One of the reasons Sweet Iron was chosen is because it has the ability to oxidize. The Sweet Iron bit is heated during production, the reaction between the heat and the metal cause a blue tint to form on the mouthpiece.
Oxidization occurs due to the reaction between the Sweet Iron metal, the horse’s saliva and oxygen. This layer of oxidization is more commonly known as rust. I know when you hear rust you think – AH! AVOID!! But this is not the case when it comes to bits, this oxidization is what gives the sweet tingly feeling in the horses mouth – naturally stimulating the saliva production. The oxidized bit has a sweet taste in the horses mouth.
The oxidization is completely harmless to your horse and is effective in encouraging salivation. Saliva acts as a lubricant, allowing the bit to move comfortably in the mouth. A horse that is salivating should also be swallowing, the horse cannot swallow and keep tension in the jaw and upper neck muscles. Saliva and the action of swallowing are linked to the parasympathetic nervous system, a horse that is salivating and swallowing is relaxed and able to learn
Salivation encourages swallowing and swallowing can result in better acceptance of the bit.
Images of oxidization:
This image shows a brand new sweet iron Bombers bit, freshly out of production! The bit is a shiny, blue bit that will oxidize and look like the image below.
This image shows a bit that has oxidized. This process can occur slowly or rapidly depending on environmental conditions, but in general the bit will start to oxidize within a few rides.
Damp and humid conditions, as well as not cleaning the bit, can increase the rate of oxidation. This is because the moisture from the environment and air can create a reaction between the metal and the oxygen in the air.
According to our recommendations, the bit should be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent excessive oxidization from occurring.