Myler Bits Act Differently on Horses

A detailed comparison of how various bits sit in a horse's mouth finds that Myler bits behave quite differently from other types of bits. 

Researchers at Michigan State University examined six styles of bits, looking at where the bits rest when riding.

These include three Myler bits: a snaffle, ported barrel and correctional-ported barrel, as well as three single-jointed bits: a regular jointed snaffle, a Boucher and a KK Ultra bit.

Myler bits feature curved mouthpieces. This design differs from many traditional bits which lie flat across the horse's tongue.

The research measured where the bits were positioned in the mouths of eight horses, both with and without tension on the reins. Under no rein tension, the Myler bits sat closer to the horses' second premolar teeth than did the other bits. The jointed snaffle and Boucher bits both averaged 3.3 centimetres (1.3 inches) away from the teeth, whereas the Myler snaffle lay just 2 cm from the premolars. The other two Myler bits were located even closer, at 1.3 cm from the premolar teeth.

There were also differences in the bits when rein tension was applied. Single-jointed bits moved closer to the premolars, placing them 2 centimetres (0.8 inches) away. As well, the angle of the bit cannons decreased significantly, by about 16 degrees. In contrast, the Myler bits changed their position only minimally as tension was placed on the reins.

Reference

J. Manfredi, H.M. Clayton and D. Rosenstein. 2005. Radiographic study of bit position within the horse's oral cavity. Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology. 2: 195-201.

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