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Ask Tess Carmichael : What bit do prefer to use and what do you think of easy controls compared to a snaffle with a drop?

Ask Tess Carmichael : What bit do prefer to use and what do you think of easy controls compared to a snaffle with a drop?
Hi Hayley

I try to keep things quite simple with bits but I’m also very lucky that my horses are relatively straightforward too so there’s no need to complicate things. I really like a brand of bit called Bombers Bits. They use a lot of sweet iron which I think they horses like and they have a mouth piece with is a straight bar with a port in it. I have the snaffle version that a lot of my horses work very nicely in and I have a Pelham version that I use for three of them in the ring.

Bits are funny things, it’s a very personal thing for a horse. For example when I first got Bangle I followed what they rode her in before which was a running gag. (Personally I don’t like running gags, I think they’re a bit too sharp for me and if I have two reins there are too many options and too much in my hands!) She was very strong in it and would snatch at the bit, so I changed to a simple snaffle and she goes amazing in it. If you had told me that a horse that was strong in running gag I could then jump around in a snaffle I would never have believed it. But she likes that bit and she accepts it! She’s happy and I have a good amount of control!

In an ideal world we could ride everything in a snaffle and simple noseband and for most of mine I can jump them around a small course or exercise at home in just that. However in the ring with a lot of distractions and with bigger more technical courses, where it comes up quicker you often need an extra bit of control.

Thanks for your question!
Tess ☺