Antique Horse Bits
Early Bronze Horse Bit
We have a large selection of antique horse bits dating from around 600 BC and including Roman Bits, early bits from medieval times, 17thC bits and bits up to the 20thC. A few of them are illustrated below.
African bit from Nigeria Early 20thC.
African bit from Nigeria Early 20thC. Made of iron this geometric style is seen frequently in bits from this area. The very high port is common to most African bits although this shape of port is more unusual. A port was originally intended to give the tongue some relief. However in most African bits the port is closed thus being little less than an instrument of torture. The mouthpiece is very narrow because the horses they rode were Arab types with fine noses and small mouths.
African bit from Burkino Fasso Early 20thC.
Antique African bit from Burkino Fasso Early 20thC. Also made of iron this bit illustrates one of the designs of the hign port usually seen on African Horse bits. The other types are all on show in the museum. This particupar bit is a ring bit, frequently seen in Africa. The ring goes under the chin of the horse and acts as a curb. When the rein is pulled the port tips forward pulling the ring tightly around the chin.