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The Snaffle Bit

About the Snaffle Bit

The snaffle bit is the most common type of bit that you will see as you work with horses. Basically, the snaffle is a mouthpiece that has a ring on both sides and gives direct pressure on the horse's mouth. The reason a bit is referred to as a snaffle is because it creates pressure without any leverage on your horse's mouth, which makes it is a lot more comfortable for the horse.

This type of bit presses on various sections of your horse's mouth, working mostly on the tongue. The objective here is not to hurt the horse but rather to communicate with it by applying light pressure.

The pressure put on by the rings is not amplified in any way by the snaffle bit. Whatever pressure you put on the reins will be the pressure put on the snaffle; in comparison, with a curb bit there will be extra pressure put on the horse's mouth for every ounce of pressure that you put on the reins.

Although some people refer to this as a ‘mild bit' any type of bit can be harsh if used incorrectly.

Types of Snaffle Bits

As with many other types of horse equipment, the snaffle bit comes in many different types. So let's go over a few of them and see if there are any that you might like to use for your horse. Chances are, with all of the available options you're bound to find the right one.

A few examples of snaffle bits include:

Half Cheek: This is a ring which has an upper or lower cheek instead of actually having both like you would see on most other types of bits, hence the name Half Cheek. This is usually used in racing because it doesn't have quite as much chance of the bit being caught on the starting gate. Have you ever had a bit caught on the starting gate? Well, if not you probably don't want to!

Full Cheek: Similar to the half cheek but full as it features both the upper and lower jaw. This is a much better bit for general riding, and it's difficult for the bit to slip out of the mouth.

Racing Snaffle: This is shaped like a D and is fixed in one position. This type of bit has a lateral guiding effect.

Fulmer: Loose ring, and can move around nicely in the horse's mouth.

Just take the time to make sure that you choose the right bit for your horse so that the harmony between the two of you increases rather than deteriorates.

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