HP Relief Snaffle Bits


No. 1 in Britain




HP Relief Snaffle Bits

For the record. Myler Brothers in the US, revolutionized Horse Bits a few Years ago and dragged us out of the Age of the ‘Jointed Snaffle’ which always came with the ‘Nut Cracker Effect’





I was pleased to have popularized them in Australia and as a result, this was on the Myler Home Page for 12 Months.




Having extensively tested them, by riding hundreds of challenged Horses, I made slight changes to design, in concert with the Horses giving me their opinion.

Now, as a result, the Horses around the World have spoken, with Letters such as this:






Hi John

Thank you for making such a quality bit available. My young Ngati Awa type gelding has extremely fleshy cheeks and other bits pinched this tender soft tissue. His sensitive tongue did not tolerate much pressure and other bits impeded his swallow – causing a continuous out-flow of saliva during training. He “tolerated” and accepted other bits but only due to his forgiving nature. This new bit has changed everything. He drops his head and takes it from my hand like a piece of apple. The drooling has ceased. His head carriage is relaxed and signals are direct and discreet. Make no mistake – I spent a fortune on quality bits (including Myler) and I did not have great expectations. This has been a real success. Nancy

and from Bit Fit UK Website




January, 2021. Britain



Another GREAT Testimonial for your bits John! “Hi, Just wanted to let you know how much I love your bits! I use the hp relief wilkie on my chestnut show jumper. He can be a bit temperamental and sensitive in the mouth but not in this! I only ride him in a snaffle version at home but when jumping 1.30s sometimes I just need a bit more control – in his HP he still takes the contact but just listens a bit more. He never argues or throws his head around, I have no idea how I coped without it!! We are using the same bit on a horse which even though having his teeth checked over and over could never accept any bit. He was being ridden in a hackamore as he just couldn’t cope. Now happily competing and hunting in his HP relief bit. I also use it on my hunter’s who equally love it. I get questions about it regularly and always 100% recommend anyone to try them. Horses just seem the feel much nicer in them. “





Dear John,

Back on 04/09/2020 I sought your assistance and advice with regards to my gelding telling me is very unhappy with the bit in his mouth. See my email below:

I was hoping to get some advice with regards to your Horse Starting Bits if possible?

My gelding is telling me that he is not at all enjoying having a bit in his mouth. He tries to avoid me placing it into his mouth, and once in, he is very busy with it and constantly puts his tongue over the top of the bit.

I know that he is telling me that he is uncomfortable and is doing what he can to avoid any pressure. I have tried numerous bits and bridles in an attempt to help him become more comfortable and relaxed, without success. I even recently paid $200+ on a bit that I was told would help to resolve the issue. It didn’t. Silly me. (I even contacted the local SA company I purchased from to advise that the issue was still there – to which I was directed to buy another very expensive bit from them).  

I know there could be a number of reasons why he is unhappy and I know you couldn’t possibly know the answer from reading an email – but for some context:

The majority of my riding is trail riding, and I ride on a complete loose pleasure rein. I also ride with a market harborough so if I do have cause to take up contact, that it is soft and I am not accidentally yanking on his mouth in any way.  

I have recently had a vet check, his teeth done, body work, farrier, saddle fit – no issues were found and he is in good health and sound.

He was started under saddle approx. 12 months ago, and he has always done this. I watched when he had a bit placed into his mouth for the very first time, and he immediately placed his tongue over the top of the bit. Even though he gets very busy with the bit in – he is still very good to ride. He does not bolt/rear/buck/head shake/try to get above the bit… he just plays with it constantly and puts his tongue over and back, over and back. The only thing I have tried which helped was to use a grackle bridle, with the chin strap to hold the bit firmly in his mouth. But this annoys him and he tries to rub the chin strap off. I am loathe to use something that ‘forces’ him to not to play with the bit – that doesn’t solve the issue, and I would really like to find a solution where he is comfortable and happy.  

In light of the above, I was wondering whether your horse starting bit might be worth a try? Would it be beneficial for him even though he is already started? I am willing to try anything and everything that will help him to feel calm, confident and happy.

I am also curious about your thoughts on bitless bridles?

Thank you for your time.



I just wanted to touch base with you and say a very BIG thank you for your time and assistance – I am very happy to report that after purchasing your bit, my gelding has stopped playing with the bit all together. He no longer places his tongue over and back, and he doesn’t stick it out the side and let it flap about in the wind as we ride. He feels much happier and more comfortable and relaxed, and I feel that I have a lot more ‘steering’ than I did before. I was reluctant to send you an email too soon in case I jinxed myself, but I think I am pretty safe now after a few months to let you know. 1f60a  We have also just started doing a lot more arena work now and we’re taking up a bit more contact (as opposed to when we are out trail riding on a loose pleasure rein), and while we are (both) in the very early stages I am very happy with how he is responding. Your bit has been a godsend!

I know I speak for us both when I say, THANK YOU.






About HP Relief Barrel Bits

These bits take away the ‘Nutcracker’ action of the single jointed bit and replace it with a much kinder action. The pressure is evenly spread across the bars loose ring bit and the tongue as the bit folds around the mouth.

The rings are smaller than those of other bits to prevent them from rubbing the outside of the face and making it sore.

All barrel bits have copper inserts.

The mouthpiece has also been re-designed with more curve, to give a better shape to fit the horse’s mouth properly, reducing the bar pressure even further and preventing bit ‘slide’.

Each side is independent of the other for greater communication.

The mouthpiece has the optimum 10mm diameter—narrower than a Myler—to ensure the horse’s tongue and palate are not impinged by the bit and that the horse can seal his mouth and swallow. Try it yourself—it is very difficult to swallow unless your lips form a seal on your mouth. Thick bits prevent this and the thickness doesn’t make them ‘softer’ only your hands and the correct mouthing & training can. HP Relief mouthpieces are Dressage Legal, they may be 10mm in diameter through the mouth but are 14mm where connected to the sides making them FEI legal.


The HP Relief Lozenge Collection is an innovative range of bits, designed by John O’Leary of Horseproblems Australia in conjunction with Linda O’Leary, winner of the South Australian ‘FEI Dressage Rider and also Dressage  Horse of the Year, 2015’.

They are designed for all horses in all disciplines.

The HP Lozenge does not have the major design flaw of the French Link and other cheap lozenge bits: the French Link and many lozenge bits have two protruding semicircles at 90 degrees to the flat side of the link or lozenge, which put painful pressure points on the mouth when a contact is taken—this often causes evasions. The HP Lozenge is like the Neue Schule bits in that the semicircles lie flat in the same plane as the lozenge, not at 90 degrees to it. The roundness of the lozenge also ensures that there are no ‘corners’ to protrude into the tongue or palate if the bit rotates.

The HP Relief Lozenge is anatomically designed for both comfort and communication and it helps to develop a true contact and higher level of responsiveness.

Ergonomically designed, curved and lozenged, these bits are only 12mm in diameter, (the same as the NS Verbindend) and much thinner than the NS Tranz Angled Lozenge bits. They are 14mm where connected to the sides and are therefore FEI legal.

The sides are gently curved to wrap the tongue and the lozenge lays flat underneath the upper palate, giving very even and gentle pressure distribution for a more even sympathetic feel.

The HP Relief Lozenge Bits are ideal horses with thick tongues and low palates that simply don’t have room in their mouths for any bit wider than 12mm. Unfortunately, nearly all bits start at 14mm diameter and are too thick for them. This creates fussy mouths and tongue evasions. HP Relief Lozenge bits promote a softer more consistent contact, encouraging the horse to soften through the jaw relaxing and lengthening the neck.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a bit that ‘works’.

HP Relief mouthpieces are Dressage Legal, they may be 12mm in diameter through the mouth but are 14mm where connected to the sides making them FEI legal.

You will not believe the difference that these bits make to your horse’s response to the rein aids—even if you currently ride in a Myler or a lozenge.

New Zealand Folks please go here – https://www.hpsaddlerynz.co.nz/

Additional information

Bit Type

3 Ring Snaffle, Baucher, Dutch Gag, Pellham, D Ring with Hooks, D Ring without Hooks, Egg Butt, FM, Grazing Bit, hanging cheek, Loose Ring Snaffle, Loose Ring Snaffle with Sleeves, Pleasure Bit, Starting Bit, Tom Thumb

Bit Centres

Barrel, Lossenge

Bit Sizes

4 inch, 4.25 inch, 4.5 inch, 4.75 inch, 5 inch, 5.5 inch, 6 inch, 6.5 inch, 7 inch