Snake bit

Hunter rider with a bit fascination here. :slight_smile: Could anyone please share a picture of a horse wearing a snake bit (the leather loop-style bit)? I bought one as it looked super interesting and was only $5, but am not sure how you would actually fit it to a horse. The one racing person I had access to in person remembered galloping a horse with it, but never bridled the horse himself and couldn’t remember how it was hung on the bridle. Google hasn’t been helpful (“snake bit” and “horse” or “thoroughbred” and you get plenty of ugly looking muzzles and legs, but no bits) and the racing tack websites I can find it on only show the bit and not a horse wearing it.

Assuming we are talking about the same thing, I have never seen one attached to a bridle, only in the mouth with reins attached:

Not quite the same thing :slight_smile: This is the one I have - https://www.bigdweb.com/product/jacks+leather+snake+bit.do The exercise rider I know who rode a horse in one said they only used it on a freight train of a horse.

Do horses everywhere a favour and throw it into the garbage. Stuff like this have been invented in an attempt to make horses with issues/problems/resistances still be able to race without addressing these problems. This, and “mexican sliders”, both belong in the garbage. Because if you’ve got a horse who “this badly” does NOT want to do the job, you aren’t going to be successful anyway.
Yes, I’ve seen one in use, both snake bit and mexican sliders, and have never been impressed with either. You usually don’t see the horse at the track for long, after these pieces of equipment come out. A last ditch effort to force the unwilling horse to be a racehorse before pulling the plug and dumping the horse at auction. Or selling it cheap to some unsuspecting sport horse rider/trainer who can’t figure out why the horse is so angry. JMHO

I believe it’s the same type of bit. In your bit attach the cheek pieces to the “loose” rings and the reins to the rings at the ends.

Here’s the article I was looking for: https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/who-needs-a-bridle-anyway-meet-the-bridleless-leather-bit-498319

Interesting that the horse in the article was sweating up even in the new bit.

Without knowing the background, why make a snap judgment :woman_shrugging:t2:
You can tell by the sweat marks it was wearing either a bridle or a halter. Who’s to say it didn’t just get done being worked/ridden :woman_facepalming:t2:

1 Like

Have you seen a snake bit in use? It was explained to me that it is not the same thing as the bridle-less bit in the other post.

No where did I say I was planning on using it. :slight_smile: I have lots of bits that will never see the inside of a horse’s mouth, purchased only because I find them interesting. I quite clearly understand that this is a last ditch thing that some trainers will throw on a freight train of a racing TB, and that they are only legal in training, not actual racing. I would just like to know how it hangs on a bridle and fits on a horse out of curiousity.

No, I’ve never seen it in use. I was just guessing. :cowboy_hat_face:

@NancyM What is a “mexican slider” bit?

See one here; https://www.pinkstons.com/snake-bit-leather/

A chain covered in leather, wrapped around the horses lower jaw and pulled tight when “needed”.
An instrument of torture.

Belgian model; https://www.trotdirect.com/en/snake-bit-lasso-12mm-w.html

A mexican slider has a straight bar mouthpiece, and does up firmly with a strap under the chin. Then, inside the straight bar mouthpiece, there is another long piece of steel (like 12 inches long), which slides back and forth though the mouthpiece, with rings on each end for the reins. As the horse starts to bolt (lose steering), the rider pulls on the appropriate rein, and the mouthpiece slides to give extra leverage on that side to attempt to shift the horse’s head to the direction opposite to it’s intended bolt direction. More common than a snake bit, perhaps with more actual thought behind how it works, but still… if a horse “don’t wanna” THAT badly, there’s a reason why, and it is unlikely that trying to force him to be a racehorse is going to end well.

1 Like

Y i k e s.

I have to admit it’s creative, but my threshold for “acceptable bits” is well below that. I wholeheartedly agree with you - if you really need that much bit, your horse is telling you in no uncertain terms that he needs a new career.