Free shipping over £39 T&C's apply


Your Cart is Empty

by Helen Best January 24, 2019 2 min read 0 Comments

There are so many different types of bits in the equestrian world, its easily to be confused! Keep on reading for a simple guide on the different types of bits and how they affect riding.

Difference in snaffle and curb bits

The mouthpiece doesn’t define what type of bit it is, it’s the cheek piece. Snaffle bits work on direct pressure where as curbs work off leverage. However, some bits fit into both categories which puts them into their own category called ‘in between’ this is because they have characteristics of both snaffle and curb bits. With these bits you need to use 2 reins, one on the snaffle ring and one of the curb ring. Examples of in between bits are Pelham, Kimberwicke and Elevator.

When using a snaffle bit, the rein is connected directly to the mouth of the horse so when you pull back on the reins, pressure is created on the corner of the lips, the bars of the mouth, the tongue and sometimes the roof of the mouth.

A curb bits pressure is different to the snaffle, the rein is connected to the end of the shank, it pulls up and back on the bottom of the shank, under the mouth instead of pulling the mouth. The first point of pressure is underneath the chin and then the roof of the mouth/tongue. This type of bit will also cause pressure on the horses’ poll, at the top of the head.

 Examples of bits

Loose ring snaffle- This is best used when training and for horses with soft mouths. The rings will turn whilst in the horses’ mouth which causes a pinch in the corners.

Eggbutt snaffle-This is the same as the loose ring snaffle however the rings are fixed in place and don’t move.

D-bit-This bit is used in many thoroughbred race horses and sometimes gets called the racing d bit.


Full cheek snaffle-The bit keeper holds the top cheek of the bit in place against the cheek piece on the bridle. This can be used without keepers but will affect how the bit works. The full cheeks keep the bit from puling through the horses’ mouth. This bit is often used for training young horses and riders.

Western curb bit-This bit has a gently ported mouth piece and shanks varying in length, where the reins attach. When the rider takes the reins, more leverage is put on the horses’ mouth and the poll. The longer shank allows the leverage to be utilised by giving extremely light rein aids.

Some bits are harsher than others, depending on the bit and on the horse. It is important to know about bits before getting one for your horse. If it isn’t the right bit, it could cause serious damage, so take care when choosing.


Now that you have more knowledge on bits, read about the important information on body protectors.

Helen Best
Helen Best

Also in News

Before you buy – Reptile Edition
Before you buy – Reptile Edition

by Helen Best February 20, 2019 5 min read 0 Comments

Reptiles if correctly cared for are exciting pets to own. However, they are extremely difficult and harder work than your cat or dog. Read on for a guide on things to consider before buying a reptile.
Read More
Benefits of Owning a Dog
Benefits of Owning a Dog

by Helen Best February 13, 2019 3 min read 0 Comments

People are always sayings dogs are man’s best friend and they are a popular pet to have in the house, but what are the actual benefits of owning a dog? Read on to find out!

Read More
Staff member Lucy Read and her 2nd place at West Park Eventers challenge
Staff member Lucy Read and her 2nd place at West Park Eventers challenge

by Gavin Hughes February 12, 2019 2 min read 0 Comments

My day started early doing my usual yard jobs and making sure Freddie was nice and clean, I loaded up nice and early as Freddie can sometimes be a little tinker when it comes to loading onto the wagon! We arrived at West Park with plenty of time to walk the course, there were plenty of questions for the pair of us, a few skinny jumps, barrels and a big ski jump, there was also two tricky fences on a dogleg with one stride.
Read More