1. Daniella

    Hi Martina,

    Wow, what a great article, you have given such important information about horse bits, I really liked it!
    I was born with horses and grew up with them, this creature is absolutely beautiful, so intelligent and sensitive. I personally think that we must be careful with the horse mouth and use the right material, it is very easy to desensitize the horse which can lead the horse not to respond properly to our demands. I personally prefer the snaffle bit, it is more gentle for the horse and if use it correctly then your friend will be very happy! I use to ride my horse with a rope halter, and our communication was absolutely awesome but it is not recommended for beginners:)
    What would you recommend the most, the snaffle or the curb bit?
    Thank you for this excellent post!

    • Martina

      Hey Daniella!

      Thanks for your feedback, I’m really happy that you enjoyed my post. I totally agree, horses are most definitely the best. I agree with you as well – I prefer materials that induce salivation so that you completely avoid any risk of sores from a dry mouth. That sounds like a lot of fun and like you and your horse were very well connected! I actually rode a few times without a bridle or roped halter, it was amazing although a little nerve wracking at first. But we were in an arena and I had been riding my horse at the time for 4 years so he knew exactly what to do just from my legs 🙂

      I would also recommend snaffle as a default. Definitely. I think that the curb bit should only be used in special circumstances. If all other avenues have been exhausted and safety is a big concern. Or if the rider is very experienced and doesn’t have the ability to exert a lot of force but needs exceptional control such as in one handed rodeo style riding.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂


  2. Kevin

    I was initially interested in reading your post as I had just been on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands in Virginia and got to see the Chincoteague ponies on a day cruise. I never heard of horse bits before and think you did a great job of explaining them. This post should be very interesting for equestrians.

  3. phil

    what would advise if you have a older horse that i use a short shank snaffle as that is what he was use to but seems to have a mind of his own and at times just does what he wants.

    • Martina

      Hi Phil,

      If you feel like you need more control then you could try a curb bit but you have to be more gentle with the horse so that you don’t irritate his mouth. Sometimes if there’s too much pressure for too long, then the horse will just start ignoring signals and force it whichever way he wants to go. Going to a curb bit might be what he needs to re-sensitize but you have to respect that it’s more intense for him and handle the reins appropriately.

      Hope that helps!


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