What is a Cartwheel bit?
There are several bits within the range, all designed to give riders extra control over speed and direction. The mouthpiece attaches to a post running vertically through the centre of the bit rings, giving a slight tilting action. Cartwheel bits give riders more control than a snaffle, but are said to be milder than most gags.
What horses does it suit?
The bits are said to be useful for horses that are difficult to turn, making them popular with show jumpers and event riders. The straight-bar Nathe version (pictured) is especially suitable for horses with sensitive mouths.
Who uses it?
Former international show jumper Geoff Glazzard is a fan of Cartwheel bits for certain horses, and introduced them to Derek Morton, who rides for Geoff and runs Beech House stud in Yarnfield, Staffordshire, with him.
Derek rides the grade A Skerne Skyetality in a jointed vulcanite Cartwheel bit.
“Skerne Skyetality is my speed horse, but he can be difficult to turn. He doesn’t accept many of the other bits I have tried, but this one gives me the control needed for speed classes without losing the contact,” explains Derek.
Where can I buy one?
Prices vary, depending on the mouthpiece, from £75 to £85. Contact Equiport (tel: 01606 351685) or visit: www.equiport.com
This feature was first published in Horse & Hound (10 May, ’07)