The goal of any trail ride should be relaxation. We trail ride because we want that quality time on our horse outside. It is a great opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We get to listen to nature, feel the wind on our backs and the sun on our skin. We want our horses to be comfortable as we ride, for my horses, Myler Bits make all the difference.
I didn’t start out riding in Myler Bits. My first mare, a grade chestnut arabian, was purchased for $400 which included her western saddle and two bridles, a tom thumb and a mechanical hackamore. For the first year I rode her in the hackamore because I didn’t know how to put the bit in her mouth. A kind fellow boarder taught me how and for the longest time I rode her in the tom thumb.
I purchased my first Myler bit when I later bought a horse that was extremely sensitive to any pressure on her mouth. She threw her head fiercly in the tom thumb and I didn’t know any better to know how to correct it. A visit to the local tack store is when I saw my first Myler Bit in the bit section and I knew I had to try it.
Mechanics of Myler Bits
The biggest factor for me is the independent action. If you haven’t handled a Myler bit before, check out this YouTube video. It’s overall good content if you watch the whole thing but around 4:10 is where Dale Myler starts showing the action of the bit. This video should start right at that spot.
My TOP 2 Must Have Myler Bits
I think most equestrians have one or two bridles hanging in their tack room that just work. Whether you have a new client come in, you just purchased a new horse or you aren’t sure what you want to work on that day, there is generally one or two bridles that are your “go to”.
The two bridles I use the most, and wouldn’t want to be without, have these bits on them:
1. Myler HBT Shank with Sweet Iron Mullen Barrel Low Port
Let me just say YES Please! This is my absolutely favorite bit. Almost any older horse goes well in this bit. The roller keeps busy horses busy, the cheek pieces don’t pinch and the independent action is something that, once you have, you probably won’t ever want to be without.
With the HBT Shank I can neck rein my horse just fine but if I need to pick up on one rein or the other to school or correct a little bit, that independent action is awesome to have. If you normally ride in a shanked bit and had to choose one Myler Bit to try, this should be it.
- Level 2-3
- Independent Side Movement
- Patented swivel purchase moves independently of both the mouthpiece and shank so that it doesn’t dig into the horse’s cheek when neck reining
- Degree of leverage is mild
2. Myler Full Cheek Comfort Snaffle Wide Barrel
This is my second choice. If I had to have JUST one bit for every horse I ride now and in the future I would choose this one. The HBT Shank above is my favorite for my current horses but, for a bit that will work for almost any equine, this comfort snaffle is the way to go. If I had to choose just two, these first two would be it.
Another Great Option
3. Myler Eggbutt Bit
Nice, pinch free cheeks and a very mild port with roller. This is a nice alternative to the full-cheek with a lower profile.
These are some other great options. I haven’t tried these ones but I could totally see how they each help in a different way. Of course, it all comes down to training, but, I do believe the right bit can really help you get moving in the right direction with your horse.
Bridles To Match
I am such a sucker for bridles. I almost always buy a new bridle at the same time I buy a new bit. I ride western so I’m going to give you guys a couple of pointers for my favorite finds but I’ll throw in some pretty nice looking English bridles too. Keep in mind this article was written for bits for your trail horse so these bridles may not be appropriate for showing 😀
Teal Horse Bridle with Reins and Breast Collar
I’ve never had leather products by Showman, who manufactures this set, but WOW it is pretty. Honestly, the big concern for me is the price. At under $100 for the whole set, I’d be a little worried about quality. It has two 5 star reviews though.
For a little better quality but maybe not as fancy I really like this bridle and rein combo. I almost always use split reins and love the quick change connectors. I rarely change a bit or reins out but when I do, it’s nice to have these quick change connections.
Tough 1 Quick Change Browband Headstall
Weaver Leather Heavy Harness Split Reins
These are great as well. The problem with Amazon is finding equipment that matches! Then again, I have that problem at the local tack store too. Heck I have to drive an hour for a tack store that even has these reins! I love the way they quickly change out. No rawhide ties, no buckles, no screws to break or lose.
- Durable, Weather Resistant Hermann Oak Russet Harness Leather
- Leather Tab Bit Ends for Easy Bit Changes
- Measures 5/8″ x 8′
- Made by Weaver Leather Mt. Hope, Ohio
Weaver Leather English Bridle with Reins
For an economical trail bridle with good quality leather, Weaver is typically my choice. I haven’t tried this weaver bridle but man I think my mare would look awesome in the chocolate one!
- Rich Brown premium English bridle leather reins
- Single-ply split reins feature Chicago screw bit ends and smoothed and darkened edges
- Measure 5/8″ x 7′
- Versatile bridle leather can be mixed and matched with a variety of tack
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