Interesting research about bit fitting ! (In German)

Darstellung der Lage verschiedener Trensengebisse im
Pferdemaul bei Einwirkung unterschiedlich starken
Zügelzuges am gerittenen Pferd im Halten.
Bakkalaureatsarbeit im Studiengang Pferdewissenschaften
der Veterinärmedizinischen Universität Wien
und der Universität für Bodenkultur Wien:

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Unfortunately I do not read German.

Hopefully someone who understands horse anatomy, bits and tack will translate it someday, it might be too specialized for Google translate.


Yes someone please translate!

If it weren’t so elaborate, I would give it a shot. Just in a nutshell: training bits are out (nutcracker effect); bitting depends on the individual horse’s mouth anatomy; young horses fare better with d-ring bits; anatomically shaped bits are to be preferred over straight ones. …and that curb bits can brake a horse’s jaw when used incorrectly we all know.


On page 64 is the summary in english:
“The objective of this study was to describe the position and function of different types of bits
within in the horse´s oral cavity. The two used single jointed snaffle-bits varied in width and
thickness. Their actions and positions within the oral cavity were compared to the double jointed
KK-Ultra and to the Dynamic RS bit.
Three lateral and dorsoventral X-ray images as well as a three-part photo series were taken of
each bit respectively without rein tension, with 2 kg and 3.75 kg bilateral rein tension. The
interaction between the bit and the structures of the oral cavity, particularly the tongue were
clearly recognizable. Tightening of the reins caused all bits to relocate caudally, to squeeze the
tongue and to rotate on their own axes. The position of the bits without tension on the reins
differed from each other. The relocation in direction of the 2nd premolar in response rein tension
was different as well. Dynamic RS were closer to the premolar teeth without rein tension
compared to all other bits. The exactly fitting single jointed snaffle-bit showed the greatest level
of dislocation movement while tightening the reins.
High tension of the reins resulted in compression of the tongue between the bit and the lower
jaw and also between the bit and the premolar teeth. As a reaction to 3.75 kg tension applied to
the reins, the horse reacted by opening the mouth as much as possible. By elevation and
retraction of the tongue the horse tried to remove the bit out of the mouth. None of the bits got
contact with the hard palate when tension was applied. Using the reins asymmetrically, bits
were displaced. the bits got out of place. Due to this, especially due to the ventral forces the
tongue and lower jaw are at risk of injury.
Choosing the bit it is absolutely necessary to pay attention to the anatomy of the horse´s oral
cavity. Furthermore it is essential to adapt the thickness and the width of the bit exactly.
Neglecting these details the horse will not be able to perform according to the rider´s


Thanks for posting this. I wasn’t so sure about copyright issues. In any case - it is a summary and if anyone can find the whole article in english it would be well worth reading. Some of the illustrations are pretty informative by themselves and maybe helpful, even though the article is written in German. :wink:

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Interesting, so was the consensus the Dynamic RS was better or worse?