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5 Best Bits for Your Arabian Horse (English & Western)

best-bits-arabian-horse
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Written by Marie A.

Finally, a simple horse bit guide specifically for Arabian Horse enthusiasts.

The bit is a foundational part of the communication line between horse and rider. Despite their global popularity, Arabians are some of the toughest horses to buy tack for thanks to the fact they have one fewer vertebra than other breeds.

Their withers sometimes often seem nonexistent, and they’re typically smaller in stature (14 hands to 16 hands). In addition, it can be hard to find appropriate bits for Arabian’s small, delicate mouths.

In this article, we discuss three signs you may need a new bit, as well as the 5 best bits for Arabians:

Signs of Ill-Fitting Bits

If you’ve ever walked in shoes that aren’t the right size or have the wrong arch shape for your foot, then you have an idea what your horse feels with an ill-fitting bit.

Check out the signs below that your Arabian may not like its current bit, and ensure these tell-tale signals don’t appear when trying new bits.

Behavior Possible Cause
Head tossing The bars, or the bit parts around your horse’s mouth, may have too much pressure on them.

This causes pain and irritation and can be pinching your horse’s lips.

Evading the bit (e.g. not accepting contact) It’s frustrating when a horse refuses a bit. This may mean you need to have your horse’s teeth looked at.

Call your vet, and make sure there isn’t an underlying dental problem.

Chomping Your bit may be too narrow for your horse’s mouth and/or is pinching them.

Click to Jump to Arabian Bit Details

How to Choose an Arabian Bit

Keep the following things in mind when selecting a bit for your Arabian:

  1. Arabian horses tend to have a lower palate than other breeds, which means they aren’t typically fans of single jointed bits.
  2. Measure your horse to figure out its bit size. (Dover Saddlery has a great article about how to do that.) Arabians are smaller overall, and their mouth shape may be different than other breeds.
  3. Arabians tend to have high head carriage naturally, so you’ll want a bit that keeps pressure gentle and even.
  4. This breed has minimal soft tissue in the mouth, meaning there isn’t a lot of cushion for harsh bit arms.

Now that you know why this breed can be difficult to shop for, let’s take a look at 5 bits that typically work well for Arabians.

Top 5 Best Bits for Arabians

Myler Loose Ring Comfort Snaffle

This bit

routinely has the stellar reviews from Arabian horse owners. It’s particularly good for a horse who tends to lean on the bit and/or become too strong against your hands.

arabian-bit-favorite

Click to see it on State Line Tack

Its sizing begins with pony sizes and goes up from there, making it suitable for most Arabian mouths.

It’s a tad pricey, but it’s the most widely-used bit in the Arabian world–and for good reason.

See This Bit on State Line Tack

Korsteel French Link Eggbutt Snaffle Bit

The French Link Eggbutt Snaffle is a gentle bit, and it’s used best on sensitive horses.

arabian-bit-korsteel

Click to see it on State Line Tack

It’s a great option for anyone who wants to ride English (or dressage) with an Arabian that doesn’t like most other snaffle bits.

See This Bit on State Line Tack

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SS Tom Thumb Western Snaffle Bit

Whether they’re in the show ring or trail riding, Western riders and their Arabian horses love the Tom Thumb Snaffle.

arabian-bit-tom-thumb

Click to see it on State Line Tack

It’s small and comfortable for Western horses to wear.

It’s a durable option that works well for many horses and breeds. It also gives riders more control than other bits, so it’s often appropriate for stronger Arabians.

See This Bit on State Line Tack

Western SS Copper Roller Snaffle D-Ring Bit

There are moving parts on this bit, which can be off-putting to some horses.

arabian-bit-copper-roller

Click to see it on State Line Tack

For those that like to play with the bit, however, the copper rollers may keep them entertained.

This bit also comes in enough sizes to fit almost any Arabian.

So, if you’re looking for a bit that provides plenty of control without being so harsh that your horse refuses the bit, this is a good place to start.

See This Bit on State Line Tack

SS Little S Arabian Hackamore

This may be cheating because hackamores are not bits, but this model deserves a spot on the list.

arabian-hackamore

Click to see it on State Line Tack

Basically, rather than applying pressure inside the mouth, a hackamore puts pressure on the nose of the horse.

Some Arabians simply don’t like having bits in their mouth, which is where hackamore come into play. This is a great way for riders to retain control while also making bit-averse horses happy.

See This “Bit” on State Line Tack

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a horse bit?

A bit is part of the horse’s tack. It’s typically made of metal, but sometimes it’s made of rubber.

Placed in the horse’s mouth, it allows the rider to communicate with his or her mount (along with leg and seat aids).

Do bits hurt horses? Are horse bits cruel?

In educated hands, no. The way bits are built, they sit in the gap in a horse’s teeth and rest in “neutral” unless the rider “activates” it.

If a horse shows any signs of discomfort, the bit may be sized incorrectly or the horse simply may not like the shape or material.

It’s also a good idea to get your horse’s teeth checked out if you see any troubling bit behavior.

How do you measure a horse bit?

Dover Saddlery has a great article about how to measure a horse bit.

Why do horses chew on the bit?

Sometimes they’re bored. Sometimes the bit may not fit correctly, like if it’s too narrow.

What is the best gentle horse bit?

Snaffles are typically the gentlest on a horse and what beginners use while they’re learning. For more experienced riders, going bitless and using a hackamore may be a better option.

How do you clean a horse bit?

It’s recommended to clean the bit after every ride. You just need to swish it around in a small bucket of clean water mixed with vinegar or a pinch of baking soda (to give it some antibacterial elements).

Then, wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Can you ride a horse without a bit?

Yes! Check out the Arabian Hackamore above and/or read our article about Bitless Horseback Riding for Beginners.

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About the author

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Marie A.

Though I love all horses, Arabians are my all-time favorite breed! I'm raising an Arabian filly and riding and showing my gelding on the Class A Arabian Circuit. I also enjoy going to horse racing and following the latest industry news.