Bits 101 – Sizing

Finding the right bit for your horse can feel overwhelming. Proper bit fit is based on a number of factors including your horse’s age, temperament, training level, and your own experience level. And there are so many bits to choose from – Metalab alone makes nearly 300! 

That’s why we’re giving you some Bit 101 information to help simplify the bit selection process. 

The first thing you need to consider is the size of the mouthpiece. There are many different styles of bits, and all of them come in different sizes. A horse’s mouth is an especially sensitive area, so finding the correct bit size for your horse is essential!

A bit should rest comfortably in the corners of your horse’s mouth. If you notice it pressing hard against the cheek, it is too small and could pinch or rub against your horse’s skin. If you can see excess metal on either side of your horse’s lips, it is too long and could move around in the horse’s mouth, negatively affecting control. 

Bits go up or down in size by a quarter inch. If you have a bit that’s not fitting properly, just measure it (just the mouthpiece, not the rings) and adjust by a quarter inch until you find the correct size. 

Bit thickness is also something to keep in mind. The thinner the mouthpiece, the more your horse will feel the pressure from the reins, and will be motivated to take action. A thicker bit is a good option for a younger horse, or a horse with a sensitive mouth, who may find a thin bit too sharp. 

It is incredibly important to make sure all of your horse’s tack is properly fitted. Poorly fitted tack can lead to discomfort, injury, communication issues, or behavior problems. That’s why we offer such a wide range of bit sizes and styles. There’s something to fit every horse and rider!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on bit joints, rings, and material, as well as some bit tips from our expert riders.