Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Do Wednesday: Bit Warmers


Another Wednesday, another day of me asking my readers What Do!

This will be an incredibly short post, since I apparently cannot human today. I had several ideas for other topics, but never got around to typing the posts, so this one will do.

For me, here in the "north", in Ohio, it can get pretttty cold. Like so cold. Not Canada cold, but still freeze your face, hurt your lungs, destroy your toes, cold. Last night the windchill was about 8*, but in the barn it was a balmy 23*. STILL COLD, but doable in the ways of riding. Even when I lived in MO, sometimes it got even colder, which is perplexing.

Be it that its the friggin arctic, I've constantly run into the problem of frozen bits.

And cold saddle. But thats another topic.

It has been a constant battle for me on how to warm the bit so it doesn't burn the shit out of my horses' mouths, but I had never really found a great way to do that until now.

I had tried everything. Putting the bridle in my jacket, setting it in warm water (if you can even find warm water), warming it up with my hands and breath (NO), and setting it on the tack room heater (the opposite of cold- BURNING hot), to name a few.

Nothing has really worked for me until I saw this handy little guy on Riding Warehouse over Christmas. 

Sorry such shitty quality

Essentially, it's a little pouch that wraps around your bit & is insulated. 

I've used it a few times now and I've decided I REALLY like this guy. The catch is that you have to "power" it with hand warmers, and if you forget to open them about 15 minutes before you need to warm the bit, this product doesn't work.

However, I've taken to leaving the hand warmers in my car, opening them on my drive to the barn, and by the time I get there, its nice and toasty. Then, you just stick it in the Bitten pouch and velcro it around your bit. BOOM. Perfectly warm in ten minutes.

Then, I take the hand warmer out and put it in my hoodie pocket while I'm riding for emergency hand warming. It amazing. 

Its like a two-in-one type deal and I'm in love. A few more steps/hassle than most people might like, but it gets the bit the PERFECT temp and then I use the hand warmer to keep  my hands toasty during my ride/untacking. I'm sold. 

So, this brings me to my question (for those of you that deal with it), how do you warm up your bits? What do?! Feed me your secrets, I must know.

Also sidenote, I got "bridle tags" (wine glass tags really) off etsy for my bridles and breastplates and for less than $5/tag, I think they're ADORABLE and perfect. Bonus deal. 


16 comments:

  1. I bought that bit warmer too! I just haven't had a chance to use it yet, since pretty much as soon as I ordered it Texas decided we were gonna go back into the 70's and 80's and stay there. I'm ok with that.

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  2. I live in Texas, therefore this is not a problem.

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  3. I am a total cheater and have a mini, fold up, travel sized hair dryer that I use to warm up my bits. And also my hands when they are frozen. It blows hella heat really fast. It is from probably the 80's and got it for a dollar at the Goodwill.

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  4. I'm all about the breath and rubbing violently between your hands for friction heat. I'm not afraid to go the armpit route either. #oldschool

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  5. generally i leave my bridle in our heated (!!!) tack room right up until i put it on the horse, avoiding it getting cold at all. when we travel to lessons we'll keep the bridles in the warm cab of the truck for the same purpose. this weekend tho we're going to a show on what promises to be the coldest day so far of the year (wtfffff) and i'm not totally sure how we'll do. probably will keep the bridle inside my jacket and then get an assist from hand warmers?

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    1. I do this method, plus a quick apology if it's cold.

      When I didn't have a heated tack room, I'd hold it in my hands for a while. I have kick ass circulation, so that was ok too.

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    2. Seriously, heated tack room for the win! It suits my laziness so much. Otherwise I always did the hand rubbing blowing thing which may or may not have been effective.

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  6. There's a similar bit warmer with rice encased in it, so you can chuck it in the microwave for a few seconds and not constantly buy hand warmers! When I need one I will probably go that route.

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  7. I used to have an electric tea kettle that I would use to warm water for soaking alfalfa cubes or doing a mash - but then once that horse left (a foster) I basically just kept using it to heat up water and poor over the bit before rising. Now at my current barn there's a sink with hot water in the barn so I just run the bit under that for a second. Never had a problem with it getting too hot since it usually starts it pretty darn cold!

    I'm certainly not above the armpit method in case of emergency though! I would totally forget to heat up the hand warmers every time... I have seen a similar version of that bit warmer but I plugs into an outlet to get warm. That one has always intrigued me!

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  8. I leave my car on when I pull up to the barn, turn the blower to the defrost setting, and toss my bit on the car dashboard while I go catch my horse. Then I turn my car off. It warms the bit up just enough (although it's made my gas mileage go down slightly)!

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    1. Same here. If it's sunny, the dashboard will act like a little bit oven. Thankfully here in NC we don't need bit warming too often.

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  10. I, a relatively northern Canadian, love the bit blanket - it's an electric bit warmer. Just plug it in and it has my bit toasty by the time I've tacked up.

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  11. I got a mini crockpot at goodwill that I plug in and just lay the bit inside for 10 min while I put on the saddle.

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  12. Mini crockpot is a great idea! I was going to go for the rice bag one that you microwave but my tackroom is semi-heated and doesn't get very cold

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  13. I just keep mine inside my house since I have my horses at home lol. I'm glad you found something that works!

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