Considering a Sprenger NovoContact bit for your horse? Here’s what you need to know…

  • Sprenger was established in 1872 by Hermann Sprenger, who created a foundry in Iserlohn, Germany for the manufacture of high quality lorinery (bits, stirrups, harness fittings and spurs). Now in its fourth generation, the company has evolved and expanded over the past 151 years distributing its lorinery around the world. Innovative bit designs, based upon detailed studies and research, have been at the core of Sprenger’s developments in lorinery evolution and manufacture. They include the Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece, which we explain here to help you ascertain whether it might suit your horse.

    The Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece anatomically adapted mouthpiece has been designed with a unique oval shape so that its cannons (mouth sections) provide a wide enlarged contact surface area across the mouth and upon the tongue but without being too bulky or placing pressure on the palate (roof of the mouth).

    “Imagine having an uncooked sausage and pressing the middle section down onto flat surface with you hand – this gives you an idea of its appearance,” explains bitting expert, BETA field officer and lorinery consultant Tricia Nassau-Williams. “This oval shape to the mouthpiece’s cannons creates a larger bearing on the tongue that enables a softer contact area.”

    The NovoContact mouthpiece, as with all of the Sprenger bits, has been designed and developed using scientific research. Available in double and single jointed mouthpieces, they are used by both professional and leisure riders.

    How the Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece design works

    “This bit is a positive design for the horse and one that promotes comfort, as the rider can influence the aids more sensitively assisting communication between horse and rider for an improved contact and acceptance of the bit,” says Tricia.

    “When the rider keeps a steady contact, the flat part of the mouthpiece lies sensitively on the horse’s tongue. As a rein aid is given the bit’s mouthpiece rotates forwards, causing the contact surface to get narrower, ensuring a more precise and effective communication to provide a more defined rein aid and effective level of communication.

    “When relaxing the rein contact, the mouthpiece turns back to its soft and smooth position with the flat part lying delicately on the tongue.”

    Which type of horse this bit best suits

    The Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece is suitable for a wide range of horses, but is particularly useful design for horses that:

    • Are sensitive in the mouth but tend to resist against the rider’s hand.
    • Have a sensitive mouth, as this mouthpiece can encourage them to take the contact with greater confidence.
    • Go better in a mouthpiece with a broader bearing surface, but can’t cope with anything bulky in the mouth. Good for horses with a smaller oral cavity, which leaves less room in their mouth for the bit.
    • Sometimes pull against the hand, but are too sensitive to be ridden in a stronger bit.

    What is a Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece made from?

    This bit’s mouthpiece is made from Sensogan – this patented metal alloy is based on scientific research and developed by Sprenger, in association with the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover.

    “A further development of Sprenger’s Aurigan alloy, it has the positive taste and salivation properties of Aurigan, plus a greater compatibility for horse’s with a sensitive mouth,” says Tricia.

    “Sensogan is an alloy of copper, manganese and zinc. This provides a more regulated process of oxidation (rusting) and reduces copper released and therefore the amount of encouraged salivation in their mouth.”

    The white golden colour of the bit is retained for longer and much less inclined to tarnish due to the reduced oxidation.

    The use of manganese is considered to contribute to the prevention of allergic reactions to the metal and the bit rings in this range are made of stainless steel.

    Sizes available

    Single or double-jointed bits in Sensogan are available in 115mm (4½”), 125mm (5”), 135mm (5¼”) or 145mm (5¾”).

    The standard mouthpiece thicknesses is 16mm with 65mm diameter stainless steel rings. It is also available as a bradoon for use in a double bridle with a 55mm ring diameter and a 12mm thick mouthpiece.

    Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece pelham with a double-jointed lozenge

    The Sprenger NovoContact mouthpiece is available in a number of different side sections (families) of bitting. One of these the pelham bit, which provides the option of having two rein attachment points. This allows for a snaffle action on the top rein and a curb action on the bottom. Pelham roundings can be fitted, and while this enables the use of only one rein, it does not provide such a clear definition of the upper and lower rein action.

    “When using the curb rein of a pelham, the bridle pressure points are distributed over three pressure points upon the horse’s head – downwards upon the mouth, the poll/bridle path area and through the curb groove,” explains Tricia. “This can enable additional communication and control when in the hands of a competent rider.”

    As the rein contact is taken up on the curb (lower) rein, the bit’s mouthpiece is rotated forwards and consequently the contact surface upon the tongue gets narrower, thus providing a more precise and defined communication.

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