The noseband and the bit are too low in these pictures .
And how could you not know if the flash was or not conditioned? Was it smooth or looking/feeling new? Flash attachments need to be oiled in order to be as smooth as possible.
Really, if you are having trouble fitting the flash and you horse have rubbings from it, maybe you should either wait for someone help you in real or don't use it. If your horse goes well without, don't loose too much of your time and of your horse's lips!
While the bridle is is unique and attractive in the details, I don't think that bridle fits the horse well. The noseband is not the right width for his face. See how far up on his nose the straps are? Making the cheekpiece sides too close to his eye. The cheekpieces are too long, you have it on the last hole and the bit is still hanging too low. I also think a wider browband would make it sit better.
You might try lifting your bit up a hole, over the years I've played with various heights in the mouth, and no wrinkles at all is usually a bit too low for most.
I've never tried a flash with a Happy Mouth bit.
Here are a variety of pictures of bridles, some synthetic, some synthetic mixed with leather, some leather, some very fancy leather, but they all have similar fits.
Here is a cobbled together, synthetic bridle with a flash!
So your angles are totally normal, but I too wonder if the bit is the problem, that it's kind of a thick and clunky bit and that the flash is getting pushed against the muzzle by the D-rings. You might find that a slightly wider bit is better with the flash, or maybe something with more of an O-ring.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
While the bridle is is unique and attractive in the details, I don't think that bridle fits the horse well. The noseband is not the right width for his face. See how far up on his nose the straps are? Making the cheekpiece sides too close to his eye. The cheekpieces are too long, you have it on the last hole and the bit is still hanging too low. I also think a wider browband would make it sit better. . . .
I have to agree with SaddleFitterVA that the bridle does not fit the horse at all. The bridle is too large and the noseband cheek pieces are too close to his eye. It almost looks as though the crown piece might be cutting into the back of his ears and I don't think a larger browband is going to fix that. There's already a gap at the front of the band. Not a good bridle design for this particular horse, IMO.
If you look carefully, you can see wrinkles at the corner of the horse's mouth. Hard to see because of the thickness of the Happy Mouth, but they are there.
Long head, small mouth on this guy. I would seriously go with a different bridle. One that already has a flash built in. I've seen a lot of fitting problems like this when people add flashes to non-flash bridles. The flash just never sits right, usually because of the connector length.
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To answer the questions, the flash was borrowed and I don't remember how it felt. I returned it several days ago. The "flash" in the pic is the throat latch. It is for illustrative purposes only.
I tried the flash because he tends to open and close his mouth on the bit. He has done this since I got him and it hasn't gotten better or worse. He is very orally active at all times, so I think it is an extension of that.
Mad Mare is correct. He does have wrinkles in the corner of his mouth and the end of the bit hides them. I added another pic with an angle from slightly behind that shows it.
alibi_18. I am working with a trainer, however, he is getting a few days off until his mouth heals, so we haven't been able to try anything else. I am just looking for suggestions/personal experience for this problem. It never hurts to see what others think.
From the comments, I think I am going to switch the bridle to the other bridle I have and try bits of difference thicknesses and cheek pieces. Also will see if I can borrow a figure eight. I don't think anyone at the barn has a drop I can borrow. If all else fails, he will go without any attachment at all.
I don't love the bridle fit- but I see your problem. The length of his mouth is very short, which makes the groove behind his chin where the flash would sit be very close to the bit. It looks like you have the requisite wrinkles above the bit- but thats hard to see in the photo. I'm assuming you've checked that.
Personally, I'd try a few different things and see what works best.