How Bits are Named

It seems as if there's a never-ending list of bit names. But when you know how to break it down, you can often tell quite easily what a bit is, just by studying the components.

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The names of the various types of bit are taken from the characteristics of the bit in question.

The most basic names are taken from either the bit rings, as in eggbutt snaffle, d-ring snaffle, loose ring snaffle, or the mouthpiece, as in mullen mouth snaffle, french link snaffle or Dr. Bristol.

To give a more accurate description, the full name of the bit may be taken from both the rings and the mouthpiece. This makes for some long names sometimes, but by breaking the name down, you can tell what characteristics it has. Conversely, you can look at a bit’s characteristics and come up with a name for it!

For example, we’ll take the Full Cheek snaffle, named for the cheek extensions on either side. Combine that with the eggbutt connection and you’ve got a full-cheeked eggbutt snaffle.

Or add in a description of the mouthpiece, such as slow twist and you get Full Cheeked snaffle with a slow twist.

Other combinations might be Dr. Bristol Eggbutt snaffle, or Full-Cheeked French link snaffle — you get the idea!Back to the Bit Gallery

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