Ever stop on those cold days when you’re struggling with numb fingers to get the bit into your horse’s mouth, time and daylight are short, you’re trying to get in the saddle as quickly as possible and your horse just isn’t co-operating, and wonder if your horse may actually trying to tell you something?
While we may all be wrapped up in gloves, hats and thermals, have the heater on in the car on the way to yard and a nice hot cuppa waiting for us before we head out to saddle up your tack has been sitting in a cold exposed to near freezing temperatures. While leather is a poor conductor of heat and cold the metal is. Your bit is an excellent thermal conductor will be adjusting to meet the environmental temperature and in winter that means COLD, very cold.
Asking your horse to accept an ice cold bit on a chilly day can cause serious pain and discomfort in their mouth shocking the not only the sensitive soft tissue but also tooth nerves. We’ve all experienced, at one time or another, the agony that is a brain freeze triggered by icy cold drinks or that more than generous spoonful of ice cream. So why would we ask our horses go through that every time we tack up? Cold bits have been shown to trigger negative associations and resistance to bridling as well as lead to tissue damage and desensitisation of the mouth making your horse less responsive and more “numb” to cues.
Warming your bit to body temperature prior to asking your horse to accept it is the simplest way to overcome this. But how? Putting your bridle inside your jacket to take the chill off is impractical and uncomfortable, and asking number fingers to reattach your bit to your bridle after you’ve got it warmed can be so fiddly and time consuming and by the time you’ve attached your bit back onto your bridle its cold again. Using hot water risks you scolding your horse’s mouth if you leave the bit in it too long and electric and bean bag warms actually require you to have electricity (and a microwave for the bean bag). Plus microwaveable warms like hot water risk over heating bits if you’ve zapped them a few seconds too long and burnt mouth is just as unpleasant as freezer burn for your horse.
What’s really need is something that will gently and safely warm your bit while its attached to the bridle so you can get on with grooming and tacking up.
The Bitten Bit Warmer is by far the most convenient, easy-to-use bit warmer we have ever come across. It takes any standard glove warmer pack from any store, or better still, opt for reusable warmers than can be “reset” simply be submerging in hot water when you get in for the night. This bit warmer can go anywhere as it doesn’t require electricity to run and is designed to gentle warm the a cold bit to a temperature more compatible with that of your horse’s core body temperature, plus once you’re tacked up, just refold it inside out and it can be popped inside your jacket to help keep the chill off while you warm up on the ride.
The Bit Warmer fits all types and sizes of bridle bits and is simply applied by wrapping it around the mouth piece. As its secured by Velcro it can be adjusted to fit any mouthpiece shape from standard snaffles to ported bits, straight bar to jointed.
Benefits of the Bitten Bit Warmer:
- Reduces the risk of cold bit pain, discomfort, and soft tissue damage;
- Helps maintain a positive association to the process of bitting all year round, which is especially beneficial to younger horses or those with previous mouth and bitting issues;
- Preserves and protects the sensitivity of your horse’s mouth;
- Supports consistent levels of responsiveness by eliminating the numbness of cold bits;
- Heats a bit to safe temperature compatible with your horse’s core body temperature;
- Eliminates the risk of resistance to bitting in cold weather;
- Convenient, not complicated settings or confusing instructions to decipher;
- No electricity required, allowing you to use it whether tacking up at a show, away from home or even in your field;
- Effective way to protect your bit when your bridle is not in use.
In warmer weather you can use the bit warm without inserts to shield your bit from the heat of the sun to prevent the metal getting too hot. And for those riders on the go, protects your bits and tack from scratches cause by bits moving around in that tack box by using the bit warmer without inserts over your mouthpiece when you travel.