Bit (horse)
Overview
 
A bit is a type of horse tack
Horse tack
Tack is a term used to describe any of the various equipment and accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack...

 used in equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 activities, usually made of metal or a synthetic material, and is placed in the mouth of a horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

 or other equid
Equus (genus)
Equus is a genus of animals in the family Equidae that includes horses, donkeys, and zebras. Within Equidae, Equus is the only extant genus. Like Equidae more broadly, Equus has numerous extinct species known only from fossils. This article deals primarily with the extant species.The term equine...

 and assists a rider in communicating with the animal. It rests on the bars of the mouth in an interdental region where there are no teeth
Horse teeth
Horses' teeth are often used to estimate the animal's age, hence the sayings "long in the tooth", "straight from the horse's mouth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".- Types of teeth :At five years of age a horse has between 36 and 44 teeth...

. It is held on a horse's head by means of a bridle
Bridle
A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the "bridle" includes both the headstall that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit....

 and has rein
Rein
Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving. Reins can be made of leather, nylon, metal, or other materials, and attach to a bridle via either its bit or its noseband.-Use for riding:...

s attached for use by a rider.
Although there are hundreds of design variations, the basic families of bits are defined by the way in which they use or do not use lever
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

age.
Encyclopedia
A bit is a type of horse tack
Horse tack
Tack is a term used to describe any of the various equipment and accessories worn by horses in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack...

 used in equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 activities, usually made of metal or a synthetic material, and is placed in the mouth of a horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

 or other equid
Equus (genus)
Equus is a genus of animals in the family Equidae that includes horses, donkeys, and zebras. Within Equidae, Equus is the only extant genus. Like Equidae more broadly, Equus has numerous extinct species known only from fossils. This article deals primarily with the extant species.The term equine...

 and assists a rider in communicating with the animal. It rests on the bars of the mouth in an interdental region where there are no teeth
Horse teeth
Horses' teeth are often used to estimate the animal's age, hence the sayings "long in the tooth", "straight from the horse's mouth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".- Types of teeth :At five years of age a horse has between 36 and 44 teeth...

. It is held on a horse's head by means of a bridle
Bridle
A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the "bridle" includes both the headstall that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit....

 and has rein
Rein
Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving. Reins can be made of leather, nylon, metal, or other materials, and attach to a bridle via either its bit or its noseband.-Use for riding:...

s attached for use by a rider.

Basic types

Although there are hundreds of design variations, the basic families of bits are defined by the way in which they use or do not use lever
Lever
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to either multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object or resistance force , or multiply the distance and speed at which the opposite end of the rigid object travels.This leverage...

age. They include:
  • Direct pressure bits without leverage:
    • Snaffle bit: Uses a bit ring
      Bit ring
      The bit ring is the ring on the side of a horse's bit, particularly on a snaffle bit. It is used as a point of attachment for the cheekpieces of the bridle and for the reins. It also has an effect on the action of the bit...

       at the mouthpiece to apply direct pressure on the bars, tongue and corner of the mouth.
  • Leverage bits:
    • Curb bit
      Curb bit
      A curb bit is a type of bit used for riding horses that uses lever action. It includes the pelham bit and the Weymouth curb along with the traditional "curb bit" used mainly by Western riders....

      : A bit that uses a type of lever called a shank that puts pressure not only on the mouth, but also on the poll and chin groove.
    • Pelham bit
      Pelham bit
      A pelham bit is a type of bit used when riding a horse. It has elements of both a curb bit and a snaffle bit. In this respect a pelham bit functions similar to a double bridle, and like a double bridle it normally has "double" reins: a set of curb reins and a set of snaffle reins. Because it has...

      : A single curb bit with two sets of reins attached to rings at the mouthpiece
      Bit mouthpiece
      The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

       and end of the shank. Partly combines snaffle and curb pressure.
    • Kimblewick or Kimberwicke: A hybrid design that uses a slight amount of mild curb leverage on a bit ring
      Bit ring
      The bit ring is the ring on the side of a horse's bit, particularly on a snaffle bit. It is used as a point of attachment for the cheekpieces of the bridle and for the reins. It also has an effect on the action of the bit...

       by use of set rein placement on the ring.
  • Bit combinations
    • A type of bridle that carries two bits, a bradoon and a curb, and is ridden with two sets of reins is called a Weymouth or double bridle
      Double bridle
      A double bridle, also called a full bridle or Weymouth bridle, is a bridle that has two bits and four reins . One bit is the bradoon , is a modified snaffle bit that is smaller in diameter and has smaller bit rings than a traditional snaffle, and it is adjusted so that it sits above and behind the...

      , after the customary use of the Weymouth-style curb bit in a double bridle.
  • Non-curb leverage designs:
    • Gag bit
      Gag bit
      The gag bit is a type of bit for a horse. With two sets of reins, the gag bit gives a rider the ability to use either a standard direct action or a gag action. In this, the gag bit is related to a Pelham bit and a double bridle...

      :A bit that, depending on design, may outwardly resemble a snaffle or a curb, but with added slots or rings that provide leverage by sliding the bit up in the horse's mouth, a very severe design.
  • In-hand bits are designed for leading horses only, and include the:
    • Chifney Anti-Rearing Bit: This is a semi-circular-shaped bit with three rings and a port or straight mouth piece used when leading horses. The port or straight piece goes inside the mouth, and the circular part lies under the jaw. The bit is attached to separate head piece or the head collar and the lead is clipped onto the bit and headcollar to limit the severity.
    • Tattersall ring bit
      Ring bit
      A ring bit is a bit that includes a ring passed through the horse's mouth and encircling the lower jaw. There are different designs...

    • Horse-shoe stallion bit


Bits are further described by the style of mouthpiece
Bit mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

 that goes inside the horse's mouth as well as by the type of bit ring
Bit ring
The bit ring is the ring on the side of a horse's bit, particularly on a snaffle bit. It is used as a point of attachment for the cheekpieces of the bridle and for the reins. It also has an effect on the action of the bit...

 or bit shank that is outside the mouth, to which the reins are attached.

Types of headgear for horses that exert control with a noseband rather than a bit are usually called hackamore
Hackamore
A hackamore is a type of animal headgear which does not have a bit. Instead, it has a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the face, nose, and chin...

s, though the term "bitless bridle
Bitless bridle
A bitless bridle is a general term describing a wide range of headgear for a horses or other animals that controls the animal without placing a bit in the animal's mouth. Control is maintained by means of some sort of noseband or cavesson. The term hackamore is the most historically accurate word...

" has become a popular colloquialism in recent years.

History

It is likely that the first domesticated horses
Domestication of the horse
There are a number of hypotheses on many of the key issues regarding the domestication of the horse. Although horses appeared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BCE, these were truly wild horses and were probably hunted for meat. How and when horses became domesticated is disputed...

 were ridden with some type of bitless headgear made of sinew, leather, or rope. Components of the earliest headgear may be difficult to determine, as the materials would not have held up over time. For this reason, no one can say with certainty which came first, the bitted or the bitless bridle. There is evidence of the use of bits, located in two sites of the Botai, dated about 3500-3000 BC. Nose rings
Nose ring (animals)
A nose ring is a ring made of metal designed to be installed through the nasal septum of domestic cattle, usually bulls. Nose rings are often required for bulls when exhibited at agricultural shows. There also is a clip-on ring design used for controlling other cattle for showing or handling...

 were used on the equids portrayed on the Standard of Ur
Standard of Ur
The Standard of Ur is a Sumerian artifact excavated from what had been the Royal Cemetery in the ancient city of Ur .-History:...

, circa 2600 BCE - 2400 BCE. To date, the earliest artistic evidence of use of some form of bitless bridle was found in illustrations of Synian horseman, dated approximately 1400 BC.

The first bits were made of rope, bone, horn, or hard wood. Metal bits came into use between 1300 and 1200 BC, originally made of bronze. In modern times, nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 was a favored material until about 1940, when it was largely replaced by stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

. Copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, aurigan
Aurigan
Aurigan is a patented, nickel-free alloy made of copper, silicon, and zinc. It is used on high quality bits for horses to encourage increased salivation, which leads to a softer and more responsive mouth on the horse.-References:...

 and sweet iron
Sweet iron
Sweet iron is a term for cold-rolled "mild steel" or carbon steel that has been work hardened, popular for use in bit mouthpieces used on horses in the western riding disciplines. It easily rusts, which supposedly encourages salivation from the horse and acceptance of the bit. This metal is used...

 (cold rolled steel) are incorporated into some bits to encourage salivation in the mouth of the horse, which encourages a softer mouth and more relaxed jaw. Bits also can be made of other materials such as rubber or plastic, sometimes in combination with metals.

Throughout history, the need for control of horses in warfare
Horses in warfare
The first use of horses in warfare occurred over 5,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of horses ridden in warfare dates from Eurasia between 4000 and 3000 BC. A Sumerian illustration of warfare from 2500 BC depicts some type of equine pulling wagons...

 drove extensive innovation in bit design, producing a variety of prototypes and styles over the centuries, from Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 into modern day use.

Design and terminology

A bit consists of two basic components, the bit mouthpiece
Bit mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

 that goes inside the horse's mouth, and the bit ring
Bit ring
The bit ring is the ring on the side of a horse's bit, particularly on a snaffle bit. It is used as a point of attachment for the cheekpieces of the bridle and for the reins. It also has an effect on the action of the bit...

s
of a snaffle bit or shanks of a curb bit
Curb bit
A curb bit is a type of bit used for riding horses that uses lever action. It includes the pelham bit and the Weymouth curb along with the traditional "curb bit" used mainly by Western riders....

, to which the bridle
Bridle
A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the "bridle" includes both the headstall that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit....

 and reins attach.

All bits act with some combination of pressure and leverage, often in conjunction with pressure applied by other parts of the bridle
Bridle
A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the "bridle" includes both the headstall that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit....

 such as the curb chain on the chin, noseband
Noseband
A noseband is the part of a horse's bridle that encircles the nose and jaw of the horse. In English riding, where the noseband is separately attached to its own headstall or crownpiece, held independently of the bit, it is often called a cavesson or caveson noseband...

 on the jaw and face, or pressure on the poll
Horse anatomy
Equine anatomy refers to the gross and microscopic anatomy of horses and other equids, including donkeys, and zebras. While all anatomical features of equids are described in the same terms as for other animals by the International Committee on Veterinary Gross Anatomical Nomenclature in the book...

 from the headstall. Particular mouthpieces do not define the type of bit. It is the sidepieces and the leverage these rings or shanks use to act on a horse's mouth that determines if a bit is in the curb or snaffle family, and has a great impact on the severity of the mouthpiece.

The mouthpiece
Bit mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

 of a horse's bit is the first factor most people think of when assessing the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it is carefully considered when choosing a bit for a horse. Many mouthpieces are not allowed in certain competitions. Bit mouthpiece
Bit mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

s may be single jointed, double-jointed, "mullen" (a straight bar), or have an arched port in the center of varying height, with or without joints. Some have rollers, rings or small "keys" that the horse can move with its tongue. Mouthpieces may be smooth, wire-wrapped or otherwise roughened, or of twisted wire or metal.

Often, bits with shanks and single- or double-jointed mouthpieces are incorrectly referred to as snaffles. However, because of the presence of a shank, they are actually in the curb bit family.

Effects

The mouthpiece of the bit does not rest on the teeth of the horse
Horse teeth
Horses' teeth are often used to estimate the animal's age, hence the sayings "long in the tooth", "straight from the horse's mouth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".- Types of teeth :At five years of age a horse has between 36 and 44 teeth...

, but rather rests on the gums or "bars" of the horse's mouth in an interdental space behind the front incisors and in front of the back molars. When a horse is said to "grab the bit in its teeth" they actually mean that the horse tenses its lips and mouth against the bit to ignore the rider's commands (although some horses may actually learn to get the bit between their molars).

Bits are designed to work by pressure, not pain. Depending on the style of bit, pressure can be brought to bear on the bars, tongue, and roof of the mouth, as well as the lips, chin groove and poll. Bits offer varying degrees of control and communication between rider and horse depending upon their design and on the skill of the rider. It is important that the style of bit is appropriate to the horse's needs and is fitted properly for it to function properly and be as comfortable as possible for the horse.

In the wrong hands even the mildest bit can hurt the horse. Conversely, a very severe bit, in the right hands, can transmit extremely subtle, nuanced signals that cause no pain to the horse. Commands should be given with only the quietest movements of the hands, and most steering is done with the legs and seat. Thus, instead of pulling or jerking the horse's head to change direction by force, a skilled rider indicates the desired direction by tightening and loosening the grip on the reins. The calf of the leg is used to push the body of the horse in a certain direction while the other one is used as a pivot and to provide the correct amount of impulsion required to keep the horse moving. Likewise, when slowing or stopping, a rider sits deeper in the saddle and closes their hands on the reins, avoiding jerking on the horse or hauling back on the reins in a "heavy-handed" fashion. Change of position of the seat and the pressure of the rider's seat bones are also extremely useful for turning, speeding up and slowing down.

There are many factors in the bitting equation which must be considered to get a true estimate of the action and severity of a bit. Although some mouthpieces are marketed as "correction" (a euphemism for "severe") bits or "training" (implying a mild bit), the terms are relative. The bit always rests on the sensitive bars of a horse's mouth
Horse teeth
Horses' teeth are often used to estimate the animal's age, hence the sayings "long in the tooth", "straight from the horse's mouth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".- Types of teeth :At five years of age a horse has between 36 and 44 teeth...

. A hard-handed rider can make even the mildest bit painful, and a skilled, light-handed rider can ride in a much harsher mouthpiece without damaging the mouth or causing any distress in the horse. Additionally, the shank or ring has a great impact on the action of the mouthpiece. Snaffles are generally considered the mildest, curbs and gags the harshest. It is difficult, therefore, to compare a harsher-type bit with a mild mouthpiece (such as a pelham with a rubber mullen mouth), and a milder-type bit with a harsher mouthpiece (like a thin snaffle with a slow twist). In general, however, the mouthpiece can have a marked difference on the severity. Snaffles with twisted wires are never considered mild, whereas a pelham with a low port could.

Snaffle or direct pressure bits


All bits work with either direct pressure or leverage. Bits that act with direct pressure on the tongue and lips are in the general category of snaffle bits. Snaffle bits most commonly have a single jointed mouthpiece and act with a nutcracker effect on the bars, tongue and occasionally roof of the mouth. However, any bit that operates only on direct pressure is a "snaffle" bit, regardless of mouthpiece.

Curb or leverage bits


Bits that have shanks coming off the bit mouthpiece
Bit mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

 to create leverage that applies pressure to the poll, chin groove and mouth of the horse are in the category of curb bit
Curb bit
A curb bit is a type of bit used for riding horses that uses lever action. It includes the pelham bit and the Weymouth curb along with the traditional "curb bit" used mainly by Western riders....

s. Most curb bit mouthpieces are solid without joints, ranging from a straight bar with a slight arch, called a "mullen" mouthpiece, through a "ported" bit that is slightly arched in the middle to provide tongue relief, to the full spade bit
Spade bit (horse)
The spade bit is a historic vaquero design for a type of curb bit with straight, highly decorated shanks and a mouthpiece that includes a straight bar, a narrow port with a cricket, and a "spoon," a flat, partly rounded plate affixed above the port, supported by braces on either side...

 of the Vaquero
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

 style of western riding
Western riding
Western riding is a style of horseback riding which evolved from the ranching and warfare traditions brought to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors, and both equipment and riding style evolved to meet the working needs of the cowboy in the American West...

 which combines both a straight bar and a very high "spoon" or "spade" extension that contacts the roof of the mouth. The length of the shank determines the degree of leverage put on the horse's head and mouth. Again, a bit with shanks and leverage is always a "curb" type bit, even when it has a jointed mouthpiece more commonly seen on a snaffle (such bits are sometimes—incorrectly—called "cowboy snaffles"). All shanked bits require the use of a curb chain
Curb chain
A curb chain, or curb strap, is a piece of horse tack used on any type of curb bit. It is a flat linked chain or strap that runs under the chin groove of the horse, between the bit shank purchase arms. It has a buckle or hook attachment and often has a "fly link" in the middle to apply a lip strap...

 or curb strap for proper action and safe use.

Combination designs

Some bits combine both direct pressure and leverage, the most common examples being the Pelham bit
Pelham bit
A pelham bit is a type of bit used when riding a horse. It has elements of both a curb bit and a snaffle bit. In this respect a pelham bit functions similar to a double bridle, and like a double bridle it normally has "double" reins: a set of curb reins and a set of snaffle reins. Because it has...

, which has shanks and rings allowing both direct and leverage pressure on a single bit and is ridden with four reins; the Kimblewick or Kimberwicke
Kimberwicke
A Kimblewick, Kimberwicke or Kimberwick is a type of bit used on a horse, and named after the English town of Kimblewick where it was first made. The bit has bit shanks, D-shaped rings, and a curb chain. Due to its shanks, it is regarded as a type of curb bit...

, a hybrid bit that uses minimal leverage on a modified snaffle-type ring combined with a mouthpiece that is usually seen more often on curb bits, ridden with two reins; and the double bridle
Double bridle
A double bridle, also called a full bridle or Weymouth bridle, is a bridle that has two bits and four reins . One bit is the bradoon , is a modified snaffle bit that is smaller in diameter and has smaller bit rings than a traditional snaffle, and it is adjusted so that it sits above and behind the...

, which places a curb and a snaffle bit simultaneously in the horse's mouth so that each may act independently of the other, ridden with four reins. Another bit that combines direct pressure and leverage in a unique manner is the Gag bit
Gag bit
The gag bit is a type of bit for a horse. With two sets of reins, the gag bit gives a rider the ability to use either a standard direct action or a gag action. In this, the gag bit is related to a Pelham bit and a double bridle...

, a bit derived from the snaffle that, instead of having a rein attached to the mouthpiece, runs the rein through a set of rings that attach directly to the headstall, creating extra pressure on the lips and poll when applied. Usually used for correction of specific problems, the gag bit is generally illegal in the show ring and racecourse.

Idiomatic usage

Bits and the behavior of horses while wearing bits have made their way into popular culture outside of the horse world.
  • Took the bit in his teeth, a phrase that describes a horse that sets its jaw against the bit and cannot be controlled (rarely does the horse actually grab the bit with its molars), is used today to refer to a person who cannot be controlled or who is charging ahead without consideration of the consequences.
  • Champing at the bit (or mistakenly as chomping at the bit or chafing at the bit) refers to a tendency of some horses, when impatient or nervous, and especially if being held back by their riders, to chew on the bit, often salivating excessively. This behavior is sometimes accompanied by head-tossing or pawing at the ground. Because this behavior was most often seen by the general public in horses who were anxious to begin a horse race
    Horse racing
    Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

     in the days before the invention of the starting gate, the term has become popular in everyday speech to refer to a person who is anxious to get started or to do something. Because some impatient horses, when held back, would also occasionally rear, a related phrase, "raring to go," is also derived from observations of equine behavior.

See also

  • Bit mouthpiece
    Bit mouthpiece
    The mouthpiece is the part of a horse's bit that goes into the mouth of a horse, resting on the bars of the mouth in the sensitive interdental space where there are no teeth. The mouthpiece is possibly the most important determinant in the severity and action of the bit. Therefore, it should be...

  • Bit ring
    Bit ring
    The bit ring is the ring on the side of a horse's bit, particularly on a snaffle bit. It is used as a point of attachment for the cheekpieces of the bridle and for the reins. It also has an effect on the action of the bit...

  • Bit shank
  • Bit guard
    Bit guard
    A bit guard is a specialty piece of horse tack: a washer, usually made of flexible rubber, that is sometimes used in pairs on a bit.Reasons for using a bit guard include:...

  • Bridle
    Bridle
    A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, the "bridle" includes both the headstall that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit....

  • Hackamore
    Hackamore
    A hackamore is a type of animal headgear which does not have a bit. Instead, it has a special type of noseband that works on pressure points on the face, nose, and chin...

  • Bitless bridle
    Bitless bridle
    A bitless bridle is a general term describing a wide range of headgear for a horses or other animals that controls the animal without placing a bit in the animal's mouth. Control is maintained by means of some sort of noseband or cavesson. The term hackamore is the most historically accurate word...

  • Rein
    Rein
    Reins are items of horse tack, used to direct a horse or other animal used for riding or driving. Reins can be made of leather, nylon, metal, or other materials, and attach to a bridle via either its bit or its noseband.-Use for riding:...


External links

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