(Beta) Product Review: Neue Schule Verbindend Bit

Aimee is going to be one satisfied person reading this lesson recap.  Enjoy, my tack loving friend, I took lots of shiny gold pictures for you.


I'm calling this a beta review, because I don't think one ride is an accurate test of a bit, so I plan to do a more thorough one later, but I couldn't wait to share with you guys anyway.

Connor went amazingly well in the Neue Schule Verbindend bit in my lesson last night.  I'm not ready to call it a fix - as my trainer pointed out, he could just be momentarily distracted by the new feeling in his mouth - but despite knowing one ride is not enough evidence to call it one way or another, I can't deny that things happened last night that usually don't happen.

1. He mouthed the bit at the canter.  (THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED).

2. He did not shake his head a single time.

3. He did not get his tongue over the bit, in fact, he didn't even try.  I don't think his tongue came out of his mouth once.

4. He was so unusually steady in the bridle with a really nice amount of feel.

5. I felt that he "got" my rein aids with less - less movement, less weight, less everything.  I could be quieter.  Maybe this was a self-fulfilling prophecy or something.

6. We had a really lovely ride.


A couple of notes:
- I sized up 1/4" from his usual 5 1/4 due to the shape of the bit, and it fits well.
- It is FEI and USDF Dressage legal and says so right on the tag (word on the street is that it may not be legal in Canadian Dressage??  Unconfirmed.)
- I had two options for the mouthpiece diameter, 12mm and 16mm.  I went with 16mm since Connor has clearly demonstrated a dislike of thin bits in the past.  I believe 16mm is slightly larger than the Sprenger KK we've been riding in more or less for four years straight now. (From what I gather from this post, that bit may be the only one Aimee has ever sold...)

Hard to see here, but the outside branches of the bit are angled so that they point the center section forward and down the tongue a bit.

I bought mine from Smartpak, who will take it back if it doesn't work just like anything else, although if you want a more legitimate bit trial program, Hastilow Saddlery offers a 10 day trial on all Neue Schule bits.  If you return it, they refund 90% of what you paid for it. ($120-ish)

The manufacturer's writeup on exactly what it should do for you.  So far...my skeptical self is pleasantly surprised.
ETA: I disagree that a snaffle can't possibly be severe, minus one point for NS on that one.

So no, I'm not going to start blaming all of our problems on tack, and I am not calling this a magic bullet.  I still have to ride well, with more attention to bend and less hands and less movement in my body.  And I'll give it some more rides before I make any call one way or another, but so far, he definitely seems to prefer it.

14 comments:

  1. My boy loves his Verbindend snaffle! I have the smaller diameter since is the opposite and hates fat bits, but it's a miracle worker. He's very long and his natural tendency is to be low in front and behind the bit. This bit actually helps him do what it claims - and helps him lift through the shoulders. He's also one that likes to fling his tongue over the bit and I used to ride his dressage in a Figure-8 to prevent this. After this bit, I was able to put him back in a normal cavesson and flash and he is just a happier horse in it. I'm debating if I want the Universal version for XC :)

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    1. I am so glad to hear that! I felt the same in Connor's shoulders last night. I'm so inherently skeptical of marketing, so I was suspicious and surprised when I felt everything they said I would feel, and wondered if it was real or just confirmation bias. Thanks for letting me know and let me know if you get the XC bit, I'm interested to know how that goes!

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  2. Haha I do love this post! And yes, you own one of the very few bits I've ever sold. ;-) I've been looking at this sideways in case the princess ever decides we can get away from his $10 weird old snaffles.

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    1. And yes, now I'm bit shopping. :-p Just a little.

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    2. I'm always happy to enable, if you need it.

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  3. I've been wondering about these. Thanks for sharing your initial impression of this bit! I look forward to reading about your future review of it too.

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    1. You're welcome! I'll be sure to follow up. I have one more ride with it to decide if I'm showing in it or not (probably will if it's half as good as that ride).

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  4. Interesting (and prettttty)! I was almost compulsively against bit change-outs until I switched Gavin into an HS eggbutt french link snaffle. He was immediately a happier pony.

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    1. Yeah, they've all got their preferences, switching isn't bad. Connor actively dislikes thin snaffles and goes poorly in anything with a fixed side. Thick French link loose ring is where it's at for him.

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  5. Interesting! Glad to hear it's working out so far, and looking forward to hearing of it continues to! I've always thought the slightly shaped mouthpieces are really neat, but I haven't been able to bring myself to spring the $ on one yet

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  6. I have one of these in an eggbutt and LOVE it. I ended up with mine because the mouthpiece had a thinner diameter and pony has a low pallet.

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  7. Ah, we have to find a new bit for Rosemary since it seems she hates her's. Glad you found one! Can't wait to hear about your show.

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  8. ever since finding something we both seem to like (the KK ultra) i've been super hesitant to switch anything up lest we rock the boat (or discover that my favorite pretty and pricey bits are actually not the miracle workers i want to believe they are lol).... exciting to hear that so far you've been so pleased with this new bit tho!

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