Winter riding is exhilarating and fun — but to start your ride of right, you should always warm your horse’s bit before you put it in his mouth. Think about how uncomfortable it is for them to have an ice cold bit in their mouths! When your barn is 20 degrees, so is your metal bit.
There are several ways to take the cold edge off a metal bit.
- Warm the bit in your hands. It doesn’t take long before it’s at least not freezing cold.
- Dunk the bit in a bucket of warm water. I generally heat up water to soak beet pulp and I put the bit in with the dry shreds. The result is a bit that’s warm and tasty!
- Bring the bit into your car and put it in front of the heater.
- Use a hackamore or bitless bridle! I rode bitless for years and it sure made winter riding more comfortable for my horse.
- Choose a rubber or plastic bitting material such as a Happy Mouth bit.
- You can even buy bit warmers, although that seems a “bit” much!