Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Fix a Squeaky Bit

Bits with hinged cheek pieces, such as D-rings, full cheeks and eggbutts, can develop a squeak over time. While the squeakiness doesn't interfere with the action of the bit, the sound made as the horse chews the bit can be annoying, while also potentially bringing attention at shows to a horse who over-chews the bit.

Because the bit cheeks come into such close contact with the horse's mouth, especially when a lot of saliva is produced, using a lubricant that isn't food-grade is a risk. Thankfully, there is an inexpensive food-grade solution that should help in most cases, and you likely already have it in your feed room or kitchen.

The simplest solution is to place a drop of vegetable oil (I have had great success with canola oil, but other common vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, etc., should also work) on each gap in the hinge. The oil will spread quickly, so it's important to move the hinge back and forth to work each drop of oil in before it drips off the bit. Repeat this for each gap, and then hang up the bridle to allow the oil some time to spread through the entire hinge before riding.

If this method doesn't stop the squeaking, it might be necessary to leave the bit to soak in a dish of your chosen vegetable oil so that the oil can penetrate more deeply.

If your bit resumes squeaking after some time, simply repeat the oiling process as needed.


  1. A good tip! I like using butcher block oil - it's food grade and lighter than vegetable oils and I don't worry about it getting "gunky."

    1. That's a great suggestion, RuckusButt! For anyone looking to use something that isn't itself a food product, I still recommend checking into the ingredients first to make sure that there isn't anything that needs to dry or set first before being deemed safe for ingestion or skin contact.

  2. You can also add corrosion removing agents, brushing it with a steel brush and putting oil on it to remove the squeaking sound.