Snaffles are the most common groups of bits for every day riding. Snaffle bits are identified as having no leverage or pulley action and do not have a curb chain. There is a vast variety of snaffle bits on the market, allowing you to find the most suitable option for your horse. They vary in severity, depending on the type and thickness of the mouthpiece. Snaffles apply pressure to the lips, tongues and bars of the mouth and have a general upwards action, encouraging the horse to raise his head and neck.
Sweet iron bits are designed to oxidize in the mouth, producing warmth and a sweet taste which helps with mouthing and acceptance of the bit. This material also encourages salivation and palatability. The nature of these bits does mean that they are easily tarnished and will discolour with use.
When selecting the correct bit for your horse remember that conformation, age, stage of training, type of work, oral health and your ability as a rider are all contributing factors. If in doubt, it’s recommended that the rider seek advice from their instructor when choosing a bit.