Why get a bit and bridle fitting?

Like humans, horses are not one size fits all; every horse is unique. Not every horse can accommodate every bit due to the oral anatomy. As fitters we look for limiting factors, factors that limit certain bits from fitting in the oral cavity, whether that be due to anatomy or injury. If a bit is ill suited for the horse, it can lead to unwanted behaviours such as head tossing, head tilting, gapping mouths or tongue evasion to name a few. All of this can lead to or cause pain and result in resistance and poor performance. If a rider encounters contact or suppleness problems and even at times hind end engagement; one of the potential causes could be an ill fitted bit. When looking at the anatomy, you will find that tendons, ligaments and muscles may begin near/in the oral cavity, but they also are connected to other areas such as the shoulders and back for example. Although a bit may seem like such a minute part of the equation, it can have major effects on the overall wellbeing and performance of the horse.

What is involved in a bit and bridle fitting?

The first step in a fitting is the assessment of the horse’s oral cavity. I do a comprehensive assessment which includes measurements as well as a physical assessment of key areas; I am looking for what we can limiting factors. Then your current bit and bridle is put on your horse and adjustments are made to the bridle if required. After this assessment I normally have 1 or 2 bits in mind that could potentially be a better fit while taking the findings in mind, as well as, your riding goals and/or difficulties. You then have a ridden portion where you trial the proposed bits and we find the perfect match. If your current bit is found to be a great fit, Bonus! You now have peace of mind that your horse is comfortable in his work.

At what stage of riding/training should a bit and bridle fitting be done?

Any age or stage of riding is the short answer. If possible, why not make sure that your young horse that is just beginning his/her career is comfortable in his/her mouth to hopefully prevent possible future evasion problems. I always recommend a horse about to be backed, get a fitting. If your current bit and bridle configuration is found to fit your horse’s oral cavity that’s a huge bonus!, but if not, we can make adjustments before it becomes a problem. Another great time would, in the case of dressage, if you are about to begin training with a double bridle.

Do you cover all of Ontario?

My service area is Eastern Ontario. If you are outside of this coverage area, I can put you in contact with the fitter that is closest to you.

How long does a fitting take?

On average a fitting for a snaffle or a double bridle take approximately 1.5hrs, if a snaffle and double bridle are both done during the same fitting, it is approximately 2hrs-2.5hrs. The only exception to this is the “unbacked horse” package. As this package is geared for unbacked or very newly backed green horses, there is no ridden component and therefor the fitting would take approximately 45 mins.

 Am I obligated to purchase a bit?

Absolutely not!

Can I purchase the bits at the time of the fitting?

Yes, I do carry a stock of bits with me. If for some reason I do not have the proper size in stock, there is the option to have the bit/s drop shipped to you.

Do you promote only one brand of bits?

No, but I do only carry Neue Schule bits and Winderen currently. Neue Schule bits have had extensive research and scientific processes applied in their design and manufacturing, which is why it is the main brand carried. That being said, there are other brands that have many good bit options that I can suggest and we can discuss during a fitting. 

Can I keep the bits for a trial after the fitting is completed and prior to making the purchase?

Unfortunately, not at this time.   

Do I need an indoor arena?

Yes and No. We can definitely do the ridden portion in an outdoor ring but please be aware that an appointment may need to be re-scheduled due to weather. The only exception to this is winter. Fittings during the colder months do definitely require a barn and indoor arena.  


(613) 532-5183