Why use a bit in a horses mouth?

Snaffle or shank? Why not free, nothing in the mouth of your horse. 

Sidepull, that’s all. One of my horses reacted real good when we stopped with the snaffle. He was very stiff in the neck and became easy and willing, bending his neck in both left and right directions. I’ve noticed this before with other horses. No one seems to think of what it feels like to have a piece of iron resting on your gums. Our horses haven’t seen a bit for more than ten years now. Thanks for all your good advice.” -Hendrik D

Hendrik, That’s a choice too! If your horses respond to a side-pull as a motivator and you are happy with the results then I say go for it! For me, it is important to recognize that each horse gives us feedback on what works and what doesn’t. It sounds like a side-pull works for your crew. -Stacy Westfall

Hi all, so, why do we use a bit?
I am no expert!!! but I wonder if a bit is always necessary to ride/ enjoy a horse-companion. Sorry if I sound ignorant…I probably am…that’s nothing bad…just IS?

I love questions and you do not sound ignorant. The two reasons we use any equipment are motivation and education. Some horses require more motivation at times than others. Picture someone leading a horse and that horse decides to leave…dragging the person along. This horse likely has an education issue and a motivation issue. Right now I have Presto who is very large and part draft…and he is often noticeably more willing to ignore requests. This is partly because of his education level and partly because he is tough. Other horses kick him in the pasture and he frequently ignores them…unless they persist or escalate. That is who he is.

Often professionals ride in bridles so that they can communicate more clearly. I use bits to help refine, improve, and raise the level of training with my horses. When trained correctly horses do not resent bits. When trained incorrectly…things go poorly with or without the bit. It matters more that the horse is understood and is part of the process.

Roxy understood many bits before we rode bridleless. So did Vaquero. And Hailey…and more… I trust the feedback from my horses:)

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