Introducing the Bit

Posted 30 December 2016 – 04:53 PM – PintoPalLover

I”m going to be introducing the bit to my 2 1/2 year old filly soon and just was wondering if you all had any ‘Do’s & don’t’s’ or tips for bridling the first time ? I’ll be starting her in a simple open bridle with a regular half cheek driving snaffle bit per my current plan. Thanks !

Posted 30 December 2016 – 10:02 PM – My reply (not doing others)

Besides going on walks or doing ground work, I’ve often bitted ours while they are eating.  It works well for me – I’m in the general area if they get into trouble and can check on them in between feeding each “batch” of ponies.

Buckeye WCF Classical Wizard - wearing a bit for the first time

Oly – you can see he’s rubbed the browband up over his right ear here (he rubs his head a lot and you now have to watch him when he’s standing still in harness).

LP Painted Mo-Olympus wearing a bit while eating

LP Painted Mo-Olympus wearing a bit while eating

It’s funny how your bit collection will grow.  I even have two that I made – when a couple ponies weren’t doing well with a mullen or a french link or a dog bone… They work similar to the leather bit and I drove the one mare that way for months (before I decided she and I just weren’t going to work as a driving partnership – single or paired).  It did actually help – she seemed to have one less thing that she fussed about while hitched.

Cassie - bay/white mare on left side wearing a haystring braided bit while driving in SC

Cassie is bay/whi mare - driving in hay string braided bit in 4 abreast hitch

Cassie - bay/white mare driving 4 abreast while wearing a haystring braided bit

I’ve never had the opportunity to try a Myler bit and the Kelly’s that are “knock-offs” of them are very thick in the mouthpiece so I haven’t tried them either.  I find that ours seem to prefer the much smaller diameter mouthpieces – their mouths stay closed UNLESS they are actually resisting or the hands have gotten too rough.

Length of time?  Put it on the first time while you’re grooming her.  Keep it on her while you take her for a short walk.  Then remove it, praising her while you you either groom her again or turn her loose.  OR put it on while she’s eating and remove it when she’s done eating – time can vary.


Cupid has also been driven (when starting out in harness) in a haystring braided bit, haystring braided collar, haystring braided headstall & breeching/crupper/backstrap.

LP Painted StyleNcupid - wearing braided haystring bit in 2013 while ground driving

LP Painted StyleNcupid - wearing braided equipment when starting ground driving

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About lppaintedponys

Husband and wife team raising shetland ponies, rescuing dogs/cats & becoming self sufficient.
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