no bit bridle


Do you know what kind of bit/bridle is on this horse I saw at an art museum the other day? At first I thought it was a pelham, which doesn’t seem to have been historically possible, but now I’m looking at it and it might just be an awkwardly painted double bridle? The snaffle ring (if that’s what it is) seems to be outside of the curb shank and the cheekpiece is weirdly loose, though. Thoughts?


My first thought is that this is following the convention of starting a horse in the snaffle and moving them up into the full bridle (you can definitely see this horse ‘packing’ the bit or holding it up in its mouth which is a sign of an educated horse, tho who knows how much is artistic license). But I have no clue where that tradition originated or whether it applies to this time period. Since this is only about 200 years back I wouldn’t be surprised if it was part of the cavalryish tradition of graduating a horse from the snaffle to the curb. But yeah my guess is double bridle. @sandetiger​ you know a bit more about time periods, you have any opinions? this is NOT my area of historical knowledge lol

The Perfect Bit for Your Horse

There are a thousand options out there when it comes to bits. How do you know you’re getting the bit that works best for you? what about for your horse? 

Here is a handy guide on what the sizes, shapes, and mouth pieces do for us!

Cheek Pieces:

The cheek piece of a bit refers to the portion of the bit that lies against the horses cheek when the bridle is worn. These come in different shapes and sizes.

Dee-Ring:   This is a fixed cheek piece in the shape of a D, great for gauging a                      new horse’s bitting needs, and is typical in the hunter show ring.

Full-Cheek:   This bit has “Arms” that extend above and below the rings of the                          bit. It is a fixed bit and aids in emphasizing the turning aids.

Eggbutt:   This bit is similar to the D ring, however it is shaped like an egg. May                   have a little more movement side to side in the horses mouth, but is                     a good option for a greener horse.

Loose Ring:   This bit has the ability to move freely through the holes in the                               mouth piece. It is a great option for horses that press against the                         bit to avoid rein pressure.

Gag:   This is a bit made for more experienced hands. This bit has rein                            attachments that thread through the cheek pieces and attach to the                      bridle. This encourages horses to lift their heads. These are seem                        commonly in polo horses.

Elevator:   This bit is typically seen as a set of rings attached to each other as                       the cheek pieces. The cheek pieces attach to the upper ring, the                           reins attach to the main ring, and if necessicary, a second set of reins                   can be attached to a lower ring. The lower the second pair is                                 attached, the more curb action is applied. This type of bit is good for                     a horse that may be very heavy on the forehand, but should be                             ridden with experienced hands.

Different Mouth Pieces:

The mouth piece refers to the portion of the bit that lies across the bars and tongue of the horse when inside the mouth.

Single Joint:     This is the most common mouth piece. This will apply pressure                            to the mouth and bars, is not a severe mouthpiece, but is more                            effective than a multi-jointed bit.

French Link:   This is a multi jointed mouthpiece that has a flat plate between                             the bars of the mouth. This plate helps eliminate the “nut-cracker”                         action of a single jointed bit and helps spread pressure on the                               tongue and bars more evenly through the mouth.

Dr. Bristol:    This is very similar to the French Link, however, the flat piece                                between the bars is angled in a way to apply more pressure to the                        tongue than a french link. This is good for a stronger horse who                            many not go well in a single jointed bit.

Oval Link:    This mouth piece is a milder bit than the french link or the Dr.                               Bristol. The middle link is rounded, allowing for some relief of                               pressure across the tongue.

Mullen Mouth:    This bit is an unjointed bit has a slight curve to it. This is a                                      milder bit, as it does not have the “nut cracker” action to it and                             helps encourage a horse to raise at the poll.

Ports:    A port is similar to a Mullen Mouth, however this bit has a slightly raised               area in the middle that looks like an upside down U. This causes                           pressure on the palate and does not allow for the tongue to soften the                 bits action.

Rollers:  This mouth piece has pieces that roll when the bit is manipulated in the                 mouth. They are especially good for a horse that has a “busy” mouth.

Waterford:   This mouthpiece is made up of links attached together. This                                   causes equal pressure across every part the bit touches. This is a                       good mouth piece for a horse that may lean heavily on the bit.

Twisted:    This mouth piece features a twist throughout, instead of being                               smooth. The more turns in the bit, the harsher it is when applied.  A                     fast twist will have more turns and apply more pressure where as a                       slow twist will have less turns in it and may be less severe.

Snaffle vs Curb:

Snaffle:  This bit is going to apply direct pressure to the rings and the rein action                will be applied directly on the mouth piece.

Curb:    This bit is typically more of a leverage bit. Reins attach to shanks below                to apply more pressure. When the shanks have pressure applied, it                      tightens the chin strap and the mouth piece is applied to the tongue                      and bars. the longer the shank, the more pressure is exerted. 

Pelham:    This is the best of both worlds. A pelham combines the snaffle action                   and curb action in one bit. This bridle has two sets of reins: “snaffle                      reins” and “curb reins”. The snaffle rein attaches to the side of the                        mouth piece while the curb attaches to the shanks. A pelham is good                  for encouraging a horse to drop at the poll

Annual dentals done for both horses, woo! Always good to get it out of the way. Dentals are my least favourite things ever. The horses hate them, so I get them both sedated for the procedures. My vets prefer that anyway as they usually manage a better job if they’re not fighting with the horse the whole time. Both have good teeth, no cuts or ulceration, just normal sharp edges starting to develop which were dealt with easily. Good to know as Cruise is a real head shaker, like to the extent where it may become problematic if I want to event him, so at least that rules out dental pain as a cause. Almost definitely just due to his sensitivity, so I’ll start playing around with bridle and bitting set ups to see if we can get him more chill.

They both also got their sheaths cleaned while under sedation and bloods done to check selenium, since we’re deficient and I give them a supplement once a month. 

Flynn is booked for his neuter tomorrow so imagine what my vet bill is going to look like this month :/

FYI, for anyone who uses SmartPak!!

(This is in response to the following statement made by Anderson in a recent video: 

“Every man watching this video right now knows when you’ve got a 15-16 year old and he’s full of testosterone and he thinks he’s the king of the house; every once in a while you’ve gotta knock the shit out of him for 10 seconds just so he remembers, remind them there is a pecking order.  Now the women that are watching this, that make fun of me, those tree hugging idiots that ride in a bit less bridle and trailride, you know they’re close to nature. They hear what I just said and say it’s barbaric, they’ve never trained a stud in their entire life and I wish they would cause they’d get killed and that would get rid of all these people that annoy the shit out of me.  They’ve never trained a stud in their whole life, their idea of accomplishment is a horse that stands still on a mounting block <<oh my god he stood still now I can put one mounting block on top of the other and get my fat ass on>>.  They don’t know how to train a horse, they’re unrealistic, they’re idiots.”

The link to the video is here if you’d like to watch it.)

sometimes I just think about arwen and aragorn, how–he must have felt, growing up a man among elves, always falling just short of every mark, the lesser not-son of Elrond, called hope in the vain prayer that it might be enough.

(he knows no greater shame, than the day elrond has to bring him a bit and bridle–an ugly iron thing that has never been needed within the bounds of Imladris. The elves guide their mounts with all the natural ease of breathing, but those same horses buck and shy under Estel’s hand. So he rides with a bit, with a saddle, and pretends not to hear the whispers of barbarian from his Eldar cousins.)

but to Arwen, he is all fire—even the cool halls of Imladris, where all is water and Elrond most of all, he had flamed bright and hot, too alive, too human. It is the reason Arwen liked him so well; that inexhaustible spirit, the glittering burning charm of him. She is an elf, and has known only cool and fragrant places, only brightness that is cold and distant as the stars. To see him, coming towards her beneath the trees of caras galadhon–to hear of what he has done, in the breath of sixty years’ time–

she is the Evenstar, and oh, how she burns.

(elven courtship is dignified. Elven courtship is sedate. Elven courtship does not involve a man who laughs with his head thrown back, who looks at you as though you are tinder to a flame that has been long banked. Elven courtship does not involve kisses stolen in the hidden places of her father’s house, her pulse throbbing beneath her skin.)

he is warm under her, around her, and that same humanity he was always taught to despise in himself is what draws her to him, draws her down. When she pledges him her heart–when she makes that choice, the choice of luthien before her, it is with all the grace and eloquence that befits her kind.

his response is to kiss her, over-eager, warm and willing and imprecise, desiring, and that suits them both.

Day 1 of circuit highlights:
- fell off, landed on concrete
- horse’s bit broke, bridle fall apart, while cantering in middle of crowded schooling ring
Stay tuned for 12 more weeks of ~fun times~