925 Sterling Silver Horse Bit French Wire Earrings
The most important factors affecting a bit’s severity are the rider’s experience and the hands wielding the reins.
Jessica Leatherwood, assistant professor of equine studies at Sam Houston University, says a great rider can take a seemingly strong bit and achieve great responsiveness from the horse with a light touch, but a careless hand can make even the mildest bit cause the horse pain. It’s all in how you handle the reins.
“The reins should not be used to support the rider,” says Leatherwood. “The same bit in the hands of beginning riders or those with poor riding skills who use the reins for balance and support may produce vastly different results.”
Bit maker Jim Edwards says the most important part of a bit is the mouthpiece. Any sharp edges from either poor workmanship or the design itself can cause unintentional pain to the horse.