How horse bits work

If you've ever wondered how your horse's bit works, we explain all you need to know right here. 

Bits work on seven areas of communication

  1. The corners of the lips
  2. The bars of the mouth
  3. The roof of the mouth
  4. The tongue
  5. The poll
  6. The nose
  7. The curb or chin groove

Loose ring

This has much more movement than a fixed cheek or eggbutt, and can discourage the horse from fixing and leaning and encourages mouthing


This keeps everything stiller in the mouth – it can encourage horses to stretch into the contact


When you take a contact, it causes poll pressure and reduces pressure in the mouth – particularly useful for sensitive mouths as well as having a head lowering action.

Full cheek

This reinforces the turning aids and stops the bit sliding over the tongue and bars of the mouth – if you use bit keepers to fix the upper cheek of the bit, this stabilises the bit and will cause some poll pressure.