A lifetime horseback
A lifetime horseback—from ranch cowboy to colt starter to performance horse trainer—teaches you a lot about equipment, including what works;
what to avoid; and, most important for Jim Edwards, what’s best for the horse
Jim came by bitmaking naturally. He learned from watching his father repair his own gear and build his own equipment out of necessity when working on remote ranches in New Mexico and West Texas.
Jim’s cowboy education continued as he worked cattle and trained horses in early adulthood, when he began to question conventional bridle bits and how horses reacted to them.
Bitmaking started as a lucrative side hustle, but as Jim honed his craft, it became his passion.
Jim moved from focusing on the cattle business when he and his wife and two sons settled in Blum, Texas, in 1992. Instead, Jim began developing his own bit designs for horsemen and horsewomen competing in the performance arena, mainly reining, working cow horse, and cutting.
Wanting to improve all horses’ experiences with bits, Jim moved into developing bits for the barrel racing and roping arenas, too.
The difference in Jim’s bits comes from his appreciation for his horses.
Jim believes conventional bits can lead a horse to become reactive instead of thinking.
To Jim, tongue pressure, pain in the horse’s mouth, and inconsistencies in the rider’s hands can trigger an array of protective responses from the horse, which over time become bad habits and inhibit the horse’s natural abilities.
Jim’s ever-growing understanding of how a horse thinks allows him to dedicate himself to improving communication and horsemanship and has shaped his bitmaking philosophies.
Jim’s perspective has influenced countless horsemen and -women, including top trainers of reiners, cow horses, cutters, and Western pleasure horses, plus leading barrel racers and ropers.
Jim Edwards Bits is a family operation and includes his wife, Elaine, and son Austin.
All Jim Edwards Bits are produced in the small shop next to their family home. Find Jim’s bits here on his website and at select equine events, where Jim often has multiple bridles set up to discuss with customers and share his knowledge. Be sure to stop by and see him—you’ll learn a thing or two from this bitmaker who prides himself on putting what’s best for the horse first.