There are hundreds if not thousands of bits out there and it all can become an overload of information in an instant. I had such a hard time finding a bit for my horse because it seemed like every opinion was conflicting. Today's post is here to clarify the differences between basic types of bits. All of the information came straight from the USEF rulebook! I hope y'all will find this super helpful!


Single Jointed Bits

Single jointed bits are defined as bits that offer little to no leverage*

They work the:

Corners of the mouth


Bars of the mouth

Note: If not used or fitted correctly, single jointed bits can work the roof of the mouth


Double Jointed Snaffles

Comes in a variety of mouth and cheekpieces to fit each horse's needs.

Key characteristics

Conform to the shape of the mouth

Conforms to the shape of the tongue

Even pressure across the mouth


Straight Bar Snaffles

These can be rubber or metal, but the mouthpieces are most commonly some sort of rubber or different types of plastics.

Key characteristics

Cause more tongue pressure


Rounded or Moving Centerpieces

These bits are common in both English and western disciplines, defined by the centerpiece that is round and can be rotated. The bits come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and cheekpieces.

Key Characteristics

Encourages tongue movement

Encourages salivation


Curved Mouthpieces with Joints and Mullen Mouths

These bits come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Key Characteristics

Conform to the shape of the mouth

Conforms to the tongue



Full cheek, eggbutt, and D ring snaffles

more stable and also work on the sides of the mouth

Loose Ring Snaffles


-Mouthing at the bit


Has a more moveable mouthpiece

Hanging Cheek Snaffle

Have a slight amount of leverage

Work on the corners of the mouth

Has more of an effect on the poll


I hope you guys were able to find some use in today's post and I hope it cleared some things up! Like I said in the intro, all of this information came directly from USEF. If you want to read more, you can find all of this information here on page 12!

Best wishes