MEASURE THE HORSE'S MOUTH FOR A LOOSE AND FIXED CHEEKPIECE

Make a note of the traditional mouth measurement and again after gently compressing the lips.

TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MOUTHPIECE

LOOSE

Traditional measurement, add 5mm to avoid any pinch.

LOOSE & FIXED

Compress the lips until a snug fit, eliminating any side to side movement of the mouthpiece through the mouth.

MEASURE THE HORSE'S MOUTH FOR A LOOSE AND FIXED CHEEKPIECE

Make a note of the traditional mouth measurement and again after gently compressing the lips.

LOOSE

Traditional measurement, add 5mm to avoid any pinch.

LOOSE & FIXED

Compress the lips until a snug fit, eliminating any side to side movement of the mouthpiece through the mouth.

TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MOUTHPIECE

“Pressure = resistance, resistance = lack of control”

A horse is an animal of flight – it will never yield to pressure or pain, it will either move away from it or run away. To obtain control we need to remove the resistance. To remove the resistance, one must remove the pressure or distribute the pressure over a larger surface area.

INTERDENTAL SPACE

Position over the widest part of the lower jaw, avoiding any obstructions.

HOW TO FIT A BIT

Getting the fit of the bit correct is vitally important to the horse’s comfort. A bit that is far too small can cause pinching of the lips, but a bit that is too large can cause even more problems.

We have only been taught to look at how the bit fits the outside of the lips, without any consideration of how the bit functions inside of the mouth. When the mouthpiece is too large, the joints move, and the curves can sit incorrectly in the mouth. This leads to the mouthpiece applying pressure to areas it should not be.

An oversized bit will also create too much movement in the mouth. Allowing the bit to slide from side to side through the mouth. This movement causes discomfort as well as a background noise to the rider’s aids. When it comes to selecting the correct size, we need to take into account the horse’s actual mouth measurement but also consider how fleshy the lips are, how wide the lower jaw is and where the horses teeth are in relation to where the bit will sit.

Get in touch to learn more… here is to happy horses.

CHEEK

All cheekpiece, whether intentionally or not exert pressure on the cheek to encouraging flexion.

Fixed cheekpieces are designed to encourage flexion, sitting close to the cheeks with a smooth surface.

Loose cheekpieces should be slightly removed from the lips.

CURB

Curb pressure is exerted through a back strap or curb chain. Curb pressure is used in conjunction with leveraging the mouthpiece and optionally nose and poll pressure.

A back strap sits higher than the curb chain exerting a softer pressure, the back strap also secures the bit in place and can regulate when the poll is engaged, and the mouthpiece is leveraged. It also adds a third place for pressure to be dissipated.

NOSE

The area where the nasal bone ends and the cartilage begins, is covered by a very thin layer of skin, and therefore sensitive, care must be taken to ensure pressure is not placed on the cartilage.

Pressure to the nose will encourage flexion at the poll.

Bombers only has one cheekpiece which incorporates nose pressure. The Bombers Hybrid

POLL

Pressure on the poll encourages the horse to lower its head and flex. When flexed into a frame, the horse will engage its neck, back and hind, which will create more power in motion.

Bomber suggests placing your hand underneath the bridle where the poll is. Simulate the rein action to experience for yourself the pressure exerted.

BAR

Bar pressure is generally well received and will encourage poll flexion.

Bomber recommends moving the bits pressure to the bars while providing tongue relief.

LIPS

The length of the smile will also determine where the bit sits. Optimal being in front of the premolars over the widest section of the lower bars.

Fleshy lips can also be squeezed slightly with a fixed cheekpiece, to achieve a snug fit.

PINCH

All broken bits create some pinch.

Single break bits such as the snaffle create the most pinch.

Double break bits all create some pinch, determined by the width of the centre component.

TONGUE

All bits place some tongue pressure which encourages flexion at the poll.

Aim for a relaxed tongue and jaw. This will translate to a relaxed neck, leading onto a relaxed back and free-moving hindquarter and shoulder.

BAR

Bar pressure is generally well received and will encourage poll flexion.

Bomber recommends moving the bits pressure to the bars while providing tongue relief.

LIPS

The length of the smile will also determine where the bit sits. Optimal being in front of the premolars over the widest section of the lower bars.

Fleshy lips can also be squeezed slightly with a fixed cheekpiece, to achieve a snug fit.

PINCH

All broken bits create some pinch.

Single break bits such as the snaffle create the most pinch.

Double break bits all create some pinch, determined by the width of the centre component.

TONGUE

All bits place some tongue pressure which encourages flexion at the poll.

Aim for a relaxed tongue and jaw. This will translate to a relaxed neck, leading onto a relaxed back and free-moving hindquarter and shoulder.

The horse’s balance point is its head, unlike cats, dogs where the balance point is in the tail.
By watching the frame and composure of a horse, and in particular its head, resistance can be identified and though incremental bitting changes, the Bombers Methodology can help make a good horse great.

The Goal of bitting

The horse takes and is receptive to contact, its head is settled and comfortable, with a relaxed mouth and increased salivation.

Conformation

Before the bitting process starts, the horse conformation must be noted, for any factors which may contribute to the bit pressures and the horse’s preferences.
Take a wholistic view before bitting… it is important to remember the entire horse is an interlinked machine, with many factors needing to be perfectly balanced to find harmony. One factor of which is the bit and its immediate relationship with the horse’s tongue.
When bit fitting, seekout negative resistance to the bit, clear signs from the horse due to the bit alone… and not from an external factor.
Internal factors
  • Palate
  • Tongue
  • Canine, premolars & smile
  • Wolf Teeth
  • Lips, Jowls & Cheeks
  • The Lower Jaw
External factors
  • TMJ
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Teeth
  • Lameness
  • General condition
  • Composure
Bitting problems have several ways of manifesting themselves.
 
They can be directly related to the bit and its mechanics. Resulting in the horses head not settling and resisting bit contact… described as shaking, pulling or avoiding contact.
 
Alternatively, problems can originate from physiological discomforts… which can be seen from a holistic view in the movement of the horse. While having the neck, back and teeth checked can solve much of this… problems can persist as a result of peculiar mouth conformations.
Bitting problems have several ways of manifesting themselves.
 
They can be directly related to the bit and its mechanics. Resulting in the horses head not settling and resisting bit contact… described as shaking, pulling or avoiding contact.
 
Alternatively, problems can originate from physiological discomforts… which can be seen from a holistic view in the movement of the horse. While having the neck, back and teeth checked can solve much of this… problems can persist as a result of peculiar mouth conformations.

CENTRE LINKS

BARREL

BARREL

SERIOUS

MODERATE

GOOD

Horse riding is an action sport, the rider’s safety greatly depends on the integrity of the equipment

MAX 90 KG

Bombers prides itself on striving to ensure the highest level of manufacturing and craftmanship. It is for that reason we have added a maximum weight rating of 90kgs on certain bit models, namely the barrel, Bomber Blue and cable mouthpieces.

CHEWABLE - NO GUARANTEE

Some mouthpieces are not suitable for horses that chew – no guarantee is offered on wear and tear of these materials:

  • Cable
  • Leather
  • Flexible Tube
  • Bomber Blue
  • Moulded

MOVING PARTS WEAR

Mouthpieces that have joints will wear over time. Check your Bombers Bit before use, send us a image if you would like it to be assessed. Brass is a soft metal and will wear quicker over time.

OXIDISATION

Please note due to oxidisation the blue sweet iron will fade with use.

STAINLESS STEEL, SWEET IRON & BRASS

Bombers only uses the very best Stainless Steel. Brass is used in some products. Most of our mouthpieces are made from blue sweet iron, because it:

  • oxidises easily
  • encourages salivation
  • helps bit acceptance
  • is warm and sweet

Our bits should be washed after every use and checked for wear. If the bit has been out of use for some time, a kitchen scourer maybe necessary to remove built up oxidation.

LEATHER

100% natural leather mullen shape will incur strong tongue and some bar pressure. Suitable for horses that object to metal. Wipe the leather after every use with a clean, dry cloth and apply a leather conditioner regularly.

  • Avoid soaking the leather in water or soap.
  • Avoid using any cleaning products not designed for leather.
  • Avoid storing leather bits in direct sunlight.

CABLE

Bomber’s revolutionary Cable bits

  •  Removes the centre links, creating a smooth more comfortable mouthpiece
  • Offers a rigidity limiting the nutcracker effect and has spring back
  • The cable allows for some lateral independence between each rein

    The cable tubing is manufactured from clear virgin flexible PVC compound. It is heavy metal free meaning non- toxic and the pigment is FDA approved.

    Patent Number : 2015/07341

    BOMBER BLUE

    The nylon composite material is light in the mouth and encourages salivation while the port offers tongue relief. It is particularly well suited to horses that object to metal mouth pieces. The material is non-toxic with a stainless-steel core.

    FLEXIBLE TUBE

    A bespoke PVC tube offers an exceptionally soft option, by applying even pressure over the tongue and bars. Particularly suited to the horse that objects to metal. The Bombers tube is UV resistant, heavy metal free meaning it is non-toxic and the pigment is FDA approved.

    MOULDED

    The internal flexible stainless-steel cable core has been injection moulded with a bespoke non-toxic, UV resistant, FDA approved flexible synthetic material.

    The Bombers moulded material has been uniquely developed, to ensure 3 key attributes: texture, durability and comfort.