Bridle bit

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From Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Bridle bit.
© National Museums Scotland

Bridle bit

A bridle bit is used to control a horse. This iron example was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It dates from between 140 and 180 AD.

The bit is unusually well preserved. It is a type known as a curb bit. The projecting bar fits in the horse's mouth while the straight bar fits under its chin. The reins attach to the loops at the side.

The Romans used several types of horse bits. Some were used for riding, some for pulling carts and wagons, while some others could serve both purposes.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-052-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 497
Date: Between 140 and 180 AD
Material: Iron
What: Bit, curb
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Roman curb bit of iron, from Newstead
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