Have you ever heard of or used a snaffle bit? This bit is one of the most popular bits used on horses in the world. Not only is it super popular, but it is also one of the easiest bits to find for sale. What makes the snaffle bit so popular? Is it a harsh bit? And what horses use this bit? This is all about the snaffle bit.
What Is A Snaffle Bit?
A snaffle bit is a type of bit used in horses. If you don’t know, a bit is the metal thing that goes into the horse’s mouth. The snaffle is one of the gentler bits used in the horse world and it is often the first bit a horse will ever have in its mouth. The snaffle usually consists of two rings on the outside with two pieces attached to these that link together at the middle. This jointed bit can come in different styles, types, and sizes, but all of these are recognizable as a snaffle.
What Makes The Snaffle Bit So Popular?
So what makes the snaffle bit such a popular bit in the first place?
The snaffle bit is a really simple bit that works off of direct pressure and contact on the horse’s mouth. Many horses, known as soft horses, need minimal contact to direct them around. Because of this, the snaffle makes for an excellent bit for use on these horses. Because in general, these bits are really gentle, they work great on softer horses.
Young horses, especially those just being broken to a bit, don’t really do well with a heavier bit like a low ported curb or other things similar. Because of this, the snaffle is the most popular first bit for many horses. Horses do better being eased into new things, especially when the new thing is a piece of metal in their mouth. This is why starting them on a snaffle is the most popular thing done as this bit is one of the most simple and gentle bits seen in the horse world.
This is a bit that most horses will eventually ‘graduate’ or ‘upgrade’ from then trade from this bit to something a little bit stronger.
Where Can I Buy A Snaffle Bit?
Almost every single feed store or tack store sells this kind of bit because of how popular they are. Whether it is a western store or an English store, almost all tack and feed stores will sell this kind of bit.
In my location at least, I have found snaffle bits sold at:
- Hardware stores
- Tractor Supply Co.
- Tack consignment stores
- Garage sales
This is one of the easiest bits to find out of any other bit used on horses. This is because it is simple, easily made, and very very popular on all horses in all shapes, sizes, and breeds.
Are There Different Kinds & Styles Of The Snaffle Bit?
Yes! There are so many different kinds of snaffle bits on the market. The most popular variations of these bits include:
Twisted Wire Snaffle
The twisted wire snaffle is a snaffle bit that I like to use on my lesson horse Cisco. I like this bit because it is gentle on his mouth, but because the mouthpiece isn’t smooth and soft, it sends a stronger message and is slightly harsher than a normal snaffle bit.
The twisted wire snaffle is seen mainly in two styles. These two styles include a bit with shanks (similar to the Pelham bit) and one that just has rings on the sides (O-ring is most common).
The D-Ring snaffle is a bit that has the typical joint in the center of the mouthpiece, but the rings on the sides of the bit are D-shaped rather than being the more common O-shape.
This type of snaffle is nice because the D rings are less likely to pink the horse’s mouth and lips than the O-ring snaffle is.
Double Jointed Snaffle
The double-jointed snaffle is seen in both the O-ring and the D-ring styles. This bit is like other snaffles besides the fact that it has two joints on the mouthpiece instead of just one. This bit is nice because it gives the horse a little more tongue release than the standard single jointed snaffle bit.
The O-ring snaffle bit is the most popular style of snaffle bit. This bit consists of the jointed mouthpiece standard in snaffle bits and with rings on the sides of the mouthpiece in an O-shape.
Double-jointed snaffles and twisted wire snaffles can both come in the O-ring style.
The O-ring snaffle is the most popular snaffle bit for sale.
Full Cheek Snaffle
The full cheek snaffle is a bit that is less commonly seen in the world of snaffle bits. This bit has a small bar on either side of the horse’s mouth attached to the snaffle rings.
The point of these bars is to prevent the bit from sliding through the horse’s mouth. The more center and stable the bot the better.
The eggbutt snaffle is similar to that of the D-ring snaffle in the sense that it doesn’t have loose sliding rings and it has a joint instead. The only difference is that in the eggbutt snaffle, the rings are egg-shaped rather than D-shaped. This snaffle is really popular and is one of the most common snaffle bits on the market.
What Kind Of Horses Use The Snaffle Bit?
There are a few different types of horses that use the snaffle bit. These horses include:
- Horses being broken into using a bit
- Soft horses (horses who don’t require much power to steer them)
- Race horses
- Most English horses