Bits for Sensitive Horses

horse mouth with bit

Choosing a Bit

Sensitive horses react to bits in various ways: Head shaking, teeth grinding, evading the bit, or even rearing. 

There are many bit options to chose from, but what is the right bit for your horse?

In this article, we look at the difference between rubber bits, plastic bits, and leather bits – three of the most commonly chosen materials for sensitive horses.

The Thickness of the Bit

The thickness of the bit is determined by the shape of your horse’s lower jaw bones in the area of the bit contact.

Rule of Thumb:

Narrow ridge: Thicker bit

Flatter, fleshier ridge: Thinner bit

horse mouth with bit


anatomy horse head bit

Leather Bits

Meroth Standard

Meroth Classic


The Meroth Bit Read more here…


Speaking of Bit Thickness:

USEA and USEF require a bit of at least 12mm diameter for dressage competition. Snaffles and bradoons must be round. There are more rules to consider.  You can read more on permitted bits in this USEF publication on dressage-legal equipment.

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