World Champion Header Clay Smith's Go-To Bit

This month’s favorite bit: Clay Smith’s Gordy Alderson bit.

“It has enough weight to where I don’t really have to pull [while] scoring or anything like that. I don’t need to pull as much in the box. It’s also enough bit to where, if I use it, it can be a lot. If I want to use that bit, I can, but I really don’t ever have to use it. I’ve corrected [my horse, Marty,] in that bit from wanting to be a little fast out of the box. It really worked … he was way freer than he’s ever been.”

— Clay Smith, Two-Time World Champion 

“When they’re up over the bridle where they’re supposed to be, they have three quarters of an inch on their bars. If they break at the pole and lift their shoulders, they get back flat to that comfortable spot. When they do the right stuff, it promotes them getting back to where the bit’s more comfortable getting on their left hind leg and lifting their shoulders. It’s not going to make them ring their tail and open their mouths. It’s a real good swept-back shank so it’s got a lot of weight and you can get a good signal. It’s not a super fast reaction, but a quick release. I make the same bit in the hinge port.”

—Gordy Alderson,, $350

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