Some types of snaffle bits are well known for being harsh on the horse's mouth. These harsher types of English bits are used to control mischievous or ill-tempered horses in the show ring. Other types of snaffle bits are known for being gentle and comfortable. The eggbutt bit is one such bit. It is one of the best snaffle bits around and provided your horse has a friendly and obedient personality, will serve you very well in the show ring.
The eggbutt snaffle bit gets its name from the oval connections used to join the bit butt to the bit rings. These connections are fatter and rounder than those in other types of snaffle bits. They also taper towards the butt, in stark contrast to harsher types of snaffle bits where the bit often widens towards the butt. Due to their thickness and rounded shape, the eggbutt bit is considered very gentle on the horse's mouth. It prevents the skin of the horse's cheeks from getting pinched between the bit rings and the mouthpiece and exerts less pressure on the bars of the horse. However, this does not in any way compromise the effectiveness of the bit. As with the dee ring snaffle, the eggbutt snaffle bit is famed for the degree of lateral control it provides. A rider can turn a horse to the left or right by exerting pressure via the reins on the opposite bit ring. This gently guides the horse in the desired direction.
The eggbutt snaffle bit is one of the most popular English bits for experienced and well-trained horses. Once the horse has been thoroughly schooled, there is usually no need to use a harsh bit to control it. If your horse has a timid disposition and you suspect bit acceptance may be an issue, the eggbutt snaffle bit is also one of the best snaffle bits for you. However, if your horse has a nervous mouth or is particularly ill-disciplined, the eggbutt bit is probably not such a good idea. It is pulled through the mouth more easily than other types of snaffle bits with cheeks. You wouldn't want your bit being dislodged during competition, so get a harsher bit that is tougher on the mouth. In addition, although an eggbutt bit is capable of exerting considerable lateral pressure, it exerts less pressure than the dee ring bit. Hence, if your horse consistently resists you on the turn, you may want to switch to one of the harsher English bits. Overall, the gentle eggbutt bit is one of the best snaffle bits you can use if you wish to reward your horse for good behaviour.