European horse bits have some advantages over those produced in Asia, especially with the supply chain issues we’ve seen over the last couple of years. At the Farm House, we get a lot of interest in these bits, as well as a lot of questions about them. So in this post, we’ll dive deep into what you need to know about European horse bits, including how they’re different from other options, and we’ll also share some top selections that our customers love.
What Are European Horse Bits?
When we refer to “European horse bits,” we mean products from small-production European companies that are focused on making bits. Serious equestrians are taking note of these European bits, as they’re designed especially for horses with sensitive mouths, providing the necessary amount of direction while working effectively with even the most touchy horse.
How Do European Horse Bits Differ from American or Other Bits?
Many traditional stainless steel horse bits from America and England are manufactured in China. Though these bits are often good quality, China has seen some significant supply chain issues lately. This has opened the opportunity for smaller bit makers. High quality and wide availability have made bits produced in Europe increasingly popular. Another difference between European bits and traditional ones is that they often come in a wider selection of styles and varied materials, including leather, foam, synthetic materials, and others.
Popular European Horse Bits
The most effective and best-known European horse bits hail from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and France: Trust bits, Beris bits, Poponcini bits, and Jump’in bits respectively.
Trust Equestrian’s “ultra-Dutch” bits are all designed, developed, and handmade in the Netherlands. They are made with the best materials and held to high-quality standards. The Trust Bits concept came from professional riders at competitions who saw a market need for something different and decided to create it. These bits are designed to allow the communication required between rider and horse using a bit the horse will readily accept.
The Trust bits label encompasses three products made in a range of styles. Those products are Sweet Iron, Leather, and Inno Sense bits, all of which strive to meet the needs of even the pickiest horses. The Sweet Iron bits are made of stainless steel. The leather bits are wrapped around a wire core, and while they are fairly strict, they also offer a little bit of flexibility. The Inno Sense bits are made of a synthetic elastic material offered in two levels: hard and soft. All three bit types are mullen mouth with a variety of ports for tongue relief. In fact, Trust bits are especially popular for their medium generous ported bits. They offer less of a traditional port and more of a generous rise for tongue relief and comfort.
Here are some of the Trust horse bits we carry at the Farm House:
- Trust Leather Loose Ring Straight ($162.50)
- Trust Leather Baby Pelham ($249.95)
- Trust Sweet Iron Dee French Link ($137.95)
- Trust Sweet Iron Full Cheek Waterford Gag ($187.95)
- Trust Inno Sense Full Cheek Medium Port ($150)
- Trust Inno Sense Mullen Curbgag Bit ($174.95)
Beris takes great pride in crafting non-metal mouthpieces for “the ambitious pleasure rider and professional alike.” They make innovative bits using high-quality materials designed to protect a horse’s sensitive mouth. All metal parts are handmade to ensure quality and a true level of craftsmanship. These bits are perfect for strong horses with sensitive mouths that require a more creative way for the rider to guide the horse.
Here are some of our bestselling Beris horse bits:
- Beris Comfort D-Ring Bit ($152.95)
- Beris Konnex Tongue Port Pelham Bit ($226.95)
- Beris Short Pelham Tongue Port Bit ($235.95)
- Beris 3 Ring Prime Bit ($197.95)
- Beris 3-Ring Butterfly Bit ($181.95)
- Beris Kombi Comfort Bit ($226.95)
Check out the full Beris bits collection offered at the Farm House.
Designed by renowned craftsman Giuseppe Poponcini, these bits are some of the softest available. Poponcini was inspired by his son’s horse — which couldn’t tolerate any bit available — and hand-crafted an extremely soft mouthpiece his son could use instead. All Poponcini horse bits have a mullen mouth with no ports or joints. The shape allows the horse to close its mouth, which makes the horse feel more comfortable and relaxed. The mouthpieces are all rubber with a steel support device inside the bit that can be adjusted to be more-or-less rigid without changing the external softness. All bits come in all cheek pieces.
Check out the full list of Poponcini bits that the Farm House offers:
- Poponcini Chewy Loose Ring Bit ($80.95)
- Poponcini Wooden Loose Ring Bit ($74.95)
- Poponcini Harmony Loose Ring Bit ($131.95)
- Poponcini Harmony Pelham Bit ($292.95)
- Poponcini Harmony 2.5 Ring Bit ($244.96)
Jump’In Bits is a small family-owned-and-run company from France. They design all of their bit styles and personally use them before they go into production. Jump’In Bits are designed for riders with a highly educated hand to assist with specific rideability issues and for highly-trained horses competing at top levels of equestrian sport. All cheeks come in all mouthpieces, offering options based on the specific needs of the horse and rider. Jump’In Bits uses a number of different materials for their mouthpieces, including German silver, sweet iron, leather with rubber-covered steel cable, and foam.
Here are some of the most popular options:
- Jump'in Foam Bit ($90)
- Jump'in Round Leather Loose Ring Bit ($120)
- Jump'in Blue Steel Waterford Elevator Gag Bit ($190)
- Jump'in Full Cheek Gag Bit ($105)
- Jump'in Flat Short Shank Pelham Bit ($140)
- Jump'in Flat French Link Loose Ring Bit ($95)
- Jump'in Flexible Rubber Full Cheek Bit ($170)
Another bit that we’re excited about (coming soon!) is the 2-ring full cheek gag. See the full list of Jump’In Bits that the Farm House offers.
Filling the Gap
Because every horse and rider is different, and their relationship with each other is unique, a wide range of different types of bits is necessary. These European bits fill a gap in the market with softer bits that can be used by even the most sensitive horse. If you have a horse with specific needs, check out these bits and let us know what you think!
If you have questions about bits, give us a call at 864-457-3557. The Farm House team is made up of experienced English riders who have a thorough understanding of the best type of bit for specific situations and can provide information on all of the products we carry.
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