Friday, March 7, 2014

What is a Myler HBT Bit?

The infamous Myler HBT bit. Do a Google search or ask your favorite tack store and they will most likely be able to tell you what the difference is between a standard curb bit and an HBT bit. Ask them what HBT stands for... and you're bound to hear a lot of silence!

Maybe that's enough to satisfy most people's curiosity, but we don't settle for mediocre answers here at the shop.

So let's get to it - the answer you'll only find at Horse Saddle Shop...

H = Myler's designation for any bit that does not have a bushing in the shank.
B = Bob.
T = Thumb.

The HBT started off as an "MBT" or "Myler Bob Thumb". "Bob" comes from Bob Myler, the bit's designer and "thumb" was due to the purchase's short stature and resemblance to a Tom Thumb.

Since Myler's standard naming convention for bits without a shank bushing begins with an "H", when Myler designed the bit without a bushing, they had to remove the "M" and replace it with an "H". Giving us the current HBT bit.

This strict naming convention seems only to apply to bits that are handmade by the Myler family in Marshfield, MO. In recent years the Myler family has allowed companies like Toklat to manufacture their bits independently. In this case, HBT might still be found on bits using the bushing system in the shank. Bottom line - do your research and make sure you're getting the real HBT if that's what you want.

A Myler HBT bit usually has a cheek piece that measures 5" long - on the shorter side for most curb bits. The actual shank is made from rolled stainless steel making this bit more comfortable and less harsh than the straight edges of alternatives. This feature makes the HBT bit a great choice for trail rides, allowing horses to graze much more comfortably.

And if you ride with your hands the angled, short shank of an HBT bit is a great choice since it's less sensitive than a longer, straighter bit.

So there it is. The HBT demystified. Get more great info on our Help Center at

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