In very few human
activities does practice adhere to tradition more so than in Riding.
Truly basic innovations in riding equipment are few and far between.
So it is with the bridle and harness bit.
Changes that have taken place over the ages reflect technological
advances in Metallurgy on the one hand, and design changes to
obtain more control over the usually unwilling horse on the
other.The concept, however, has changed little, if at all. Obstinate
horse-more severe bit, more obedient horse-less severe bit.
Along comes a third generation horse trainer with a revolutionary
idea and a bit design to implement it. Instead of training and
working a horse on the basis of creating pain and the anticipation
of pain, his bits will correct by pressure and will eliminate
the pain, frequently unintentional, of pinched tongues and cheeks.
This desirable outcome results form a clever design feature:
on jointed mouth bits internal bushings, one on each side of
the mouth piece juncture, and on straight mouth bits, one well
concealed internal bushing at the mouth piece center, permit
either side of bit to rotate independently of the other side.
The benefits emanating from this are several.
(1)Working one rein will NOT cause either the entire bit to
rise up and hit the palate, or to pinch the tongue as commonly
happens with jointed mouth bits. Horse's mouth remains closed
and calm. Head tossing is all but eliminated.
(2)Either side of the horse can be worked separately. No confusion
as to what the rider wants. The message is perfectly clear.
The benefit of this clarity cannot be emphasized enough.
(3)Tension and stress in the horse is dramatically reduced.
Horse can concentrate on leaning and on performance, not on
The inventor, David Robert, has licensed the manufacture of
Pinchless Bits to EASTWEST/MERRYEARN, whose quality control
is without peer in the riding industry. The bits are manufactured
under their METALAB mark and are available in many designs among
which can be found virtually anyone's favorite.