My Collection: Custom Bits

H&R Editor Chelsea Shaffer's custom bit collection.

H&R Editor Chelsea Shaffer’s custom bit collection. Nichole Chirico

The Collector
H&R Editor Chelsea Shaffer, Fort Lupton,Colorado

The Collection

When Shaffer met her horseman husband, Tory, back in 2013, he seemed to have it all, which made buying holiday, birthday, and anniversary presents a chore.

She solved the problem by ordering him a custom bit carrying his T-Chair brand for his birthday the next year, and the tradition stuck. Now, for every occasion, Shaffer buys her husband a bit, so in the six years they’ve been together, that collection has grown significantly.

“The best part about this tradition is that I usually get as much use out of each bit as he does,” Shaffer said. “I try to make sure I buy him bits of every variety, alternating between O-ring snaffles with good weight to them and shank bits with ports, because we ride horses with every different kind of feel.”

Their collection includes bits from Dutton, Kerry Kelley, Skyline, Randy Reid, Dennis Moreland, and Mad Cow Company, and for most holidays a headstall and reins accompany the bit.

“We’re sort of hoarders when it comes to bits and bridles at our house,” Shaffer added. “We’re not the type who will stop using a bit on one horse then turn around and sell it on the internet. We love trying new bits and exploring their mechanics.” 

[READ: Bob Avila’s Must Have Bits]

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