Education

Welcome to the Education area of Elliott Bit ' N Spur, we're happy you're here.

This is a passion of ours, and we hope to fill it full of knowledgeable posts in an easy to reference layout, where you can learn infinitely.

Bits, How They Fit and Work

As published in: 2006 HORSE BREEDERS AND OWNERS CONFERENCE The anatomy of a horse’s head plays an important role in the form, function and design of a bit. By understanding where the bit applies pressure in or on the horse’s head, we can better judge the response we want to achieve. If we are creating excessive physical pressure, keep in

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Adjustment of the Headstall – Bit – Curb

With your headstall and bit on a horse, and with the curb loose, adjust the headstall so that the mouthpiece of the bit just makes contact with the upper curve of the lip. This will be the starting point as each horse is different. Once the headstall and bit are adjusted, then the curb can be adjusted to make contact

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Sue Smith’s Top Five Picks

In honor of Sue’s 2023 NFR Qualification, we are bringing you her Top Five Favorite Bits. #1: Spur Up 02 This bit was designed to transition your horse from an O-ring (with two piece mouthpiece) into something with less bar pressure and additional leverage. The Spur Up 02 has a 1 to 1 ratio and a slightly shorter 7 1/8″

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The Purpose of the Bit: Balance Side To Side

The balance of the horse side to side is the first step to complete Body Balance in motion. As the horse walks, the back should swing left or right. This means there is a consistent contraction and extension phase side to side in the horse’s back. Make sure the swing at a walk is the same on the right as

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Purpose of the Bit Explained

We all know that a horse can do all the maneuvers that we would like him or her to do without us being on his/her back. So why does a horse struggle with those maneuvers when we ride them? I think some of the problems arise, because the rider does not fully understand what has to take place to allow

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Anatomy

Hyoid Apparatus

With recent interest in the hyoid apparatus, I would like to share what I have learned in my research and numerous dissections in relationship to the hyoid apparatus and bitting. The hyoid apparatus suspends the tongue and the larynx in the floor of the throat. This includes a collection of five bones. The two long bones (stylohyoid) attaching on the

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Anatomy

The difference between a CRICKET and a ROLLER

The cricket is made of steel and has an uneven center hole that is mounted on a square center bar. This creates a cricket sound when the horse rolls it with his tongue. The more motion the horse has with his tongue the more relaxed the lower jaw is. The relaxation of the lower jaw helps keep the lateral bend

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A horse “collected” too much.

Preview in new tab The below question was asked in response to the Curb Strap Explanation post. QUESTION: I have a mare that has been ‘collected’ too much. I am teaching her how to extend her poll and only get after her when she attempts to collect too much. She is softening some but she is used to ‘leaning’ on

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Curb Straps

Curb Strap Explanation

Please be sure to read this entire post, as there is important information at the end. 1. WRAPPED CORD WITH QUICK LINK This curb was designed to help keep the bit balanced on the horse’s head. It is used on the bits with higher purchase and medium to long gag action. The wrap stiffens the cord which will help with

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Bit Mechanics

Bit Mechanics: SU-10, with MPC-21

QUESTION: My horse is a 12 year old mare and feels dull in her mouth, and sometimes I can be heavy with my hands. Could you please explain the mechanics of this bit and how it should help my horse? [Spur Up-10, with MPC-21] DAVE’S ANSWER: The Spur Up-10 has a one to one ratio with limited slip, so this

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Bit Mechanics

Updated Design: SU-01 and SU-02 Cheeks

The changes you may feel in the new design will be very subtle. Our goal for this bit is to fit in more horses and rider’s hands, with a positive outcome. In the new design I added more forward slip where the mouthpiece slides in front of the shank. With the added forward slip, this will give the bit a

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Elliott Bits

New Mouthpiece: MPC-26

The beaded mouthpiece in the cage gives more width which distributes contact over a larger area of the lips and bars. The beads in cage has an oval profile so that as it rotates in the mouth it does not give an abrupt change. The center piece is the cricket which encourages the tongue to stay active which helps keep

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Bit Mechanics

A Little Story About Bit Adjustment

Sally emailed Elliott Bit ‘N Spur looking for the just right bit for her horse Speedy. After lots of talk and deliberation, Dave and Sally settled on what might be perfect for Speedy, the Spur Up Combo #2. So off in the mail went the just right bit to Sally and Speedy. Upon receiving the bit, Sally wrote us because

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Anatomy

New Mouthpiece: MPC-W

I’ve designed this new mouthpiece referred to as the W. This is my explanation of why it was designed this way. The design concept is anatomical. Not mechanical. This mouthpiece is designed to make contact with the lips and the bars. With the flat surface of the mouthpiece distributing contact over a greater area, the initial feel may seem like

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