Equestrian jewelry is beautiful, unique, and inspired by a sport that becomes a part of the soul. Buying for your equestrian partner might seem easy, but it stands to reason that you may want to understand what it means and why it's labeled "equestrian" before making your purchase.
Translating Horse Language
What Is A Snaffle Bit
The bit is the metal or rubber piece of tack that goes into the horse's mouth. Its purpose is to help better connect the rider to the horse. There are many types of bits usually defined by the shape of their ring (the part that's still showing when the bit is in the horse's mouth) along with the shape/style of the part that goes into the horse's mouth. A "snaffle" describes the part of the bit that's inside the mouth. This type of bit is generally known as the least severe bit thus making it one of the more popular. The snaffle bit pictured to the right is a, "D-Ring Snaffle" because the 'rings' are shaped like the letter, D.
What Are Stirrups?
If you're dating, or married to a horse person, you may often hear them complain about having to ride with, "no stirrups". Stirrups are those metal (sometimes rubber or plastic) things that riders put their feet in. Stirrups help riders find their center of gravity and their balance. They also help riders remain light on their horse's backs so they're not bouncing around on their spine. When jumping, stirrups are especially helpful in allowing riders to really lift themselves out of the saddle (the leather thing we sit on) and give their horse all the flexibility and range of motion it needs to make it over the jump. While every rider should know how, and be able to ride without stirrups, they're very handy to have.
What Do Horseshoes Do?
Assuming that you know what a horseshoe looks like, it's also important to understand what they do. No all horses need to have shoes on. The shoes are usually used for one of two things. First, to correct a problem with a horse's hooves (i.e. their feet). Shoes can be used to promote healthy hoof growth and correct any skeletal or muscular issues the horse may have due to poor natural hooves. The second reason horseshoes are used has to do with competition. Competition, or any kind of consistent, strenuous work can be stressful on the horse's legs and feet. Horseshoes can help add an extra layer of strength and defense for the horse's feet so they can continue working without injury. Horseshoes also have small holes with indents that look like they're meant for a screw. Many riders who compete on grassy surfaces or ride on slippery surfaces will screw in pointed metal bits (these are called "studs") to help with grip. These studs essentially turn horseshoes into horse cleats.
Now you're just about an expert on the three pieces of horse equipment that are used most commonly in our Caracol Silver equestrian-inspired jewelry.