“It definitely looks different,” says National Reining Horse Association All-Time Leading Rider, Tim McQuay, when asked about the new Whisper Bit. He adds, “But it works!”
The revolutionary design of the Whisper Bit features a mouthpiece made of firm but pliable plastic. It comes in long and short aluminum shanks, as well as a D-Ring snaffle. Not only does this bit look different, the feel is unusual, as well. The plastic does not pick up cold like traditional mouthpieces and horses seem to prefer the less intimidating surface.
Tim and his wife, Colleen, designed the bit, so they and their staff were the first to use it. The positive results came quickly, as Assistant Trainer Jared LeClair won the 2004 All American Quarter Horse Congress Intermediate Open Championship on Wowsinic with one.
A multiple hunter and jumper world champion in American Quarter Horse Association and United States Equestrian Federation competition, Colleen McQuay noted, “One of the things we’ve learned about using similar bits in the English world is the different level of feel that some horses prefer. This bit makes hands safer, and horses more confident”.
Tim McQuay added, “Transferring that to reining, fencing maneuvers are difficult. Even the best riders and trainers may have heavy or quick hands. In the early stages of teaching a horse to fence, this bit helps keep a trainer’s hands safe.”
He continued, “Doing quick maneuvers may startle a horse. This bit allows us as trainers, to manipulate a horse without offending him or making the horse’s mouth sore. It helps the horse focus on the maneuver instead of the bit.”
According to the McQuays, this bit can be used for either schooling or showing. “With some horses, we’ll school in a different bit, then use the whisper bit in the show ring to smooth out maneuvers. Or it can be used to prepare a horse, especially for an amateur or youth rider, to protect the horse from being over-schooled before the horse is shown in a regular bit.”
Colleen noted, “The type of bit needed depends on the horse. There is a need for this type of bit for horses having mouths that are too sensitive for a regular bit. This bit protects a horse. It is a safe-hands bit and the D-Ring Snaffle version is great for starting young horses or for maintenance.”
Although the Whisper Bit mouthpiece will eventually show signs of wear and can be replaced at a nominal fee, it takes a lot of use. Colleen said, “I don’t think the average person will wear out this bit. If you’re schooling and showing in it every day, the mouthpiece may show some wear and tear, but the average person will not be able to wear out the bit.”
Along with McQuays, other top professionals have been singing the praises of the Whisper Bit. Renowned trainer Brent Loseke says he “uses it on everything on the place, and they all work great in it!” Loseke’s Colt Company, located at Green Valley Ranch in Aubrey, Texas, is known for starting top prospects that go on to greatness.
On the other end of the spectrum, legendary barrel racer Charmayne James is also a fan of the Whisper Bit. “It works on so many horses,” noted the 11-Time Women's Pro Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer. “It doesn’t slow them down, but does allow you to guide and is very forgiving of your hands.”
For information on the Whisper Bit, visit the web site at www.whisperbit.com or call 580-759-2572.