I've heard Arabian horses sometimes have palate issues, I'm just looking for information on what Arabian riders and owners prefer to use on their horses.
Yes, I know about flash nosebands, no I don't want to hear about you cranking yours down on your Arabian that won't keep his mouth shut.
Just information and opinions on what you have found works best.
I have a friend that does all the breed shows with her Arab, both her and her trainer rely a lot on the Myler bits, of course not exclusively. On her suggestion we got the Myler Comfort Snaffle for my QH/Arab (whose face is more Arab than QH) and he does real well in it.
However, his issues didn't include opening his mouth, so I'm not sure what problems you're facing with your current bit.
I don't use a bit at all on her anymore. I tried her in a Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle and she does great in it. Before that I had her in a short shanked training bit. She has suprised me and goes so much more relaxed and comfortable in the bitless bridle. I'm suprised because she is 26 years old and still a spitfire and as far as I know this horse has never been ridden bitless before. I've owned her half her life and know who owned her before I bought her so I'm confident that she has always been ridden in at least a snaffle, at worst a tom thumb.
My arab does NOT go well in any single jointed bit. Head tossing, unaccepting of bit etc.
The one I use for dressage that she is the most accepting of is a Stubben egg butt with a copper lozenge link the middle (french link style mouthpiece, but link in the middle is fatter).
On the trail I use a french link baucher (toklat brand). At the beginning of a race I'll use a Myler kimberwick (non ported) because she won't pull against it. Honestly I'm not so impressed with the Myler. I'm glad I was able to find it used for ~$80 because there is no way that it was worth $120 to my horse...(but if I had a different horse, I might have a different opinion!).
I also use a mechanical hackamore (Slyster brand) if she's being exceptionally good.
That's good to hear!
Did your horse get annoyed or bothered at all by the lower noseband?
My mare wasn't bothered by it at all. The first time I rode her in it she lowered her head and walked out like a champ. I was concerned she wouldn't respond well to it but it was almost as if she said "what took you so long?". I have an 8 year old gelding (her son) that didn't do well with it at all though. He would get chargey and buck. I actually originally purchased it for the gelding (I believe that if less works you go with less - less bit, less shoes, less saddle (recently moved to a treeless saddle too but that's a whole nother story)) I used it on the gelding didn't like the way he went with it and sent it back and got my refund. Got to thinking that I didn't give it a fair chance and felt bad about sending it back so after 6 months or so I re-ordered it...still didn't like the way the gelding went with it so i tried it on the mare..she loves it and I love it on her.
I used to ride most horses in the typical french link snaffle but once I got into endurance riding and began riding Arabians I found that several of them were unhappy with the bits I tried on them. I was really getting unhappy with my riding! It must be my fault. One mare that I had would just hang her tonque out of her mouth, looked like a pink snake flapping around. I experiemented with bits. The worst for her was a nice, smaller diameter french link. I tried a Myler bit with a triple mullen barrel mouth piece that bends in a gentle arch across the tonque and bars. Nope, hated it. Oddly, a fat, single joint, eggbutt bit was less disturbing to her. It struck me that maybe she didn't like a bit that sat on her tonque. I tried a Myler ported kimberwicke. It has a medium high port that gave her tonque room. Bingo! No tonque flapping or fussing.
Current Arab gelding hates the french link with a passion, little better with the single joint JP hunter snaffle, even better with the Myler triple mullen. He got ridden in that until just recently when I got tired of his high energy pulling and loss of attention when ridng cross country with friends. I decided to go to the Myler kimberwicke and we are both happy campers.
My guess is, yes, many of these horses have less room in theri mouths for bits. Most jointed bits have bit fat joints that are too bukly and uncomfortable for these horses. The Myler bit swivel joints and curved shapes are a much better design. Some horses really want tonque relief and a wide, medium high port may be just the ticket. And lastly, you and your horse may be happier using something other than a snaffle bit.
French link snaffle on all 4 that are under saddle currently.
On my old stallion, when foxhunting, sometimes a french link gag with two reins.
On my old gelding, I was known to use a slow twist when hunting. Or a short shanked pelham.
He also did show hack in a dressage double.
"It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay
I agree with Bonnie S. - lower palates and overall a smaller mouth. When I do use a bit, its a french link, which is pretty flat. I mostly ride though with no bit, I simply linked the side cheeks to the loop that you attach to the bit, added black foam rubber to the noseband and neatly taped it. It looks like a normal bridle unless you look closely. I would not have done this when he was 5, and I don't do it out on the trails.
many people think bits go to the roof of the mouth therefore they think when a horse resists a bit it has a low palate. Bits rotate DOWN unto the tongue if a snaffle and off to the sides of the tongue and bars if ported. go look at your bridle and pick up the reins where your hands would be: above the withers, and see how a bit works.
So, snaffles work off the tongue. Cheap snaffles pinch hard. Good snaffles pinch too, that is what they were designed to do Arabs are sensitive and will let you know they won't take the pinch where perhaps a different breed will "take it".
Good riders or trainers can ride snaffles as they have good hands and can pinch and immediately release when the horse does what they want.
Opening the mouth gets rid of the tongue pressure for the horse.
Mylers are great as their snaffles will not pinch the tongue, but PORTs are a better way to go for a trained horse.
You may not need a myler, but they are well made bits. Look at what you are riding in! Work it on your arm to see how it feels. Snaffles pinch. They are designed to be a training bit, not a gentle bit.
Don't listen to others, listen to your horse, he will tell you what fits. If you are not a trainer or don't have great hands you should probably not be riding in a snaffle. Ports are not cruel, they are a huge relief to the horse in many situations.
more on french links. they work off the tongue, but distribute pressure over a WIDER area, thus less pressure so that is why a horse will go better in them.....way less harsh than a snaffle, once again put it on your arm and test it for yourself
At my instructor's suggestion, I got my Arabian a double-jointed, loose-ring Myler. Until this horse, most had gone well in a French Link. Instructor thought the horse needed less on her face (lighter bridle, no noseband) and a lower-profile bit.
The horse still isn't very happy in it, but she goes better in that than the French link.
Also have a Little S hackamore for her. The noseband is too firm, so we wrapped it to cushion it. I'm considering swapping it out for a biothane or leather nose piece, but I want to make sure the Little S has some stopping power since the mare still spooks a bit dramatically. She's growing out of the spookiness, so I'm thinking she'll be able to go in simple noseband within the year.
I've had her teeth done several times, but by the vet, not a dentist. She needs tranq at this point.
She seems to be growing more mellow over time, and I expect to have more options as she gets better and better. She's a willing little horse, but her reactivity has been a handicap for us. Luckily, she's growing out of it. (she's 6 this year).
a loose ring puts the least amount of pressure on the tongue of any snaffle as you cannot "set" it it is loose. That is why your horse goes better.....
try putting your horse in a port. i bet your trainer won't let you but it may help.
per bitless riders that is a reflection of how well your horse is trained. It hates the bit you use, but it will go well for you without one. KUDOS. But don't slam the bits, you just didn't find the one that worked. But you did have a well trained horse after all! All horses are individuals. what works on one won't on another, same for brands of bridles and bits. Borrow and test before buying.
I have found that some horses do better with a bit that works a little differently. The same gelding that didn't work out in the bitless bridle is now in a Kimberwick. Turns out that he works best in a bit with a small amount of curb leverage which the kimberwicke provides. I've tried him with a full cheek snaffle, a loose ring snaffle, a D ring snaffle, an argentine snaffle...I don't recommend that one at all - we both hated the longer shanks . I've tried several other bits that we didn't like for one reason or another. I don't envy your search. Bits are expensive, I've probably spent over $400 trying to find a bit that my gelding likes. Turns out that I owned it all along....