Bits and Bitting

A study evening at Kirkley Hall (by permission of Northumberland College) led by Sandra Morrison BHSI and Alastair Parkin BHSI
19th March 2018

What a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking evening with Sandra Morrison and Alistair Parkin at Kirkley Hall in the company of much knowledge, experience and enthusiasm from everyone. The evening was open to non-members which allowed for a Pony Club member to come along with her a Mum as well as local Riding Club members.

The format was friendly and encouraging with a good emphasis on discussion and acceptance of differing points of view, all leading to the same end of education and improvement of methods to produce a happy healthy horse.

The group was divided into four smaller discussion groups and four questions were circulated round them at about ten-minute intervals.  These were:

1.  What is your fundamental understanding of bits?
2.  What is your understanding of acceptance of the bit?
3.  What is the responsibility of the rider’s hand?
4.  What is your understanding of contact?

It was targeted at bits and bitting and was most helpful, including the practical interlude which produced much hilarity!  – Re assembly of a snaffle bridle while blindfold, the Pony Clubber won!

Afterwards there were a further four questions for debate which were:

5.  Choosing a bit
6.  Is the snaffle the best option for introducing the bit to the horse?
7.  How do you cut through the marketing of new bits to make the right choices?
8.  Is a bit really necessary?

A good venue, well supported and organised and producing good results. Much needed up in this part of the world.