

    • Soft on mouth
    • Easy for contact

    Specifications

    • Joint: Unjointed
    • Ring: Loose
    • Length: 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6 inch

    5.
    Korsteel French Link Eggbutt Snaffle

    An extra joint in the middle of this French Link model reduces the nutcracker action, and the shape and angle will create less pressure on the tongue and roof of the mouth.

    The eggbutt cheeks keep the bit stiller in the horse’s mouth compared to a loose ring snaffle, so it is well suited to young horses or those with sensitive mouths who struggle to keep consistent contact.

    It has been passed as dressage legal, which is perfect for any just starting out in the eventing world.

    Features

    • Reduced pressure on tongue
    • Good for dressage

    Specifications

    • Joint: Double
    • Ring: Eggbutt
    • Length: 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6 inch

    6.
    Lorina Loop Ring Snaffle

    Bevel snaffles are popular with owners of horses who need a bit of extra stopping power, as they have more flexibility over where to put the reins.

    When contact is taken, the pressure is applied on the poll and this raises the bit in the horse’s mouth, encouraging them to put the brakes on.

    Or, you could even attach them to the bottom rings if you need to encourage your horse to keep their head down. The double joint should be comfortable for most horses (bonus points, as many other bevel bits use a single joint).

    Features

    • Choice of control type

    Specifications

    • Joint: Double
    • Ring: Bevel
    • Length: 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6 inch

    7.
    Lorina Waterford Loose Ring Snaffle

    Waterford bits are great for horses who really have a problem with leaning, so this is one of the best bits for a horse that leans.

    They have more freedom in the mouth compared to other variations, but as soon as they lean, the mouthpiece becomes uncomfortable. The loose ring slides through the mouthpiece and tends to make the horse relax his jaw and chew the bit, and the stainless steel material will ensure that this doesn’t damage the bit or injure your horse.

    Note that it is recommended that you choose a size up from their usual measurements to give them a bit more leeway.

    Features

    • Good for resistant horses

    Specifications

    • Joint: Waterford
    • Ring: Loose
    • Length: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 inch

    8.
    JHL Copper Mouth Eggbutt Snaffle

    Copper snaffles have one big benefit – they increase your horse’s saliva production. They also happen to be warner and softer, so all of this means much more comfortable wear.

    The saliva is caused by the less ‘steel’ taste which makes your horse think they are having something tasty for dinner. It is a simple snaffle, and often used by novice riders as the eggbutt cheek prevents too much vibration from the riders rein being felt by the horse, which helps them become adapted and comfortable.

    Features

    • Good for acceptance

    Specifications

    • Joint: Single
    • Ring: Eggbutt
    • Length: 5 inch

    9.
    Korsteel JP Sweet Iron French Link Loose Ring Snaffle

    Best for horses who struggle to accept their bit and lack salivation.

    Not only is it sweet iron for an appealing taste, but the loose link rings rotate to give your horses head a bit more freedom which is great for those who usually lean, and the french link prevents the nutcracker action of a traditional single-jointed snaffle, which can cause the horse to raise its head in order to evade the bit.

    Features

    • Tastes nice

    Specifications

    • Joint: Double
    • Ring: Loose
    • Length: 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6 inch

    10.
    Lorina Show Pelham

    Brilliant for strong communication and excellent control, when you are in high demand situations such as show jumping or eventing.

    It is a strong bit, so great also if your horse seems to really be able to resist their bit and rein control. Extra-wide, it is also available in various lengths which is perfect for almost any breed with a large roof to tongue gap.

    Features

    • Good for strong horses
    • Gives extra control

    Specifications

    • Joint: Single
    • Ring: Pelham
    • Length: 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 inch

    Buying Guide

    Choosing a Bit

    You should be riding in the mildest bit which allows you to still have some level of control. A simple snaffle, such as an Eggbutt Snaffle, will be the best option for most, but horses with dental issues or behaviour problems may need something a bit more advanced.

    Material

    The most popular material for a bit is stainless steel. The bit will be in your horse’s mouth for a time, and stainless steel will be the quickest to warm up and ensure they are comfortable.

    But copper can increase salivation which improves the movement of the bit for comfort. There are also sweet iron bits, which taste ‘sweet’ so can be more appealing for any who struggle to accept their bit.

    Length

    You need to measure your horse’s mouth accurately while ensuring the bit will not be too long, but also won’t pinch their cheeks. Use a wooden spoon or piece of cane and rein stops.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Which horse bit is best?

    This all depends on your situation and the size of the bit needed.

    You will need to consider how well you can control your horse, the size and space in their mouth, and how well they react to having a bit.

    But as a general rule of thumb, a bit with a loose ring or eggbutt connections, and a double joint connection, will be both comfortable for your horse and give you a good level of control.

    Why should I put my horse on the bit?

    Simply put, they will be much nicer to ride. They will be more responsive, comfortable, connected and easy to control. There will be no jolty movements, with the flow and easier adaptations.

    Horses not on the bit aren’t with their rider. They are more likely to be distracted and can be harder to turn with reins, or even just leg or weight movement.

    What is the nutcracker effect?

    Single jointed snaffles can suffer from this. It is the joint closing up under contact and creating a vice-like effect on the lower jaw, like a nutcracker.

    Usually, it is not advised as it can be uncomfortable in general, but some horses who need to keep their head up may benefit from a single joint bit which does this under controlled conditions.