“I live and breathe horses”… Jodie Hooks, MD of bitting retailer Horse Bit Bank, explains why

Jodie Hooks, MD of UK-based bitting retailer The Horse Bit Bank, has a long history in equestrianism that is illuminated in her extensive bitting knowledge. Here, we ask Jodie some questions about her horsey life:

Tell us about the history of retailer The Horse Bit Bank, and how you came to set it up.

“I live and breathe horses…”

I set up the Horse Bit Bank in 2009, to address what I saw as a real demand.

I live and breathe horses, and over the years it became more and more clear that getting your bitting right is so important to having a happy horse and rider combination.

Riders have a greater awareness of mouth confirmation and that one style of bit doesn’t fit all horses.

The research into the impact of the different bit styles and designs on horses has also advanced so much while I’ve been working with horses.

I wanted to give people a place where they could learn and explore what works best for their horse.

I offer free advice, pioneering brands including Bombers Bits, and the chance for owners to try before they buy.

You have been working with Bombers Bits distributor Equine Management for many years – does your bitting and business ethos align with MD Stephen Biddlecombe’s?

“Stephen Biddlecombe delivers amazing, personal service to his retail customers…”

I think the relationship with Equine Management works because of Stephen’s approach to his business. He has so much knowledge, keeps a close eye on the latest research and innovations, and delivers amazing, personal service to his retail customers, to ensure they get the right product for their horses.

That mirrors my approach with The Horse Bit Bank, making sure I’m up to speed with veterinary research into bitting, looking at what the bit brands are up to, and then feeding that back to my customers. Stephen’s a real treasure trove of information about Bombers Bits, and you’ll often find me bending his ear on the phone about them!

Jodie, you’re involved in the showing community and own Papaver Dior, recent Reserve Supreme Champion at CHAPS – can you tell us how long you’ve been involved in showing, and why you love it? Are coloured horses your passion?

I’ve been showing my homebred horses for 11 years now, from youngsters in-hand, through to ridden horses, I also have a couple of eventers too. I love showing because as a breeder, you’re promoting your breeding lines, it’s a great education for them.

I’ve always had a soft spot for coloureds, they stand out and attract attention; just what a show horse should do, but the colour is only ever a bonus.

What are your top selling or favourite Bombers bits? 

I have two favourite bits: The Bombers ported barrel loose ring – a medium port offering tongue relief, whilst combining independent side movement for more feel and response.

And for the dressage riders, I love the DC Dressage happy tongue swivel – unlike traditional solid ports, this combines a swivel cheekpiece and rotating mouthpiece, which releases a lot of pressure points, and encourages a soft relaxed contact.

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