A four-day trip to the US to study Myler Bits proved to be an “eye opener” for saddlery sales assistant, Catherine Tasker.

Catherine, who works at with saddlers R&R Country near Selby, Yorkshire, was one of five trade representatives chosen to attend the course arranged by the US-based Myler Bits and UK wholesaler Belstane Marketing.

Myler Bits, introduced into the UK last year, has developed a range of 27 mouth pieces and nine check pieces, which the company says are designed to help horses relax.

There are three levels of bits, designed to take a horse through different stages of its training, ranging from the more severe bit for youngsters through to milder bits.Sleeves which cover joints are designed to reduce the nutcracker action.

The course includes lectures and demonstration, the rest of the time on the course was spent bitting horses.Catherine says she was impressed with the course.

“We assessed the horses while they were being ridden and looked at the horses’ mouth and tongue and the state of their teeth. Then we would try a few different combinations of mouth and cheek pieces,” she says.

“The biggest difference was in driving horses. In some ways the bits were similar to what was used years ago in war horses where there was more release for the tongue.”

But she says she would not recommend everybody changed their bit.

“If a client has a problem then we will advise on what is best, but if there isn’t a reason to change, then don’t,” she says.

The course Catherine attended may be repeated for members of the trade only, but Myler Bits will be running a series of clinics in this country from 10-22 July The cost for each evening is £8 in advance, or £10 on the door.

The price of the bits range from £32.99 to £75.99.

For more information contact Belstane Marketing (tel:01335 372600).