The debate over the best bit to use will never end. It has been a source of discussion for longer than most of us have been alive. There are a few keys to success in finding the bit that works best. First and foremost, we agree with Larry Trocha, “To my way of thinking, a horse should be ridden in the mildest bit that he will respond to for the job that he is intended to do.” Nuff said, just can’t make no clearer.
Second, don’t use a bit until you understand how it works. Bits can be harsh, that means painful. Inflicting pain is not training. A horse’s mouth is sensitive just like yours. If you don’t know what you are doing and using a harsh bit, you will do far more harm than good. Using a bit without understanding what you are doing is no different from using dental tools without the proper training. You are just going to create a mess.
As we have said many times and will probably say again, a plain old grazing bit is all you need for most horses that are properly trained. Depends on what you are trying to accomplish, but we guarantee the bit doesn’t make the trainer any more than the boots or the hat.
If you want to know more about bits, take a look at Larry’s article for some background information. He does a good job explaining things. But bear in mind, reading a couple of articles doesn’t make an expert. Trainers like Larry have spent years learning how to use them.