From Harness to Hack - Bitting the Standardbred After Racing

"A good horse is a good horse" and the Standardbred is no exception. They really do have the most amazing nature, full of try, hardy, and a very loyal, loving horse. They often come equipped with quirky natures, and in my experience they are often the practical jokers of the barn! They can turn a hoof at anything, truly a versatile breed. My love for the 'humble' Standy is no secret, after all I own one!

While the breed is generally uncomplicated, harness racing equipment and its use can present some issues for the Standardbred that is being transitioned to a riding horse. The bits work on a different rein angle and thus angle of pressure in the mouth and often quite severe driving bits are used leaving the horse dull in the hand and unaccepting of the contact. 

Standardbreds have relatively uncomplicated mouths, the occasional fat tongue but the over all larger skull structure is solid and well equipped to take a variety of bits. 

Ive put together our top bits for the Standardbred - useful at any stage of training :) 

1. The Neue Schule Turtle Top

This bit is exceptional for a overactive mouth or horse that likes to get their tongue over the bit. It uses a locking action so when the horse tries to lift it with his tongue the mouthpiece stops moving, and therefor the desire to play is eliminated. it also uses no downward pressure on the tongue resulting in a lovely relaxed jaw and soft contact. 

2. The Myler Level 1 Eggbutt

A lovely gentle even whole mouth pressure all rounder bit with a little extra for the stronger horse or green horse. This bit doesn't take up too much room in the mouth either making it perfect for fat tongues. the independent side movement of the Myler bit is excellent for a horse fresh off the track learning to move off bit pressure. 

3. Bombers Cable Snaffle

A fabulous new bit, the cable snaffle returns to a neutral position in the mouth as soon as pressure is released, its also ergonomically curved so it lays beautifully and still - encouraging a consistent contact for the sensitive horse or horse who doesn't tolerate regular joins. Sweet iron encourages salivation and acceptance. 

4. Stubben Baucher

A traditional 3 piece baucher bit with a gentle even pressure. A great bit for developing that wonderful seeking contact. The Stubben Baucher develops the horses confidence with its stability in the mouthpiece. 

5. Minos Balancer Dee Ring

A perfect entry-level high quality training bit that uses a gentle even whole mouth pressure. The dee is exceptional for using pressure on the side of the face and encouraging the nose around on a green horse. 

As always- if you have any questions or would like a free personalised bitting consultation for your horse email us or phone (08) 8388 8472

Charmae Bell

Bitting Specialist 

Bit Bank Australia 

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