Misty Mountain Bit award

Greg Dutton, second from left, accepts a ceremonial check representing the seed capital matching grant funding approved for Misty Mountain Bit, from Jonathan Belcher, second from right, VCEDA executive director. Also on hand were Mitzi Sykes, left, Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority director; left; and Tim Blankenbecler, right, of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College.

When it comes to horses, Greg Dutton of McClure knows a lot about them and what it takes to get them moving. The right bit can make the difference and the bits he manufactures and sells through Misty Mountain Bit LLC are already sold globally.

Pressure is used to control the horse’s speed and direction of movement. But the bit used to do so is influenced by several factors, including the style of riding, the rider’s ability, the level of the horse’s training and the intended use of the horse.

Dutton manufactures several varieties of bits from his McClure location which he then sells online using his website, social media and from a mobile trailer he takes to various horse show events.

His new business was recently approved for a $10,000 seed capital matching grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority.

The business was established in February when Dutton purchased the equipment and inventory of Grissom Bits which its prior owner decided to sell.

“VCEDA was pleased to help Greg with a seed capital matching grant allowing him to continue to grow his new business,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “He is using the funds to complete construction of a shop near his home which he has indicated will allow him to produce larger amounts of product to meet demand and in the process to potentially hire additional employees.”

Dutton worked with Tim Blankenbecler, of the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College, in the development of his business plan and application to VCEDA.

Misty Mountain Bit, LLC is currently the only American-made gaited horse bit company.

“The seed capital grant has allowed me to work on completing the shop,” Dutton said. “That will increase capacity and the ability to produce the bits as the business grows. Misty Mountain sells the bits all over the U.S. and in foreign countries too. We recently sold some bits in Israel and Pakistan.”

The bits made locally at his shop are designed from stainless steel rods. The only parts of the bit he does not make are the rope and chain in those bits which feature rope or chain.

Dutton, his wife, Amanda; their daughter, Alexa; and son, Blaine have competed in horse shows through the years. They currently have 16 horses.

“The right bit will change a horse,” Dutton said, noting bits make a difference in the performance of a horse – whether it’s a show horse or a work horse.

More information about the business may be found on the website at www.mistymountainbit.com or on the Misty Mountain Bit Facebook page.