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The Complete Book of Bits and Biting [Hardcover]

Elwyn Hartley Edwards , Elwyn Hartley Edwards
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 2000
Gives details of every known bit in the world, with photographs and working diagrams to show how each group works. Covering everything from the simple snaffle to the western bosal, it is international in content and approach. Edwards provides an insight into the history of the bit and explores the latest developments in design and manufacturing.

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Product Description

From Booklist

More advanced aspects of horsemanship and horse care are explored in this new book. The bit--that part of a horse's bridle that fits into the mouth--is an essential part of the equipment used to control a horse. Beginning with a history of bits and bitting theory, well-illustrated with photos of period illustrated pottery, friezes, and etchings, the text moves on to discuss the principles and mechanics of the bit and its relation to the other riding aids. The meat of the book is its descriptions of the various bits, starting from the simple snaffle and all of its derivatives through double bridles, pelhams, and bitless bridles. This beautifully illustrated book may seem esoteric, but it is full of practical advice and will be a welcome addition to libraries well frequented by horsey folk. Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Elwyn Hartley Edwards is one of the most distinguished writers of the past twenty-five years, with some thirty authoritative books to his credit. A practical horseman of long and varied experience, he is an expert on equine conformation and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of horse and pony breeds. He teaches and lectures regularly all over the world, and is acknowledged as an international authority on saddlery and bitting. He was editor of Riding magazine for eighteen years, and then for five years consultant editor of Horse & Hound. He received the BHS Award of Merit in 1993. Elwyn lives near Pwllheli, North Wales. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book Ruined by the Commentary March 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
I rated this book with 2 stars because the illustrations are many and clear. Unfortunately, this pompous author ruins what could have been a very educational book (wasn't this the purpose? And if not should this not have been the purpose?) by adding his own negative and sarcastic comments about equipment that he personally deems inappropriate. It was shocking to me. Particularly so when a young equestrian student of mine, enthusiastic to learn as much as he can about our sport, was disappointed and saddened by author's pointless remarks - commenting that the author 'sounded angry'. To Amazon and the publisher I would say - I'd like my money back but I don't think the book is worth the postage to return it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough Study of the Subject March 15 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a very thorough study of bits and their application. It covers the history of the bit and theory behind its use. Rein effects are clearly and concisely explained (easier to demonstrate than to write about) and the horse's anatomy regarding the cause and effect of bit/bridle pressure is illustrated brilliantly to help the rider understand the effect of proper cues on the entire horse.

The book emphasizes proper application of all riding cues, specifically how the bit reinforces information already relayed to the horse through the seat and legs.

The illustrations are very well done and complement the book nicely.

This book could benefit the beginner, but it is so thorough that it really fits into the intermediate skill level. The depth of information could easily overwhelm a beginning rider who is still struggling with basic skills.

My assessment of the author's writing is that it is witty and at points humorous, in the dry manner of which the British are famous. I never felt the author was pompous or "angry sounding." It seemed to me the author is a true expert in this field and was laying out the information including his "expert opinion." I appreciated his opinions and felt the book would not have been nearly as informative without them.

I almost did not buy this book based on the previous reviewer's comments. I'm glad that I bought it and once I started reading it, I found it flowed smoothly from cover to cover. My knowledge and skills are the better for it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For the Novice and the Experienced Rider" Sept. 2 2006
By Cathy A. Kedzierski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
....since getting back into riding the English discipline after a break that lasted quite a few years, I was surprised when I discovered just how much technical information had slipped my mind. Since the art of bitting was at the top of my list for my about-to-be new horse, I eagerly awaited its arrival and was not disappointed. The book opens with a chapter about the evolution of the bit, then concisely describes the many bits, the variations thereof, how they feel to the horse and how to determine the best choice for your equine companion. This information far exceeded the expectations I had when I first submitted my order. Bits & Bitting helped to re-acquaint me with this very important piece of tack! The pages speak to the novice in laymans terms and also to the experienced rider that may be looking to change his or her horse's bit.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for aspiring horse professionals. July 23 2006
By Squire Prunesqualler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book with the hopes in mind to learn about the different types of bits. I didn't just want to know what they were called, but also what purpose they served. I felt that this book was a good start to my understanding bitting. I found the author, Elwyn Hartley Edwards, to be absoutely entertaining with his side comments; he stated his opinions, but without taking away from the facts, which is something one must admire with his British humor.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference material! July 31 2007
By Dogs & Horses - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
FINALLY a complete look at horse bits and practices from the beginning of horsemanship through today. A necessary book for every serious horse person's library - this is one we will come back to again and again I'm sure. Includes excellent photos and diagrams of the different bits and hackamores et al with explanations of how and WHY each piece works. While the author does have some disapproving tones at times, so what? It's his book and thus his voice after all. As long as the information is accurate and clearly given that is all the matters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to learn about bits, start here March 21 2013
By Lee Scozzare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing it listed as a reference source in another book on bits. Although it is a slightly older book in terms of when it was published, it is no-less informative.

The illustrations are straight forward and easy to understand.

The author definitely has an opinion that he isn't timid about expressing- but if you are a knowledgeable horseperson I think you would agree with him on most points.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning more about bits and their various accessories- bridles, martingales, reins- etc.
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