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AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 08:08 AM
My gelding is using an eggbutt french link snaffle. When I got him he was head tossing and I put him in a baucher french link, but I couldn't find one a 5 1/4" and the 5" was too small and the 5 1/2" was too big. I found an eggbutt french link 5 1/4" and we have been using that to a general satisfaction. He can go along without fussing. Much. I originally chose the baucher because he really needs a bit to be stable in his mouth and objects to alot of metal (mouth is small) and objects to alot of metal clanking and clacking around. The eggbutt is not too clanky. He is a horse which can open his mouth out on the trails to try to avoid the bit if he wants to run. On the trails I use a flash. I haven't been using a flash in the school because until now he seemed not to need it, and had been quiet. However, I am starting to ask him to move correctly consitently, and he can and does, but after a few minutes begins to object to the bit.

As we are progressing in his work and he is becoming stronger, and his topline is becoming stronger, I am asking him more and more to be "through" and to work with impulsion, requiring him to work from back to front. I am having a difficult time getting him to use the bit and stay on the bit consistently. He is fussing more and more, and I am really trying to be steady and quiet with my hands so that he can use the bit but the more he actually uses it correctly, the more he is fussing and tossing his head.

In my last lesson, my trainer stopped me and said "Wait, what is he doing with his tongue" as he is starting to loll his whole tongue out of his mouth, or, if he doesn't, she saw something odd. She opened his mouth and said he is curling his tongue all the way back in his mouth away from the bit.

Is this bit hurting his tongue (do bits do that) or what might be the mechanism here and what might be a solution?

Either my hands are bad, which they have never been before on horses, or he isnt' agreeing with this bit.

I know a reagular snaffle is way too nutcracker for him. He has a small jaw and looks like a low palate.

Any suggestions for a bit? He can be very strong outdoors, but right now I am thinking about his work in the school, and I am really stumped and don't know what I might do to start getting better performance from him which i know he is capable of but we seem to need something but I don't know what.

Thanks for any thoughts.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 08:49 AM
REally hping someone will comment or make an observation or suggestion.

coymackerel
Dec. 23, 2010, 08:59 AM
Can't help with why your horse is acting this way but you can get french link baucher bits in 5.25 at Mary's Tack, http://www.marystack.com/aaaaaaaait.html

alibi_18
Dec. 23, 2010, 09:09 AM
First, has your horse been checked properly by a vet for any teeth/mouth problem?

A steadier bit for your horse would be a full cheek snaffle with short keepers.
I would try a thinner mouthpiece, curvier as well and try to find one with a 'peanut' or 'lozange' french link. I would try to put it slightly higher in your horse's mouth. Yes, ill fitted bits can cause harm.

Check for allergies. What type of metal is your bit made of?
I would try to get a nickel and zinc free one. Does your horse salivate a lot or its mouth stay really dry?

Another thing, have you lunge him with side reins attached to the bit? How is your horse? If it doesn't toss his head, I would say you should consider having hands issues.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Dec. 23, 2010, 09:31 AM
Have you tried just a plain ol' loose ring snaffle? No french link, KK, or anything like that? Does the horse do it when lunged in side reins?

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:01 AM
I could have written your post a few years ago, except instead of head tossing and tongue scrunching it was flying around like an inverted emu with his jaw clenched.
My horse has a narrow bit seat, sensitive bars, a fat tongue, low palate and medium lips. He is now lovely in a dr. bristol attached correctly with the flat plate lying flat against his tongue. it IS dressage legal. Throw out all the negative BS you've heard about a dr. bristol and just try it. you may find if he likes extra stable you could use a full cheek with keepers.
I've posted the original patent for the dr. bristol on COTH, so with some searching I'm sure you can find the proof this bit is not intended to be harsh or dig into a horse's mouth.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:07 AM
Yes, a bit when in side reiins - mostly he goes behind the vertical to avoid the bit. But he keeps trying for the bit, contacting it and ducking his head again, which is the same 'fussing' I experience on him.

I will have his teeth checked. They were floated last spring. I assume he needs them again.

This is a good thought:


A steadier bit for your horse would be a full cheek snaffle with short keepers.
I would try a thinner mouthpiece, curvier as well and try to find one with a 'peanut' or 'lozange' french link. I would try to put it slightly higher in your horse's mouth. Yes, ill fitted bits can cause harm.



I will look for one of the curved snaffles which supposedly fit the conformation of the mouth better. I like the baucher better than the full cheeks, but the lozenge style french link might be good, plus the curved mouth. I will also try a curved mouth single link snaffle.

Also, I think a different metal would not be objectionable to him - he does salivate nicely when he works on the bit.

Coymakeral - thanks for that link. I will get the 5.25 french link baucher from there, that's great.

I think if I try the french link baucher, the curved snaffle and the curved french link with a lozenge thing, and different metal, I might find what will work for him.

CHT
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:31 AM
The issues make me think he has a low palate, or giant togue, so he is trying to give the bit more room. The Baucher or a KK ultra may be the best to try to give his palate more room.

Coffee
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:36 AM
Sounds like the snaffle joints may be hurting his tongue. Have you considered a mullen mouth?

Behind the 8 Ball
Dec. 23, 2010, 12:50 PM
Sounds like the snaffle joints may be hurting his tongue. Have you considered a mullen mouth?

That is what I was thinking. I have a HS German Silver mullen with a wide low port that has loose rings that I used in a fussy boy to add stability. I bought it at a used tack sale thinking it would be a good bit to transition to a weymouth and ended up using it for a horse that wouldn't take contact. As he got steady and took contact I moved to a KK French link but with egg butts. He likes it and is now reliable in the hand.

Sadly, I looked up the mullen mouth that I have and it is at Bit of Britain for almost $200. Yipes. Thank god for used tack sales! I got it for $20, they had no clue what it was. :)

cyberbay
Dec. 23, 2010, 01:32 PM
My 10-yr-old TB can have a similar reaction. One thing that he really likes is to have his poll massaged. Can't always tell if it transfers to a more comfortable relationship with the bit, but he has become a lot more comfortable overall, and it aids our relationship for him to know I provide for his needs.

I massage him around the boney projection between the ears, as well as around the ears and the upper neck -- wherever he seems to enjoy. Do it for several days in a row, or until he seems not so interested. You can also massage around the TMJ, altho my horse hasn't always seemed so interested in that.

My horse has braced against the bit since always -- he came that way to me -- but he's improved considerably. I think all that bracing (+ bad teeth, see below) has caused him to be sensitive/painful in the poll area, and I can tell when he needs attn. there b/c he doesn't want to be bridled.

Interestingly, he's proving to need his teeth done 2x/year (got him about a year ago). He came with teeth in lousy condition and he had feet that were poorly trimmed. He looks so much better.

I ride him in a French link loose ring. Stupid question: don't all french links have a peanut shaped lozenge in the middle?

alibi_18
Dec. 23, 2010, 02:04 PM
I ride him in a French link loose ring. Stupid question: don't all french links have a peanut shaped lozenge in the middle?

Not stupid question! But the answer is no.

First it was only like that:
http://www.horsetackinternational.com/images/242685-loose-ring-bit.jpg

Peanut
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/new-cupreon-bits/bradoon.jpg

Lozenge
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/cupreon-bits/loosering-ergom.jpg

Hey, that could be a good bit for you:
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTNaJec7ybqN4t56qC93Z460YA35qnTJ 1LHxVVQMb2cW6oOPNpj

Those are NOT french link bits but can looks like.

Roller
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/cupreon-bits/loosering-french.jpg

Ball (or berry)(or waterford link)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/Ball_link_bit.jpg/200px-Ball_link_bit.jpg

Dr. Bristol
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Fullcheckwithtwistsnafflealpha.jpg/250px-Fullcheckwithtwistsnafflealpha.jpg

SonnysMom
Dec. 23, 2010, 02:05 PM
I ride him in a French link loose ring. Stupid question: don't all french links have a peanut shaped lozenge in the middle?

Some french links are a small flat dog boned shape.
http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,500.html

I am taking by peanut shaped you mean more like the KKs- like a bean.
http://tacksolutions.shoprw.com/product.php?productid=10517

goeslikestink
Dec. 23, 2010, 02:30 PM
My gelding is using an eggbutt french link snaffle. When I got him he was head tossing and I put him in a baucher french link, but I couldn't find one a 5 1/4" and the 5" was too small and the 5 1/2" was too big. I found an eggbutt french link 5 1/4" and we have been using that to a general satisfaction. He can go along without fussing. Much. I originally chose the baucher because he really needs a bit to be stable in his mouth and objects to alot of metal (mouth is small) and objects to alot of metal clanking and clacking around. The eggbutt is not too clanky. He is a horse which can open his mouth out on the trails to try to avoid the bit if he wants to run. On the trails I use a flash. I haven't been using a flash in the school because until now he seemed not to need it, and had been quiet. However, I am starting to ask him to move correctly consitently, and he can and does, but after a few minutes begins to object to the bit.

As we are progressing in his work and he is becoming stronger, and his topline is becoming stronger, I am asking him more and more to be "through" and to work with impulsion, requiring him to work from back to front. I am having a difficult time getting him to use the bit and stay on the bit consistently. He is fussing more and more, and I am really trying to be steady and quiet with my hands so that he can use the bit but the more he actually uses it correctly, the more he is fussing and tossing his head.

In my last lesson, my trainer stopped me and said "Wait, what is he doing with his tongue" as he is starting to loll his whole tongue out of his mouth, or, if he doesn't, she saw something odd. She opened his mouth and said he is curling his tongue all the way back in his mouth away from the bit.

Is this bit hurting his tongue (do bits do that) or what might be the mechanism here and what might be a solution?

Either my hands are bad, which they have never been before on horses, or he isnt' agreeing with this bit.

I know a reagular snaffle is way too nutcracker for him. He has a small jaw and looks like a low palate.

Any suggestions for a bit? He can be very strong outdoors, but right now I am thinking about his work in the school, and I am really stumped and don't know what I might do to start getting better performance from him which i know he is capable of but we seem to need something but I don't know what.

Thanks for any thoughts.

sounds like if the bridle and bit are fitted corectly then he might be one of those thats known as dry mouth whereby the bit irrates the skin
so you need to encougae him to salvia - give him a sugar lump before work
or a pepperment now as you know i am not one to give treats but inthis case it would be to start the salvia glands off if at shows and showing then pick a bit of grass for him to eat anything to start t the salvia glands off sugar lumps work well as they are sweet and encouaging to a horse

its important with dry mouthes horse to encourage the salvia glands before you ride them as you need the horse to be relaxed and able to flex at the poll and have relaxed mussles behind the saddle
you might also find tha the horse needs a key bit or tongue toggle ringed snaffle when not in work this wil encouage him to mouth the bit
lubrication for the bit to move against the skin without painful irratation

the other is as you say hes drawng his tongue back can be due to
the hand being to hard against the mouth in other words your not being light in the hand as one should be, so he learns to draw his tongue back in advasive measure
when the tongue is on top of the bit its acting directly against the bars of the mouth without the cushingeffect of the tongue, the metal of the bit will bang on the sensetive bars and the horse will look to every advassion little realsing his tongue over the bit cuased all the trouble

to adviod it the bridle needs to be fitted correctly not to low not to high and with the correct sized bit in his mouth a horse can move his tongue over a low bit with out really wanting to and you could adda caverson noseband to reduce the amount of movement for him to open his mouth

if however it continues and its not your hands then you might have to consider a ported bit like a a weymouth/pelham etc
or a bit with a tongue guard this will stop him drawing his tongue back and moving it over the top of the bit

caddym
Dec. 23, 2010, 03:10 PM
Also run your fingers over your horses bars. Most bars are flat or slightly rounded but ocasionally the will really be triangular. If the bars are triangular, the horse will do best in a single jointed snaffle.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 03:35 PM
I could have written your post a few years ago, except instead of head tossing and tongue scrunching it was flying around like an inverted emu with his jaw clenched.
My horse has a narrow bit seat, sensitive bars, a fat tongue, low palate and medium lips. He is now lovely in a dr. bristol attached correctly with the flat plate lying flat against his tongue. it IS dressage legal. Throw out all the negative BS you've heard about a dr. bristol and just try it. you may find if he likes extra stable you could use a full cheek with keepers.
I've posted the original patent for the dr. bristol on COTH, so with some searching I'm sure you can find the proof this bit is not intended to be harsh or dig into a horse's mouth.

Oh, I had a horse as a youth in a dr. bristol. He loved the bit, was every bit a gentleman and I never considered the bit harsh, myself, because I guess it wasn't for him. Yes, I had it installed correctly. When I read about the recent thoughts on a Dr. Bristol on this board, I wondered where it all came from and I did realize that the flat part needs to be flat on the tongue and if it wasn't it would be troubling for the horse, as the edge would cut into the tongue, I believe.

Its a thought. I certainly will try it, as I have no qualms about it, if used correctly.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 03:41 PM
The issues make me think he has a low palate, or giant togue, so he is trying to give the bit more room. The Baucher or a KK ultra may be the best to try to give his palate more room.


Sounds like the snaffle joints may be hurting his tongue. Have you considered a mullen mouth?

CHT - yes, I think he does have a low palate. I dont' know about the giant tongue, good golly when he lolls it out of his mouth it is obscene, though. When his mouth is closed, it is bulging through his teeth. Not the same thing as hanging the tongue out, it just seems like there's not alot of room in there for it, either I guess because his mouth is small, which it is, or maybe he does have a giant tongue. I'll have the vet comment on all this when I get the teeth done. I'll look at the kkultra, and I still think the baucher style is good for him.

Coffee, I have thought about that and I think I will try a mullen mouth. Maybe even a low port, to keep it off his tongue. I don't want to hit the roof of the mouth though, but I do have mullen mouths at the barn to try as well. thanks for mentining that, I might not have reconsidered that.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 03:46 PM
Not stupid question! But the answer is no.

First it was only like that:
http://www.horsetackinternational.com/images/242685-loose-ring-bit.jpg

Peanut
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/new-cupreon-bits/bradoon.jpg

Lozenge
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/cupreon-bits/loosering-ergom.jpg

Hey, that could be a good bit for you:
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTNaJec7ybqN4t56qC93Z460YA35qnTJ 1LHxVVQMb2cW6oOPNpj

Those are NOT french link bits but can looks like.

Roller
http://www.mikmar.com/images/product-line/cupreon-bits/loosering-french.jpg

Ball (or berry)(or waterford link)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/Ball_link_bit.jpg/200px-Ball_link_bit.jpg

Dr. Bristol
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Fullcheckwithtwistsnafflealpha.jpg/250px-Fullcheckwithtwistsnafflealpha.jpg

Alibi, my second horse (who went in a Dr. Bristol) was by Your Alibhai, and I think Your Alibhai had a son Alibi? Alibi is in there somewhere. Maybe I'm thinking of My Alibi. Anyway, my horse was Eromdiks (Skidmore backwards) and raced in NJ, I think. Grandson of Tom Fool on his dam's side. She was...Oh, yeah, Fools Dame. Where do you come by Alibi?

So - That Dr. Bristol is actually a slow twist Dr. Bristol. I don't think I want to go with a slow twist, but I am thinking of a (correctly applied) Dr. Bristol to try.

the one you marked as "Hey maybe this would work" looks really intriguing - because of the curve AND the french link AND the baucher.

Its possible that the links are too much for him and he really would like a mullen mouth. I might look for a curved one.

EqTrainer
Dec. 23, 2010, 03:50 PM
My horse, who had similar issues, is only happy in a myler Mullen mouth. HUGE curve in it, nothing moves. We call it the nothing bit LOL

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 04:04 PM
GLS Said:
the other is as you say hes drawng his tongue back can be due to
the hand being to hard against the mouth in other words your not being light in the hand as one should be, so he learns to draw his tongue back in advasive measure
when the tongue is on top of the bit its acting directly against the bars of the mouth without the cushingeffect of the tongue, the metal of the bit will bang on the sensetive bars and the horse will look to every advassion little realsing his tongue over the bit cuased all the trouble

to adviod it the bridle needs to be fitted correctly not to low not to high and with the correct sized bit in his mouth a horse can move his tongue over a low bit with out really wanting to and you could adda caverson noseband to reduce the amount of movement for him to open his mouth

if however it continues and its not your hands then you might have to consider a ported bit like a a weymouth/pelham etc
or a bit with a tongue guard this will stop him drawing his tongue back and moving it over the top of the bit

Well, this first thing you mention is a big concern. I have been chastised, and rightly so, for allowing my reins constantly to slip and my trainer says I am not giving him anything when he asks for the bit - its like a limp hand shake, she says. To me, when he asks for the bit, to move into contact with it, it seems like he is trying to 'take' it from me, so I let go. I have since put rein stops where I am to keep my hands and have been trying to be very steady and not let the reins go. The key, my trainer says, is to be fluid in the elbows and give with the elbows, but not release with the hands. When I have the rein stops and am quiet and steady, he isn't fussing, but he does try to move into the bit and when he gets there ducks down as if it isn't correct, or it hurts him.

When I didn't have the rein stops, I was fiddling too much and he was as you say - my hands were too heavy and he was drawing his tongue back. I think that's where that came in.

When he was evented in VA, the pics show he had a flash noseband. At his best, he is quiet and doesn't need it, so I stopped using it, to try to find out how he should go correctly, and sort out my hands, his mouth and his bit. I also wanted to see if I can get him to soften his jaw, so key to correct carriage. I can put a flash back on, but it doesn't answer the pressing question - what's going on, bit, hands, mouth conformation. Because of the head ducking when I solved my hand problem I think there is still a bit or mouth conformation problem. I could still be wrong on that, so I will still be looking at my hands. I have a good rider to ride him sometimes as well, and will watch and see how he responds to her. I will have her watch me and say what she thinks is happening as I ride.

It takes a long time before he softens and salivates well, GLS. It takes a long time before he warms up to move well, too. Like 45 mins before he is moving well and salivating. I don't treat him because he is grabby, but if a peppermint before riding starts him off better, I have no problem trying that. I'll consider the ported weymouth last. I will try a gentle curve weymouth just to see how that goes compared to the jointed bits.

Eh. I'll repost here after I've tried some things and update. Its really great to have the suggestions and thoughts, it helps to think about all this.

AnotherRound
Dec. 23, 2010, 04:05 PM
That is what I was thinking. I have a HS German Silver mullen with a wide low port that has loose rings that I used in a fussy boy to add stability. I bought it at a used tack sale thinking it would be a good bit to transition to a weymouth and ended up using it for a horse that wouldn't take contact. As he got steady and took contact I moved to a KK French link but with egg butts. He likes it and is now reliable in the hand.

Sadly, I looked up the mullen mouth that I have and it is at Bit of Britain for almost $200. Yipes. Thank god for used tack sales! I got it for $20, they had no clue what it was. :)

Lucky dog.

I do want to try something like that, too, for the same reason.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Dec. 23, 2010, 09:16 PM
I ride my greenbean in the Sprenger Duo D-Ring (http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-011921&ids=350189388), and she is very happy with it. She takes a nice, honest contact. This bit is not stiff like some rubber happy mouth type bits, it has a lot of give so that you have a good feel of the mouth without upsetting it. My mare can be fussy in a double jointed eggbutt and heavy (which is really not her nature) in a single jointed eggbutt.

That said, my TB was rude in the Duo, he would grab it and try to yank me out of my seat... he did better in a KK ultra loose ring.

Good luck, it's important to find something they're happy with! :O)

RLF
Dec. 23, 2010, 10:33 PM
Just wanted to add something regarding you saying he's stronger out on the trail... I have two bits and bridles for most of my horses. Dressage/ring work with one and another for cross country/trail/jumping that is a little stronger...

My only other piece of advice is you never know until you try em! Borrowing different bits can help keep the price down and let you experiment with bits you may not have otherwise.

Good luck finding the right bit!

alibi_18
Dec. 23, 2010, 11:36 PM
Alibi, my second horse (who went in a Dr. Bristol) was by Your Alibhai, and I think Your Alibhai had a son Alibi? Alibi is in there somewhere. Maybe I'm thinking of My Alibi. Anyway, my horse was Eromdiks (Skidmore backwards) and raced in NJ, I think. Grandson of Tom Fool on his dam's side. She was...Oh, yeah, Fools Dame. Where do you come by Alibi?

So - That Dr. Bristol is actually a slow twist Dr. Bristol. I don't think I want to go with a slow twist, but I am thinking of a (correctly applied) Dr. Bristol to try.

the one you marked as "Hey maybe this would work" looks really intriguing - because of the curve AND the french link AND the baucher.

Its possible that the links are too much for him and he really would like a mullen mouth. I might look for a curved one.

My 'Alibi' was a TB (Briars Echo) X Quarter horse (Caladan)! 16.2 dark bay. Sweet loving thing that I broke/train for 3 years. He's probably now around 16 and I regretably don't know were he is. He went good in a single jointed D-Bit.

As for the slow twist, it was just a picture to show Dr.Bristol...nothing for you to try at this point...(hadn't even realised..)

The one I marked down for you to check is a Neue Schule bit:
http://www.nsbits.com/index.php/sport-horse-collection/fixed-cheek.html

Also, the 'Pessoa' family used to promote a 'Magic System'. Their bits would 'lock' into place at the certain point thus creating a 'straight bar' thus a mullen mouth...
(for some odd reason, they don't have pictures?!?!) http://www.metalab.info/bit-pessoa.htm

But Herm Sprenger with their 'Horse and More' line does something similar called ''Max-Control' and doing quite the same locking effect. At page 120 and up. http://www.swiflet.com/HSG/reitkatalog/2/1/

Don't know if this will help but as I'm a bit (hoarder) lover, I find these interesting. :D

sadlmakr
Dec. 24, 2010, 12:07 AM
I had similar problems with my Arabian. He was too big for the bits made for Arabians. I had all kinds of problems and finally tred out a racing D bit with a copper mouth. It had a smaller diameter mouthpiece with only one joint in the middle.
After trial and error I finally found this bit worked. He did not like the Neverust alloy bits and the stainless bits he really hated.
When I let my daughter ride him she tended to hold him too tightly and his tongue turned blue and went numb. He never reacted until after she got off. Then he put his head on my chest trying to tell me about it. I saw it. I told her to loosen up on him and she would have a better ride on him. He is the same one who would take the the thick iron bit and run away with me. Between the running martingale and new bit we struck a happy medium and began to do much better.
By all means have your vet check his mouth.
Perhaps his tongue is going numb.
See if you can do more by loosening up on the bit.
As always this is just my humble opinion.
sadlmakr