Horse Bits - Thick Mouth Piece or Thin
by Jordan Manfredi
The Diameter of a bits mouthpiece is critical to a horses performance.
In general a broad thick mouthpiece is kinder and more effective than a pencil thin mouthpiece. A broad mouthpiece bears on a broad surface and consequently on a broader number of sensory nerves. Nerves in a horses mouth, lips and tongue are very close to the surface. These nerves lead to the horses brain, the center of memory and consciousness.
On the other hand a sharp narrow mouthpiece concentrates the pressure on a small area. This results in nerves that are soon numb and all sensation is deadened. resulting in an insensitive mouth which may even become calloused due to continual pressure. This will surely result in a hard mouthed horse that will soon become a puller. At this point it is wise to remember that horses against pain thus the horse will become more responsive because the pain has been removed. It will take patients on your side and maybe a bit of nerve.
It needs to be said that the fundamental to the art of bitting that it is the uninterrupted pull of the hand that causes a like reaction from the horse. The only way to hold a pulling horse is to have intermittent pressure on the reins. Use your fingers to take when the hors pulls and give when he gives. This type of communication will produce the affect that is desired.