The Bit Box

So, as anyone who has spent any time in a barn (particularly a barn with multiple horses or a training barn) knows, there is the ubiquitous “box of bits” always lurking in the corner of the tack room. Sometimes it’s where bits go to die, other times it’s a constant recycling program.

I learned well from my trainer, and have been slowly and quietly gathering bits to me on a regular basis for the past 15 years. I also have something of an obsession fascination with bits, especially ones that have a lot of science, engineering, and thought behind their form and function. (Myler is my preferred go-to.)  And I’m a sucker for “a good deal.” (“Oh, a normally $75 bit for $20? Let me take that off your hands.”)

I’ve sold off a few here and there, but for the most part, I just gather them and let them sit until it’s time to do their thing, since I figure at some point in life, I will eventually have a horse or horses that will end up needing exactly what I’ve got lurking in the box.

(In this case, box is a misnomer — right now they’re stored on bridle hooks in the garage.)

And it’s not just bits, either…I’ve thoroughly explored the bitless realm and have several representative options that are in regular use as well.

photo 2 (11)

I’ve got something from every Myler level, from 1 (for the future greenies) to 3 (highly trained and responsive Mimi), so basically, I’m my own bit lending program and will be able to mix and match horse and bit to my hearts content for any future ponies in my herd.

My first reaction is “Holy crap, that’s a lot of bits up there.” And then I remind myself that is also 15 years worth of collecting, and that most of my tack acquisition is done with a “sell something else first” principle. (In fact, in sorting through these, I realized there are a couple of them that are going be going by the wayside due to fit/function/found a better alternative.) And buy used/discount whenever possible.

Fortunately I’m not this much of a hoarder with everything.

4 thoughts on “The Bit Box

  1. ha! The barn owner has a box like this. Anytime someone wants to try something new, she gets out the box and we go looking. Usually the thing you want to try is in there to try, it’s a great pre-buying tryout! I do have an un-used myler 3-ring combo I got a great deal on waiting to be experimented with…oh, and a hackamore (what was I thinking, Major in a hackamore? Maybe someday.) You obviously have company in the tack collection hobby…

    • I love my Myler combo…probably one of my favorite go-to options. Especially when you can snag them on a good deal.

      Try the hack some time…it took me a few years to work up the nerve on Mimi (“she fights and pulls even in a kimberwick, how can I possible control her in an s-hack?”) but turns out that was the thing she pulled and fought against the least and I’ve had the most control and responsiveness.

      • Ok, maybe I’ll get brave and try the hack, after a day we’ve done a long ride and he’s not so boisterous. He pulls like a train in the kimberwick, like Mimi, too!

      • Good plan! (And you can always carry the bit as a backup on your saddle.) I wasn’t brave enough, even after training in it, to start her in a hack a ride the first couple of times I used it, so I would start in her bit and then switch to the hack at the first vet check. Did that a couple of times, realized she was *really* good in the hack, and then tried starting a ride in it and everything went just fine.

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