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Beware fake Myler bits! They break!!!!!

I don’t think the images will come through, so click on the link for my blog to see images of the broken bit.

Last Sunday, my friend Susan fell off, I saw the loose horse and went back that direction, my husband had caught the horse and my friend came around the corner coated in sand, from head to toe, with a skinned forehead, nose, elbows. I exclaimed, “What happened?!” since falls are relatively rare and Ernie isn’t the sort of horse to just dump his rider.

The bit had broken!

I had never had a bit break, but the horse was scared, he is not long off the track so stopping off the seat isn’t in his repertoire yet, and so Susan bailed, landed on her feet, but momentum led to a face plant.
I was pissed that a quality bit would EVER break. This bit had probably less than 50 rides on it, it wasn’t the perfect bit for the horse I’d bought it for, but we’d used it once or twice on other horses…mostly it sat in a bin, with the other unused bits.

The background…of how I had what I thought was a Myler bit.

A few years ago…ok, a little over a decade ago, in the 1999-2002 range, I was trying some new bits. I’ve never been much of a bit collector, I’m a plain snaffle girl for most situation.

I had heard good things of Myler bits and was willing to spend a little extra to see if I could see a difference with a Myler bit, so I ordered two, I ordered from somewhere either online or mail order, paying the market price for a Myler bit, the bits came with tagging that said Myler. One, had copper inlays, the Comfort snaffle, with a D ring…and a french link. Both looked like what I’d seen in catalog pictures.

Unbeknownst to me, I had a fake. The real ones are stamped, the D ring comfort snaffle was not, I honestly haven’t gone to look for the other bit, I think I loaned it out and it may not have been returned, or it might be in the bit box.

Actually, some of the Mylers which are distributed thru Toklat (a vendor) do not have the stamps.

Sorry to hear that happened to your friend… hope she and the horse are okay.

This is one of the reasons I have never been a fan of the bits with attachments you cannot see - Mylers and Happymouth come to mind… few years ago I had a bit (Happymouth) break on me too on a fresh OTTB and let me tell you it was a terrifying experience. I hope your friend reports it to Toklat but unfortunately there may not be much Toklat can do because it was bought from a third/private party and not through them.

I have reported it to Toklat and they are helping me educate others.

There was a recall on a lot of Happy Mouth bits too.

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I knew someone who had a Myler (real Myler) that broke as she was tacking up her horse- but it was a well used bit. I myself had a knock-off and I eventually stopped using it when the sleeve started to split. I ditched the knock-off and have a nice little collection of Myler bits from Toklat now, but only use them on the “quiet horse”. I check the mouthpieces religiously and hoping that by doing so I can catch “something” before I end up with the joint popping out of the sleeve mid-ride… Love the mouthpieces, but hate wondering if/when something will go wrong!

I had a Happy Mouth (or knock-off) break last year - very scary as it happened over a jump and I had no steering on landing. Luckily the horse made a decision to pull up - it was close though, he was considering jumping the standards of the jump in front of him.

Since then I have felt more strongly about metal bits that I can see all the working parts. It’s not a perfect solution… after all I’ve had a girth break over a fence before too. Probably can’t prevent everything! A friend had her breastplate break during a recent FEI event. Luckily the way the straps worked, she was able to unclip the remainder and just throw the whole thing off. It did waste time on course though.

Real Myler bits aren’t solid stainless steel either. The cheek rings are stainless, but the mouthpieces are a sweet iron and go dark with use.

I’ve never had a bit break, but once I looked down as I pulled up from a gallop along a field and found my horse’s hackamore dangling under his neck. The nose strap was attached to the cheeks by Chicago screws and one had come undone.

That is not really true. Myler sells bits with sweet iron mouthpiece, but it is just one of the models. Most of my Mylers are stainless mouth piece with copper inlay.

That is not really true. Myler sells bits with sweet iron mouthpiece, but it is just one of the models. Most of my Mylers are stainless mouth piece with copper inlay.[/QUOTE]

Ah, see how far out of the loop I am. My Myler was purchased over ten years ago and the sweet iron mouth was one of their big selling features. They didn’t do full stainless at that time.

Myler started with targeting western folks, I think? I have one with sweet iron mouth piece, and I love it. These days it seems I have to specifically hunt for the sweet iron mouthpiece because most tack shops I frequent target English riders, and English riders seem to prefer the stainless look.

But I’m getting off track here. This threat caught my eyes because I almost exclusively use Myler Comfort snaffle, and I never thought of “counterfeit” somehow. It is rather disconcerting. I can almost say that the counterfeit does not look to have the same workmanship as the Myler, but hell how do I know? I can’t say that I can positively identify its authentication if one is present in my hands.

It looks like all the current ones are stamped. I have no idea of the history and consistency of stamping, but both the lady at Mylers handmade bits in MO and at Toklat in OR said that there are stamps.

I’ll add a new image as I found a D ring Mylers comfort snaffle in the Dover Tent sale last weekend and snapped a picture of it.

Mine broke today. Riding on the trails…grateful that my calm horse minimally startled and regained her calm.

I have never heard of a bit breaking in use, and I have never used a Mylar bit.

What makes them so fragile? Where do they break?

And do regular snaffles snap at anything like this rate?