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No Metal in the Mouth - The Leather Bit
 By Artista   •   2nd Mar 2011   •   7,108 views   •   32 comments
The Leather BitThe bit is an object fitted inside of the horses mouth to offer the rider better aide for communication, and control, but the design of the bit started hundreds of years ago, with some of the oldest remnants dating since before the Yuan Dynasty in China, in year 1259. But with today's current technology changing almost every year, the fact that the bit remains practically the same seems something of an oddity.

I was never a fan of bits, so I suppose I'm a little bit biased, but I was experimented with bitless riding since I was about 10 years old. The first device I experimented with was the mechanical hackamore, which was good for stopping forward motion, but didn't really get the "side-action" that I wanted for teaching horses sharp turns and lateral exercises. I experimented with bosals, hackamores, and a variety of halter combinations until I finally found a solution I liked.

I started making my own bitless bridles when I was 16, and began buying better-quality ones shortly thereafter. The bitless bridle features a cross-under design that has stopping power, for forward horses, and can still be very persuasive in turning the head left or right.

But, since I showed Dressage (and in Dressage, bitless bridles are illegal) it was mandatory that I came up with something else for show season. I turned to looking at hundreds of thousands of bits. I saw bits made of plastic, some made of rubber, others that were made of chain, and even others that were made out of copper or sweet iron. But then I discovered the leather bit.

I purchased my first leather bit from New Zealand's Cashmore Equestrian, from an Olympic show jumper, Grant Cashmore. He endorsed and sold the bits and for a while, was the only place I could buy them: they weren't very popular. But I'm now pleased to report that they're gaining popularity all over the world! Leather bits can now be found at a variety of tack stores in the US, the UK and Australia. The benefit of the leatherbit is endless-

1. They mold to your horses mouth, so there are no pressure spots -- ever.
2. There can't be a "nutcracker effect" or any pinch.
3. They don't break (horses can't chew through them, they don't rust away, etc.)
4. There is no risk of fracturing teeth, "deadening the mouth" or creating sore gums.
5. They're always "room temperature" no more ice cold bits during the winter months!

Now since leather is a natural material, they need to be taken care of and kept stored in a cool, dry area, but with quality care they can last for months. There are many varieties, including bits with metal inside, snaffles lined with leather...the list goes on!

So if you have a soft mouthed horse, or want to get your horse even lighter in his 'regular bit' -- give the Leatherbit a try. You wont be sorry!
No Metal in the Mouth - The Leather Bit
No Metal in the Mouth - The Leather Bit
No Metal in the Mouth - The Leather Bit
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