A loose ring bit allows more movement in the horse's mouth which means the horse can position the bit where they prefer rather than a fixed cheek type such as an Eggbutt snaffle. It is also handy for horses that can take hold or lean on the bit. They are not suitable for every horse due to this movement, some horses prefer and go better a more stable bit in their mouth.
Predominantly snaffles or a slight variation of snaffles, loose ring bits are used in the majority of equestrian activities. From Dressage to cross-country to hacking out there are a wide variety of mouthpieces available from a basic loose ring single jointed snaffle to a more specifically shaped mouthpiece to help with specific problems and vices, many are British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping legal however it is always recommended to check the current rules of any competition you enter. For example, a loose ring Waterford snaffle is not Dressage Legal (BD or Dressage phase of BE) but acceptable for cross-country and showjumping while a loose ring snaffle with lozenge is currently legal for BD, BE and BS.
There is also a large range of bit thicknesses available to help accommodate those horses with a small or large amount of room in their mouths. The severity of the mouthpiece action, as well as the comfort of the horse or pony, is usually dictated by the fit inside the mouth rather than a general rule. There has been a long-held belief (which has been disproven through scientific research) that a thicker bit is kinder however a thick bit in a small mouth can cause soreness and irritation to the palate and tongue as well as preventing the mouthpiece from acting as it should, it is best to treat each horse's mouth as an individual and bit according to their physical characteristics. However, a very thin bit should never be used on a horse due to the physical damage this can cause to the mouth.
The mouthpiece itself can be made from a range of materials from traditional stainless steel to sweet iron to special alloy and metal mixes developed after years of research to help horses be more accepting of the bit.
We also do a range of happy mouth bits that includes loose ring snaffle options. Buy online today with all items in stock and ready to be shipped.