Knowledge Base

Salox – Sound Science – Good Sense

 

Question

What   properties would the perfect metal for a horse bit possess?

 

 

Information

 

The Neue   Schule answer to this question is based on a simple philosophy – that which   is good for the horse is all that matters – the rest will follow.

 

 

We Say-

The mouth is warm and soft and needs to remain as calm and still as   possible to listen for the rider’s aids. So, after ensuring that basic   engineering strength and toughness is satisfied, the metal should then also   be :

          1. Warm

          2. Soft

          3. Of low bioactivity (low in biological   odour and taste triggers that could distract the horse from the rider’s aids)

1. Warm,

The unique Salox Gold possesses the highest thermal conductivity of   any metal used in horse bits, this means that the bit will warm to mouth   temperature quickly and become ‘neutral’ to the horse meaning that they are   less likely to inwardly fixate on the presence of the bit and communication   will not be compromised.

thermal_graph

 

2. Soft.

There is a possibility that many horses will make variable degrees of   contact between the teeth and the bit.  When this happens we would like to ensure   that the impact forces are safely and comfortably absorbed into the material   of the bit rather than the teeth.  Not   only is this a better experience for the horse but it will reduce tooth wear   that can occur with prolonged contact with a hard bit.  The material has to be softer than enamel   for this and in fact all modern bits use materials with hardness values lower   than that of tooth enamel.  Polymer   bits lie at the most yielding end of this spectrum and absorb the impact by   either elastic deformation or varying degrees of permanent ‘damage’ usually   by forming small cuts in the surface (exceeding the so-called “tearing” force   for the polymer).  This property is   comfortable for the horse and safe, provided there is not too much removal of   material, which needs to be monitored carefully when using these products.

At the top   end of the hardness spectrum, stainless steel is quite unyielding and will   provide a significant elastic reaction force against the tooth, perhaps best   described as ‘jarring’.

So, in Salox   we make sure that there is a way for the force to dissipate into permanent   deformations (depressions or ‘dents’) in the surface.  Unlike polymer bits, repeated contact with   the teeth removes little or no material and in fact leads to a slightly more   resistant surface over time due to strain hardening.  We therefore make Salox strong and extremely   tough, but to take advantage of the favourable features of polymer, somewhat   softer than all current bit metals.

3. Low Bio   Acitvity.

Provided the   bit is comfortable there should now be nothing that interests the horse about   the bit that can become a distraction to the rider’s aids. This includes   tastes and smells which are the remaining sensory functions relevant in an   object intended for the mouth.

Stainless   steel is the perfect example to illustrate how such stimulants can be   suppressed. The insoluble protective layer of chromium dioxide on the surface   of stainless steel locks in alloy metals such as iron and nickel whose oxides   would otherwise become bio-available. This also explains why no nickel   allergy is expected from stainless steel.

Following   this idea, Neue Schule adds aluminium to the mouthpiece metal composition. It   is known that aluminium does not produce the volatile compounds but it   produces a protective oxide (alumina, Al2O3) that in part prevents the bit   surface from becoming rich in oxides of copper and zinc. This will reduce the   production of the organic compounds responsible for taste and smell.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Mouth Management

Correct fitting For bits

The Purpose Of The Bit

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