H&H Asks: Neue Schule bits

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  • NEUE Schule bits are made from a special nickel-free copper alloy with trace components, which encourages acceptance through warmth and sweetness. We find out why they can be effective

    How do they work?

    THE metal in these bits warms up to mouth temperature within fractions of a second, and whenever the rein aids are applied or the bit changes position.

    Because the bit does not feel cold in the mouth, the rein aids are more definitive and the horse more relaxed. It is designed to oxidise, which makes the bit taste sweet, promoting salivation.

    What sort of horse will benefit from these bits?

    EVENTER Andy Heffernan made the switch last season to using these bits on the majority of his horses, including his top advanced ride Millthyme Chanel, who wears the Neue Schule Demi Anky Universal when going across country. This bit is said to suit horses who won’t stretch into a contact, or that lean on the bit.

    “Neue Schule bits are especially good for horses who are fussy in the mouth — inconsistent and argumentative, yet sensitive,” says Andy, who uses different designs according to the horse. “But all my horses take to these bits.”

    The bit has proved popular with horses that usually only accept a rubber or nylon bit.

    What types of bits does the company make?

    THERE are 102 different styles and thicknesses in the range.

    This includes the Neue Schule Jumper — a cross between an American gag and an elevator — which has been used by top show jumper William Funnell. This bit aids control and precision and is especially effective for show jumpers, as the manufacturer claims it helps the horse to sit on his hocks and turn tightly. It’s useful for a strong horse that leans, but still has a light mouth.

    Other Neue Schule designs are widely used in dressage and on youngsters — Richard Davison and the Assoulines are fans.

    How do I find out more?

    THE bits cost from £32.99 for a loose-ring snaffle up to £81.50 for a Weymouth. Visit www.neueschulebits.com

    This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (12 April, ’07)

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