Saturday 6th of August 2022

Bitting Advice: Refusing the contact

We are delighted to welcome Lisa Waterworth to you. Lisa and her partner Matt run and will be sharing their expert bitting advice in their new column on The Gaitpost.

Having owned and run one of the first bit banks in the UK, Matt and Lisa saw a gap in the market for quality bits at affordable prices. Combining Matt’s extensive knowledge from over 20 years bitting horses and Lisa’s expertise in the metals industry they offer free advice by email, messenger or over the phone alongside their range of bits.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Expert Bits (@expertbits)

My TB refuses to take the contact and throws her head in the air

Is this something that you can relate to ? Horse goes round looking like a giraffe, throwing their head in the air every time you dare take a contact ?  This is their way of saying ouch this bit hurts me !

Thoroughbred’s typically have low palates ( if you have a TB, have a quick look in their mouth and see how low the palate is )  Single jointed bits such as a jointed loose ring act directly on the roof of the horses mouth applying a pressure point to the already exceptionally low palate.  Double jointed bits such as those with a lozenge don’t apply the same direct pressure but they do irritate the horses palate. The throwing the head in the air is a reaction to pressure and pain therefore making it virtually impossible for your horse to ride into the contact.

In this scenario we would recommend the Loose Ring Comfy Barrel.  This bit is only 10mm in diameter which I also an important point to take into consideration for horses who have limited room in their mouth. The barrel centre doesn’t apply point pressure or irritate the palate and keeps the bits shape constant whilst forming a type of joint to give some movement to the mouthpiece.

The barrel enable the bit to have independent side movement on each arm of the bit to give a more definite signal to the horse without the rest of the bit twisting as is the case with other double jointed  bits.  The barrel is much stiller in the mouth which the sensitive thoroughbred prefer and therefore putting much less pressure on the palate.

We would normally recommend starting with a loose ring and the horse can place it in their mouth where they find it most comfortable.  

Have you got a question for Matt and Lisa? Email them at or visit their website to find out more about their range.

You may also like…

Join us on Facebook

Follow on Twitter