Bit ideas for the soft mouth, fat tongue, low palate?
Just as the title says.
Big head, fat tongue, low palate. By 'soft mouth', I mean he needs to be encouraged to take and accept a steady contact and is more than happy to hide behind it. When he IS working correctly he has a soft, putty-in-the-hands contact.
I have him in a KK, which he's not totally wild about, but doesn't hate. He doesn't like single jointed, we'll assume that it stabs him due to his fat tongue/low palate. I'm hesitant to try anything too narrow, thinking it will encourage further dropping behind and might encourage him into his favorite evasion - the open mouth.
I have a mullen mouth happy mouth at home that I was going to try on him tonight...it may be on the thicker side, and illegal for competition, but what the heck. What about a myler? They are fairly slim...
Ideas? Teeth are good, chiro has been seen recently, saddle fits as well as possible right now and if anything, you can accuse me of being too light-handed.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
lies with in us. - Emerson
Mine like that loves a French link boucher. He just leans on a mullen mouth, I wish I could use it! I don't think that is illegal for competition though? I got the cheap boucher (JP?) so it was only about $35. The stability of this bit seems to be the key to happiness.
I have a Myler, that I jump my OTTB in and you are right, it is slim and my guys don't find it as "contact friendly" as the slightly thicker boucher.
I used a HS DUO for quite a while to get my pony to accept contact. It worked so well she recently started to lean onto it and we have moved on, but it really was a magic bit for her for a while. It is very thin for a mullen mouth, slightly flexible, and it is legal in competition.
I had a POA pony who had a similar mouth plus rather thick lips. A snaffle would pinch her lips onto her bars. We used a Nathe and presumably could take some of the pressure off her bars by using her tongue. The Nathe is flexible plastic mullen mouth type, with a narrower centre. When we sold her, the new owners put her in a kimberwick because they found her a bit hot - she went up in the air which was not fair because she was fine in the Nathe. Softer worked better than hard with her and her mouth.
my horse is the exact same way! I've found the only bit that he's truly happy in is the HS Duo or the Nathe (which are basically the same)
The Myler was to thin, the Happy Mouth to stiff? I don't know- he just clamped his mouth shut and I'd have to pry it open to get it in! Quickly stopping riding in that one... He was fine in the loose ring KK, but his mouth was so small that the bit would hit his canine teeth and if I got a smaller size it would pinch his lips... but so far he's been really happy in the Nathe and easily accepts the bit again when tacking up
I just wish they weren't sooo expensive for a piece of rubber!!! But whatever makes him happy! hahaha
proud owner of a very pretty but completely useless horse (and one useful horse!)
My guy like that likes either JP Korsteel's eggbutt oval mouth or a mullen mouth pelham. I'm not entirely sure why, but those are his two favorites. He'll seek contact with those, but fights, flails or ducks pretty much anything else. He didn't like Mylers, they were too thin.
If you can find one...a straight bar snaffle with a low wide port. It is legal for dressage. I got mine in a box of random used tack that I bought, and I understand that they are used for driving, albeit rarely. Mine is a lovely eggbutt with the bar curving to join the ring. I have seen others that were loose ring.
If you want a cheap alternative to try at home, find an old Kimberwicke that meets that description (low wide port), and try it without the curb chain. Your pony will let you know if he likes the feeling.
And I second IFG's comment about the Micklem, just 'cause I like them so much.
They don't call me frugal for nothing.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
For him, the eggbutt v. loose ring makes a significant difference, and the curved mouthpiece seems to help. I think the extra stability is more comfortable in his mouth. Not a cheap bit, but you can rent them from Bit of Britain or Dressage Extensions to try before you buy.
I had the same issue with one of mine. He ended up happiest in the HS Duo. The Nathe was too thick for him! He really liked the thin mouthpiece of the Duo. He hated anything with a joint since I think it pinched his tongue. His second favorite bit was a Myler comfort snaffle. It was still a thin bit but the joint couldn't pinch him.
My guy has a mouth similar to what you describe, except that he would go from "too soft" by curling behind, to yanking and pulling. Argh. He now goes beautifully in a loose-ring Stubben EZ control bit for dressage, and a full-cheek of the same for jumping. The bit forms a solid mouthpiece when they lean on it, discouraging them from pulling, but stays soft when they accept it. LOVE this bit.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison
So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."