Reining Bits Explained – Stop Making Your Head Spin

Navigating the bit types used on reining horses can give you a pounding headache! We hope to reduce this frustrating struggle for you.


Reining Horse in Training

A reining horse will progress through bits during its training. At 2-years-old, a horse begins its education in a simple snaffle bit. At this stage, the horse’s mouth is ...

Purpose of a Snaffle Bit

The goal of using a snaffle bit, such as an o-ring, is to protect the mouth’s sensitivity. The first o-ring snaffle used in the training process of a reining horse is ...

The next reining bit to use in the education of the horse is a futurity bit. This bit can have a low port or snaffle mouthpiece.

Futurity Reining Bit

Moving to a Shank Reining Bit

At this point, you will teach your horse to neck rein. When your horse has mastered the necessary skills, you can move him into a reining bit for finished horses.

Finished Reining Horse Bit

A bit for a finished reining horse will have long shanks, curved at various degrees, and often with a curb chain or strap. At first glance, this looks like a severe bit.

Reining Bits Elements

A reining bit has two basic elements, the mouthpiece, and leverage. Within these, you will find hundreds of different combinations. 

Explaining reining bits is simple when you break it down. The bits used are not purely for reining but are seen in a variety of western riding disciplines. A fully trained reining horse is expertly tuned to the slightest rider cues.


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