When purchasing equipment for you and your horse, it is incredibly important that you make sure to have the right size, which will ensure a proper fit, and the right kind so that you can more easily control your horse. This is never more important than it is when choosing horse bits. The bit is quite literally the force behind how well you can control your horse. It is a metal piece of equipment that is attached to the bridle and fits in the horses mouth which allows the rider to control the direction and speed of the animal. Because the equestrian world is so specific with regards to everything from racing, to competitions to just regular pleasure riding, there is quite an abundance of bit types and styles to choose from, so much so, that many but the avid horseman can get confused on what is the proper type for their animal — this is especially true when you consider that one bit might work well for one horse but might make a stubborn mule out of another.
To this end, there are general rules of thumb you can follow when determining what kind of horse bits to purchase and use for your horse always keeping in mind that you need the correct bit for your style of equine activity. For instance, if you are in to show horses, you would not want to purchase and use a bit that is designed for the training a horse and conversely, if you have a gaited horse you would not want to use a bit that is designed for the ruggedness of a western horse when they are in a full on gallop. Keeping this in mind, you should be able to find the proper bit for your animal that will fit perfectly in their mouth without causing any kind of discomfort or soreness.
In your search, you will also most likely discover that there are two main types of horse bits, the curb bit, which provides leverage for the rider over the animal, and the snaffle bit, which is a non-leverage, jointed bit. The determining factor on which type of bit you should use, quite often lies in the amount of pressure you need to have over the animal — for instance, the curb bit provides greater pressure when the rider takes the reins as this allows them to more easily control the animal (good for Western riding) and the snaffle bit provides pressure equal to the amount of pressure the rider puts on the reigns. So depending on how you want your horse to behave and how much control you need, this will determine what kind of bit you purchase as well as the material it is made out of so as not to injure the horse’s mouth.