Spring finally seems to be here – good. And the end of the financial year, which means an inventory check – not so good. Somehow I acquire stuff at a much faster rate than I can catalogue or photograph it. I finally started to go through a few boxes of rusty bits & spurs that I bought some time ago & came across a few interesting bits.
The monstrosity above is a ring bit, said ring is suspended from the top of the port, and passes under the horse’s chin, acting as a very severe curb. Sometimes called a Mameluke bit, this old design probably originated in Arab cultures. The Arabs carried it south through Africa & north through Spain into Europe & the Americas. This example is handmade from steel. Such bits are, unfortunately, not uncommon – what made this one interesting was its label which read “Gambia Horse & Donkey Trust Replaced Bit”.
Of course this made me go & look up the trust – http://www.gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk. They work in a similar way to the Brooke (http://thebrooke.org), helping poor communities by helping their horses, mules and donkeys. I thought the idea of a bit exchange was brilliant.
Another exchange bit from Gambia. At least this one’s a snaffle, but made from thin ribbed steel rods used in construction
After last year’s spring clean / inventory check I sold a lot of unwanted things on Ebay & raised quite a lot of money for the Brooke. I should do the same this year but include the Gambian charity – I’ll link any listings to my Facebook page.
Another ring bit; at least someone wrapped the ring in cloth to protect the horse’s curb groove