Just Roll With It
If your horse feels tense or has trouble accepting the bit, rollers might be the solution. One or more pieces rotate, encouraging your horse to play with the bit. This playfulness prompts your horse to relax his mouth and jaw and be more willing to accept the bit. Plus, most roller bits are budget-friendly.
You may want to try a bit with a roller if your horse has a tense jaw, is hard to get on the bit, or is nervous or anxious. If a roller bit is for you, decide if you need a snaffle bit or curb bit. You can further narrow down your selection by the style of rein ring (eggbutt, D-ring, etc.) and even by the number of rollers (single, double, multiple).
All bits, whether English or Western, have a mouthpiece and rein rings. Western bits also have a cheek and most have an attachment for a curb chain.
All rollers, if your bit has one, will be on the mouthpiece. If there’s only one, it should be in the center.
Why might you need a bit with rollers?
There are many reasons why you might prefer a bit with rollers:
- Your horse is tense in the jaw
- Your horse resists bit contact
- Your horse is a “Nervous Nelly”
- You want a softer, more supple horse
|Category||Bit||Price Point||Key Feature(s)|
|Best Snaffle w/ Rollers||Korsteel Stainless Steel Copper Roller Mouth Eggbutt Snaffle||$30-$50||-consistent contact |
|Best Western Snaffle w/ Rollers||Western SS Copper Roller Snaffle D-Ring||$20-$30||-single joint |
|Best Bit w/ Cricket Roller||Toklat Medium Port Copper Curb||$50-$80||-copper roller |
|Best 3-piece Snaffle w/ Copper Roller||SS D-Ring Dog Bone Copper Roller Mouth Snaffle||$20-$30||-stainless steel |
|Best D-Ring Snaffle w/ Roller||Professional Equine Stainless Steel D-Ring Comfort Snaffle with Copper Rollers||$30-$50||-double rollers |
-hinged at the center
|Best Curb w/ Rollers||Reinsman 776 All Around Curb Bit with Copper Roller||$80-$100||-short shank |
-sweet iron & copper
Bits with Rollers
Rollers can be found on bits of all sizes and styles. English and Western riders will be able to find something to suit their needs. If you or your horse is a beginner, stick with a snaffle. Have an extra-anxious horse? Consider a bit with multiple rollers for added distraction.
Best Snaffle Bit with Rollers
If you’re looking for a snaffle bit with a roller, look no further than the Korsteel Stainless Steel Copper Roller Mouth Eggbutt Snaffle. This bit functions for both everyday use as well as competitions.
- Copper (encourages salivation)
- Double-jointed (more even pressure distribution)
- Good if your horse has a sensitive mouth
- Single roller (some horses may lose interest)
- Copper (if your horse doesn’t like the taste)
Best Western Snaffle Bit with Rollers
Snaffle bits aren’t often associated with Western riding, but the Western SS Copper Roller Snaffle D-Ring bit will have you thinking twice.
- Multiple copper rollers
- Relieves boredom
- Doesn’t have the traditional look of a Western bit
- Not all horses will like the double-jointed mouthpiece
Best Bit with Cricket Roller
The Toklat Medium Port Copper Curb combines the extra control of a shank with the soothing power of a roller. Perfect for a strong, nervous horse who needs to soften to the bit.
- Small rein rings
- Mouthpiece small, good for sensitive horses
- Not suitable for beginner horses (or riders)
Best 3-Piece Snaffle Bit with Copper Roller
Your search might end with the SS D-Ring Dog Bone Copper Roller Mouth Snaffle Bit. This bit can help improve your communication with your horse.
- Single copper roller
- Modest D-ring
- Three-piece design encourages suppling
- Mouthpiece is thicker, sensitive horses may not like it
Best D-Ring Snaffle with Roller
The Professional Equine Stainless Steel D-Ring Comfort Snaffle with Copper Rollers is a solid option if you’re looking for a combination of D-ring and rollers.
- Mild center joints
- Two slender, double copper rollers
- Curved mouthpiece that’s good for sensitive horses
- Doesn’t have the traditional “D” rein ring shape
Best Curb Bit with Rollers
If you need a little more power, the Reinsman 776 All Around Curb Bit with Copper Roller is a great curb option. A combination of three metals (stainless steel, copper, and sweet) offers the perfect blend of function and design.
- Three-piece mouthpiece
- Superb craftsmanship
- Mild shank
- Mouthpiece is bulky, may not be suitable for horses with sensitive tongues
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do horse bits have rollers?
Horse bits have rollers to help encourage them to relax and accept the bit.
Q: What does a copper roller do on a bit?
Copper is a metal that can stimulate a horse to salivate. The extra saliva works to soften how the bit feels in their mouth. If you choose a copper roller bit, not only should your horse start to relax his jaw, but he will likely salivate more and be a much softer ride.
Q: Does my horse need a bit with a roller?
If your horse is tense in the jaw or heavy in your hand, a bit with a roller could be a great solution. Roller bits are also handy for nervous horses, as it gives them something to do (other than, say, look for the next plastic bag to spook at).
Bits with rollers can be great tools for a variety of issues. Most rollers are copper, which has a pleasant taste (for most horses) and encourages salivation. You can use a bit with rollers temporarily as a training tool for a horse that’s tense or hard to get on the bit as well as for everyday rides and competitions. Even if your horse doesn’t have an issue that would benefit from a roller, they can be lots of fun for your horse to play with.
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