Bit Terms: Definitions of some of the most common terms referring to bits!
Portion of cheek above the mouthpiece. A shorter purchase means a quicker reaction.
Portion of cheek below the mouthpiece. The shorter the shank, the less control Ñ the longer the shank, the more control.
Sides of the bit. Includes both purchase and shank.
Top of the head behind the ears where the neck and head join. The "feel of the bit" - Not only what the horse feels when the rider pulls on the reins, but, also what the rider feels. Suppleness or stiffness.
Portion of each side of the mouthpiece that rests on the horse's bars (gum area between front and back teeth).
Center portion of mouthpiece. Both height and width are important in creating the amount of tongue pressure or tongue relief.
Curb Bit -
Rotation in mouth-down on mouth, up on curb chain, pressure on poll.
The amount of time required from the moment the reins are pulled till the horse reacts.
Curb Chain Pressure -
Timing of the bit. Loose curb chain - slower. Tight curb chain - faster.
Curb Action -
Includes pressure on poll.
Mullen Relief -
A forward curve in the mouthpiece that creates even pressure across the bars and tongue.
Broken in the middle. Most common.
Double Twisted Wire Snaffle -
Two small snaffles which are broken off-center from each other.
Works lightly on the bars and corners of lips while adding some tongue pressure.
Any mouthpiece that is not broken.
Copper - Causes mouth to salivate keeping it soft and usable to the rider.
Sweet Iron -
Intended to rust, it actually has a sweet taste to it as rusting occurs.
Stainless Steel -
Very little taste. Gives a clean, neat look.
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