The Bit Gallery – Fitting Snaffle Bits

Depending on your horse’s facial conformation, you’ll need to choose what width of bit you need.

| Jayne Pedigo

Bits range from the smallest pony-sized bits (approx 3 and a half inches wide) to draft horse-sized bits (5 and a half inches and up). Horses with slender muzzles, such as Arabians, will require a narrower bit than a Quarter Horse.

Single jointed snaffles, such as those shown above, should be fitted to allow about a quarter inch clearance between the bit ring and the horse’s lips. If the bit is too narrow, it will pinch the lips as contact is taken on the reins. Bits that are too wide will slide from side to side and may bruise the lips and/or bars of the mouth.

Another factor to take into consideration is the height of the bit in the horses mouth. This can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the cheek pieces of the bridle. Ideally, a correctly adjusted bit will make one or two small wrinkles in the corner of the horses mouth. Lower and the bit may clank on his teeth, causing him discomfort. Higher and the bit will pinch.
Back to the Bit Gallery

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!