All harness and trappings associated with horses, particularly the coach horse and the great heavy breeds of working horses, are now collected and even odd leathers or blinkers carrying brass, pewter, or other base metal studs are much sort after. A vital part of the harness, yet so often overlooked by many collectors is horse bits. The variations in the design of bits are remarkable for they were made to suit horses carrying out particular tasks or to cope with a horse with special temperament or habits. There were bits for soft mouth horses and others for breaking in. Coaching bits with such names as ´Pelham` or ´Buxton´, although highly practical, are also minor works of art with their swirling curves and loops. Some bits are detachable on one side so that a horse could feed while still in the shafts. Bits bearing the makers´ name are always interesting for they provide important additional information and may also enable a bit to be accurately dated.
Horse bits were made to suit the horse carrying out particular roles, as well as to deal with individual temperaments. This photograph shows just some of the shapes to be found