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*horsiejumper*
Sep. 5, 2009, 08:07 PM
What is the softest bit? My horse is very sensitive and right now I am using a flexible soft rubber full cheek but would like something with a break in the middle. Thanks

Dirty Little Secret
Sep. 5, 2009, 08:37 PM
loose ring french link http://www.doversaddlery.com/herm-sprenger-wh-ultra-loose-ring-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01871/cn/86/

JB
Sep. 5, 2009, 08:49 PM
"Soft" is relative to the horse. For some with bigger mouths it's a nice fat but. But for the small mouth that's like trying to hold softball in your mouth and have a conversation and breathe at the same time :lol:

A thin bit isn't necessarily harsh - harsher in a large mouth, much softer in a small mouth.

So, assuming the horse doesn't have a really low palate or generally small mouth, I'd go with a D ring or full check JP French Link or JP double jointed with a bean. Very mild bits in general.

horsechick
Sep. 5, 2009, 08:51 PM
love the waterfords

jetsmom
Sep. 5, 2009, 08:54 PM
KK ultra

spmoonie
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:00 PM
Any type of bit with plain, smooth mouth piece pretty much. Whether it is broken in 1 or 2 places is really individual to the horse.

ETA: Nothing with a curb or port of course! But along the lines of a D ring, loose ring, eggbut, etc.

Burgie
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:10 PM
KK ultra

Agreed.
I use this on quite a few horses. It is fantastic.

superpony123
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:28 PM
get a nice fat bit if your horse is big mouthed. (where a thin bit would be harsh) but if your horse has a small mouth, the thinner the bit the softer it is--a big bit in a small mouth is very uncomfortable and considered harsh.

anyway, figure out the size, and get Sealtex. it's this rubbery stuff that you wrap around the bit, and it's a lot softer than the happy mouths and rubber bits. it's great for using on jointed bits (which is what youre looking for) and the horses we've used it on love it.

lesson junkie
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:37 PM
I use a Nathe dogbone for my very soft mouthed TB mare. It's not very big around, but very flexible, and soft enough to squeeze with just your fingers.

*Liz*
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:41 PM
I'm a 3rd vote for the KK ultra :yes:

Equino
Sep. 5, 2009, 09:52 PM
I'm with JB-""Soft" is relative to the horse."

I was having the same conversation with a friend the other day who couldn't understand why her trainer suggested her horse needed "more" bit, and to take him out of a french link and into a plain snaffle. The trainer didn't explain the horse actually needed a much thinner mouthpiece, and the french link was also part of a fat snaffle. Every horse reacts to bits differently depending upon their mouth. I have one gelding with big lips and low pallet. He will not tolerate any third piece bit like french-link or roller but will go in a corkscrew happy as a clam. Then I have another who goes in a thin happy mouth but HATES any fat bit. Sometimes you just gotta play around and see what works!

RugBug
Sep. 6, 2009, 02:57 AM
KK ultra

This is my horse's "harsh" bit. He goes in this when I think he's going to be a bit wound up. His regular bit that he loves is a Happy Mouth Mullen Mouth.

When I worked with a 2 year old, he HATED the KK ultra but is doing very well in the HMMM we put him in when undersaddle work began.

_downpour_
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:47 AM
Myler?

MintHillFarm
Sep. 6, 2009, 06:44 AM
Myler?


Those are what I use, either D ring or Full Check.

I am not familiar with the KK Ultra, so I will definitly check those out.

I agree the shape and size of the horse's mouth make a difference and sometimes playing around with bits till you find one you like is the way to determine what to use.

danosaur
Sep. 6, 2009, 11:28 AM
I've been told that a general rule of thumb is the more joints a bit has the softer it is.
I think that is most likely a huge generalization, but following that line of thinking a waterford would be best due to its three joints.

PNWjumper
Sep. 6, 2009, 12:10 PM
I'll chime in with the others who have said that the softness of a bit can vary A LOT from horse to horse.

For some of my horses it's my Sprenger KK D-ring bit. For others it's a mullen mouth bit of some sort. For others it's a single jointed fat loose ring bit. And for others still it's my Myler low port snaffle. For my OTTB I just recently settled on a Happy Mouth bit (http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,4323.html) that's basically 3 pieces of the happy mouth material strung onto a wire (the runner up for softest bit on his mouth was this http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=4989).

I had one horse who had a fat, low palate, and the only bit he was happy in (and believe me when I say I tried EVERYTHING else first!) was a mikmar, curved, low port combo bit. He needed the combo action (nose rope and curb strap) so that everything wasn't coming directly from his mouth.

I think you can start with a basic understanding of the horse's mouth (shape and size of the palate, shape and size of the tongue, sensitivity of the bars/horse, etc.) and take a guess from there. After that it's time to try different bits and see how they work. And as someone else mentioned, you can always take Sealtex and wrap the bit you have now to see if that makes it more acceptable to the horse.

Good luck!

Cloverbarley
Sep. 6, 2009, 05:21 PM
Oh gosh I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here and totally agree with the others who said Sprenger KKs. I love these bits and apparently so do all of my horses. The favourite KK appears to be the tiny hanging cheek. The least favourite seems to be the B-ring. All of my horses are ridden in Sprengers of some description and they do seem to rather enjoy them.

goeslikestink
Sep. 6, 2009, 05:24 PM
"Soft" is relative to the horse. For some with bigger mouths it's a nice fat but. But for the small mouth that's like trying to hold softball in your mouth and have a conversation and breathe at the same time :lol:

A thin bit isn't necessarily harsh - harsher in a large mouth, much softer in a small mouth.

So, assuming the horse doesn't have a really low palate or generally small mouth, I'd go with a D ring or full check JP French Link or JP double jointed with a bean. Very mild bits in general.

echo this

and the bit is only as severe as the hands that use them

Foxtrot's
Sep. 6, 2009, 05:40 PM
I use what might be the dogbone mentioned above on these horses. A nathe, white bendy plastic, that is thinner in the middle to accommodate the tongue, but basically a mullen mouth. It has worked the best on the hot, sensitive TB type horses.

How about a hackamore with the sheepskin?

My current horse, a big WB is very sensistive, but will yard on her bit if I use both hands and just pull. Then she is not so sensitive. Independent hands and she is very trustworthy and obedient. (Helps to have a daughter who is a good rider!)

sptraining
Sep. 6, 2009, 05:47 PM
Also have to agree with the KK Ultra French Link. I've done a lot of restarting horses and have found that this type of bit works quite well with most horses. Obviously, if your horse has a small mouth, the 21mm one will be too big, but luckily they make a range of sizes. I ride almost everything in a 14mm or 16mm snaffle.

Very sensitive is quite a generalization and it's tough to say what might actually fix the problem. What does she do when you touch her mouth? Does she get behind the bit, or above it? How is she built? Is she young? Older?

And yes, the hands attached the bit also make quite a bit of difference! ;)

jetsmom
Sep. 6, 2009, 11:53 PM
While I feel that the KK Ultra is soft, some horses will not like the movement that it has due to the "bean" in the middle (especially if it's a loose ring...lots of movement.) On the other hand, some horses like them. If I have one that doesn't like the movement, then I'd say a HM shaped Mullen Mouth is very mild.

mortebella
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:08 PM
How do you judge if a horse's palate is low?

JB
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:46 PM
Peel his lips back at the corner a little and peek in there ;) If you can look into enough mouths, you'll see some where it looks like there's barely room for the tongue, let alone the tongue and a thick bit.

mortebella
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:40 PM
:lol: So it's fairly obvious in other words! If it looks like a "normal" mouth, chances are good that it is? Also, if you insert your thumb to make him open up to accept the bit and you're reaching up a pretty good ways to find it, most likely not a problem?

Alibhai's Alibar
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:08 PM
I've had good luck following this basic rule of thumb:

If the horse is very tight and tense through the neck and jaw, I like to use a bit with more movement like a KK Ultra (http://www.doversaddlery.com/herm-sprenger-kk-ultra-d-ring-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01249/cn/1459/).

With a wiggly horse who wobbles every which way, I prefer a more solid bit, like the Happy Mouth mullen (http://www.stcroixsaddlery.com/Happy_Mouth_Bits_p/mb_ers_464116.htm) or a Myler Comfort Snaffle (http://www.doversaddlery.com/myler-barrel-dee-comfort-snaffle-bit-mb-01/p/X1-01381/cn/1585/) (no hooks).

And as others have mentioned, mouth shape and palate are important things to consider when choosing the thickness of the bit. And of course, there are always exceptions to every rule of thumb :cool: