the anti-rearing bit – necessary or gimmick

Go here for Bits


I was at a Vet Clinic the other day and saw the Vet Nurse install an anti rearing bit on a fairly drugged two year old horse. Obviously, it is Company Policy to use them on all unbroken horses at the minimum.

The particular Clinic was near a Race Course and I know that it is the policy of all Racing Clubs throughout Australia at least, to install anti rearing bits or a bridle which has a similar bit, on every horse that is being led.

I am totally against the use of the Anti-Rearing bit and the principal behind it’s use. (Other than for Stallions out in public) Even then we don’t need them.

The Racing Industry in Australia, is desperately lacking in imagination with regards to Horsemanship and the welfare of horses. It is pretty much still stuck in the 1800’s and closed minded about some of these subjects. The anti-rearing bit is one example. Here are some reasons why I am against them:


  • They ruin the potential of any unbroken mouth.
  • They are often used in a cruel manner
  • I note that they are normally attached to people who lead horses by the beard and six foot lead ropes.


Therefore, when the horse rears, it often escapes.

If you hurt the mouth of a horse, it will fight against that pain, thus increasing the very behavior that the bit was designed to prevent.




They give young horses a bad experience when it comes to bits.
and above all, when it comes right down to it, a rope halter has far more control so why bother?

What really amuses me is the dancing that Racehorse Strappers’ do with all of these horses equipped with Anti-Rearing Bits. Just like a Square Dance. Walk 5 metres, take hold of yur pardner and do a small circle b4 continuing en-route. The lack of control is worth watching indeed.




If you go and look on any Saddlery Shop wall, you will see weird and wonderful tools of torture called bits. They were all invented by incompetent horse handlers’ and the Anti Rearing Bit belongs on the same wall.




Listen to Your Horses

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