What is the purpose of the bit?
The purpose of the bit is for communication and control between horse and rider. In order to achieve communication, comfort and sustainability, we need a relaxed and confident acceptance of the bit by the horse. Research conducted under scientific controlled conditions has radically enhanced our understanding and knowledge of mouth anatomy and the different pressure points required to achieve comfort for the horse. Successful bitting is a combination of science, art and experience.
Applying this knowledge to the design and manufacture of horse bits enables Neue Schule to more effectively redress incorrect ways of going, or evasions and promote ways of going that develop correct muscle structure and a soft, consistent contact. This emphasis on scientifically informed design has been coupled in the NS range of bits with the unique recognition that a high thermal conductivity of the mouthpiece must also be significantly influential in bitting. Responding to these scientific advances the bit meets a basic requirement best observed by P.R. van Weeren who has commented:
“….The answer should be based on sound scientific work, as only this can yield a good basis for discussion. The answer should be honest and unbiased, because the horse deserves this after 5000 years of unselfish and faithful service.”
For those of us brought up with the weight of tradition being our best means of deciding on horse welfare and training this research has provided a wakeup call. We have had to re-evaluate and reconsider our objectives and the methods by which we achieve them. Many traditionally held beliefs around horse bits have been effectively dispelled in the light of increased knowledge and scientifically controlled testing.