Double Bridle Bits
The double bridle is composed of two bits, a small snaffle bit called a bradoon and a curb bit. The two bits work together to offer the rider more control, however the double bits should only be used by an experienced rider and when the horses level of training warrants its use.
Double Bridle Bits Action
The Bradoon Bit
The bradoon bit looks similar to a snaffle bit, but has smaller rings and a thinner mouthpiece, this is because it forms one of two bits that are going to go inside the horses mouth.
There are several variations to the bradoon bit:
The Curb Bit
The curb bit encourages the horse to flex at the poll and activates pressure points within the chin groove, bars of the mouth and poll.
The Curb Bit Mouthpieces
Curb Bit Cheeks
Double Bridles Bits Can Be Made Of
There are a number of materials used but it should be noted that both the bradoon and curb should be of the same material:
Curb and Bradoon Bit Sizes
Curb and bradoon bits are available in the same standard sizes as most other bits are and are measured between the mouthpiece rings or cheeks, usually ranging in sizes from 3, 3.5, 4, 4 1/4, 4.5, 4 3/4, 5, 5 1/4 , 5.5, 5 3/4 and 6 inches.
Uses Of Double Bridle Bits
Double bridles are used for showing and elementary dressage upwards. Double bridles can also be used for show jumping and cross country however it takes an experienced rider to successfully and correctly use two sets of reins.
The bits must fit correctly to enable the horse to successfully perform at their best. Each horses mouth is unique and the type of mouthpiece and cheeks chosen must reflect the horses individual way of going.
The curb bit should sit a quarter to a half an inch lower in the mouth than the bradoon bit which sits in the corners of the mouth again just wrinkling the corners of the horses mouth, the curb chain is then fitted into the chin groove.
The curb chain acts when pressure to the curb rein is applied, causing pressure to be applied to the chin groove in combination with pressure to the poll, the longer the shank of the bit the more severe the pressure.
When fitting a curb chain it must have all the links smooth and lying flat and when pressure is applied to the rein the shank of the Weymouth should be at a 45 degree angle to the mouth. If the mouthpiece of the curb has a high port then the roof of the mouth will also be affected.
The bridle consists of a caveson noseband, browband, headpiece, sliphead that attaches to the curb bit, curb chain, cheek pieces that attach to the bradoon, two sets of reins that are ideally different thicknesses from each other or a different style such as plain or laced.