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How to Use a Wonder Bit

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Bridle

  • French link wonder bit

The wonder bit is a modified type of gag bit. This bit has a slight shank that gives it leverage when the rein is attached to the shank rather than through the rings. Like other gags, this bit can be used with the reins buckled to the ring, and this drastically reduces its severity. The wonder bit is used to retrain or school horses that pull through the bit or that have learned to go beneath the bit. Only experienced riders should use this bit to ride or re-school horses as it must be used in conjunction with proper training exercises.

Be sure you have an independent seat and soft hands before using the wonder bit (ask a trainer to assess your ability if necessary). Attach the reins to the bit ring initially to see if this sharpens the horse's response as a result of the additional pressure on the lip corners and poll.

Attach the reins to the ring on the shank if more leverage is needed or if the horse continues evasions. Note that this gives leverage to the bit that incrementally increases the pounds of pressure exerted through the reins. Discontinue using the bit if the horse becomes frightened or confused from its pressure (pressure is put on the lips, mouth roof and poll) by raising its head to avoid bit contact, rearing or employing new evasions.

Employ proper riding and lateral maneuvers to get the horse to engage the bit properly. Understand that the wonder bit is only a tool to enhance communication between a skilled rider and the horse. Watch that the horse is accepting the bit by collecting, softening its head and lessening the evasions the horse used previously.


  • Only proper riding that asks the horse to use its body in collection or "frame" will train a horse. No bit will train, stop a bolting horse or correct a horse if the rider is not trained in horsemanship. Always seek the advice of a professional to assist in training.


  • The wonder bit is a severe bit that can cause a horse to bolt, buck or rear over onto the rider. Incorrect use of this bit can exacerbate horse evasions, injure the horse's mouth and cause the horse to "hollow out" by raising its head and dropping its back. Unskilled use of this bit can further frighten the horse and hinder the horse's effectiveness as a riding animal. The wonder bit is not a snaffle and always has some leverage even if the reins are attached to the rings.