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The components for Abbey bits are manufactured from castings using the "lost wax" technique that produces a much finer detail and finish than the traditional sand cast steel. Where unusual parts are required they are fabricated by hand in our workshops using high quality steel bar.
Stainless Steel is considered to be a "Cold" metal for the horse but this is frequently outweighed by its other properties of strength, durability and low maintenance. Copper is a "warm metal that encourages salivation in many horses. For this reason it has been incorporated into a number of alloys used to make bits. However, it is not a strong metal to use in isolation except in certain circumstances. A number of abbey bits are available with copper either as an entire mouthpiece, as rollers or as an insert in a stainless steel mouth. This latter option provides the positive qualities of copper with the strength of steel on the load bearing areas.
Fused Copper / Steel Joint
Copper links can also be used to provide copper content in a bit. The link still has a stainless insert where it joins the mouthpiece to provide strength on the load bearing area.
Copper French Link
Copper Rollers provide a third way of incorporating the metal into a stainless bit. These can be the large Cherry Rollers, flat Rollers or built into a link:
Copper Ball Link
Iron or Sweet Metal is another finish enjoying a resurgence in popularity. This traditional material produces a "sweet" taste to the horse and, before stainless steel, was a common material in bit manufacture. However, it loses out cosmetically as a rusty bit does not seem very appealing to the buyer. Like copper, iron can now be inserted into a stainless bit to produce a combination of strength and "sweetness" for the horse.
Sweet Iron Insert
Vulcanite is a hard plastic type material giving a firm but "warm" feel. It is also normally quite thick so that the effect is to produce a gentle bit in a firm material built over a metal bar for strength.
Rubber produces a similar effect to Vulcanite but has a softer feel. It can, also, be used to make flexible bits by moulding it over a strong steel chain rather than a solid metal bar.
Both Vulcanite and Rubber can be produced in Mullen or Jointed mouths or with French links to modify the nutcracker action of the joint. The maximum size of a rubber or vulcanite bit is currently 6 inches (15cm).
Curb Chains are supplied with all bits requiring them: Pelhams and Driving Bits. Chains supplied are normally Nickel plated steel but Stainless Steel is available on request. Single chains are available in pony, cob and full size whilst doubles are also available in extra long. Flat Polo chains and Brass chains are available at extra cost.
Single Link Curb Chains Pony & Cob
Double Link Curb Chains Pony, Cob, Full and Extra Large
Polo Curb Chain
Brass Curb Chain
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