Double the bits, double the troubles? Not if we can help it!
Moving to your first double can be exciting! But with so much information out there, making a decision on what is best for the horse can be an overwhelming task - Let us help you choose the perfect double set!
Let us quickly look at the basic components of the double bits!
We have the Bridoon, Weymouth and Curb chain. You will need all three pieces to complete the puzzle.
A Bridoon is like a smaller version of a snaffle - it has smaller 55mm rings as its often placed higher in the mouth so not to interfere with a noseband, and often a thinner mouthpiece to make allowance for 2 bits in the mouth.
The Weymouth, often called a 'Curb', is the leverage bit. This guy is where the poll and curb (chin) pressure comes into play.
The Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Double Bridle Bit Set
1. Moving to a double prematurely or to fix a training issue.
Any issues that you have not got perfected in a snaffle will only be amplified in a double. Your horse should be going very well in his current snaffle, the double is only there for enhanced fine tuning.
2. Buying something totally different to the horses current snaffle.
On a regular basis we are approached by riders who have been training well in a Neue Schule Tranz Angled snaffle for example, and then when it comes time to move to a double they pop down to the local saddlery and buy a 'standard' double set which usually comprises of a single jointed stainless steel bridoon and mullen weymouth. The pressure points used in the mouth for the bridoon are totally different to what the horse is used to, select a bridoon most like the successful snaffle! Bit manufacturers these days make their bits in both snaffle and bridoon variants. Continuity and consistency is KEY to success in a double.
3. Buying bits that are too big.
You don't need to go up a size when buying double bits. One more time for the people in the back - you DON'T need to go up a size when buying double bits! The bridoon should fit like your regular snaffle - in the case of a double jointed bit you only need 2-5mm ring clearance. In the case of a single jointed bit, you only need 5-7mm ring clearance. Any bigger will slide in the mouth and cause friction rubs commonly mistaken for a loose ring 'pinching'. The Weymouth ideally needs to be quarter to half a size smaller than the bridoon, eg. A 5" Bridoon should be paired with a 4.75" Weymouth. The reason being is it sits lower down in the mouth over a narrow part of the jaw and there are no moving parts to a standard weymouth so it needs to fit snug/flush to the lips - no mouthpiece metal should be visible at rest.
We get requests for doubles SO often, we have put together some really common sets that cater to a wide range of horses, here they are!
This set is a brilliant all rounder, kind set for a first double. Using the NS Tranz Angled Bridoon which is oval shaped meaning less metal in the mouth, and an angled lozenge to encourage contact seeking. The weymouth is the NS Starter. This one has a wide, low tongue bridge which is flattened through the middle ot take up minimal room between the tongue and palate. Sizing starts at 5"
This set is a LIFESAVER for those lightweight hacks and Galloways who don't have much room for two bits. Again using the NS Tranz Angled Bridoon to encourage contact seeking. The Slimma weymouth is a thinner and lighter weight weymouth - super elegant, I LOVE this weymouth! Also good for those horses who can have a tendancy to get a bit strong but are offended by stronger bits. Sizing starts at 4.5"
This one is a best seller! Fantastic for horses who are on the forehand, leaning on the bit or getting strong. The Verbindend Bridoon uses no tongue pressure and works more on the lower jaw to create that lovely lift and self carriage. Combined with the Slimma Weymouth to support the freedom of the tongue without further adding too much pressure to the lower jaw. If you ride in a Verbindend Snaffle THIS is the set for you! Sizing starts at 4.5"
For big, strong horses or extreme tongue evasions. This set uses the Verbindend Bridoon for maximum tongue relief. The NS Warmblood Weymouth is also square shaped and angled forward for maximum tongue relief. This set is quite a lot in the mouth so not suitable for horses with smaller mouths. Very popular on the baroque breeds, large warmbloods and horses who just need maximum tongue relief to keep the jaw relaxed. Sizes start at a 5"
The beauty of all of our bridoons and weymouths is they can be mixed and matched with each other for the PERFECT Combination. Horse happy in a Turtle Top? Pair it with the Slimma Weymouth. Horse going well in a Team Up? Pair that with a Mors L'Hotte. The options are limitless and I just know we have the perfect set for your horse to help you get one step closer to achieving your dressage and showing goals!
Not sure? Book in a time to speak to one of our friendly bitting consultants! BOOK NOW
Happy Riding :)