Bits, bits, bits and more bits. When you talk about bits for horses the list is endless of the different kinds of bits to be used for different reasons. Also, there is a variety of bits to be used for different disciplines. A bit for a racehorse will be different that one used for western disciplines, than will be used for hunters/jumpers, than pleasure horses.
It is extremely important early on for a horse to be introduced to a bit in the right manner. Mostly a d-bit snaffle, or snaffle of some king that is hinged in the middle is the first bit to be introduced and used. The reason is this bit is easy on a horses mouth and because of the hinge it gets a horse to be responsive to the bit, meaning “working ” the bit in their mouth so they undetsand of the “give and take” and also when to take the bit up and release. This offfers the horse an opportunity to move the bit and to “develope” their mouth so they understand further control as they age. It is imperative that a horse has a good experience early on with fitting, use and overall general control that comes with it.
A bit must be offered slowly to a horse and fitted properly. When a bit is in a horses mouth and fitted properly you should see 3 wrinkles in the skin in the corner of their mouth. Also, you should be able to fit the width of your hand inside the cheek piece that runs up between their eye and mouth. A bit that is too loose or tight can be a hazard and dangerous.
A good experience early on with bit fitting and education will help lay the gound work for a horse having a “good mouth” for better control.