Bit and Bridle Fitting

With so many bits now on offer, it can sometimes feel overwhelming with all the choices available.

And as the conformation of the mouth can vary significantly between horses (they may have low palates, sensitive tongues, or sharp bars), having a bit specialist examine your horse’s mouth can take away some of the guess work.

As a fully qualified bit fitter, I’ll bring several bits for your horse to try during your appointment, so we’ll almost certainly find one that suits.

How Do I Know If I Need a Bit Fitting Consultation?

Signs your horse’s bit may need checking:

  • Not wanting to be tacked up, throwing head up
  • Rubbing their mouth or head after being bridled or after untacking
  • Becoming ear shy
  • Evading the contact with the bit, drawing the tongue back, putting the tongue out to the side
  • Putting the tongue over the bit, opening the mouth, becoming hollow
  • Snatching the reins, or pulling down on the contact
  • Tilting or constantly moving the head position
  • Unwilling to move forward, dropping the head behind the vertical
  • Napping, shying or rearing
  • Stiffness in the gait, inconsistent rhythm or crooked movement
  • Difficulty with transitions or caner leads
  • Rushing when jumping

What happens during a Bit Fitting appointment?

Your appointment will include:

  • Taking a full history about your horse including any ridden issues. 
  • An assessment of your horse’s conformation and muscular development. 
  • A thorough assessment of the conformation of your horse’s head and mouth, which will help decide which bits and bridles may suit your horse.
  • A review of your current bit and bridle with an explanation of how these may affect your horse.
  • An assessment of your horse ridden in their current bit and bridle. 
  • Trial of appropriate bits, bridles and set-ups with ongoing assessment of your horse’s biomechanics and behaviour with each change made.
  • Recommendations for your individual horse will be provided.

Tips for your appointment:

  • Have your horse ready and groomed, for the agreed appointment time.
  • Have your current riding tack and riding gear ready. 
  • Please don’t tack your horse up or exercise your horse immediately before your appointment. It is important that we see your horse’s initial reaction to their own tack in the stable and while ridden. 
  • Ideally, your bridle and reins should be clean. Reins and cheekpieces should be easy to remove/attach.
  • A rider will be required for the ridden portion of the appointment and they are required to wear a securely fastened helmet that meets current safety standards when mounted. 
  • A safe and secure area will be required for the ridden part of the consultation.

How Long Does a Bit Fitting Take?

Each consultation last approx. 1.5 hours.

Please ensure you have access to a safe are for the ridden assessment.