Bit Store Online
What classification a bit represents, is purely subjective, depending on the what criteria you use for classification. At the Bit Store, we use 4 levels from very mild to very severe. Every manufacturer has their own way of classifying a bit, which we have tried to incorporate in our ratings. Level One is where we start, and we end with Level Four, which should be reserved for very experienced riders, trainers, and other horse professionals.
LEVEL ONE A Level One is primarily for young horses. Some riders also like to use this level of bit to ‘freshen or re-train’ a horse that needs a refresher course in their training. The mouthpieces are, in general, smooth, thicker and with short and/or swiveling cheeks for low leverage. This is so that they do not apply too much pressure to the chin or bars. This level of bits can be used by most riders with any kind of hands.
LEVEL TWO A Level Two bits are used as the horse progresses in its training and acquires more experience. At this level, slightly thinner mouthpieces are introduced, increasing the effect on the horse, and longer cheeks are introduced so more leverage is applied. The thickness is generally describes as medium or normal. All types of mouthpieces can be introduced at this level. These include 3-piece, large twisted wire, rollers and other options too numerous to mention. This level can be used by the majority of riders with any type of hands as they won’t easily damage the horse’s mouth. Level Two bits are pretty much your everyday bit for any kind of horse and rider.
LEVEL THREE A Level Three bits are generally suited to more mature horses (4 to 5 years old) with the capacity to accept more pressure from the bit. Most curb bits are included in this level because of the potential for damage to the horse’s mouth due to the solid construction. This level of bits is not exceptionally severe, but is dedicated to more experienced horses and riders. These bits have medium to thin thickness mouthpieces. Most experienced riders and trainers use these bits to train their horses for a particular discipline or event. Care should be used when this class of bits is used because improper use can injure the horse.
LEVEL FOUR Level Four bits are for horses over 5 years old, experienced, with good training, who can accept a lot of pressure from the riders hands. They cannot be put into just any rider’s hands. These bits can damage the horse’s mouth, which is why these bits should be used only by professional horseman, trainers, or by very experienced riders.