If you answer yes to any of these questions, the Bit Perfect Trial™ might be for you:
- YOU RIDE IN A VARIETY OF BITS
This is highly recommended by many trainers because bits are a tool designed to send a specific message to your horse. There are days when you want a relaxed ride and maybe focus on your body positioning and personal technique, where you don’t want to be fussing too much with your horse’s mouth. These are also good days to let your horse relax a bit too. A variety of bits are suitable for this, (typically bits without a shank and/or bits with some sort of tongue relief) it just depends on what your horse finds relaxing*.
On other days your focus may be on collection or flex and bend, and there are bits that can help aid in obtaining that. Conversely, you might be working on extension and impulsion, again a bit can help to achieve those goals. Bits that may aid in this would be sliding ring or loose ring snaffles, draw gags or a fixed bit with gag, bits with more purchase (the portion of the bit that attaches to the headstall), as well as a variety of correction bits*.
If you are a competitor, using a variety of bits can help your horse know when to put their game face on, and yes, they will develop that discernment. Therefore, many riders like to switch bits depending on the day’s intent.
2. IT’S A NEW HORSE AND YOU ARE STILL FIGURING OUT WHAT WORKS
If the previous owner didn’t tell you what they were using, or what they suggested is not working, you are likely in the market for a new bit. It’s possible that a bit may work for one horse-and-rider combo but not for another. A bit’s functionality can vary dramatically based on the rider’s skill and riding style. Other factors that affect bit functionality include bit and curb strap adjustment. If possible, start with a snaffle-type bit and adjust as necessary*. Just keep in mind that doesn’t mean snaffle bits are the mildest of bits because that isn’t always the case, however they can provide a good baseline for the direction you need to go.
3. YOU ARE SWITCHING DISCIPLINES
Many of us use the same horse for a variety of disciplines. Whether you are a three-day eventer transitioning from dressage to cross country, or you are a 4Her participating in both English and western, speed and judged events. These disciplines may require multiple bits for each event. Knowing what works for each event can be tricky, giving a few bits a try is going to help you find what works.
You may be leaving a discipline altogether and need to find a suitable transition bit for a new activity. This may be an exercise in trial and error especially if the new discipline is something you or your horse have never done before.
4. YOU DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT BITS
It’s okay, bits are complicated! One of the best ways to learn about bits is to simply try them out. Try a range of functionalities, from loose ring snaffles to gags to ported shank bits. Many styles and configurations promise lift and collection and insert “amazing thing you want your horse to do” here. But the reality is, how you and your horse work with a bit defines the functionality for you as a team.
5. YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND A TON OF MONEY
Nobody wants to spend a ton of money! But it’s all too common that the promises of a bit don’t pan out and you are stuck with a bit you don’t want because once those tags come off, most equestrian retailers will not allow returns. Bit Perfect lets you TRY a bit before you commit to it.
6. YOU DON’T WANT EXTRA BITS
Okay, there are bit hoarders out there (we prefer to be called collectors) but not everyone wants a thousand bits in their tack room or tack trunk. Find the bits that actually work for you without buying everything under the sun, and send the rest back.
You probably said yes to at least one of the above scenarios. The Bit Perfect Trial™ allows you to find exactly what you need to communicate precisely with your horse, and it’s so easy!
- Select a bit (or a few)
- Give it a try and keep the tags
- If it doesn’t work out, place the bit in the bag it was shipped in, attach the pre-printed return label, and send it back within 30 days
- If you like what you have, do nothing and you will be charged the remainder of the cost of the bit(s)
Always remember, every horse you have the luck of swinging your leg over is a blessing so be sure to make it count! Every horse. Every ride.
Happy riding my friends.
*NOTE: Always consult with your trainer or trusted support system when switching bits.