Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tack Ho Confessions: Bits

Picture no longer current. I have more.
As a confirmed tack 'ho, I have a rubbermaid box of bits and a google doc to catalog said bits. I've been known to buy bits for lots of reasons, like "It was $10", "I didn't have one of these yet", and "it looks cool". I occasionally buy a bit because I actually need it, but in my experience for arena flatwork, most any snaffle will do and it matters more that you ride well than it does that pookie-kins has her most favorite bit on.

That said. While I don't even blink at the new cost of an Antares bridle, I think the most I ever spent on a bit was Cuna's happy mouth mullen pelham for XC that cost like $60. I just don't really care to drop money on things that go mostly inside the horse. Obviously, I buy good bits without sharp edges or anything, but the appeal of high end bits is lost on me. 

And then I went to the big spring tack store sale last weekend. Redheadlins (seriously, girl does it ALL) was working there and I asked her what I needed to buy. It was fully my intention to maaaaybe use my $10 off coupon on a french link dee, which meant I would walk out of the store $22 poorer, but with a different cheap bit. 

So that happened
And she stuck a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra in my hot little hands. I was all, "No no no. You know I don't spend money on bits. Plus I hate eggbutts. Plus it's gold-ish brass colored and I just don't like it."

She smiled at me and kept talking about other things. I was just standing there holding this bit and pretty soon I wasn't really listening to what she was saying. Yeah, the color of the bit didn't speak to me at all, but the weight of it? It was heavy and smooth and sat so nicely in my hands...

And the new price was like $200... and the price on it was $50... and...


And I walked to the front counter and bought it, even though as a consignment item, it was not eligible for my in-store discount coupon.

Now Courage is rocking a magic bit on the magic bridle and I'm telling myself the madness hasn't started. I haven't gotten to use it enough to give it a thorough review, but I'm sure you'll see one of those eventually. I've always avoided pricey bits because I was pretty sure the knock offs were similar enough that it didn't really matter. I guess now I'm going to find out. 


  1. I use an HS KK Ultra loose ring on all of my dressage horses (and a couple of the racehorses). They all go well in it and I really think horses tend to like the metal they use better than the less expensive bits. Not that I believe any bit can be a "miracle" cure, but some definitely help make life a little easier. I hope it works well for you! At least it was a great deal :)

  2. IMO when it comes to bits the nicer metal can make a huge difference for certain horses. Don't love egg buts but I hope the bit works for ya! The kks really do have a nice feel to them.

  3. I want that bit in a D-Ring... so I'm anxiously awaiting your review!

  4. Heh heh heh, I'm master of filling your hands at the tack store;)

  5. I guess I'm the weirdo who loves eggbutts...

    1. I'm the other weirdo who loves eggbutts. Reins get stuck on the D-rings. Can't wait to get the full rundown on this bit though!!

  6. Egad! A Herm will get you every time (I've got a D)

  7. I've always loved the KK bits.. over the years I"ve amassed a collection of the loose ring double jointed ones in various thicknesses, Prair's hunter D, and an Eggbutt single joint. I think they earn their keep, but I agree - they won't make up for bad riding. :) But oh if they could....

  8. I have two of those KK bits, bought both full price (YIKES!), but I use them so much. I rotate between those and my myler level 1 snaffle. They're timeless, like really, you're just being a super classy 'ho...see, it's not so bad ;)

  9. I love my KK (and I need to write a review of it). It didn't suddenly solve all of Lex's contact problems, but it's balanced well and she seems happy in it. I think she's more comfortable, but maybe I'm trying to justify the price tag.

    I'm also the weirdo who likes eggbutts because of the reins getting stuck on the D issue. But a D is good if you have a steering problem and don't want to use a full-cheek for whatever reason.

  10. I had a KK that I also got for a very good price, used. It was a really nice bit but I'm not sure that there was truly any "magic" to it. Unfortunately I never could try it on Loki b/c it was too small for his wide mouth. Good luck with it, though!

  11. I had a few KK Ultras because I liked the idea behind them, but eventually sold them because my horse just kept leaning on this lovely comfortable bit. :/ The bit I switched to 2 years ago is the same bit today - no leaning. I literally own 3 bits and 2 of them are the same, Pessoa Magic Copper Moon Dee Bit (no longer made), one lives on my show bridle and one my everyday bridle. The 3rd bit is for dressage and it's just a $25 loose ring double joint. Just not a bit queen. ;)

  12. French-link eggbutts for EVERYONE! Unless it's Paddy, in which case we need a pricey Myler Baucher in a weird size, lol!

  13. I seriously love egg-butts!! I am very interested in why they aren't your favorite!
    The only thing I have against D-rings is that my rein sometimes slips around the 'corner' and gets stuck...
    ...I love trying all the bits... In fact, I put Fancy Pony in the ultra-flexible green rubber bit just to see what she thought! Rode in it twice before she started chewing on it with her gums, but it was enough to solidify the idea of a working contact! Wow!


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