The Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is the more important part of a bit, as it controls the severity of the bit. Thinner mouthpieces are more severe, as are those that are rougher.

Jointed mouthpiece: applies pressure to the tongue, lips, and bars with a "nutcracker" action. This is the most common mouthpiece found on a snaffle. But, curb bits can also have this mouthpiece.  Just because a bit has this mouthpiece does not make it a snaffle.

         Go to fullsize image



Mullen mouth: made of hard rubber or a half-moon of metal, it places even pressure on the mouthpiece, lips, and bars. It is a very mild mouthpiece.

[ Mullen Mouth Pelham Bit, 5.5Image Preview Image PreviewGo to fullsize image  Go to fullsize image


French mouth: a double-jointed mouthpiece with a bone-shaped link in the middle. It reduces the nutcracker action and encourages the horse to relax. Very mild.



Image Preview   Go to fullsize image 



Dr. Bristol: a double-jointed mouthpiece with a flat rectangular link in the middle. Applies pressure similarly to the French link, although slightly more severe.

[ Dr. Bristol Eggbutt Full Cheek ]   Picture  Image Preview





Slow twist: a single-jointed mouthpiece with a slight twist in it. Stronger and more severe.

Image Preview



Corkscrew: Many small edges amplifies the pressure on the mouth. Severe.

Corkscrew Mouth Eggbutt


Single- and Double-twisted wire: two of the most severe mouthpieces, as they are not only thin, but they also have a "nutcracker" action from the single joint and the mouthpiece concentrates pressure due to its severe twisting.

Double Twisted Stainless Steel Wire Double Twisted Wire Copper MouthSingle Twisted Wire Copper MouthImage Preview


Roller mouthpieces: tend to make a horse relax their mouth and activate the tongue, encouraging salivation &acceptance of the bit.



Hollow mouth: usually single-jointed with a thick, hollow mouthpiece which spreads out the pressure and makes the bit less severe. May not fit comfortably in some horses' mouths if they are a little small.


Image Preview   Picture