While bits typically aren't the fanciest tack items, these ten elaborate horse bits are simply works of art.
The bit is an essential part of most bridles, and helps the rider to steer and control the horse by exerting pressure on the horse's tongue and the sides of the horse's mouth. From the very simple bit to the more complex, bits are made of various metals and are shaped to fit the horse's mouth. Typically, the bit's cheek pieces or rings are designed to be subtle so as not to detract from the horse's appearance.
And then you have bits like these. These ten bits are heavily ornamented and are designed to be eye-catching. There's no subtlety here - instead, these bits are super fancy and are so intricate that they're works of art themselves. You can tell the hours of design work that have gone into their creation.
If you like fancy tack, take a look at these photos below.
Beautiful Floral Pattern
A Pair of Pistols
What a Bit!
Simple Yet Elegant
For the Sunflower Lover
As beautiful as these bits may be, it's important that whatever bit you choose fits your horse correctly and is appropriate for his training level.
Putting a bit which is too harsh into a green horse's mouth can cause excessive pain, confusion, and even reactive behavior in the horse. As you train your horse, you can progress through different bits gradually as you build his education and he better understands how to respond to mouth and tongue pressure.
When choosing a bit, you'll also need to make sure that it's legal for the show ring (if you plan on showing). Be sure to check your discipline's rule book to find out if a particular bit type is accepted. Some bits are prohibited, and if you are found to be showing in them, you'll be penalized or disqualified.
Finding the right bit for your horse is partly a process of experimentation. With a little time and patience, you should find a bit that your horse goes happily in.