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.


Rider Q & A on Bitting; T Bar Bits.

PT jan_feb 2016 t bars - cropped

Recent edition of Polo Time Magazine saw bitting expert Stephen Biddlecombe, a retailer of widely acclaimed Bombers Bits and proprietor of World Wide Tack, answer a reader question on bitting.  To read the full article- pick up a copy of the magazine today!

Reader Question

  1. I have seen a few people using T-bar Bits – can you explain what they are, how they function and what the benefits of the T-Bar are? 

Stephen’s Answer

The T-Bar was developed by Bomber Nel especially for Polo. The T-Bar Bits are designed to have a similar affect as a traditional Fulmer, preventing pinching on the sides of the mouth and averting the bit from being pulled through the mouth, however fast and furious the game becomes.

The pins of the T-Bars are shorter than the classic Fulmer design (also widely available and used with varying mouthpieces) and are often used with young, green horses.  The T-Bar helps direct and guide the horse in the direction the bit is facing via it’s shortened pins above and below the bit; it acts simply in a subtle way, which is great for schooling and training. The T-Bar Bits from Bombers have a loose ring fitting, which allows for immediate release when required.

Offered with a variety of different mouthpieces such as the Buster Roller, Colin Miles, Big Ring, 3 Ring Gag, Elliptical and many more, the T-Bar Cheekpiece is ideal for those horses that are sensitive to any pinching from the bit, or suffer rubs and sores from the bit. In addition, for equines which can be fussy in the mouth, the T-Bar can offer a solution, as it helps to keep the bit stiller in the mouth during ridden work.

The T-Bar design is also useful for those horses that are strong or inclined to nap, as it offers riders an additional directional tool, helping horses and ponies to focus on the game, as well as ensuring the bit doesn’t slip in the mouth at crucial moments when a strong rein aid is needed.

Bombers Bits include hundreds of off the shelf bitting solutions, and customers can even design their own bespoke bit from a selection of mouth pieces, cheek pieces and widths, using a ‘design your own bit’ service. 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.

To find out more about the wide range of Bombers Bits, including the T-Bar why not visit our website at


Perfect Plaiting!

With show season on the horizon for many after the bleakest part of the winter is finally over, rider’s attention has been turned to sprucing up for show-time and that means plaiting! So in our latest blog World Wide Tack takes a look at plaiting with some top tips!

In yesteryear tradition dictated that horses and ponies should have either seven or nine plaits along the neck and one for the forelock but these days riders can choose however many suit the horse. It is important to strike a balance however as umpteen tiny plaits can look a little fussy and too few thick plaits ones tend to resemble a row of golf balls!

As well as ensuring you look smart in whatever discipline you are taking part in clever plaiting can also minimise some of your equine’s weak points. If he has a weak or underdeveloped neck, setting the plaits on top of his neck can give an illusion of bulk. Whereas if your equine’s neck is heavy it can look better to set them to the side. A horse who is slightly short in the neck will look better with a larger number of plaits. On the other hand, if his neck is too long, using fewer plaits will make his neck look more in proportion.




World Wide Tack’s Top Plaiting Tips

1.) If you want your plaits to stay put, do them as late as possible. Providing your horse is settled prior to competing and you have ample time it can sometimes be wise to wait until the morning or even reaching the show to plait up. If you’re plaiting up the night before put a hood or neck cover on your horse to avoid the risk of the horse rubbing them out or getting bits of bedding stuck to it.

2.) If you can master it sewn plaits are neatest and strongest. If you are currently using bands, why not ask someone who knows how to sew plaits to show you how to correctly sew plaits?

3.) Washing the mane and tail just before plaiting can make things more difficult, as the hair will be more flyaway and harder to manage. Wash the mane and tail (if you wish) a few days before plaiting and use Quic Braid– available from World Wide Tack . The mane and tail control spray offers perfect grip to hair when wet whilst not slick like hair gel or sticky like hair spray. Quick Braid offers super-tight braids and fewer stray hairs. The easy to use spray dries shot and combs out easily providing a must-have plaiting tool!

4.) Section off the mane before you begin, to make sure all of the plaits are the same size and that you don’t have a stray tuft of hair left at the end! If your horse’s mane has been rubbed by rugs this winter you may need to pull your horse’s mane or cut it using a solo comb before plaiting up.

5.) Plaiting itself will not damage the hair, but be careful when you remove the plaits. Unpick the threads or cut the bands out carefully to avoid a choppy or wispy mane post competition!

To find out more about Quic Braid the must-have plaiting tool visit the website!



Snap up your Neumann Tackified Gloves whilst Stocks Last!


The Neumann Tackified Gloves from World Wide Tack are designed to fit riders like a second layer of skin offering optimum comfort and performance. Rapidly selling out these top quality gloves provide a secure grip to aid control in the saddle- whatever the conditions, and factors such as the weather may bring!

The palm of the glove is constructed with a patented formula that permanently ‘tackifies’ the leather palm throughout its fibres for the life of the glove. This tackiness is enhanced during humid conditions and will remain consistently tackified in hot or sub zero temperatures.With no need for spray-on adhesives, a simple hand washing is all that is needed when the gloves get dirty!
Neumann Gloves are widely used and accepted by professionals throughout the sporting industry worldwide!

The Neumann Tackified Gloves are available from World Wide Tack today whilst stocks last- rapidly selling out! Offered now in White, ideal for Dressage, in sizes  XS-L and Brown in XL only! Don’t let you reins get longer and longer when riding or risk being unsafe in the saddle if your gloves let you down at a crucial moment- get a grip with a pair of Neumann Tackified Gloves!

Visit to purchase!

Bitting Solutions; Headshaking.


Head shaking is a complicated issue but in some instances it can be caused by bit pressure on a sensitive tongue. When pressure is applied to a horse with a sensitive tongue, its response will be one or more of the following:

  • Shaking its head
  • Sticking its tongue out
  • Sucking its tongue back and as a result making an intermittent coughing noise
  • Trying to put its tongue over the bit

Bombers Bits offers the solution to headshaking as a result of tongue sensitivity or for some horses with a large tongue, with the following bitting options.

Happy Tongue Bit: The Happy Tongue is a solid mouth piece which is curved and ported to give tongue relief. The Happy Tongue would be a good place to start!

Bomber Blue:
The Bombers Blue offers a lightweight rubber nylon compound mouthpiece with the same ported design which reduces tongue pressure.

Lock Up: A Lock Up style bit such as the range from Bombers Bits remove the nut cracker action of the conventional snaffle, meaning the bit will bear less pressure on each side of the horses jaw, known as the bars.

McHardy: The McHardy is a combination of a jointed Happy Tongue with the Buster Roller.  An excellent bit when more control is required, allowing at the same space for the tongue.

 Segundo Mouth is a Weymouth bit; it has leverage action and works on several points to control on the horse’s head, and also within the mouth. This bit is unusual in that it does not use tongue pressure, as it features a large port through which the tongue lies. The horse can’t lean on the bit or get his tongue over it but the bit is not for novice riders as it can be more severe than the other bitting options listed below.

To find out more about the range of Bombers Bits listed above visit Bomber’s UK Official Distributor World Wide Tack’s website at: or Tel: 01825 841 303 to speak to our bitting expert Stephen Biddlecombe.

Treading Carefully…


Do you give much thought to your stirrups and irons? Maybe they came with your saddle… or you have simply changed your old irons onto a new saddle, with little thought for whether they suit the style and design of the saddle. However here at World Wide Tack we think we should pay the simple stirrup iron more attention!

Your choice of stirrup should depend on your discipline. For example, pleasure riders or endurance riders often like wider stirrups, partly because they may rider in wider boots, but also as they often ride with a longer length, and need the stirrups to take more weight.

Dressage riders generally have a longer, straighter riding position, with a stirrup length that allows the back to become straighter, with the pelvis tilted backwards. The rider’s knee should maintain a bend, as it needs to act as a shock absorber. Dressage riders tend to put more weight into the balls of their feet, as opposed to the heel and ankle – this is because in jumping, the ankle is more of an ‘anchor’, with a closer angle, while in dressage, the leg is longer and closer to the horse’s ‘barrel’.

The showjumper or XC enthusiast sits further towards the back of the saddle than the dressage rider, and keeps the legs in a more forward position, with shorter stirrups. Too-long stirrups may cause the rider to balance on the horse’s neck or reins.

The Royal Rider Stirrups, available to purchase through World Wide Tack and epitomise equestrian technology and performance. The functional, fabulous stirrups are ideal for specialist disciplines where performance is everything! Widely used by top professional horse rider’s the Royal Rider Stirrups offer complete foot stability and improved lower leg position in the saddle.

Available in a variety of different styles the Royal Rider Stirrup selection from World Wide Tack has something to suit every rider and equine discipline.

Designed and made in Italy the Royal Rider Stirrups are made using the highest quality materials and manufacturing controls offering lightweight stirrups with a wider foot bed offering rider’s improved balance and control in the saddle.

The fresh, technical and “sporty” design offers strength, quality and comfort but boasts technological advances such as progressive springs which allow the rider to obtain a higher comfort and providing sensitivity, stability and support when the rider’s weight is suspended in the stirrup.

The range of Royal Rider Stirrups uniquely offer cushioning mechanism integrated into the body of the stirrup allowing a structural level of flexibility and elasticity, whilst remaining secure. This promotes minimal pressure on the joints of the rider unlike conventional stirrups allowing them to remain comfortable in the saddle and protecting them from the physical wear and tear of regular horse riding.

Available in either standard shaped styles or the unique, exclusive design of offset side bars allowing the rider’s leg to sit straighter and provide a safe, “easy-out” feature.

The cheese grater style stirrup tread is ideal for winter when muddy and wet riding boots can slip in standard rubber stirrup treads!

So ride Royal and see the difference a pair of Royal Rider Stirrups can make to your riding today visit the website to see the wide range available.


Stephen’s Polo Boots Featured in Horse Magazine; Find out More!

Horse Magazine July-August 2015

Have you seen the stunning Leather Polo Boots from the Stephen’s Polo range? The Polo experts and equipment specialists at World Wide Tack were thrilled to bring their new polo-specific range to consumers earlier this year! 

The protective, functional Stephen’s Polo Boots are composed of top-quality Italian leather in a stylish Havana colour. Designed specifically to protect the rider’s feet and lower limb during the fast-paced, adrenaline-heightened sport of polo, the unisex Polo Boots offer tough, yet flexible leather and a robust, durable sole, allowing riders to wear the polo boots all day long, in comfort.

Designed to sit slightly lower than typical long boots, facilitating full movement of the rider’s knee during the game and optimising comfort, the Stephen’s Polo Boots are equipped with a fashionable full front zipper, and a substantial outer buckle zip protector – ideal for preventing rubs created by inner zips during play.

Available in sizes 5-11.5 in slim, regular and wide calf widths, priced £650.00 including VAT. Or, select your boots via a bespoke made to measure service, to achieve the perfect fit for just £150+VAT more.

Available to buy online at alongside a wide range of other polo equipment, tack and much, much more!