Snaffle bits are the most common type of bit and consist of two bit rings with a mouthpiece that can vary in shape and size. Straight bits, double-jointed bits, and triple-jointed bits made of metal are the most common, but many bits also have a mouthpiece covered in rubber or latex. Snaffle bits work without any lever action, and the pressure from the rein is transferred directly to the horse's mouth.
Some form of soft, non-toxic plastic material is used to better suit sensitive horses. Straight snaffle bits can also be available with tongue relief to reduce pressure on the horse's tongue.
Snaffle bits are the most common bitA standard snaffle bit is a basic bit from which one starts in almost all riding. It is used in riding schools by both beginners and experienced riders, and it is the most common bit to use when introducing a young horse to having a bit in their mouth. Many horses never use any other bit than a standard snaffle and manage just fine with it. A standard snaffle bit is milder than leverage bits and elevator bits, like pelham and gag bits, making them suitable for children or riders without much experience.
Straight bit, double-jointed or triple-jointed?Which bit to choose is, of course, very individual and depends on several different factors. Of these three variations - straight, double-jointed, and triple-jointed snaffle bits - one can generally say that all three are quite mild. More joints make them milder as the horse can push the bit away to some extent with its tongue. Thus, a triple-jointed bit is the mildest, followed by the double-jointed, while a straight bit is considered sharper since the horse cannot create space in its mouth by itself. All these three types are relatively mild bits compared to other variations. In the end, it's the rider's hand that determines how sharp a bit is, not whether it's straight or jointed. Other factors that can determine which bit suits best include, for example, how your horse's mouth is structured. Some veterinarians and studies suggest that a straight bit causes fewer bit-related injuries in the mouth and some advocate that variation is important. Therefore, one should switch between straight and jointed bits to vary the pressure points. Test out which bit your horse prefers and remember to have a veterinarian or equine dentist check your horse's mouth regularly to keep it healthy and injury-free.