Why Oxidization in a Sweet Iron Bit is Good for Your Horse


Love to see your horse wearing lipstick? Try a Bombers Sweet Iron bit!

Have you seen bright blue bits and wondered what makes them blue? The blue is the recognizable mark of a Bombers Sweet Iron bit! When heat is applied to sweet iron, it turns blue, and it’s used to coat stainless steel bits to cover any metallic taste.

A reaction called oxidization occurs between sweet iron, saliva, and oxygen. The oxidization process creates a layer of brown-gray rust on the bit. No need to worry! The rust layer produces a sweet flavor for the horses and may provide a tingly feeling in their mouth. Sweet iron bits quickly warm to the horse’s body temperature, making for a more comfortable experience, especially in cold climates. This, plus the sweet taste, encourages the horse to accept the bit and creates more saliva, producing the much-talked-about lipstick and foam while riding.

Increased saliva acts as a lubricant in the horse’s mouth, allowing the bit to sit and move more comfortably. It also encourages the horse to swallow, which may help to release tension in the jaw. 

When sweet iron comes in contact with moisture, it starts the oxidation process. Even a damp and humid environment will start the process, even when the bit isn’t in the horse’s mouth. 

Store the bit in a cool, dry spot. An ideal location is a temperature-controlled tack room. Before putting your tack away, wipe the bit off with a towel.

How to care for your sweet iron bit:

  • Wipe the bit after every ride to remove saliva buildup and remnants of snacks. (Who doesn’t love a reward snack after a good ride?)
  • Dry the bit thoroughly after washing.
  • When storing for a longer time, add a thin coat of vegetable oil to the bit to repel moisture to prevent further oxidization. 
  • If there is excessive rust on the bit, you can use a kitchen scouring pad or fine sandpaper to remove it.

Check out Dapper Horse’s selection of Bombers Bits.