Do I really need to warm my horse’s bit up in winter? How can I do it quickly?
YES. Do you remember the scene in that holiday movie from years ago where the little boy sticks his tongue on the lamp post during the snow? And gets stuck? That’s your horse with a cold bit. No doubt your horse will soon decide that taking the bit is not such a good idea. Even if he is such a good boy that you could put a spiked, electrified bit in his mouth, isn’t it our jobs as horse Grooms and owners to make their life more comfortable??
The old fashioned way.
You have lots of option for warming bits here. For some of us, hanging them in the sun while you Groom will do the trick. For the rest of us that don’t like in southern Florida or San Diego, you have some other options.
I like to have a bucket of steaming hot water in the grooming area for lots of uses, one of which is getting a wash cloth steamy, warm, and damp for cleaning noses and under tails in winter. It’s also a great place to stash your bits before you tack up. It’s easy to do with a bridle, just be sure to avoid letting the leather draped over the side of the bucket hit the ground. Have a safety hook handy to drape your bridle parts over.
Check it before you put on the bridle.
For colder climates, this bucket of hot water is going to get pretty cold after a while, so you can either use a bucket insulator, which looks like a ski jacket shaped like a bucket. They are great for stalls, and really nice to have in the cross ties. They do not require a power source, so bonus there.
You could also use a handy crock pot to keep some water and small towels warm. You may want to experiment with wrapping a hot towel over the bit for a few minutes before you put it on.
This sunny window in the tack room acts like a bit warmer. I hang my bridle here before I tack up. Even on freezing days, the bit becomes warm.
Has anyone else noticed the selection of bit warmers you can buy?? Lots of options there. There are cordless and corded varieties, and the premise is the same for both types. A fabric covering wraps and secures around the bit, and the warming element goes to town. With the cordless models, the heating element is usually a disposable or reusable packet that can be microwaved for a minute or so before use. (Also good for putting in pockets for your hands!) The corded models use an electric heating element. Either way, you need a power source.
You can always go for the “warm in your hands/blow on it method” if you have the time and patience and extra set of hands for it. It works in a pinch, but totally not my first choice.
How do you like to warm your bits up?