Snaffle Bit


Not on view

The mouthpiece of this bit is made of two very thin jointed canons holding several serrated rollers. The serrated rollers are very harsh for the horse's bars (part of the horses’ jaw without teeth) and lips. Also very uncomfortable for the tongue, they force the horse to retract it. Consequently the tongue cannot cushion the bit and the mouthpiece is resting directly on the most sensitive part of the bars. The end of each canon, decorated with a baluster button, has large rings for the reins. The mouthpiece passes through a second set of rings used for hanging the bit to the bridle, of which leather fragments and buckles remain.

This typical Indian type of bit, still used today in some regions like Rajasthan, descends directly from Ancient Near Eastern and Greek bits that often had serrated mouthpieces called ‘hedgehogs.’

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