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13 Best Horse Bits – Reviews & Top Picks

It's hard to cover all there is to know about horse bits and how to choose the best one for your horse in a single post. However, there are several fundamentals that every horse owner should be aware of.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best horse bits in both English and Western disciplines, as well as a handful that may be used in both.

We'll also talk about how to choose the ideal bit for you and your horse, as well as what to consider while making that decision.

A Buyer's Guide to Horse Bits

Horse bits are among of the most misunderstood, mislabeled, and mistreated parts of horse equipment. Although these terminology are used often by horse enthusiasts, they may be quite confounding to those who are just beginning to learn about bits. There are basically two sorts of bits: little and large.

  • Bite of snaffle leather
  • Curb a sliver

Every horse bit will fit into one of these types, no matter how many variations there are. It’s critical to make this difference. People often believe that the term “snaffle bit” encompasses all mouthpiece bits with a break in them. Even snaffles with shanks (like the Tom Thumb Snaffle) are really curb bits. Snaffles are just another term for these types of curb bits.

Curb bits use leverage, while snaffle bits use direct pressure. A curb bit has shanks and is powered by leverage. It’s not the mouthpiece that’s to blame. Although the mouthpiece is the same for both a snaffle and a curb, the two implements act in quite different ways. The only thing that distinguishes a bit is its cheekpiece.

Snaffles come in a variety of varieties.

A wide variety of snaffle bits, from D-rings to eggbuts to loose rings to full cheeked ones are available. A variety of mouthpieces are available for them as well:

  • A single-jointed construction
  • As opposed to single-jointed (including French links, half-moons, rollers, Dr. Bristols, etc.)
  • Mouths of Mullen
  • Ports
  • Inflexible mouths
  • Corkscrews, wires twisted slowly

Curb Bits Come in Many Forms.

The following mouthpieces and roughly a dozen more can be used in curb bits. The cheekpiece is more important than the mouthpiece! There are several different types of curb bits, but all of them have shanks that attach to the rein. These shanks act as a lever when rein pressure is applied. There will be pressure on the horse’s chin from the curb strap, as well as on various portions of its mouth depending on the type of mouthpiece.

Bit Exceptions in English

The three varieties of English bits fall into the “in-between” category, as all bits fall into one of two categories: snaffles or curbs. Snaffle and curb features can be achieved with the Pelham, Kimberwicke, and Elevator bits. There are two types of double reins: snaffle and curb. Both are used with Pelham and Elevator bits. This gives the rider the option to employ either a straight or a curved bit action, depending on their preference.

Selecting a Bit for Your Horse

With so many horse bits on the market, there’s one for every type of rider, goal, and discipline. It is possible for a horse’s response to rein aids to be affected by even minor variations in the structure of its bit.

When deciding on a piece, keep these factors in mind:

  • You and yours
  • From the mouth of the ox
  • Do you have any concerns or issues with training?
  • You’re self-control in


On the other hand, your hands

As a rider, one’s hands should be able to move on their own. In other words, the rider should not use the reins as a means of balancing themselves in the saddle. You can move your hands up, down, and to the side while riding. To avoid inflicting harm to your horse while you’re still learning, use only mild bits if you don’t yet have autonomous hands.

In the mouth of your horse

When it comes to rein pressure, some horses are more sensitive to it than others. Horses with “soft” or “hard” mouths are often referred to as “soft-mouthed.” Because of their tender gums and mouths, young or green horses require soft bits and gentle handling. When horses are ridden tough and with harsh bits, their mouths tend to become rigid. They need to be desensitized and may not respond to light rein aids or gentle bits.

Issues with Training

Your selection of bit will be influenced if you have specific concerns with your horse that need to be addressed throughout training. A responsive horse on the softest bit is the ultimate ideal, but if your horse is having difficulty learning, experimenting with alternative bits may be helpful. A strong bit may be necessary if your horse does not halt well, for example, when using light aids. It’s critical to remember that a training bit is a tool. Horses should not be “bitted up” in order to cover up a problem that may be handled with proper training..

Discipline in Riding.

It’s important to consider the type of riding you do while choosing a bit. The use of certain bits is restricted in several competitions, including hunter, jumper, dressage, Western pleasure, reining, and cutting. Horses under 5 years old are only allowed to use the Snaffle Bit in Western pleasure competitions, for example. Even if your horse is a junior cowhorse or younger, you must ride him in a curb bit.

Is Biting Cruel or Not?

There are some people who don’t use bits on horses or believe that bits are terrible torture devices that harm horses’ mouths. This subject is worth discussing.

Using a bit, the rider and horse can communicate more effectively and comfortably. Even if they’re utilized incorrectly, they’re not cruel if they’re done so by considerate and kind riders and instructors.

No matter what bit you choose, it will put pressure on a very delicate area of the horse’s body. Even the mildest of bits can cause discomfort if the rider on the end of the reins yanks, jerks, or uses the assistance in an unpleasant manner. As with any other training instrument, a bit works by applying pressure and then releasing it. While it may cause some discomfort, when used correctly, it should never cause pain.

How to Calculate a Bit’s Length

5, 5.5, and 6 inch bits are the most often used bit sizes. It is common for draft or draft cross horses to be fitted with 6.5- and 7-inch-long bits. Pony bits are those that are shorter than 5 inches.

The distance between the cheekpieces of a bit is measured by setting it down on a flat surface and using a ruler to measure the distance.

The mouth of your horse can be measured for a bit with the use of a bit sizer. Because a bit that is too little can pinch the corners of your horse’s mouth, and a bit that is too large won’t be successful in transmitting your rein cues, it’s crucial to select the proper size.


If you’re trying to communicate with your horse, the mildest bit is preferable. Like humans, horses have a preference for certain types of bits.

To discover the right one, you may have to go through some trial and error.

All-purpose horse bit like the Copper Lozenge Link Eggbut Snaffle Horse Bit can be utilized in many different disciplines and for everyday riding…

You can get a fair idea of what to look for in a bit from the reviews in this post. When in doubt, explore a variety of solutions or seek the advice of a professional trainer.

After everything is said and done, we are grateful that, out of the dozens of websites available, you picked BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to read evaluations of the best horse bits.

We really hope that this essay was able to assist you in selecting the best possible item for your pet.


Eggbutt Snaffle Bit – The Best All-Purpose Bit

  • Type of Bits: Snaffle

Having a snaffle bit in one’s tack room is a must for any equestrian. There are three parts to this snaffle bit, and the mouth diameters range from 4.5 inches to 5.75 inches. The three-piece design of this bit makes it incredibly soft. It’s an excellent bit for trail riding and can be used in both Western and English disciplines. It’s easy to use even for beginners. Using this bit for lengthy periods of time won’t cause your horse any discomfort because of the copper mouthpiece.

With this snaffle bit, you won’t require bit guards like with a loose ring type of bit because the cheekpieces are eggbutt-style. Eggbutt snaffles have the drawback of requiring a custom fit in your horse’s mouth. You may choose a loose ring snaffle while transferring between horses. There are horses that dislike the three-piece bit, despite the fact that it is softer on the mouth than a two-piece, single-break snaffle. It’s not good for training with this bit because it’s so soft.

Ultimately, we think this is the best horse bit you can have this year.


  • Both English and Western disciplines have legal competition
  • Versatile
  • A little bit of movement
  • Having a bit guard is not necessary.


  • Eggbutts must be fitted correctly.
  • The bit in question isn’t meant for use during training sessions.

For barrel racing, we recommend the JP Korsteel Blue Steel Oval Link Loose Ring Snaffle Bit.

  • Type of Bits: Snaffle

The Blue Steel Oval Link Loose Ring from JP Korsteel is an excellent option of bit for barrel racing. The curved design prevents nutcracker action by preventing contact with your horse’s mouth, while the steel finish stimulates salivation.

The movable form of this snaffle helps prevent your horse from leaning on its forehand, which is very crucial in barrel racing. By getting your horse to work from its rear end, you will have more force and speed on the pattern.


  • Encourages your horse to move off the forehand
  • Promotes salivation
  • Curved design


  • A broad mouthpiece won’t fit all horse’s mouths

Ring Twisted Wire Snaffle with Curved Mouth — Best for Training Made of Weaver Leather

  • Type of Bits: Snaffle

The loose ring design on this Weaver twisted wire bit aids your horse in picking up subtle reining cues. Because it’s a loose ring, bit protectors on the side will be necessary to keep your horse’s lips safe. This is a simple bit with a single break that gets the job done. Twisted wire is rougher than a smooth bit and should not be used by novices.

The advantage of this snaffle is that it provides a little more strength in communicating, but it does not have the disadvantages of a shank. Because it’s prone to rust, it should be cleaned on a regular basis.


  • This is an excellent upgrade from the standard snaffle.
  • Bit with a single break is functional.
  • Not too severe.


  • Over time, rust can form.
  • Bite guards are required.

The Best Correction Bit is the Professional’s Choice Feather Shank Correction Bit.

  • Type of bit: Curb

The Feather Shank Correction of choice for professionals. The Bit is a curb bit that is specifically developed for the purpose of correction. The use of training aids such as these is critical. To encourage salivation and improve communication, this port bit combines copper and swiveling shanks.

Trainers are likely to have a version of this bit in their tack room. For this reason, it is a common bit design and may be used on practically any horse to soften and refine its responses. One of the most popular options for horses switching to the curb bit is this one.

If you don’t have the skill set to handle this, you’re in for a rude awakening. If you’re an experienced rider, a bit like this is a terrific option, but newbies should steer clear of it.


  • Enhances salivation
  • Spindles on the end of the shank
  • Suitable for the majority of equines


  • This is not the place for newbies.

Bob Avila is a favorite among the pros. The Best Western Show Bit in Santa Rosa

  • Type of bit: Curb

Snaffle bits are not permitted in the show ring for horses above the age of five in many Western competitions. Show bits are designed to be used one-handed, therefore the lengthy shanks of the bit should be subjected to as little direct rein pressure as possible.

Impatient horses will enjoy fiddling with the copper roller mouthpiece of this bit, which also serves to encourage salivation. This “show bit” is primarily intended for usage in the show ring and should not be used on a daily basis.


  • Rolling pin made from copper
  • Beautiful design that’s ready to be displayed


  • It’s not recommended for everyday use.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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