|Best Overall||Horze Oval Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit|
|Best for Beginners||Korsteel Flexible Rubber Loose Ring Mullen Mouth Snaffle|
|Best for Racing||Weaver All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit|
|Best for Western Show||Professional’s Choice Bob Avila Santa Rosa Shank Bit|
|Best with Copper Lozenge||Shires Bevel Bit with Copper Lozenge|
- The #1 Best Overall horse bit is the Horze Oval Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit.
- There are many different types of bits on the market — including snaffles, curbs, pelhams, gags, and kimblewicks.
- It’s important to choose the most appropriate bit for the discipline that you are doing with your horse. You should also consider the experience of both the horse and the rider.
As an equestrian, it is established that horse riding is beyond the usual “ride and climb.” It is a communication, a relationship between the horse rider and the horse.
For the best riding experience, you need a proper horse tack. And one of the essential tools in horse tack is a bit. Horse bits are used as an aid to allow the rider to steer the horse as well as slow them down.
Horse bits are fitted to your horse’s mouth, a delicate part that can be easily injured during usage. Therefore, it is imperative you carefully choose one that suits your needs and makes your horse comfortable.
In this article, we’ve reviewed the most common and ranked the top horse bits you can get for your horse, you should be able to find one that suits your needs, and we discussed the factors you need to consider when choosing a horse bit later in this article.
A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Horse Bits
#1 Best Overall: Horze Oval Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit
The Horze Oval Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit has a simple snaffle design that acts with direct pressure and makes the horse’s convenience a top priority.
This bit is an all-purpose snaffle bit recommended for every equestrian. It comes in various sizes ranging from 4.25 to 5.5 inches for your horse’s mouth. Even to inexperienced riders, the snaffle bit makes a great tool to communicate with the horse.
Unlike loose ring snaffle bits where you’d need bit guards to protect the horse’s lips from chafing, the D-ring style cheek pieces do not pinch the horse’s lips. It also prevents the bit rings from being pulled through the horse’s mouth.
This bit is made from stainless steel and has an oval link in the center. This three-piece design is milder on your horse’s mouth than a two-piece single-joint snaffle, and many horses prefer subsequently prefer this design.
The only drawback to this product — as with any bit — is that it can be harsh in the wrong hands.
Pros and Cons of the Horze Oval Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit
|This bit is available in a variety of sizes.||It can be harsh in the wrong hands.|
|It is made from stainless steel.|
|The D-ring style cheek piece prevents pinching.|
|It has an oval link in the center and the three-piece design is milder than single-jointed bits.|
2. Best for Beginners: Korsteel Flexible Rubber Loose Ring Mullen Mouth Snaffle
For beginners — both horse and rider — we recommend the Korsteel Flexible Rubber Loose Ring Mullen Mouth Snaffle which is soft and mild on the mouth.
This bit is mild and gentle on the mouth which means it is perfect for inexperienced hands. It is rubber-coated and has a flexible design which makes it perfect as a starter bit for young horses too.
This bit is a straight-bar design which means that it lacks the joint in the center. This makes it a much milder bit as it doesn’t have a “nutcracker” action in the mouth. The straight-bar design also encourages the horse to raise it’s poll and be responsive to the rider.
However, although this bit is mild it’s important to ensure the the loose ring design does not pinch the corners of the horse’s lips. Therefore, the use of rubber bit guards may be required.
Pros and Cons of the Korsteel Flexible Rubber Loose Ring Mullen Mouth Snaffle
|This bit is flexible and covered with rubber.||The loose ring design can sometimes pinch the corners of the lips.|
|It is a “straight-bar” bit which means it does not have the nutcracker action of some jointed bits.|
|It is soft and gentle on the mouth and is ideal as a start bit for young horses.|
|It encourages the horse to raise its poll and be responsive to the rider.|
- Excellent training bit
- The horse feels the mildest rein cues
- The rubber covered design is mild on the horse's mouth
- Easy to clean
3. Best for Racing: Weaver All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit
Horse racing is popular all around the world and riders require the horse to be responsive to their every move as they make split-second decisions. Therefore, we recommend the Weaver All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit.
This bit is another snaffle but has a single-jointed mouthpiece which offers greater control for those mid-race movements. The single joint mouthpiece applies pressure to the tongue, bars of the horse’s mouth, and the palate. It also features loose ring cheek pieces which offer more movement than the eggbutt design of our number one choice. However, the use of bit guards are advised to prevent the bit from pinching the corners of the mouth.
This bit is made from stainless steel and is available in a variety of sizes.
Pros and Cons of the Weaver All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit
|This bit features a single-jointed mouthpiece which applies pressure to the tongue, bars, and palate.||The loose ring design can pinch the corners of the mouth so the use of bit guards is advised.|
|The loose ring cheek pieces offer greater movement.|
|It is made from stainless steel.|
|There are several sizes available.|
4. Best for Western Show: Professional’s Choice Bob Avila Santa Rosa Shank Bit
For Western shows we recommend the Professional’s Choice Bob Avila Santa Rosa Shank Bit which is a widely accepted style.
This bit is recommended for Western shows because it uses a curb bit design instead of the conventional snaffle bit design. Western shows do not allow competitors to use snaffle bits for horses over five years in their show rings.
In a western show ring, curb bits are expected to be used when riding one-handed so that direct rein pressure is reduced on the long shanks which put pressure on both the poll and mouth.
It has a copper roller that aids salivation and a mouthpiece that applies mild pressure on the tongue and bars. The mouthpiece is subject to rust when exposed to moisture regularly. Therefore it is not designed for regular daily use; instead, it is reserved for use in the show rings.
Pros and Cons of the Professional’s Choice Bob Avila Santa Rosa Shank Bit
|This bit is a curb bit which is accepted by Western shows.||The mouthpiece can rust if exposed to moisture regularly, making it unsuitable for daily use.|
|It features a copper roller than aids salivation.|
|The mouthpiece applies mild pressure to the tongue and bars.|
- Curb bit design
- Copper roller aids salivation
- Very good quality
- Designed specifically for shows
5. Best with Copper Lozenge: Shires Beval Bit with Copper Lozenge
Copper bits are designed to help with salivation, which is why we recommend the Shires Beval Bit with Copper Lozenge.
This it features a copper lozenge which is designed to aid salivation while the lozenge softens the action of the bit — making it also suitable for horses that tend to throw their heads up in the air. It is a Wilkie-style bit which is particularly useful for horses that require a stronger bit to give more stopping control to the rider. However, this does mean that it can be quite a harsh bit and should not be used by inexperienced riders.
Pros and Cons of the Shires Beval Bit with Copper Lozenge
|This bit features a copper lozenge which is designed to aid salivation.||It can be a harsh bit and should not be used by inexperienced riders.|
|The lozenge softens the action of the bit in the mouth.|
|It is ideal for horses that throw their heads in the air.|
|It is a Wilkie-style bit which gives the rider greater control for stopping.|
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
Often, most equestrians complain about not getting the best fit bit for their horses; either the bits are too strong, making the horses uncomfortable, or they can’t even control the horse correctly. In our research we found a few things which you might want to consider in choosing a bit for your horse:
Your Horse’s Mouth
The most important thing you want to consider is the state of your horse’s mouth. Experts recommend having an equine dental technician check your horse’s teeth at least twice a year.
You want to make sure your horse is comfortable with the bit because riding an uncomfortable horse will ruin your riding experience and make your horse uncomfortable in the long run as well. If possible, try on bits to ensure it’s properly fitted and convenient for your horse before purchasing. Bits with sharp edges and mouthpieces can injure your horse’s mouth; avoid them. It’s also important to ensure that you purchase a bit that is the appropriate size for your horse as a bit that is too small will pinch the mouth.
Even with the best fit bit for your horse, your skills as a rider should be considered when making a purchase. There are different bits to suit different levels of riding skills. As a beginner, you don’t want to go for a racing bit, and vice versa.
Your purpose for purchasing a bit also plays a role in choosing the right horse bit. We have racing bits, training bits, western show bits, etc. Several bits have been designed to suit each purpose conveniently. All you have to do is pick what suits your needs.
Different Types of Horse Bits: Pros and Cons
There are many different types of bits available — snaffles, curbs, gags, hackamores, pelhams, and kimblewicks. However, this article will focus on the two main types — snaffle and curb bits.
The most common type of bit used in riding horses. It consists of a mouthpiece and a ring on either side. It is designed to direct pressure without force on the horse’s mouth.
|It is gentle on the horse’s mouth.||It can still be harsh in the wrong hands.|
|It does not apply pressure to the poll.|
|There are several different styles available — loose ring, D-ring, with lozenge, without lozenge etc.|
This is the main bit accepted by western shows. Unlike the snaffle bit, which uses direct action, it works using lever action, which works on the horse’s head and mouth.
|It allows for more subtle rein aids.||It is not suitable for young horses.|
|It is best for advanced movements.||It applies pressure to the poll as well as the mouth.|
|It is widely accepted by western shows.||It can be harsh in inexperienced hands.|
No matter the cost of the horse bit you find for your horse, as long as it suits your needs and makes your horse comfortable, it’s advisable you get it. It’s a worthy investment for the relationship you plan to build with your horse.
The Top Horse Bits: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What other types of bits are there?
There are many other types of bits available — including gags, pelhams, and kimblewicks.
What is a hackamore?
A hackamore is a type of bridle that does not use a bit. Instead, it is designed to apply pressure to the poll, the nose, and the face. Horses learn to respond to the pressure on these points so they are still able to be guided and slowed by the rider. However, even though it does not use a bit it can still be harsh in the wrong hands and horses should always introduced to this bridle by a professional first.
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