Frequently Asked Questions on
Use & Care of the Original Meroth® Leather Bit
What is the Original Meroth® Leather Bit?
The original, patented Meroth® Freedom Leather Snaffle™ was developed in Germany in the 1980s and has been enthusiastically used by generations of riders in all disciplines. It is a gentle all-leather bit (no plastic or metal core) with patented construction to adhere to the horse’s individual mouth shape and comes with a chin strap. It can be used without a bridle.
Is the Original Meroth® Leather Snaffle Safe to Use?
Yes. Every original Meroth® Freedom Leather Snaffle™ is hand-crafted and stitched from non-toxic leather, using a special thread that will not chafe the horse’s mouth. It also has a break-away mechanism to prevent injury to the horse’s mandible.
Does the Meroth® Bit Taste Bad to My Horse?
No. The non-toxic leather used in the ORIGINAL Meroth® bit is tanned in a traditional, plant-based tanning process that takes many days. This special leather is sourced in Europe and adheres to European baby toy specifications. It is therefore neutral in taste. NOTE: You will want to use taste-neutral oils to care for your Meroth® bit. See Care Instructions below.
Will the Hardware on the Bit Rust or Cause Allergies?
No. All hardware on original Meroth® bits is made from durable stainless steel and does not contain nickel or other irritants.
You can ride bridleless with the original Meroth® Freedom Leather Snaffle™ after 2 or three rides with a bridle. The unique fabrication of the bit allows the bit to shape itself to the individual shape of your horse’s mouth. After 2 or 3 rides, this process will have started and the bit is familiar to the horse. You can then remove the bridle. NOTE: The exception are horses with an extremely flat underside or no chin groove.
How Do I Correctly Adjust the Meroth® Leather Snaffle?
Freedom Leather Snaffle™: This snaffle has the chin strap and can be used without bridle (see above). Adjust your bridle so that you do NOT have any creases. The horse must carry the bit in his or her mouth without pulling into the corners of the mouth. Adjust the chin strap so that you can place 2 fingers horizontally between chin and chin strap – just tight enough not to fall out of the horse’s mouth and loose enough to be comfortable.
Standard Leather Snaffle: Use this snaffle as you would any other snaffle, however, make sure not to pull into the corners of the horse’s mouth. You want the horse to carry this bit, not to pull it into an uncomfortable position, where the horse will be enticed to start chewing the bit with its teeth.
NOTE: In very rare cases – whether due to the individual disposition of the horse or incorrect adjustment or use – a horse can damage the bit by chewing on it. Please make sure you adhere to all use and care instructions on this page as there is no replacement guarantee for damaged bits.
How Long Will My Leather Bit Last?
With the proper care and use, the Original Meroth® Leather Bits can last for years.
How To Care for Your Original Meroth® Leather Bit
Since your Meroth® should stay nice and supple so that the patented design can do its magic and stay conform to your horse’s individual mouth shape, you will want to follow some simple but effective care instructions:
First Time Use
- Before using the Meroth® bit for the first time, soak it in Sunflower Oil for about 1-2 hours. this can be accomplished in a freezer bag and you can reuse your first oil for your second soaking – so keep the freezer bag with the Sunflower Oil in a cool place. (All following treatments will require new, clean oil.)
- Then place the bit on a paper towel to drip dry for about 10 minutes. Use a clean paper towel to pat off any excess oil.
- The Sunflower oil soaks into the top layer of the bit, creating a protective layer that keeps the leather intact.
- Your bit is now ready for first-time use.
DO NOT – Use the bit without this initial conditioning! Your leather bits needs the protective outer layer to stay intact.
Maintenance – Cleaning & Conditioning
- After every use, pat the bit clean with a damp cloth or rinse very briefly, then pat dry with a dry cloth.
- Once per month, clean the bit thoroughly with water and a tooth brush.
- Let the bit dry thoroughly, then repeat the oil soak as described above.
- Store your bit away from heating sources in a dry and airy environment.
TIP: Always use Sunflower oil, since this oil is taste neutral and conditions the leather.
DO NOT – Store your bit next to a heating source or in moldy, damp conditions or in plastic bags.