Seen primarily among jumpers and saddle seat riders, multi-ring bits are a family of their own. In effect, they are similar to the Pelham family, because they employ the same concept of suspending the bit from a fixed point above […]

Two- and Three-Ring Bits

The cheeks of these bits are comprised of one large ring attached at the mouthpiece, usually just like a loose-ring snaffle, and has additional smaller rings welded to that main ring. One small ring is attached above the mouthpiece where […]

American Gag or Elevator Bit

Either name that is commonly given to this type of multi-ring bit is quite a misnomer, since it is neither a gag, nor does it elevate. This bit is essentially the same as the two- and three-ring bits, except that […]

Boucher and B-ring

The Boucher and B-Ring snaffles operate on the same principle, which is having the bit hang from a fixed cheek situated above the snaffle ring. The Boucher has an arm that extends upwards from the snaffle ring, with an eye […]


The Kimberwick (also known as a Kimblewick) is somewhat similar to a pelham bit, in that it tries to combine the action of snaffle and curb into one bit, and in this case, through one rein. The mouthpiece is typically […]


A Pelham is fundamentally a bit with both a snaffle action and a curb action. It is an attempt to provide the benefits of a double bridle without the complexity of needing two bits, as well as the versatility of […]

Mullen Mouth

Just like a mullen mouth snaffle, a Pelham of this variety has a straight mouthpiece, which distributes rein pressure more evenly over the tongue, and because of that, less on the bars. These bits are often made of rubber or […]

Arch Mouth

The arch-mouth Pelham looks somewhat like a mullen mouth, in that it has a solid bar for a mouthpiece. However, in this case, the whole mouthpiece is bowed slightly upwards, which gives the tongue more room, hence putting more pressure […]

Ported Mouth or Hartwell

The ported mouth Pelham (also called a Hartwell or Cambridge) is shaped like a typical curb or Weymouth bit, in that the middle section is curved upwards to allow more room for the tongue, hence putting more pressure on the […]


Jointed Pelhams are a common variety in this family of bits, though they are a mixed bag in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Just like a jointed snaffle, the mouthpiece has two arms that are linked together in the center, […]

Tom Thumb

Just as a Tom Thumb curb indicates shorter shanks, so the Tom Thumb Pelham is simply a Pelham with short curb shanks. These bits come with a variety of different mouthpieces, which affect how severe the action of the bit […]

Gag Bits

The purpose of a gag bit is to enhance the upward, lifting action of the snaffle bit, so as to afford greater control, especially with a horse that may be inclined to bear downwards on the bit. It is a […]

Eggbutt Gag or Cheltenham

An eggbutt or Cheltenham gag looks like a regular eggbutt snaffle, except that holes are bored into the top and bottom of the cheeks, allowing a rein to pass vertically through the rings. This type of bit combines the strong […]

Hitchcock Gag

A Hitchcock gag uses a slightly different mechanism than the more typical eggbutt gag. In this case the bit itself looks basically like a Boucher snaffle. However, pulley rings that attach to the bit and to the headstall make it […]