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Sizing, Materials Care of Bits Bit Action

Bit Materials
Stainless Steel
- Very durable
- Easy to clean
- Tasteless
- Many choices
- Inexpensive - mid-priced
- Combination of Nickel and Brass, or Nickel and Copper
- Not as durable as steel
- Requires polishing
- Many horses prefer the taste
- Few choices
- More expensive
German Silver
- Usually 60% Copper, 20% Nickel and 20% Zinc.
- Durable
- Requires polishing
- Many horses like the taste
- More choices
- Medium to high price
'Aurigan', 'Cyprium', 'Salox'
- Mostly Copper (80%+). Some are completely nickel-free.
- Durable
- Requires polishing
- Most horses like the taste
- Good variety of choices
- High price
- Copper
- Softer metal, less durable
- Easy to clean
- Most horses like the taste
- Limited choices
- Low to medium price
Sweet Iron
- Mixture of Iron & Copper
- Oxidizes (rusts), producing a sweet taste to the horse
- Recognized by black or blue colour when new
- Most horses like the taste
- Limited choices
- Low to medium price
Soft Rubber
- Rubber covering over metal mouthpiece
- Very low durability as horses chew it
- Thick mouthpiece not suitable for many horses
- Very soft; useful for very sensitive or injured mouths
- Limited choices
- Low to medium price
Hard Rubber, "Happy Mouth', Plastics
- Lightweight synthetic covering over a thin (usually
  metal) mouthpiece
- May become rough, cracked or damaged as horses
  chew them. They should be inspected regularly.
- Thicker mouthpiece not suitable for some horses
- Most horses accept them well
- Limited choices
- Medium to high price

Care of Bits

All bits should be rinsed off with clean water and dried after use. Metals such as German Silver, Copper, or Aurigan will benefit with a polishing once in a while, using one of the products designed for bits, to restore their shine; stainless steel bits can be put in the dishwasher occasionally to sanitize them. A small vegetable brush, toothbrush or nailbrush can be very handy for cleaning the joints and hinges, and all bits, particularly those with rubber or plastic mouthpieces, should be regularly inspected for wear and any sharp areas.

Bit Styles and Action