Good Connection Begins with the Correct Bit: Beth Haist of The Horse of Course Explains Why on the Dressage Corner

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Bitting expert Beth Haist of The Horse of Course and Heather Bender of Dressage Corner, With a Little Help From My Friends talk about bits and achieving the proper fit (Photo: courtesy of Dressage Corner)

At first glance, you might think your horse’s bit fits just right. But take a closer look, and you may find that your equine athlete needs something shorter, heavier, or a different shape altogether. Beth Haist, founder and CEO of The Horse of Course, Inc., and Grand Prix dressage rider Heather Bender, creator of the new video/blog series Dressage Corner, With a Little Help From My Friends, recently tackled the topic of correct bit fit in an educational interview series that horse owners won’t want to miss.

Truly a bit aficionado, Haist has been partnering with bit developers to properly fit horses since 1995. She is always eager to put her knowledge to the test in order to educate riders on the ideal bit fit for all types of horses. Bender’s interview with Haist, which will be available to Dressage Corner subscribers in early summer of 2017, is a must-see for riders interested in increasing their horses’ comfort, enhancing communication, and improving the training process.

Designed to promote positive education and great horsemanship, Dressage Corner supports equestrian sports and the love of horses. The site will include multiple, power-packed 7-10 minute interviews, as well as longer features. “We will cover topics that I feel really contribute to us having a better journey in the equestrian world,” explained Bender, lifelong equestrian and owner of Treasure Coast Dressage in Palm City, Florida.

Commenting on the depth of experience that Haist brings to Dressage Corner, Bender said, “Beth is just so knowledgeable with bits and, even though I have been in this business a long time, I learned a lot in our interview. It’s exciting to offer a chance for people like Beth to talk in a comfortable way, and pass on some of the gems that they have learned.”

Haist is fortunate to have had exposure to several bit engineers over the years – respected professionals who passed on their knowledge concerning proper bit selection to her. Added to the factors of correct size, weight, and material, Haist says you have to “think like an engineer” when finding the right bit.

Viewers who tune in this summer can watch Haist discuss everything from the most common factors concerning bit fitting to the minute details that riders tend to overlook. Divided into multiple segments, video coverage will include information on double bridles, snaffles, bridle fit, different options for chains and chain hooks, the engineering and history of bits, and much more.

“The content that Beth gave me is very strong,” Bender confirmed. “We are also including a hands-on segment to demonstrate how to properly adjust bridles, why they fit and don’t fit, and whether the bit is too big or too little.” Haist added, for example, that surprisingly most riders use bits that are too large for their horses’ mouths.

Haist was happy to share her knowledge with Dressage Corner. Bender explained, “Dressage Corner will promote the many ways to achieve success using correct basics. I will be looking for real horsemen and horsewomen to contribute, and will not be limited to only one approach, as long as the welfare of the horse is always the first consideration. I will also include a Professional Corner for my colleagues to address subjects that affect all of us in the equestrian business. We will build the site based on what viewers really want to learn about, and cover a gamut of information able to satisfy grassroots riders as well as professionals.” Viewers can expect their journey in the disciplines of classical dressage, western dressage, and hunter/jumper competition to be enhanced by this fresh new approach to education.

Haist also continually strives to promote rider education and impart information that appeals to beginners and professionals alike. She understands the complexities of achieving bit fitting success, and developing a good horse-and-rider connection. To give back to the equestrian community, and to give riders the opportunity to try bits before purchase, The Horse of Course offers the “bit bank.” This is a collection of bits exclusively available for loan so that horses and riders can try them out commitment-free to find the perfect bit.

The Horse of Course offers even more than customized bit fitting services. The full-service tack shop is known for selling the latest in equestrian fashions and top-quality equipment, as well as offering professional saddle fitting services. Patrons can choose from top brands like KEP Italia, Ronner, IAGO, Style Stock, Micklem, Dobert, LotusRomeo, EGO7, euro-star, Passier, Neue Schule, König, Grand Prix, and Pikeur. For more information, visit The Horse of Course online at, at Facebook or Instagram, or call 888-494-6773. And don’t forget subscribe to Dressage Corner this summer to see Haist and Bender’s educational bit about bits. Learn more here.