French link snaffles I find are the best/safest for the horse as they don't create the nutcracker affect. And rubber bits are made to be more gentle but I've never used them. Don't use any shanked bit. If you do use a shanked bit, only use a full bar mouth piece as jointed ones can hurt the horse as it allows the bit to move around more in the horses mouth and pinch lots. I dont ride in bits anymore though, I started bitless about a year ago.
@luciatcid I was merely basically repeating what Alannah wrote. You will always lack information in the equestrian field. It's something that you will never stop learning in. Anyone who says they know everything or nearly everything about horses is lying or ignorant. The more you get to know, the more you realise you don't know. There's always a different way of doing something. It's what makes it so interesting!
@caoimhesweeney thank you so much, you really answered all the questions I had, I’m really impressed, you know a lot about this topic!! I wish I did, at least that’s what I’m trying to do this 2019 I barley started a few months ago riding and I feel like I’m always lacking information. 💖. I hope with the years I keep learning more ...
Completely agree with Alannah. Bits, like a lot of tack, are very individual. There are no better one than the other as such. Bitless is just another form of bitting and is no better or worse than bitted. The best possible bit you can get your horse is one that suits both you and the horse. Rubber is softer, but some horses don't salivate enough and you end up with friction burns. Some horses don't like the rigidness of a straight bar, others don't like the instability of multiple links. Thin bits are generally considered harsher than thick bits but a horse that has a small mouth doesn't have room for a thick bit. Trying to put a bitless on a nerve related headshaker would make it a lot worse, and cause a lot of damage.
I'm afraid it's just trial and error. Bits in themselves are not worse than bitless. There are a few extreme bits, yes, but they are generally avoided.
I’m not sure if there is some new bit that I’ve never heard of that is supposed to be incredibly softer than others, so I may be answering this question wrong??
The first thing that I would like to point out is that bit less is NOT always better!! Every bridle, bit, nose band, etc. will feel different for every horse. Some horses have sensitive nose bridges and using a bit less bridle will bother them a lot more than a bit because of where the pressure goes. For other horses, a bit is going to bother them more because they have a sensitive tongue or mouth.
Going on to what bit you want to use... there are so many different types, materials, shapes that you should try out. If you want something soft I would go for a smooth metal or rubber bit. Rubber is softer (in the squishier sense) but some horses don’t like the feeling of it and may prefer metal. You can also try different widths of the bit. Some like very thin and some like very thick. I would just try a few different types to see how it feels, this is really the only way you know of your horse likes it or not.
I feel like I didn’t do a great job answering your question so I’m sorry about that!! Best of luck finding a bit (or bridle!)!
I know obviously bitless is the best way ever to go, I don’t deny that, but I’ve heard about these bits every rider (specially on YouTube) uses that are made thinking on the horses mouth with special material and stuff. I’m aware it all depends on how the rider decides to use the bit but still, I can’t stop thinking that I might be hurting my horse by using the bit she has now, even tho I bare use the reins because she is mainly trained by voice and legs so like I don’t really use it. (And we get check ups on her mouth and she is good )