Find out all the most frequently asked questions from Neue Schule about their bits!
Q) I'd like to change from a Loose Ring to a Fixed Cheek, is there any difference in sizing?
A) Yes, when moving from a Loose ring to a Fixed Cheek it is advised you size down a quarter of an inch as you no longer need to compensate for the hole and ring.
Q) How do I know which size my horse needs?
A) Firstly, it is important to ensure that your current bit fits correctly. The wrong size of bit can hamper the action and in turn make the bit useless for your situation even though it may be the right one for your horse
Q) I'm worried about how my horse might react to a new bit, what should I do?
A) When introducing a new bit, do so in a safe and familiar environment. Start with the mildest rein setting and work up to a canter, before moving to settings that offer more control if necessary
Q) What are the signs of an ill-fitting bit?
A) Any signs of damage to the mouth will be a good indication, particularly rubs. These can be painful for your horse and also be another distraction from your rein aids. It is as important to regularly check your horse's mouth for any changes as much as you would the rest of your horse's body
Q) Why choose a Neue Schule bit?
A) We are all riders and love our horses just as much as you do, which is why a lot of research goes into our bits and exactly how they affect horses. We've developed our own special metal called Salox Gold that warms up quickly to the temperature of your horse's mouth, is softer than tooth enamel so it is much kinder to their teeth than stainless steel and many other metals. It has no taste, which reduces chomping and chewing allowing the horse to concentrate on your rein aids
Q) I wish to bit my 3-year-old for the first time which bit would be appropriate and how do I go about it?
A) Firstly, we do not advise using a key bit with players. This causes the horse to fixate on the mouthpiece and develops a busy and overactive mouth when we, in fact, wish to achieve a quiet relaxed mouth with a horse who is attentive to the rein aids
When first fitting your bit, you may wish to use a slip head or remove the noseband, browband, reins and even undo one cheekpiece for the first few times so as you can slip it on over the neck behind the ears and then rebuckle. Use a head collar and lead your horse around the stable and then around the yard. Do not leave him on his own to fixate on the mouthpiece. (Do not lead directly from the bit)
Q) I'd like to try a Weymouth or a Pelham, but my horse is susceptible to rubs, is there anything I can do to help this?
A) You can remove the traditional curb hooks and replace them with quick links which are less likely to rub
Q) Why should I use a Fixed Cheek over a Loose Ring bit?
A) The Fixed Cheeks on bits such as the Eggbutt or Full Cheek snaffles offer a more stable feel for the horse and usually promote a more consistent contact encouraging the horse to take the rein forwards and down as well as offering directional control. Whereas, a Loose Ring is usually of benefit for horses that lean or fix and block through the rein
Q) Why can't I find a bit that my horse is comfortable in full time?
A) A horse with a sensitive mouth will need you to change their mouthpiece design regularly in order to work on different pressure points, sometimes even every few weeks. This is what we call the 'comfortable working window' and the practice is not uncommon
Have you read part 1? Read it here...
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