Measuring your horses mouth for a bit
Updated: May 14
A properly sized bit goes a long way to promote communication with your horse and improve his comfort. A bit should not be too small in the horses mouth as to pinch him or restrict movement but you should not be able to see 1/2" or 1/4" hanging slack to either side of his face. A good, snug bit will allow him to be more comfortable and hold that bit in a place where it won't needlessly bang against the roof of his mouth or allow him to slip his tongue over it. If you have a miniature who tends to flip their tongue over the bit consider a high ported bit to discourage this dangerous habit. It is a good idea to make sure your bits have copper or sweet iron inlay to get him salivating. A dry mouth is an unhappy mouth !
FOR STARTERS have your horses mouth checked yearly if you plan to drive and have any necessary dental work done by a certified equine dentist.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- Permanent marker
- A wooden pencil
1. Slide a wooden pencil into your horses mouth the same way you would place a bit.
2. Mark with a permanent marker on either side of the pencil where it peeps out of the horses mouth.
3. Take the pencil out of your horses mouth and measure between your permanent marker ticks to see how wide the bit needs to be.
COMMON BIT SIZES FOR A" SIZED MINIS: 3 1/2", 3 3/4" & 4" wide bits.
COMMON BITS IN THE MINIATURE HORSE
- French link snaffle
- Mullen barrels
BITS WE LOVE: Myler bits ordered through Carriage House Miniature Horse Tack & Harness in Vernon, BC. My stallion Beau drives in the EPB 01 Comfort Snaffle. It features copper inlay to promote salivation and allows me to make the subtlest tweaks while driving him. The engineering of this Myler bit stops this snaffle from breaking in the center and banging the roof of his mouth and has loads of flexion. He used to be a terrible mouth gaper and now he clamps his mouth shut and LOVES his bit. He sits and rolls the barrel with his tongue when he is bored.