Horse Bit from Mali

This narrow iron bit from Mali is made by the Bamana people. The size suggests that the horse was very small, possibly a donkey.

It is a very old style bit dating back to designs used hundreds of years ago.

The central ‘cathedral’ so termed by bit makers in the USA rest on the roof bars of the mouth.

When the shanks are touched the cathedral hits the mouth roof and the horse stops. They are severe in the wrong hands, but then so are most bits. There is some decoration on the top of the shank.

Size 3” 7.5 cm width, 4 1/4” (11 cm) shank, metal chain link 15” (58 cm) for attachment to the reins.

Provenance: purchased from Harvey Derrien by Private collector 1990’s approx value £30