For more than a decade, two-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi has been working with Professional’s Choice to develop a line of hand-crafted bits that are effective for a variety of horses and riders. The line consists of an assortment of shank bits, hackamores, and combinations that she has had success with in her own career. BHN takes a dive into a few of the bits in the line and why Brittany chooses them for certain horses.
The Lifter Series
The Lifter Series comes in two different shank lengths: 6 1/2in and 8 1/4in. This is Tonozzi’s go-to bit, especially when she gets on a horse she doesn’t know.
“It goes on everything first,” Brittany said. “When I pull my young horses out of an O-ring, I start here.”
Tonozzi has so much faith and affinity for the Lifter Series that her entire crew from Sixth Vision (“Stitch”), Yeah Hes Firen (“Duke”), Ima Famous Babe (“Katniss”) and Babe On The Chase (“Birdie”) have all ran in it. This bit is designed to help the rider pick up the shoulder going into the turn and then also bring the horse around on the backside. It provides a good amount of elevation of the horse’s front end, while engaging the back end around the turn. If the rider is having trouble getting their horse to gather for the barrel, this is the perfect bit to assist. Every mouthpiece that the Brittany Pozzi Collection offers is available in the Lifter Series, even two new mouthpieces, the lifesaver and the mullen.
“I love the feel that our mullen has. It is not harsh at all, but it helps me so much to bring a finished horse around straight and keep them running to the next barrel,” Tonozzi said.
The other mouthpieces she prefers include the twisted wire three-piece dog bone and the two-piece smooth.
Brittany’s favorite bit in the line is her hackamore, which comes in three different shank lengths: 8, 7 1/4, or 6 1/2 inches.
“I have ridden two different horses, Sixth Vison and Yeah Hes Firen, to world titles using this hackamore,” Tonozzi said. “The hackamore is great for a horse that needs a small bit of guiding around the turn or one that does not like a bit in its mouth.”
The unique side-pull action of the swivel shank makes it easy for a horse to work without the rider getting in its way, while still providing the rider a small amount of lift. The rubber-covered metal nose piece provides great balance on the horse’s nose and more control for those long runs to the barrel. Tonozzi pulls this bit out of her tack room when she needs to stiffen up an overly round horse or when she is about to make a run in a big pen and needs a little bit more control.
The Long Gag Series
The Long Gag is an 8-inch cheek, which gives the rider leverage when needed. The travel of the cheek not only provides excellent shoulder lift but also collection. One of the newest Professional’s Choice bits, Tonozzi originally created it as a competition bit for her National Finals Rodeo mare Steele Magnolias (“Steeley”) but uses it primarily as a warm up bit on Birdie. It helps Brittany to achieve a lot of lateral movement and keeps her horses responsive. The Long Gag comes in four different mouthpiece options—a smooth two-piece, a twisted wire two-piece, a three-piece smooth lifesaver, and a three-piece twisted wire lifesaver.
Other bits in Brittany’s collection include an O-ring snaffle, two different combinations, and a traditional gag series. You can learn more about each of these bits from Tonozzi herself on Professional’s Choice YouTube Page and view the entire collection at NRSWORLD.com.