The Safest Way to Attach a Bit to a Headstall

If you’re shopping for a new headstall be sure to consider the way the bit ends of the headstall are designed. The bit ends are the pieces of leather that slide through the top rings in the bit to hold the bit on the headstall. You may be wondering what difference it could make but of the 3 common attachment types: tie strings, screw conchos (Chicago screws) and slot conchos, the slot concho is considerably safer than the other two. Chicago screws and tie strings are much more likely than slot conchos to come unscrewed or untied causing your headstall to fall off your horse.

A slot concho is a round concho like most others but instead of being attached with a screw it is attached with a 3/8 inch leather tie string. The tie string is bled (braided) on the slot concho. Although slot conchos are easy to attach or remove it may seem difficult at first. Follow along on the video to see how quick and easy it is to attach a bit to a headstall with slot conchos.

To remove a slot concho from a headstall:

  1. Rub saddle soap on the tie string to help it slide.
  2. Pull both leather tie string ends upward so you can work from underneath (the bottom of) the string ends.
  3. Slide a fid or small screw driver between the strings and pull the bottom string through the slit in the top string. Use needle nose pliers to pull the string the remainder of the way out.
  4. To untie the 2nd bleed in the string pull the string ends upward again and repeat step 3.
  5. Remove the slot concho. Pull the tails of the string loose from the outer side of headstall bit end.

To attach a slot concho to a headstall:

  1. Position the bit on the headstall and thread the tie string ends through the holes in the bit end of headstall. Pull the strings down snug.
  2. Slide the concho down the string ends.
  3. Pull both tie string ends upward.
  4. Always work from bottom to top. Open the slit in the top tie string end with an awl or screwdriver.
  5. Slide the bottom string through the slit in the top string. Pull the string ends down snug.
  6. Lift the string ends and again place bottom string through the hole in the top string. Pull tight and smooth the strings down. Your slot concho is attached.

Because of the safety factor I’m a firm believer in using slot conchos to attach bits to headstalls I make all of my headstalls available with slot conchos. They are safe and beautiful. Even my headstalls with silver buckle sets are available with matching silver slot conchos. Although I offer tie strings and screw conchos as options when you purchase any of my handmade headstalls I recommend you consider using slot conchos. If you have any questions please call or text me at 817-312-5305 or write to me at [email protected].

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