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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2013
    Posts
    231

    Default Soft mouth bits.... happymouth's, french links... uhhh? uhhh??? what else?

    I have a youngster that is still in the unbalanced phase of her training (just under saddle for two months) and has a very soft mouth. I have taught her to come round from my leg, but she is still not "taking the bit" and leaning into the bridle consistantly. Part of that is her being very green, but I think part of that is also because she isn't particularly happy with the loose ring french link I have in her mouth.

    I can ride a simple half halt with my body, and slightly with my hand and she really gets upset (slams on the brakes/throws her head!) so I tried her in a happy mouth dee ring bit. She seemed to take the bit, and push into my hand better...except in the canter we have NO brakes. So to sum it up, I think we need a bit that is close to the happy mouth and the french link loose ring. Any ideas on what to use?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,617

    Default

    I bought a horse a little while ago that didn't want to take contact. I put him in a locking snaffle which really helped. As I can't show dressage in that, we switched to a hanging NS snaffle for showing, but still school in the locking snaffle.

    The one I bought is the Stubben EZ Control
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2008
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    986

    Default

    My horse really dislikes the movement of the loose ring, but he is happy in a boucher or a full cheek with keepers.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Former owner of the best Amish-carthorse-turned-eventer ever


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,820

    Default

    Two things: 1) some young horses do better with a more stable bit with a cheek that assists with turning (i.e. a D ring or full cheek with keepers) 2) some horses do better with a solid mouthpiece at first (like the HS duo).



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
    Posts
    11,541

    Default

    I love the Nathe snaffle. It was the only bit my last hunter would go in. Definitely consider it.

    My current 3 year old will be going in a Nathe when he is ready for a bit (right now he is being backed in a bosal and Western saddle). My horse dentist told me that this horse has the thinest of membranes stretched over the bars of his mouth and that bitting him correctly was going to be important. My Nathe is my "go to" bit for such horses.

    Another option to give you some control at the canter (and there will be disagreement with this) is a gag snaffle. If used by a good rider with sensitive hands it works through pole pressure, not mouth pressure. It works great on horses who are afraid of the bit, for whatever reason. BUT it must be used sympathetically by a competent rider.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,466

    Default

    I really love the D-ring Herm Sprenger Duo... but it's an expensive experiment.
    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



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
    Posts
    423

    Default

    You might try a d ring or egg butt. Or a mullen mouth.

    I ride my 4 year old in a french link D ring. I got a basic one for $35. I'm waiting to get one of the Herm Sprenger ones.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,237

    Default

    I have had excellent results with the Myler comfort snaffles with the barrels. My pony has a super soft mouth and goes comfortably in his.
    I normally use a full cheek with keepers, but due to his goofy oral fixation with grabbing the lower cheek bar, I switched him to a western dee (with the sweet iron mouth).
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    565

    Default

    I second the more 'fixed' cheek pieces. My mare likes an oval mouth egg butt better than the same oval mouth in a loose ring.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006
    Location
    ONTARIO CANADA
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    Mullen hAppy mouth seriously alot of horses go well in it, i found out when i bought a mullen hm 3 ring for a specific horse, now i ride the majority in it, i have ra in my hands so the extra leverage helps them not lean

    Also have mullen hm loose ring for shows and a loose ring double jointed hm with a roller depends on the horse

    Also second fav to the3 ring is a plain metalab d french link for the horses that dont need the 3 ring usually have the d with a figure 8
    Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching
    www.facebook.com/btrparadressage

    Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2011
    Location
    On a horse.
    Posts
    395

    Default

    I recently bought the Happy Mouth DJ loose ring w/ the roller, and ohmygosh what a difference it made for my baby! I'd tried eggbutts, KK, HS standard loose ring . . . and *blech* But the peanut roller seemed to make for an insta-change with him.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,982

    Default

    Nathe, HS Duo, or a Happy Mouth mullenmouth. All good choices and some of my favorite bits.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2013
    Posts
    231

    Default

    YB, what makes the Nathe bit different than the Happy Mouth bit? They seem so similar, and I'm sure the quality is better in the Nathe, but hard to fork up that extra $100!

    Do you think it's worth it? I would love to try one before I buy it, but I dunno if that's possible.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
    Posts
    4,751

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jsydney5 View Post
    YB, what makes the Nathe bit different than the Happy Mouth bit? They seem so similar, and I'm sure the quality is better in the Nathe, but hard to fork up that extra $100!

    Do you think it's worth it? I would love to try one before I buy it, but I dunno if that's possible.
    Happy mouth is hard plastic and nathe is soft bendy flexible rubber. Totally different feel.

    I have a nathe loose ring, but my new horse hates it. He will be on that always needs a stable bit, I think.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    6,238

    Default

    Make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. What is the thickness of the bits that you are using? How wide are they? How high up in the mouth do they hang? Sometimes a preference is due to size and fit, not type of bit.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jsydney5 View Post
    YB, what makes the Nathe bit different than the Happy Mouth bit? They seem so similar, and I'm sure the quality is better in the Nathe, but hard to fork up that extra $100!

    Do you think it's worth it? I would love to try one before I buy it, but I dunno if that's possible.
    The Happy Mouth is hard plastic and the mouthpiece is straight. I wish they'd make a curved, plain mouthpiece (without their goofy dressage-illegal bumps) in the D ring cheeks.

    The Nathe and Duo are soft plastic around a steel cable, and the horse ends up shaping it to be comfortable in his mouth. It also can bend/change shape a small amount in reaction to the rein. They are very nice bits... overpriced, but very very nice.
    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



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    2,119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    I have had excellent results with the Myler comfort snaffles with the barrels. My pony has a super soft mouth and goes comfortably in his.
    I normally use a full cheek with keepers, but due to his goofy oral fixation with grabbing the lower cheek bar, I switched him to a western dee (with the sweet iron mouth).
    Ahhhhhh.... Just standing around my horse will work the right side of the bit until it's in her mouth. While working if she starts feeling stressed she pulls on the right and you can feel her jaw clamp. Maybe this bit of yours would help. I'm going to pm you for more info.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2013
    Posts
    231

    Default

    UPDATE FROM OP!!

    I tried using the Happy Mouth Mullen mouth eggbutt, and there is a huge difference in the way she goes! Lots of salivating/white foam/good stuff coming from the mouth, much more happy when I put in a half halt, more eager to stretch down in the stretchy trot.

    BUT! I went XC schooling in it, just for the heck of it, and I definitely need more steering and brakes than a happy mouth. Remember, she didn't like the loose ring french link. So, I might try another bit for cross country. Not sure what to start with, but that's where we're at! Thanks for all the help!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2013
    Posts
    231

    Default

    UPDATE FROM OP!!

    I tried using the Happy Mouth Mullen mouth eggbutt, and there is a huge difference in the way she goes! Lots of salivating/white foam/good stuff coming from the mouth, much more happy when I put in a half halt, more eager to stretch down in the stretchy trot.

    BUT! I went XC schooling in it, just for the heck of it, and I definitely need more steering and brakes than a happy mouth. Remember, she didn't like the loose ring french link. So, I might try another bit for cross country. Not sure what to start with, but that's where we're at! Thanks for all the help!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,739

    Default

    I really really like this bit http://www.waldhausen.com/marken/nat...m_store=german

    Its super soft, but has just a tiny extra bit of leverage versus a D-ring/egg butt. 99% of the horses I've ridden with this bit like it. Only problem is its expensive!



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