Snaffle Bit


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 370

The snaffle bit is the simplest type of horse bit, and has an effect on the bars (part of the horses’ jaw without teeth) and the corners of the lips.

The mouthpiece of this example is composed of two links jointed in the middle. The large rings on each side were used to hang it from the bridle while the smaller ones were connected to the reins. Such bits and other harness parts are found in male warrior burials associated with the Hallstatt culture, in which the use of the horse was a symbol of wealth and high status.

Snaffle Bit, Copper alloy (bronze), European

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