Composition of Bits and Bitting Materials

With a vast array of bits on the market choosing a bit for your horse or pony can be somewhat daunting. In our latest blog World Wide Tack takes a look at bit materials and how they can influence the bitting choice which is right for our horses. 

Many horse owners will have never considered the bit material but actually the bit metal or material matters to some horses in their acceptance of the bit and the contact.

Stainless steel is a good place to start when considering materials for any type of bit – it’s durable, moderate in price and neutral in taste. The most popular bit material on the market is also fairly light, but depending on where it has been manufactured it’s quality may vary. The best quality steel is made in Europe .

Rubber is a soft material similar to plastic but with more flexibility. It is great for making strong style bits softer or for young horses who have just started work. The young horses generally chew on the material because they are getting used to having something in their mouths.

Combination bits are cutting edge but Trust Equestrian have brought out the Trust range of bits which are composed of plastic which is FDA approved and non-toxic crafted with a Stainless Steel interior core making them reliable and safe. Click on the link here to view the range available currently via World Wide Tack!

Sweet iron is not actually an iron at all, but steel. The  soft metal  rusts somewhat through use and this creates a sweet taste in the horse’s mouth which acts to encourage gentle chewing of the bit and salivation. Made from blue sweet iron, Bombers bits available through World Wide Tack were originally designed for polocrosse, but are becoming increasingly popular among top show jumpers and dressage riders. The blue sweet iron oxidises easily, encouraging the horse to salivate and assisting acceptance of the bit.

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A Custom Fit…

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This month World Wide Tack’s Stephen Biddlecombe advised readers of Polo Times on horses and ponies with unusual mouth conformation, or with an especially smaller-sized mouth discussing whether a custom bit design could be the answer to tricky bitting issues! 

Stephen says… “As we have discussed in recent issues, while polo ponies do tend to have relatively compact heads and average-sized tongues, there are lots of players with horses that have crossed over from another discipline, perhaps a small Warmblood-type, a former racehorse or an Arab-cross; and they may face conformational challenges within the mouth. Warmbloods for example tend to have larger tongues, while Arab crosses often have a lower ‘upper palate’.

Whatever the breed or lineage, there are also conformational mouth issues that crop up with no obvious cause, in terms of dental issues or breed influences. They include particularly thick, thin, narrow or wide tongues, as well as wide or narrow jaws; high, low or fleshy palates (e.g. the roof of mouth), as well as long lips, and overshot or undershot jaws. And of course, it is not uncommon to see several of these issues occurring at once.

If your trainer and / or vet agrees that your horse or pony has unusual mouth conformation, then the revolutionary ‘design your own bit’ service on offer from Bombers Equestrian Equipment could be of interest to you, The service means that players can choose whatever mouth piece, cheek piece and bit size they require, and customise each bit with personal instruction.

It could be the size (width) of the mouthpiece; although the bits are available on special order in standard (non-bespoke) sizes not held in stock in the UK from 115mm, for ponies. What is perhaps more common is for the custom-made element to be required for the bit’s shape and function; for example, some players like a twist on one side, but not the other, perhaps if they have a strong pony that leans on one rein. To obtain a bespoke Bombers Bit, simply email info@equineman.com and upon receiving the email, I will respond with a quote and estimated turnaround time for production and delivery (usually up to two months). Our most popular polo bits are the Pelhams, 3-Rings and Big Ring Gags, and a multitude of mouthpiece designs is available to suit your needs.”

Bombers Bits also include hundreds of off the shelf bitting solutions. Bombers Bits are made from blue sweet iron – the metal oxidises easily, creating a warm, sweet taste in the horse’s mouth. This encourages the horse to salivate. Visit www.worldwidetack.com to purchase today!  

‘All about Polo’ with Experts World Wide Tack!

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Polo was once thought of to be solely an elitist sport but in recent years the sport has become more popular and available to everyone! Many more people are giving polo a go and these days group polo lessons including a hired pony are offered by many clubs giving more riders the chance to experience the sport!

So how does the game work? 

Polo is played on a field which is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide or in some cases and in the winter season in an arena.  There are goals at each end line, spaced eight yards apart and the aim of the game is to score goals! There are four people per team and each players carries a mallet and attempts to hit the ball through the goal posts. Each goal counts one point.  The outdoor ball, of hard white plastic, amazingly is a little over 3” in diameter so the game really does take some serious hand-eye coordination to play!

The game is played in six fast paced periods, known as chukkas which take seven-and-one-half minutes.

Polo is an adrenaline fuelled, exciting game but with this comes some risk. That is why it is vital to have the essential kit and clothing, alongside protective wear for the pony to stay safe on the field! World Wide Tack takes a look…

World Wide Tack’s Guide to Essential Polo Equipment

Bandages and Tendon Boots

Polo is a fast and furious game and so the pony’s legs must be protected. Polo players often apply both soft fleece bandages and supportive tendon boots in order to maximise protection. World Wide Tack offers the popular Keenland Polo bandages in 18 different colours alongside protective tendon boots.

Bits

World Wide Tack supplies Bomber Bits, a must-have for any polo player! Designed by polo player Peter Nel, every Bomber bit is made from blue sweet iron which oxidises easily, encouraging salivation and acceptance. The Bomber 3 ring Bit is our most popular and perfect for polo!

Protective Wear for the Rider

Each and every rider, no matter how experienced must be adequately protected when taking part in polo. New for 2015 World Wide Tack are offering a range of rider wear and equipment for Polo. The stunning Stephen’s Polo Boots are designed especially for polo from top quality Havana leather and available in either standard sizes or a ‘made to measure’ option. In addition the brand new Stephen’s Knee Guards keep riders’ safe during on-field clashes!

For more information about the wide range of equipment for polo and other disciplines visit the website www.worldwidetack.com or Tel: 01825 841 303 to speak to a member of the team.

The Adventures of the Amateur Equestrian; Smart Grooming.

In our latest blog we take a look at the experiences of a team of amateur riders who are sisters and their experiences with the Smart Grooming range some of which is available from World Wide Tack including the Smart Grooming Smart Tails Thinning Comb. This time the pair trial the black show make up on their retrained racehorse, now polo pony, called Aggy (Annia Galeria).

They said…

Aggy is a light bay and very dark legs. Unfortunately she also has some scars and white fur on her from old injuries from racing, but this also meant she was a perfect test pony!

To start we brushed off all dirt, dust and any dry sweat etc from her legs so they were nice and clean. Then, using a small clean piece of cloth (wrapping the end over the index fingertip) and dipping it into the pot. Making sure to get a decent amount of black make up on the tip. I should note that we had a good few white fur marks to cover up so did use a good covering on the cloth but if it’s a small blemish then sparingly if it’s just a small blemish as does go a long way (As previously mentioned in older blog posts, all Smart Grooming products go a long way). Depending on the type of blemish, you can also use a small sponge if you’d prefer – This will be better for dabbing on and using more on larger areas. We wanted to cover the white dots so choice a more sweeping motion of going with direction of the fur. The pot is only about an inch and a half wide so it would have to be a small sponge to fit.

Going with the motion of with the hairs direction we made sure to cover all the white hair underneath too, rather than just cover the top layer of fur as with work this may rub off more easily.

Test one was Aggys white marks on her knee, cannon bone and back of her tendon are.
This is before applying the make up  showing rather a lot of white spots from nicks and cuts from her racing days.

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After application… can you see where they are? Nope! Totally covered!

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I am absolutely amazed at just how well it worked.
Aggy was left out overnight in a field, rolled and got rained on and it still stayed on all day Sunday without needing to be reapplied.
Overall I’d highly recommend Smart Grooming make up! I’ve never used make up on a horse before so went into this review with no idea how it would work or if it would work at all. But from the photos you can see it really does work!
I’d highly recommend it. They’re only £8.95 and will last for ages!
I know some people use boot polish and such would I wouldn’t recommend. They’re made for polishing boots and could highly agitate the skin and could a reaction.
Smart Grooming products have been specially made for horses to avoid such things happening
Aggy will be appearing in this weekends Mansfield Advisors/Tattersalls Flaming June Tournament at Suffolk Polo Club so I can’t wait to use my Smart Geooming products to make her and Boo look amazing and fingers crossed they win best playing pony!
This blog has been reproduced with the permisson of Clipper Sharp www.clippersharp.com to view the full blog content click here.

Spring Worming and the Innovative, Stress Free Wormabit!

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Effective worm control aims to prevent worms from completing their lifecycle and thus prevent further contamination. Worming programmes have evolved over the years and there are now a number of strategies that horse owners can use to help maintain their horse’s health and performance including conducting worm egg counts, administering suitable worm controlling medication and correct pasture management.

The horse will first need to be weighed in order to determine the amount of wormer they require. This can be done using a weight tape or a weigh bridge if available. If you are using oral syringes, identify the correct dose then remove the syringe cap.

Stand at the side of your horse, in front of their shoulder, and open your horse’s mouth. Guide the syringe into the corner of the horse’s mouth and aim it toward the back of the tongue before dispensing the wormer (do not dispense the wormer at the corner or front of the mouth where the horse may just spit it out). It may be necessary to raise the horse’s head briefly to ensure the wormer is swallowed. If there is any paste left, do not rub this into or around the horse’s lips.

However for many horse and pony owners, administering anything through a syringe – particularly worming products – can be a battle…

Wormabit developed by Australian company Cornell Pty Ltd is a durable, completely washable, nylon bit fitted to adjustable webbing straps, complete with a quick release buckle for safety. The bit-like mouth piece is placed in the equine’s mouth, as with a conventional bit, and once in place, the syringe is inserted in to the open end of the mouth piece. With one smooth action, the full dose is delivered to the horse without the usual mess and fuss.

Not only does Wormabit make worming easier and safer, but most importantly, it relieves the stress for the equine. The syringe never has to enter the animal’s mouth – just the nylon bit, which does not feel alien to the horse or pony. The result is a much calmer animal and a much more relaxed handler – leading to a safer, quicker and simpler method of administering once-dreaded worming pastes.

Wormabit can also be used with other products that have to be administered orally, such as calmers, electrolytes and energy boosting syringes.

To find out more about the innovative Wormabit product available from World Wide Tack visit the website www.worldwidetack.com or Tel: 01825 841 303.

Winter Weather Grooming Guide and Tips!

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Winter weather can really take it’s toll on our equine’s coat so it is a great time to talk about grooming. Grooming ensures the skin and coat remains in optimum condition, especially important when windy, wet and muddy weather is upon us! 

All horse owners want our horses to look and feel good throughout the year and whilst we retreat to warm houses and hot showers our horse’s cleanliness during the wintertime is solely dependent on our own efforts. Though taxing in these temperatures our equine’s will be grateful for our efforts, not to mention looking set for the show ring too; perfect for the busy winter competitors!

World Wide Tack’s Guide to Grooming with Top Tips!

1.) Thorough grooming on a regular basis offers care and maintenance of the skin and hair and allows your equine partner to remain clean and healthy preventing the build up of dirt and bacteria in the coat. Regular grooming sessions also allows horse owners to learn their horse’s individual anatomy and keep on top of any lumps, bumps or blemishes. This can prove extremely beneficial for the horse and also often protect the horse owner’s bank balance if problems are spotted and dealt with immediately!

2.) Top Tip! Invest in quality brushes and keep them clean. You can’t do a thorough job grooming your horse with dirty or dusty brushes. Plus, keeping them clean will help them last longer!

3.) Don’t neglect your horse’s hooves. They should be picked out daily, not just when you are getting ready to ride. Hoof picks are cheap so always use one to remove rocks and debris and replace the pick when it no longer does the job easily.

4.) Grooming is a fantastic way to build your relationship with your horse or pony as the simple task offers a is a great bonding mechanism allowing you to build a stronger and more fulfilling relationship between you. Giving him this attention will be sure to go down a treat as grooming is in fact a horse’s natural way in which to bond and communicate with other equines. Top tip; Get to know where your horse’s ticklish spots are and be extra gentle around those areas!

4.) Removing the sweat and dirt from the coat is vital as it makes it much less likely that your horse will suffer tack sores and rubs. These rubs can develop when the leather work of your tack comes into contact with dirt and debris and then rubs this grime against your horse’s skin causing it to break and become sore and damaged.

5.) Using ‘horse friendly’ products to protect a healthy skin pH is crucial when bathing your horse. World Wide Tack stocks a range of specific equine shampoos and conditioners from big name brands such as Absorbine, Quic and Cowboy Magic not to mention a selection of detangling and coat shine products to get that special sparkle this season! Top Tip; If your horse’s mane or tail gets a stubborn knot in it, don’t cut or pull the knot out. Use Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine to soften the knot, and carefully detangle the hairs with your fingers.

6.) Curry your horse every day. The more you curry, the more you bring the oils in the skin to the surface. When it comes to currying, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned elbow grease!

7.) Including a supplement in the diet can be highly beneficial to improve skin health and coat quality. Grand Coat from the Grand Meadow’s range available from World Wide Tack provides a rich source of omega fatty acids, key minerals and amino acids. The ingredient that really sets Grand Coat apart from other products is lecithin, which supplies phospholipids, a vital requirement for helping maintain healthy skin and coat color. If your horse’s coat is looking dull why not consider adding Grand Coat into the diet and encourage visible improvements from the inside out!

8.) Keep up with routine grooming chores, such as mane pulling, trimming fetlocks etc… That way horse owners will not be overwhelmed with last minute clean-up before a show.

9.) Grooming mitts are great for wiping dust off your horse and help promote circulation and cleans and polish the skin. World Wide Tack offer a gorgeous Sheepskin Grooming Mitt for just £6.25 excl. VAT or available FREE with any Cowboy Magic Product bought! Click here to view today.

10.) Remember; though your horse getting mucky and dirty is time consuming for you, rolling is a natural therapy for your horse and dirt isn’t permanent, so let him enjoy himself and try not to let your heart sink too much when you see him rolling in the field!

Visit World Wide Tack’s website to see the full range of equine grooming products  and supplements available today by visiting www.worldwidetack.com

World Wide Tack; Perfect for Polo!

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Are you an avid polo player or would like to take up the exhilarating, exciting game known as “The Sport of Kings”?

Polo was once thought of to be solely an elitist sport but in recent years the sport has become more popular and available to the masses, outside the realms of the rich and famous! These days group polo lessons including a hired pony are offered by many clubs giving the amateur polo player the chance to experience the fabulous sport!

Polo is thought to have originated in China and Persia around 2,000 years ago and today, it is now played by men and women alike in upwards of 77 countries.

Polo is played between four person teams on a field which is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide.  There are goals at each end line, spaced eight yards apart. Each players carries a slender handled mallet and attempts to hit the ball through the goal posts. Each goal counts one point.  The outdoor ball, of hard white plastic, amazingly is a little over 3” in diameter so the game really does take some serious hand-eye coordination!

The game is played in six fast paced periods, known as chukkas which take seven-and-one-half minutes.

Polo can also be played indoors, known as Arena Polo, which is popular during the winter months.

Whether you already play polo regularly or are just taking up the sport you will require the necessary kit! World Wide Tack supplies both tack and quality polo equipment, so you can be sure that you are choosing a high quality product that has been designed specifically for the game!

World Wide Tack’s Guide to Polo Equipment

Bandages and Tendon Boots

Polo is a fast and furious game and so the pony’s legs must be protected. Polo players often apply both soft fleece bandages and supportive tendon boots in order to maximise protection. World Wide Tack offers the popular Keenland Polo bandages in 18 different colours alongside protective tendon boots.

Bits

World Wide Tack supplies Bomber Bits, a must-have for any polo player! Designed by polo player Peter Nel, every Bomber bit is made from blue sweet iron which oxidises easily, encouraging salivation and acceptance. The Bomber 3 ring Bit is our most popular and perfect for polo!

Protective Wear for the Rider

Each and every rider, no matter how experienced must be adequately protected when taking part in polo. New for 2015 World Wide Tack are offering a range of rider wear and equipment for Polo. The stunning Stephen’s Polo Boots are designed especially for polo from top quality Havana leather and available in either standard sizes or a ‘made to measure’ option. In addition the brand new Stephen’s Knee Guards keep riders’ safe during on-field clashes!

For more information about the wide range of equipment for polo and other disciplines visit the website www.worldwidetack.com or Tel: 01825 841 303 to speak to a member of the team.