A horse bit plays a crucial role in controlling your horse’s movements. If you’re experiencing control issues, it’s probably time for a new horse bit.
But, an ill-fitting bit can cause injury to your horse’s mouth, particularly the bars and hard palate.
Some horses are more sensitive, and that makes selecting the right type of bit for your horse even more important.
To make it easier for you, we reviewed a selection of the best horse bits available and included some helpful info on what to look out for when selecting a bit for your horse.
Top 7 Horse Bits (Our Review)
Coronet Western Horse Bit (Best MouthTraining Horse Bit)
This Western-style mouth-training curb bit has a 5″ wide sweet iron chain mouthpiece and short straight shanks made of stainless steel.
The benefit of these straight shanks is that they will cause the bit to react a bit more quickly to your signals, as straighter shanks generate more pressure.
Meanwhile, the sweet-iron chain allows a horse to manipulate the mouthpiece with its tongue and lips. This is useful for calming high-spirited young colts, which is why it is great as a mouth-training bit.
Coronet Bits are high-quality products, manufactured with the best grade stainless steel. This bit is ideal for mouth training young horses.
- Mid-range price
- Stainless steel shanks
- Quicker reaction to signals
- Not suitable for horses that are sensitive or starting with a bit
Weaver All-Purpose Horse Bit (Best All-Purpose Horse Bit)
This attractive bit from Weaver is made of high-grade, hygienic stainless steel. It is lightweight, durable, and non-toxic and will serve you for a long time.
This high-quality curb bit has a 5″ wide mouthpiece with copper inlay and 6″ cheeks. The copper-inlay mouthpiece is bent upwards in the middle to allow more space for the horse’s tongue.
In curb bits, the longer and straighter the shanks, the more pressure is applied. A moderate-length curb bit multiplies the pressure applied by the rider by 3 times. The shanks of this bit are slightly bent to provide moderate pressure.
The Weaver All-purpose Horse Bit is suitable for most riding disciplines, as well as training horses for riding, and retraining undisciplined horses. It can be as gentle as a snaffle bit when used with mild pressure by an experienced rider.
- More space for the horse’s tongue
- High-grade stainless steel
- The increased pressure this bit can deliver can get too severe for the horse if used by an inexperienced rider.
Letsport Stainless Steel Snaffle Horse Bit (Best Bit For A Sensetive Mouth)
- Condition: 100% Brand New
- Item Type: Horse Snaffle
- Material: Stainless steel
- Uses: Horse training, performance, etc.
- Length of Horse Snaffle: Approx.13cm/5.1in
The Letsport snaffle horse bit will apply gentle tongue pressure, prompting your horse to obey your commands. Two rollers distribute this pressure on the tongue and corner of the mouth, correcting your horse’s movements with minimal discomfort.
The roller design will promote the secretion of saliva to keep your horse’s mouth soft and moist. The shape makes it suitable for all kinds of ropes. The Letsport bit is ideal for horse riding events and racetrack training, and even general trail riding.
Specially designed for horses with sensitive mouths.
- Can be used on horses with sensitive mouths
- Provides the rider with excellent control
- Suitable for training racehorses
Weaver Ring Snaffle Horse Bit (Best Snaffle Bit)
This bit has a 5″ wide sweet iron dog-bone style double-jointed mouthpiece, 3” O-rings, a copper inlay, and a modern black steel finish. Copper inlays give this bit the durability and strength of steel, but the preferable taste of copper.
The mouthpiece of this snaffle bit slides up and down, independently of the two bit rings, so your horse will feel even the subtlest movement on the reins. This bit will keep your horse’s mouth soft, and your horse responsive. It works on the bars, tongue, and corners of the mouth.
This style is mostly used in Western riding. It is best to start training a horse with a snaffle bit like this one, before transitioning to a curb bit.
- Modern-looking black steel finish
- Promotes salivation
- Responds to even minimal rein movements
- Copper can oxidize and lose its luster
Western SS Med Port Roller Curb Horse Bit (Best Curb Bit)
- Western SS Med Port Roller Curb Bit
- 5 Inch Port
The Western SS Medium Port Roller Curb Bit is chrome-plated and features a 5” medium port, copper cricket, and 6.5” cheeks. This Western Equestrian-style horse bit is ideal for experienced horses.
The rollers will entice your horse to play a little with the mouthpiece, which will relax its tongue and jaw and help it learn to accept the bit. Unlike some designs, this one does not cause pinching.
- Promotes bit acceptance
- Attractive chrome-plating
- Better suited to experienced riders and horses
Coronet Butterfly 2-Loop Mullen Mouth Horse Bit (Best Mullen Mouth Bit)
- Coronet butterfly mullen Mouth bit 6 inch
- Swivel cheek with 2 loops for rein placement
- This bit is all stainless steel and Comes with stainless steel curb chain and curb hooks
The Coronet Butterfly 2-Loop Mullen Mouth Driving Bit measures 6” and is constructed from high-grade stainless steel, with a straight bar mouthpiece, swivel cheek, and 2 loops for placement of the reins; plus a stainless steel curb chain and curb hooks.
Because it has no joint, this mullen bit places more pressure on the tongue than the sensitive bars of the mouth.
This stainless steel bit will stay shiny and beautiful for a long time, is extremely durable, and is easy to keep clean.
Stainless steel bits are often used for English riding, as luster is more popular with the English riding style. This bit is also available in 5” and 6.5” sizes.
- High-grade stainless steel
- Easy to keep clean
- Retains its luster
- Offers more control of your horse’s movements
- A bit expensive
- Best for horses that are experienced in riding with a curb bit
Horze 3 Ring Show Jumping Jointed Gag Bit (Best Bit For Jumping)
- This Jointed Three-Ring Gag bit is ideal for show jumping, hacking and polo
- . Mainly used for increased control
- Always wash a bit after each ride
- Remove from bridle and soak in hot water. Use small brush to remove residue
- Dry with clean towel
The Horze 3 Ring Show Jumping Jointed Gag Bit has a jointed mouthpiece to exert pressure on the tongue, bars, and lips of the horse.
It is suitable for use in show jumping and horse polo competitions and will give you more control of your horse’s movements during events.
The cheekpiece and reins attach to different rings, providing more leverage action. This bit will allow you more power over the mouth without disrupting your horse’s jump or stride.
It is suitable for inexperienced riders and horses alike.
- Offers the rider greater control
- Suitable for both inexperienced horses and riders
- Ideal for show jumping and polo events.
- Very expensive
- Not to be used for dressage.
Best Horse Bits Buyer’s Guide
Type Of Bit
The type of bit you choose will depend on the type of riding you do, the degree to which your horse responds to your movements, and your own riding habits. There are different kinds of horse bits, and the 2 main types are snaffle bits and curb bits.
With snaffle bits, the reins attach directly to the bit, and the horse’s mouth feels the same amount of pressure that you apply to the reins. It has a mouthpiece with a ring on each side that creates direct pressure without leverage on the horse’s mouth.
There are different forms of the snaffle bit, most commonly the eggbutt snaffle, D-ring snaffle, and O-ring snaffle bit. The gentlest snaffle horse bits have a larger diameter mouthpiece and larger cheekpieces.
The eggbutt shaped snaffle is one of the most commonly used horse bits in English riding, but it can be used for virtually any horse riding discipline, as well as training young horses.
This mild snaffle bit features cheek pieces that are shaped in a way to prevent pinching. Eggbutt snaffles can have straight (mullen) mouthpieces, a single joint, a french link joint, or even a twisted mouthpiece.
A Dee-ring is also a mild bit that prevents pinching, although it places more control on the sides of the mouth, and delivers more control when turning your horse. Most horses respond well to Dee-ring snaffle bits. The name describes the shape of the cheekpieces.
In the case of an O-ring snaffle bit, the pressure is concentrated in a smaller area of the horse’s mouth than a D-Ring.
A curb bit consists of a mouthpiece and shanks. The headstall is attached to the upper shanks and the reins are attached to the lower shanks of the curb bit. A curb bit applies leverage pressure, amplifying the amount of pressure from the reins to the bit.
A curb chain or strap applies pressure under your horse’s chin for more leverage. There are different types of curb straps and chains for use with a curb bit. Single chain curb straps apply more pressure than the double chain type. All-leather curb straps are softer and gentler.
Curb bits are generally used for horses that are harder to control, but they are best used for more experienced riders and horses. However, some horse riding disciplines, such as Dressage, require the use of a curb bit at certain competitive levels.
Quality And Type Of Materials Used
Aim to buy the very best quality bit you can afford, and check the quality and type of materials it is made of. The best quality horse bits are usually made of stainless steel. They are long-wearing and horses are not offended by the taste.
Does your horse have a sensitive mouth? Certain materials will be uncomfortable for your horse, whereas others may be bad for its health. Bits containing the metal nickel can cause allergic reactions and sores in a horse’s mouth.
Plastic and rubber bits are softer, more flexible alternatives for horses with sensitive mouths. Plastic bits can be also flavored to persuade the horse to accept a bit. But rubber and plastic bits can be chewed through, forming rough edges that cause discomfort.
To keep your horse’s bit clean, try this bit wash kit.
Size Of Bit
A horse bit that is too small for your horse’s mouth may pinch or prevent your horse from closing its mouth properly. A bit that is too large will slide back and forth in your horse’s mouth, causing discomfort against its teeth.
Purchase horse bits that are manufactured by a reputable company, and that are constructed from the best quality, non-toxic materials. Do not compromise on this as you may be subjecting your horse to excessive discomfort and pain.
Our top pick, the Weaver All-Purpose Horse Bit, will serve most horse riding styles and needs and is made of safe and durable top-quality stainless steel. Weaver is a well-known and trusted brand and produces horse tack supplies of the finest quality.
Best Horse Bits FAQs
Does a bit hurt a horse’s mouth?
There is a large gap between the front and back teeth in a horse’s mouth. The bit sits in that gap and extends out to each side.
Horses’ mouths are very sensitive, so there isn’t really such a thing as a gentle bit. It will give you more control over your horse’s movements but can cause a degree of discomfort.
Are bitless bridles better?
Many riders feel that a bitless bridle is more humane than riding with a bit, as it won’t interfere with breathing, nor cause the discomfort that a bit can.
A bitless bridle is useful when training a young horse to ride with a saddle.