View Full Version : Tongue over bit help

Jun. 29, 2012, 11:49 AM
I need help! My mare got her tongue over the bit the second we went into dressage last weekend. :( Luckily we didn't score as bad as I thought we should have, especially since I could only steer her around the test!

I'm hoping you all have some advice about how to prevent/work with this problem. She seems to do it when she's really focused and only about 4-5 times a year, and last weekend she did it 2 days in a row! Her teeth are fine, just had them done in March, I ride her with a flash in a baucher snaffle. She doesn't like french links, but does just OK in a Dr Bristol. It seems like she only has done it on the flat, not during jumping that I can remember.

Does anyone have advice for this problem?

Jun. 29, 2012, 12:04 PM
Make sure your bit is hanging too loosely. You may want to hang it a little tighter than you normally would. Be sure you top noseband is tight and properly adjusted (people have a tendency to have their nosebands too low), and the flash is snug.

My old guy was the king of flipping his tongue over the bit. I found that riding him in a figure 8 helped a lot, although, he got much, much better about it the better schooled he became. But, the tendency was always there. I would hang his bit a little snug, and that did help.

Jun. 29, 2012, 12:48 PM
To quote an old saying from a wise instructor, "You can never be too thin or have your noseband too tight." Many people would say that it is cruel to strap the mouth shut but I think it is worse to have the bit on the bars of the horse's mouth when they flip their tongue over it. Good luck. Once they learn this trick it is pretty difficult to stop it.

Jun. 29, 2012, 10:48 PM
I am pretty sure that some of the Mylers with tongue relief are now legal. They are more comfortable for some horses, and they are harder for the horse to get their tongue over.

Flying Ponies
Jun. 29, 2012, 10:59 PM
I don't have any real advice for you, but wonder would a Micklem bridle be helpful in cases like these? I am also interested to hear what works for folks....good luck!

Jun. 29, 2012, 11:08 PM
I had some luck with a plain caveson bridle and a flash attachment- not a actual flash noseband- when the flash attachment itself was kinda long- like this one:


Obviously, both the caveson and the flash need to be snug ;)

I might switch to a fixed ring snaffle from the boucher, less play.

Good luck! Tongue over the bit sucks :)

Jun. 29, 2012, 11:37 PM
If you go on using the boucher, make sure it is quite high in her mouth. I've had some success with lifting the boucher and loosening the caveson, getting rid of the bottom strap altogether. I think that it was because the horses can then put their tongues all or part way over the bit, but then they can get them back again. The more nosebands etc you use, the harder it is for them to get their tongue back again - and really you want them to learn that it is nicer to keep their tongue under the bit than over it.