Bridles adorned with Bombers Bits in Ilka’s tackroom. You can always spot her string wearing blue bridles.

Kirstie approached thoroughbred racehorse trainer Ilka Gansera-Leveque last year and asked her if she wouldn’t mind trialing some Bombers Bits on her string of horses. Not only is German born Ilka a successful trainer she is also a practicing equine vet. Ilka treats all of her horse’s as individuals, tailoring their fitness programme and the care her horses receive is second to none. Ilka is very open to new ideas especially if they will increase the comfort for the horse. This is when Kirstie spoke to her about Bombers.

Forelock and Load gifted Ilka a Loose Ring Bomber Blue and a Training Bomber Blue. The racing industry usually does all of the breaking in a cheeked snaffle with keys so these two new bits really were totally away from the normal. The other really interesting fact is the size. Yearlings have incredibly small mouths. The gifted bits measure 110mm (4.25″) and 115mm (4.5″) and they do almost look fit for a toy horse! Immediately the fit was noticed once in their mouths and the lightness of the material. The Bomber Blue is a nylon composite (with a steel core) and is shaped to allow maximum tongue relief for the horse. Ilka said that “the youngsters took to the bits wtih great results and we haven’t got a single one who is “funny” with their mouth.”

Ilka then added to her collection a DC Morgan, an Eggbutt Ultra Comfy Lock Up and we got a Kimberley Dee McHardy made especially for her. The listed bits are all approved by the BHA for racehorses to wear on the racecourse.

The Training Bomber Blue is probably a bit that not many of you have seen. The mouth piece is the usual Bomber Blue rubber nylon composite which allows the bit to remain very light and helps encourage salivation. The mouthpiece is ported for tongue relief and has a metal core making it a strong and robust bit.  The Cheek Piece allows for multiple rein options and the biggest positive is that you can open the rein to encourage the young horse to turn and the fixed part of the cheek piece will assist guiding the horse with the pressure gently against the face. This cheek piece also stops the bit from being pulled through the mouth.

Ilka’s horses exercising over “Racecourse Side” on the famous Newmarket Heath.
Walking to cool down after a canter.

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