10 Best Horse Bits (Review, Buying Guide & Expert Tips)

Looking for the best horse bits?

I’m here to help you navigate the hundreds of headache inducing options.

But did you know that there are actually only 2 types of horse bits, leverage and snaffle?[1]

However, within those two types are hundreds of variations, from which I’ve narrowed down to my top picks.

Here are the metrics we use in our research:

  • Bits that are valued for money
  • What types of bits are best for sensitive horses
  • Commonly used and popular western bits
  • The most common and popular English bits
  • What bits work well for strong horses
  • Quality of the bit materials
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Top 10 Horse Bits That Expert Recommend

#1 Weaver Leather All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit – Winner

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It is pretty difficult to pick a winner, as each horse has its own bit preference. But I’m putting this bit at the top for its price and the fact that is pretty versatile.

It will suit horses of all ages. Those that are sensitive, and it is a good bit to try on young horses just starting out.

This is a standard, loose ring, single jointed snaffle. It is pretty mild as far as bits go. Many horses prefer a loose ring because the bit moves a little, and it has a less steady pressure.

This bit has a thinner mouthpiece, which will suit horses with smaller mouths. It also comes in a copper mouth version, which some horses like better than plain steel.

Physical Attributes

  • 2.5 inch ring
  • Nickle plated
  • Single jointed
  • Comes in 5-inch mouthpiece

Benefits of Weaver Leather All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Lots of horses will like it
  • Good for small mouths

Drawbacks of Weaver Leather All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit

  • Lack of sizes
  • Not the best option for horses that need a stronger turning cue
  • Lower quality metal

How it Compares to Others and Why

If you have a small budget but want a bit that most horses will like, this is a good one to put in your tack room. As it is a loose ring, it has a weaker steering cue than, say, a D ring.

Expert Tips

With loose ring bits, there is a risk that it can pinch the side of the horse’s lips or even slide through the mouth. To prevent this, it is common to put rubber bit guards on. My favorite is the Kavallerie Gel Bit Guard.

Bit guards aren’t the easiest to put on, watch this tutorial to learn how.

What influencers say about this

One thing riders love the most about this bit is the price, and that is it is a must have bit in your barn.

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#2 Myler SS Dee Comfort Snaffle Wide Barrel Bit – Best Modern Designs

Myler bits are very popular, and for a good reason. While they are expensive, the brand takes a modern approach to bit design with horse anatomy and comfort in mind.

The mouthpiece has a bigger curve than most bits which provides more even pressure, clear signals, tongue relief, and a covered joint that prevents pinching.

They come in lots of different options, are high quality, and are one of my favorite bit brands.

Physical Attributes

  • Stainless steel material
  • D rings
  • Curved mouthpiece
  • Sides can move independently

Benefits of Myler SS Dee Comfort Snaffle Wide Barrel Bit

  • Prevents pinching
  • Fits more comfortably in the horse’s mouth
  • Even pressure
  • No nutcracker action
  • High-quality construction

Drawbacks of Myler SS Dee Comfort Snaffle Wide Barrel Bit

  • Expensive
  • Some find the mouthpiece too narrow

How it Compares to Others and Why

The curve of this bit makes is a gentle mouthpiece.

#3 Rainbow Multi Color Eggbutt Snaffle – Most Fun

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How fun is this bit? I wish these were around when I was younger. Not only is this a fun bit with a rainbow color, but it is also a pretty mild bit, especially for horses that don’t like pressure on the roof of their mouth that happens with a single jointed snaffle.

This is a double jointed bit with a round bean for the central piece, which is softer in the horse’s mouth than a Dr. Bristle style double jointed snaffle.

It comes in loads of sizes as well, so you’re sure to find one suitable for your horse. This bit is suitable for inexperienced riders and those with years of training. It is very versatile.

Physical Attributes

  • Stainless steel metal
  • Double jointed
  • Oval link in center
  • Multicolor
  • Sizes from 4.25 to 6 inch

Benefits of Rainbow Multi Color Eggbutt Snaffle

  • Great range of sizes
  • Affordable price
  • Good for horses the prefer tongue pressure
  • Super fun

Drawbacks of Rainbow Multi Color Eggbutt Snaffle

  • Not suitable for competing
  • Horses that like more bit movement might not like it

How it Compares to Others and Why

While the design of this bit is similar to many others, it is unique for its fun rainbow color.

Expert Tips

Eggbutt bits are best suited to horses that like something stable in their mouth and need a little help with steering that the straight arm provides. However, if your horse prefers less fixed pressure, a loose ring might be a better option.

If you love the rainbow color but want a loose ring, you’re in luck, as this also comes as a rainbow loose ring!

What influencers say about this

Loads of riders love this bit because it is prettier than your standard silver style. Not only do equestrians love the color, they also find it durable, well made, and a good weight.

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#4 Korsteel Copper & Steel Roller Snaffle Bit – Good For Stronger Horses

If you have a horse that can get strong but don’t want to use a more severe bit, this is a good option. I use this myself on one of my horses, and while she is still strong, it is manageable.

The Dee rings mean this bit has a straight side, which has a similar effect to a full cheek. They help keep the bit more stable in the mouth and also help with flexion and turning.

What is different about this bit from a standard single jointed mouthpiece is that it contains copper rollers.

These rollers are smooth and not harsh. Their movement makes it harder for a horse to grab the bit, which helps with stronger horses. They are also great for horses that like to play with their bit and can help them focus. You can find this bit at State Line Tack and Amazon.

It also comes in a full cheek version.

Physical Attributes

  • D-ring bit
  • Copper rollers
  • Single jointed
  • Sizes from 4 ¾ to 5 ½ inch

Benefits of Korsteel Copper & Steel Roller Snaffle Bit

  • Great versatile bit
  • Lots of horses like it
  • Mild option for strong horses

Drawbacks of Korsteel Copper & Steel Roller Snaffle Bit

  • Some horses don’t like copper bits
  • The rollers can wear out

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a mid-priced bit that lots of horses like, but others with very soft mouths might find it too much. It is a stronger bit than the others mentioned above.

Expert Tips

The best way to clean is a horse bit, especially one like this with small spaces grim can get stocks, is to remove it from the bridle and soak it in hot water.

After soaking, use a toothbrush to scrub away the grime. Then rinse the bit and wipe it off with a clean, dry towel.

Here are some more expert tack cleaning tips.

What influencers say about this

Users have found this bit works well on nervous and mouthy horses that need something to focus on.

#5 Rubber Mouth Dee Snaffle Bit – Best Soft Bit

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Everyone should have a rubber snaffle bit in their horse gear collection. Rubber bits are ‘warmer’ in the mouth, and some horses prefer it over metal. The rubber makes the bit softer, which is great for sensitive mouths.

Since it is softer in the mouth it is also suitable for inexperienced hands.

Physical Attributes

Benefits of Rubber Mouth Dee Snaffle Bit

  • The rubber prevents a full nutcracker effect
  • Good for soft mouthed horses

Drawbacks of Rubber Mouth Dee Snaffle Bit

  • The rubber can break up or get bitty, especially with horses that chew

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is one of the softest bit options and is great for sensitive horses. If your horse is strong, it might not be enough bit.

Expert Tips

A correctly fitting bit is essential for your horse’s comfort and its effectiveness. Check out this expert tutorial on how to measure your horse for bit size.

What influencers say about this

Equestrians with soft mouthed and sensitive horses find this bit really works and keeps their horse happy.

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#6 Solid Rubber Mouth Bit – Super Soft

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If you want one of the softest bits possible, take a look at this. These rubber bits are bendy and have no joint to put pressure on the roof of the mouth.

They are nice bits to use when introducing a horse to holding a bit in their mouth. It is also excellent for really sensitive horses.

I have one of these in my tack trunk and have found it useful. However, keep in mind it is not suitable for strong horses. It is too soft, and you will have very little in the way of emergency brakes, and turning is more difficult.

Physical Attributes

  • Loose ring
  • Straight mouthpiece
  • Rubber mouthpiece

Benefits of Solid Rubber Mouth Bit

  • Gentle, soft bit
  • Reasonable price
  • Great for very sensitive horses

Drawbacks of Solid Rubber Mouth Bit

  • Not enough bit for anything other than soft horses
  • Doesn’t aid steering well

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is one of the gentlest bits you can get.

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#7 Myler Low Port Comfort Snaffle Bit – Best Western Pleasure Bit

Western horses undergo a different type of training than English horses. They will start off with similar bits to English riding horses, such as a simple single jointed snaffle.

However, as they progress through training, they graduate to curb bits. These are bits with shanks. Shanks are classed as a leverage bit. The longer the shanks, the stronger the bit.

These bits can be severe if the horse isn’t ready for it and the rider has rough hands. They are meant for broke western horses that only need slight cues.

This Myler bit is a great all-around western pleasure bit and a good option for western pleasure riders. It is high quality and more comfortable for the horse.

Physical Attributes

  • Sweet iron mouthpiece
  • Sides move independently
  • Low port for tongue relief
  • Curved mouthpiece

Benefits of Myler Low Port Comfort Snaffle Bit

  • Better allows the horse to swallow
  • Good introductory shank bit
  • High-quality construction

Drawbacks of Myler Low Port Comfort Snaffle Bit

  • Expensive

What influencers say about this

Myler makes bits for horses in a variety of riding disciplines. Check out this video to learn more about why these bits think of the horse’s comfort and more.

#8 Josey Go Around Bit – For Strong Barrel Racers

If you’ve ever seen barrel racing, you will see how excited these horses are to do their job. While speed is important when barrel racing, you sometimes need some whoah for strong, enthusiastic horses.

Physical Attributes

  • Low port
  • Brown iron
  • Rubber bit stops
  • Curb chain

Benefits of Josey Go Around Bit

  • Helps with collection
  • Good for turning
  • Helps reduce too much nose elevation

Drawbacks of Josey Go Around Bit

  • Not best for a green horse
  • A little expensive

What influencers say about this

Martha Josey, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer, recommends this bit for horses that need more woah. [2]

#9 Shires Tom Thumb Rubber Mouth Pelham – Good For Strong Jumping Horses

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While I tried to avoid harsher bits where possible, a pelham is one of the best options if you need something stronger.

When used correctly, it is a milder type of ‘strong’ bit, and many horses do really seem happy in them. This is what is known as a Tom Thumb pelham, which means it has shorter shanks and a milder action.

There is a ‘full’ pelham if the Tom Thumb isn’t enough, which has longer shanks. This type of bit is often used on jumpers, but it is popular in the equitation and jumper ring as well.

I usually stick to rubber mullen mouth pelhams, but they come in metal and jointed. To use a pelham correctly, you should ride with two reins.

It is possible to reduce this to one rein with bit converters, but I’m a stickler for this and won’t do it because using just one rein puts constant pressure on the curb.

If you want to try this bit but have never ridden with two reins, I recommend getting a few lessons so you can master this skill. Overall, this is a bit for experienced riders. In the wrong hands it is quite severe.

Physical Attributes

  • Rubber mouthpiece
  • Mullen mouth
  • Curb chain
  • Mild poll pressure
  • Straight shanks

Benefits of Shires Tom Thumb Rubber Mouth Pelham

  • The leverage helps with jumping
  • A gentler way to deal with strong horses
  • Many horses like it

Drawbacks of Shires Tom Thumb Rubber Mouth Pelham

  • Really should be ridden with double reins
  • Not for beginner riders

How it Compares to Others and Why

This is a bit for English riding and has a stronger action than the others I’ve highlighted above.

Check our guide on English leverage bits.

Expert Tips

Learn more about pelhams and how they work in this expert video.

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#10 Leather Loose Ring Snaffle Bit – Best For Tricky Mouths

This type of bit is worth a try for a horse with a sensitive mouth that doesn’t seem quite happy in other designs.

These bits have a leather covered mouthpiece, which is really soft in the mouth. There are a variety of leather bits like this loose ring. You can also find it in full check, D-ring, eggbutt, and pelham bit rings.

They also come in two different thicknesses. It is a bit that I have on my shopping list for one of my really sensitive horses.

Physical Attributes

  • Leather covered mouthpiece
  • Anti-pinch sleeves
  • Stainless steel

Benefits of Leather Loose Ring Snaffle Bit

  • Non-toxic leather
  • Good for tricky to bit horses
  • Soft in the mouth

Drawbacks of Leather Loose Ring Snaffle Bit

  • The leather will wear more quickly than metal
  • Some horses won’t like the feel of leather in their mouth

How it Compares to Others and Why

This bit stands out for its leather mouthpiece. It is great for sensitive horses or worth trying with a horse that is tricky to bit.

What influencers say about this

Learn more about leather bits from this equestrian.

How To Choose The Best Bits for Your Horses

Using a bit that your horse is happy with is non-negotiable. It can take time to find their favorite, and a lot depends on the horse itself.

Here are some horse bitting tips to help you choose the best horse bits.

Know The Correct Size

You must purchase a bit that is the correct size for your horse’s mouth. Too small and it can pinch, too big and it can flop around with pressure applied in the wrong place. Either way, both are pretty uncomfortable for your horse.

I included a video earlier in the article that shows you how to measure your horse for a bit.

Know Your Horse’s Mouth Confirmation

The shape of your horse’s mouth greatly affects what type of bit that is best. Some horses have small mouths, some have low palettes, and others have thick tongues.

These shapes can make a bit that you think is gentle, actually pretty harsh and uncomfortable. For example, I have a horse with a small mouth and a low palette. He much prefers a thin bit, which many think of as harsher than a fat bit.

But for him, he is much happier in his thin, double jointed bit.

Related: Are Horse Bits Cruel? Do They Cause Pain?

Use A Qualfied Bit Fitter

If you have a tricky to bit horse or want to go all out, enlist the services of a qualified bit fitter. They will speak to you about your horse and examine its mouth.

They can then recommend your best bit options.

READ MORE: How to Get a Horse on the Bit for Beginners


1. What is the softest bit for a horse?

The softest bit for a horse is a flexible rubber or leather covered. A newer brand that makes really soft rubber bits is Poponcini. Eggbutt rings are also softer than other types of rings as they have curved, stable rings that don’t pinch.

2. What kind of horse bit should I use?

lady smiling at the horse with bitless bridle

You should get a horse bit that is best for your horse and also your riding level.

3. What is the most commonly used horse bit?

The most commonly used horse bit is a single jointed snaffle, usually with eggbutt rings.

4. What bits do cowboys use?

Cowboys will use one of a variety of shank bits on their fully bridled horses. What one will depend on the job their horse is doing and the individual horse’s preference.

Conclusion and Final Recommendation

Choosing the best horse bits isn’t straightforward. I’ve included some of the most common and best options here but could fill pages and pages about all the different bits.

My winner, the Weaver Leather All Purpose Ring Snaffle Bit is value for money and a bit that will suit many different types of horses.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I’ll be back in with future articles about bits. There are lots to cover!

lady riding a brown horse using the best horse bits


1. Bits 101 [Internet]. extension.uga.edu. [cited 2022 Oct 13]. Available from: https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1379#:~:text=The%20two%20basic%20types%20of

2. Martha Josey’s 7 Favorite Barrel Racing Bits [Internet]. TCC. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct 13]. Available from: https://www.thecowboychannel.com/martha-joseys-7-favorite-barrel-racing-bits

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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