Twisted Wire Bits

twisted wire snaffle bit

Generally speaking, twisted wire bits require a horse with more training and experience and a rider with a softer, more experienced touch. While fat, thick mouthpieces spread the bit pressure over a larger area, twisted wire bits concentrate pressure, making it more intense in a smaller area of the mouth.

A wire snaffle is rarely used as an every-day bit. They are frequently used to “polish” or “sensitize” a horse.

Everyone gets lax and stale when they have learned and practiced an exercise over and over. Horses begin to “lay down on the job” sometimes. When you find that your horse is not responding as quickly as you like, you may need to go to a bit whose function is to remind him quickly and decisively what his job is when the cues are given (“sensitize” him). ie: You may change from a smooth snaffle to a wire snaffle to add more bite to the bit with less rein pressure. He will soon learn (surprisingly) that his bit still has authority, and he needs to quicken his response before he is handled by the reins. The reminder will keep him fresh when he goes back to his regular smooth mouthpiece.

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That being said, some experienced trainers will start with a twisted wire snaffle to teach a young horse to respond quickly with a minimum of pressure. Communication is clean and response is fast. Then the horse can go to a smooth snaffle and remain very responsive and “light”.

Be very certain that the hands behind a twisted wire snaffle are very light and well educated, as it can be a very aggressive bit if used by a heavy-handed or inexperienced rider.

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