Donated Snaffle Bits Delivered to India

Friends of Marwari/Kathiawari Horse UK announced the first successful delivery of over 80 snaffle bits to India. The bits had been donated by horse lovers from all over the United Kingdom specifically for the welfare of Indigenous Indian horses. These bits were given to influential Indian horse breeders, professional traders, riders, and individual owners of horses, mostly of the Marwari and Kathiawari breeds.

Friends of Marwari/Kathiawari Horse UK (FOMHUK) was formed in 2008 to promote the welfare and help bring worldwide awareness of Marwari and Kathiawari horses. These unique breeds can only be found in the desert regions of India and are distinguished by their curly touching ears.

Crude Indian Bit

An example of a crude "snaffle" bit.

Bit receiver

A happy recipient of some donated snaffle bits

Many of these majestic horses are ridden in severe locally made "snaffle" bits that are commonly used in India. The bits are often crudely filed, with sharp shapes on the mouthpiece (spikes and rowels) and as such cause immense suffering and injury to the animal. It is often a lack of education or knowledge on the part of the owner that causes them to use these cruel bits.

Five FOMHUK members flew out to India on March 2 on this vital mission. The self-funded team travelled by horse safari from just outside Jodhpur heading South West, down the Luni river some 250kms to reach the biblical scene at Balotra, the largest horse fair held in Rajasthan. The team was the only westerners at the Fair. They were guided and greatly assisted by the active involvement of Rawal Devendra Singh Nawalgarh, a major breeder and Rajasthan representative for the Indigenous Horse Society of India and his friend Thakur Durga Singh Mandawa. The team's thanks go to them for their enthusiasm in promoting the benefits of the scheme to the people at the fair.

At the fair, the team found a very receptive audience amongst the locals and created quite a gathering each time bits were being donated. There was much explanation of the benefits of a kinder bit to the horses' mouth. Locals were encouraged to exchange a number of the more severe and crude locally made bits for the kinder UK-donated snaffle bits.

One professional rider at the fair said (translated from Hindi), "Of course we will use these bits, we can only use what is available to us and we have never seen these types of Bit before, I understand that they are kinder to the horses mouth."

"We are extremely pleased with the reaction in India and could not have asked for a better response," said Chairman Caroline Moorey. "It was far more than we could have hoped for, they really took the idea on, and understood our aims, saying it was a truly inspired idea."

Regarding those who donated the Bits, Moorey said "We have to thank the UK public who have been so encouraging and generous, the beauty of the Bit Donation Scheme is its simplicity; people in the UK can actively help by donating their unwanted snaffles without it costing them a penny."

"It really was a momentous moment being in at the start of what is an excellent project, and quite emotional handing over the bits at the fair knowing that each horse would benefit immediately from our efforts," commented  team member Sue Whiting. FOMHUK requests that UK horse lovers keep collecting and donating their surplus bits sized between four to five inches wide. They are also looking for future funding of the two shipments each year which are planned to take place to coincide with the major horse fairs of Rajasthan.

A list of Bit Donation boxes and collection sites throughout the UK can be found on the website: Or by emailing for details. Membership and further details of the Bit Donation Scheme can be found on the website news page, with pictures of them being distributed available on the website photo gallery.

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