Orienting your bit correctly

Bit attached backwards
I came upon a bridle last week where the bit was attached the wrong way. With double-jointed snaffles, it's not as obvious as a single-jointed bit so you have to look carefully at the way the mouthpiece curves.

What’s wrong with the picture on the left? The bit is attached backwards so that the orientation of the mouthpiece is wrong.

With some bits, it can be difficult to tell the right way from the wrong way so it’s important to take a good look at it before putting it in your horse’s mouth. If the bit is oriented incorrectly, it can cause your horse pain.

Bit in a horse's mouth from bitbankaustralia.wordpress.com
You can see from this photo how the bit fits into a horse's mouth. Photo from http://www.bitbankaustralia.wordpress.com.

Think about the shape of a horse’s mouth and how the bit fits into it. For the bit to sit properly it has to be oriented so that the curvature looks like a gentle U. This allows the bit to curve forward — it will drape on the horse’s tongue, not poke him in the palate and rest on the bars.

Bit correctly oriented
Here's a very similar bit that is correctly oriented. You can see how it matches the shape of a horse's mouth.

Here’s another view of the same bit.  In this angle you can see the curvature of the mouthpiece.

Here you can see the curvature in the mouthpiece
Here you can see the curvature of the mouthpiece.

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