So, since we’re in the grips of (another) huge winter storm today, it seems like the perfect time to talk about bits. In particular, cold bits (and how to warm them up).
Some horses don’t care so much about cold bits. This is not true of my precious pony, Stella. The mere thought of me putting that cold piece of metal in her dainty little mouth is enough to send her running to the back of her stall with her jaw clamped shut.
There are a few ways to make a cold bit warm. Run it under hot water. Breathe on it. Hold it in your warm hands (which will, of course, end up turning your previously warm hands into two blocks of ice).
Fortunately, my friend Heather (mother of Dee, Stella’s best friend and paddock-mate) came to my rescue with this wonderful little bit warmer that she made herself.
It’s a small rectangular fabric pouch, filled with rice, with ends that snap together. Honestly, it’s just about the best thing since sliced bread (and super-cute to boot).
You just pop it in the microwave for one minute, then snap it on to your bit. Leave it there while you finish grooming and putting on your saddle, then remove it just before bridling.
Since Stella was enjoying a day off, I tested it out on Philip. I think he was happy to have his bit warmed up. So, will warming the bit make your horses go better? Maybe not. But it might make them a little happier to be bridled, which means maybe (just maybe) your ride starts out a little better.
So, how do you warm your horse’s bit up on a cold day?