Bombers Bits’ Claire Lund shares some advice following a reader’s question:

‘Is it still considered ‘bad’ to school every day in a less severe bit, but when you actually go to a big show, to ride in a slightly sharper/harsher bit? (Whichever phase we’re talking about…?)

Almost every horse I ever evented did dressage in a loose ring snaffle, and I usually used a slightly skinnier version on my show bridle than I used on a daily basis, just so everything felt a little lighter – or I maybe jumped at home in a Dutch jumping bit with the rein only on the 1st ring, or used a rein converter; but at shows, I would move my rein down to the lower ring and / or ride with double reins. Is that rotten of me….?!?’

BC45 2.5 RingClaire Lund’s reply:

‘The show atmosphere changes how the horse reacts to the bit due to the level of excitement.

This will be different for each horse. We find for some horses it is necessary to have a slightly stronger bit at shows, while others will need a slightly softer bit to ensure they do not overreact to the pressure.

I often recommend having the rein on the middle ring in a 2½ or 3 Ring for schooling at home and only dropping it when the horse is likely to get more excited. This keeps us going back to a softer setting.’

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