Now, snaffle bits are considered to be very comfortable for the horse to use, due to its simplicity and bareness. There are 4 types worth mentioning; they are the mullen-mouth and french link, both have two styles, the loose-ring, and the kimberwick snaffle bits.
All of the different types of snaffle bits have some singularities which will make them more desirable or appropriate for your horse.
What defines a snaffle bit?
Let’s begin with what is a snaffle bit, to then understand better the different types that there are.
The snaffle bits are the most popular bits and are used widely all over the world. It's formed by a mouthpiece linked to a ring on either side and acts upon direct pressure.
Now, the best part of the snaffle is that it doesn't need the jointed bit mouthpiece. That's why a snaffle doesn't necessarily have to be a bit. Instead, a bit is a snaffle on most occasions, because it forms pressure directly and no leverage on the mouth of the horse.
It is usually formed by a cheek, rings and the mouthpiece, changing depending on the designs the shape and movements.
4 Different types of snaffle bits
Type 1: Mullen-mouth snaffle bit
Mullen-mouth snaffle bit
It consists of a straight bar. If the horse would need to ease the pressure of the snaffle bit, he can do so easily by pressing it upwards with his tongue.
This kind is made of different materials, steel, vulcanite, rubber or vinyl are some of the choices. The best one is vulcanite, even if more expensive because it's softer compared to the steel ones.
Mullen-mouth Pelham snaffle bit
This snaffle bit it’s used as an alternative to of the two bits in a double bridle as a single piece. It is strong and resistant.
If combined with a curbed chain it applies force to the groove under the horse’s chin.
Type 2: French Snaffe Bit
French-ring Eggbutt snaffle bit
This horse bit sets a lesser quantity of strain into a horses tongue than any other snaffle bit while remaining effective. It consists of a flat plate lying across the tongue of the horse, which reduces the nipping action on it.
The curve mouthpiece allows the snaffle bit to sit comfortably on the mouth; the smooth sides eliminates the pinching as well.
French-link Gag snaffle bit
When you need pressure to be applied to your horse's mouth, this is the perfect snaffle bit. Double reins need to be attached to the main and lower shaffle rings in order to make the action of the pressure more severe.
Type 3: Loose-ring snaffle bit
This snaffle bit is quite similar to the eggbutt snaffle, yet it is a single bit. Across the mouthpiece the rings move by themselves; however, they may pinch the sides of the horse's' mouth, which can be uncomfortable for the animal.
Type 4: Kimberwick snaffle bit
This type of snaffle bit was designed to put more pressure on the upper part of the mouth of the horse while allowing more room for the tongue.
It merely is a tongue groove mouthpiece. It prevents any pinching of the tongue, and some horses prefer it to other types.
What is the snaffle bit used for?
When a bridle uses only a snaffle bit, it is commonly called a snaffle bridle, especially amongst those practicing English riding disciplines.
However, some bridles carry two bits, a curb and a snaffle bit; those are called double bridle.
The primary use of the snaffle bit is to work on different part of the mouth of the horse applying pressure, in order to control the horse in a comfortable, yet decisive way.
The tension is given in the most part to the tongue and bars through the mouthpiece, and the lips can feel the stress too from the rings. These rings are good to hold control over the sides of the mouth, and sometimes on the jawbone.
Are snaffle bits harsh on horses?
Yes, they are. It is true these types of bits are thought of as mild bits, but some of them are indeed harsh in the extreme. The ones that can cause pinching on the sides of the mouth and tongue, make the horse excessively uncomfortable. The material by which they snaffle bits is manufactured make a huge difference. Those made out of sharp things such as wire and twisted metal, since it will apply pressure to the horse's' mouth.
How to fit the snaffle bit on your horse?
Fitting the snaffle bit properly is crucial to ensure your horse is comfortable while wearing this item for a long time.
Every horse is different, that’s why not all the horses will like the same kind, try with which one your horse gets attached faster.
Another thing to consider is that the measurements are accurate, as you want it to sit in the horse's mouth the most comfortable as possible. The thickness, and width, as well as the tightness when setting up on the animal's mouth.
It is your duty to make sure that it fits correctly and that its suitable for your horse.
All in all, the snaffle bit is an excellent choice of bit for your horse. Just make sure, you pick the ones that are the most comfortable and not as harsh. The 4 types of snaffle bits serve a purpose, and it fits the needs of different horse owners. Hopefully, you found the one that it's perfect for your equine friend.