Horse Breed

 Thoroughbred
 Welsh section A
 Warmblood
 Cob


Looking for advice choosing a better bit for my lovely 6 year old Welsh cob gelding. I have owned him for a year and currently ride him in a


Shire’s hollow mouth lozenge eggbutt snaffle 51/2. It seems to be a good width for him and he is not overly strong in it. Having researched the subject further I have come to realise that large mouth pieces are not necessarily kinder in terms of lack of space within the mouth and would like to find a better bit. We are both relatively inexperienced in terms of schooling but try our best! He is rather on the forehand at times and I sometimes find it hard to encourage him into a round outline though we are improving. We have been doing mostly hacking/schooling and have done some intro dressage and jumping. I would like to do a bit of everything: low level showing/dressage/jumping and would really like to do endurance pleasure rides next year.

The Verbindend would certainly be a logical choice of bit to try on your horse. It is dressage legal and used by pleasure rider through to International level. This is an excellent all-round design. It gives you the most help with lift from the shoulder encouraging your horse to work through from behind. The mouthpiece is shaped to encompass the tongue offering essential tongue relief this promotes relaxed, quiet acceptance of the bit. The mouthpiece is ergonomically designed and made using Salox gold material, this metal is specifically designed to go in the horse’s mouth. It has extremely high thermal conductivity so heats up to body temperature within seconds. Again this promotes relaxed acceptance of the bit. When a horse relaxes the jaw this allows you to obtain a consistent contact that is also sustainable. We do suggest if you order a Verbindend to go up a ¼” in size as due to the curvature of the mouthpiece it shortens in the mouth when a contact is taken so you may need to consider a 5 ¾”. The Verbindend comes in 2 thicknesses, based on the age of your horse the 16mm would be the best thickness to go for as it has a heavier weight bearing surface, 16mm is generally the average thickness you will find used.


What is FAQ?


FAQ is Frequently Asked Questions.


I have an 11.3hh section A pony that a drive in a small trap. I currently have him in an eggbutt french link. His mouth is only 4 inch and h


e needs little rings but I notice that the eggbutt pony you supply is 4.5” which is too big!! I think the loose ring would be ok but would like some advice really! Also how soft is the metal of the mouth piece? It doesn’t get sharp bits on if the pony bites it does it?

All of the performance pony range is designed using the same mouthpiece with the Tranz angled lozenge in a 10mm thickness. This is a mild mouthpiece, ergonomically designed using the unique NS Salox Gold material. The metal is very warm and promotes acceptance of the bit quicker than those made of other colder metals. Salox Gold is a softer metal than stainless steel; however, it is extremely strong and has many benefits such as its high thermal conductivity. We have developed a softer metal to have a slight damping effect when contact between the tooth enamel and mouthpiece is made (in comparison to stainless steel and other harder bit metals) this ensures there are no unintended vibrations. The Salox mouthpiece can be marked by a horses teeth, however, this does not have a detrimental effect on the performance of the bit and it is unlikely the surface will mark to such a degree that is will become rough or sharp in any way, we must remember no one horse is the same. We will be looking to introduce the remaining sizes in the Eggbutt but unfortunately I am unable to give a date for when this may be. If you don’t have any specific issues with your pony’s way of going then you should find the loose ring perfectly suitable. If however you are requiring a little help with say, directional control, an Eggbutt /fixed cheek style does support with this and in this instance we would suggest the full cheek. If the pony had a tendency to poke the nose out then we would suggest the Baucher/hanging cheek. It really is down to how the pony generally goes and if there is any area the rider/driver is requiring help in. With the pony being a 4” in the Eggbutt (a fixed cheek) we would suggest a 4.25” in a loose ring as you need to take into consideration the hole that the ring travels through to avoid the ponies lips from covering any part of that. You may even want to consider hiring a loose ring to see how your pony goes; there are many bit banks which allow you to trial the bit before you buy which is an excellent method of confirming you are acquiring the correct bit type.


A friend of mine recommended I look into a Neue Schule bit for my Warmblood mare. I have only had her 7 months but have tried an array of bi


ts she seems happy in a French link, full cheek, happy mouth snaffle when ridden. However my main discipline is carriage Driving and I cannot find a happy mouth Liverpool or Butterfly bit in the right size for her mouth. This is when my friend recommended your bits as they worked so well for her horses. Do you do any Liverpool or Butterfly Pelhams? If so how do I go about ordering one?

The NS Ride & Drive Snaffle offers extra lift from the shoulder and increases control without discomfort or severity. This clever cheek also reinforces directional control and turning, and stabilises the mouthpiece ensuring the correct contact points are employed at all times when rein aids are applied. The NS Tranz mouthpiece is ergonomically designed for both comfort and communication. The rounded lozenge/bean is set on at a unique 20° angle activating more feel over the tongue. When a contact is taken, the lozenge rolls gently down contouring smoothly over the tongue’s thicker less sensitive centre (the sweet spot), utilising feel but not abusing it, thereby enabling clearly defined aids to be given through the reins. The arms are slightly curved for comfort and of an oval profile. This clever design takes up less room between the tongue and upper palate whilst offering a similar weight bearing surface from the horse’s perspective as thicker, more obtrusive circular profile mouthpieces. This ergonomic design very subtly depresses the whole of the tongue and the oval profiles help to create a larger upper airway, enhancing the horse’s ability to breathe and swallow.


Looking for advice choosing a better bit for my lovely 6 year old Welsh cob gelding. I have owned him for a year and currently ride him in a


Shire’s hollow mouth lozenge eggbutt snaffle 51/2. It seems to be a good width for him and he is not overly strong in it. Having researched the subject further I have come to realise that large mouth pieces are not necessarily kinder in terms of lack of space within the mouth and would like to find a better bit. We are both relatively inexperienced in terms of schooling but try our best! He is rather on the forehand at times and I sometimes find it hard to encourage him into a round outline though we are improving. We have been doing mostly hacking/schooling and have done some intro dressage and jumping. I would like to do a bit of everything: low level showing/dressage/jumping and would really like to do endurance pleasure rides next year.

The Verbindend would certainly be a logical choice of bit to try on your horse. It is dressage legal and used by pleasure rider through to International level. This is an excellent all-round design. It gives you the most help with lift from the shoulder encouraging your horse to work through from behind. The mouthpiece is shaped to encompass the tongue offering essential tongue relief this promotes relaxed, quiet acceptance of the bit. The mouthpiece is ergonomically designed and made using Salox gold material, this metal is specifically designed to go in the horse’s mouth. It has extremely high thermal conductivity so heats up to body temperature within seconds. Again this promotes relaxed acceptance of the bit. When a horse relaxes the jaw this allows you to obtain a consistent contact that is also sustainable. We do suggest if you order a Verbindend to go up a ¼” in size as due to the curvature of the mouthpiece it shortens in the mouth when a contact is taken so you may need to consider a 5 ¾”. The Verbindend comes in 2 thicknesses, based on the age of your horse the 16mm would be the best thickness to go for as it has a heavier weight bearing surface, 16mm is generally the average thickness you will find used.



How do I measure my bit?



Please refer to our YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMHbqpEftFI or visit our sizing guide page http://nsbits.com/sizing-guide/.



I have heard the Team up referred to as the modern French Link, what is the difference between these two bits?



The Team Up is an ergonomically re-designed version of the traditional French Link that has addressed all of the inherent design flaws. For instance the arms/cannons are curved reducing the pressure over the tongues sensitive outer edges. The loops securing the lozenge are smaller and the centrally fixed rounded lozenge as opposed to the flat plate of the French Link ensures that the mouthpiece contours smoothly over the tongue. The most reported improvement from riders who have changed from the French Link to the Team Up is a better contact in particular with no resistance in downward transitions ie no head tossing.



What is the difference between the KK Ultra and the NS Tranz Angled Lozenge as they both have an angled lozenge?



The KK Ultra, like the traditional Dr Bristol, has the central link set on at a 45⁰ angle therefore it is the loops securing the link which connect primarily with the tongue so a smaller and more sensitive weight bearing surface is targeted. Frequently horses find these pressure points unsustainable for a long period of time. Whereas our NS Tranz Angled Lozenge is set on a unique 20°. When a contact is taken, the lozenge, which offers a greater weight bearing surface rolls gently down onto the centre of the tongue utilizing this thicker less sensitive area and simultaniously lifting the loops away. Feel and response remains the same but a softer more comfortable sustainable contact is achieved and this is why this mouthpiece is extremely popular with our Dressage riders.



Fat VS Thin Mouthpiece: I have come back into riding after many years, previously we were always taught that a fat mouthpiece is



kind and a thin mouthpiece is severe. I have just started having lessons again and my instructor has suggested that my horse would probably be much more comfortable in a thinner mouthpiece. I am currently riding my new horse in a German Hollowmouth Eggbutt with a flash noseband. Please advise me as I am very confused.

There is a happy medium to be found and if there is insufficient room in the horse’s mouth then fat is not kind. Indeed a bit that is too fat for the limited space within the mouth may even impair the horse’s ability to breathe and swallow, especially when coupled with hyperflexion (behind the vertical). As a general guide we would not put a baby horse in a very thin bit as we need some weight bearing surface in case he shies or loses his balance. However a horse that understands the aids is usually happier in a slimmer mouthpiece and we would consider a 16mm to offer a good weight bearing surface whilst not taking up too much room in the mouth. The German Hollowmouth is rarely used nowadays because of these reasons.



Is the Verbindend Loose Ring Dressage Legal?



Yes the Verbindend Loose Ring is Dressage Legal in the UK



Salivation: My horse is going very well and I don’t have any problems or evasions. But I do worry because he doesn’t seem to



salivate as they should when he has his bit in. Does this mean that he is not comfortable with the design or the material of the bit?

It is amazing how many times riders make this observation and jump to the conclusion that the horse is not happy within the mouth. In fact the very first sentence states the opposite. From a bitting perspective we only require sufficient saliva in order to lubricate the bit to avoid any friction which could cause rubs. In fact if a horse over salivates it may indicate that he cannot swallow effectively or conversely he may be swallowing more frequently which will interrupt the rein aids. The other drawback with excess salivation is when the horse drools and it is dripping off the muzzle. We know that this is an irritant as most horses cannot wait to rub their muzzle (usually on your clean clothes) when excess saliva is present.



Fitting Query: My Neue Schule bit has an arrow on the end of the mouthpiece. Can you please tell me how it should be fitted within the mouth?



The arrow on the end of the mouthpiece when in situ should be on the horse’s near side facing forwards. For instance if you are sat on the horse it should be on your left hand side. This is to ensure that when fitted the mouthpiece/angled lozenge operates correctly. These are on our NS Tranz Angled Lozenge and Verbindend mouthpieces.



Sizing Query: Do I need to increase the size of my horse’s bit when I change from a fixed cheek to a loose ring?



We would recommend that you would go up a 1/4″ when you change from a fixed cheek to a loose ring, this is to accommodate the hole for the rings.



Is there any difference in action between a smaller and a larger loose ring?



The larger loose ring will offer more purchase on the mouthpiece owing to the greater distance between the cheek piece and rein. That is why the dressage legal limit is now 80ml internal diameter. You may also notice that the larger loose ring is now being employed in conjunction with the Weymouth. Obviously the horse needs the head to take the larger ring size as we do not wish to cause any rubbing below the cheek bone.



What type of snaffle am I allowed for a young horse class?



Any dressage legal snaffle but it must have a minimum diameter of 14ml mouthpiece.



First Bit: I have a three year old and I am looking for his first bit. Many years ago I did use a breaking bit with keys but



I have heard that this is no longer advisable. Please help as I bred this horse and I really want to get this right.

Key bits have been used over the years however, what has come to light is the effect of Key Bits. Key Bits or Players (loosely attached thin plates in the centre of the mouthpiece, for example), were traditionally used when first bitting as it was believed that mouthing and increased salivation was beneficial. On the contrary however, the rider’s objectives are to achieved relaxed, confident and quiet acceptance of the bit, focussing the horse on the signals through the rein for a soft, consistent contact. This cannot be achieved if the horse is first trained to be over-active in the mouth, fixating on the presence of the mouthpiece and trying to play with it. In fact we now know that these breaking bits with players have been responsible for the over-active mouth and many tongue evasions. The NS Starter bit would be a very logical choice as it is designed to encourage the horse to stretch the topline and take the rein forwards and down. Please refer to the website and YouTube for further information.



Bridoon Ring Size: What size ring should I use for my Bridoon in conjunction with my Weymouth?



Our bridoon bits are available in 55ml and 70ml ring. One consideration would be the size of your horses head a smaller ring is probably preferable on a petite head as a larger ring would look out of place and may cause rubbing on the underside of the cheekbone. However if the horse has the head to take it a larger ring is now very popular owing to the fact there there is a greater distance between the cheekpiece and the rein therefore offering more purchase on the mouthpiece. This emphasises the signals through the rein.



Could you please clarify the dressage rules regarding Snaffles?



“10mm is the minimum diameter for the mouthpiece.
14mm is the minimum diameter for a snaffle in a young horse class.
Ring no more than 80mm diameter (measured inside the ring).
Pony is minimum diameter 10mm for the mouthpiece.”



Could you please clarify the dressage rules regarding Weymouths?



“Minimum lower shank length is 5cm. Maximum lower shank length is 10cm.
Upper shank must not be longer than the lower shank.
12mm is the minimum mouthpiece thickness.”


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