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  • Bit Advice

    Hi all!
    I am need help finding a bit for my soft mouthed mare. She is normally a jumper but we are starting to dabble in more and more dressage shows. In the jumper ring/ at home she goes in a leather loose ring (which isn’t legal of course). We have tried happy mouths (too fat and too hard), nathe (too fat as well), Myler comfort snaffle (she likes it mostly but can be over reactive to it), KK Ultra (too fat) all in a variety of cheek pieces (eggbut, dee ring, loose ring). All of the ones that were too fat she was a little “dull” in - she “hears” me but tunes me out just a little. She responds but isn’t as quick about it as she could possibly be.
    The loose ring seems to work the best for our communication but she prefers the dee ring (and sometimes tunes me out just a little in the leather Dee Ring).

  • #2
    My horse goes beautiful in a bomber lock up snaffle

    Comment


    • #3
      I've had good luck with my mare with the Neue Schule bits - I started with the Verbindend and now am using a Turtle Top. They are pricey, but well designed - and there are bit rental options from Dressage Extensions and Smart Pak.
      "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

      "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Eclipserider View Post
        My horse goes beautiful in a bomber lock up snaffle
        But is that dressage-legal?
        Janet

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

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        • #5
          I have mine in a Neue Schule eggbutt Bradoon. He does better in a slightly thinner bit which is why I chose that one..

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          • #6
            Just a thought, if the problem with the “fat” ones is that she’s tuning you out, but she carries them comfortably and when she does respond she responds correctly (e.g. doesn’t flip her nose up into the air), why don’t you try staying with one of those and re-schooling her to the aids so she is more attentive with the new bit?

            Comment


            • #7
              How big is her mouth, her tongue? Does she have a low palate?

              All of this (obviously) factors in to bit comfort...
              "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

              "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

              Comment


              • #8
                Abbey England makes custom bits.
                www.TheSaddleTree.com
                www.TrainingTree.net

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have 2 horses that have LOVED the Neue Schule Tranz Angled Lozenge Eggbut, and my trainer said every horse she uses it on loves it. We call it the wonder bit

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                  • #10
                    Typically, when a bit is too fat for a mouth you see a lot of bit playing or chewing, gaping, and general discomfort. If the horse is ignoring you in a thicker bit but is more responsive in a thinner bit, it may be that the thin bit is harsher on the bars rather than the horse preferring a thin bit.

                    That being said, if you are sure that a thinner bit is the right direction, Albacon makes the narrowest economical bit to my knowledge.

                    https://www.doversaddlery.com/albaco...g/p/X1-010177/

                    https://www.doversaddlery.com/albaco...r/p/X1-010149/

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                    • #11
                      I have one who had the same issue. Soft mouth and doesn't like fat bits. Tried the Neue Schule Tranz Angled Lozenge and the NS Team Up, as well as a Happy Mouth.

                      This loose ring french link is what he ended up happy in. I found that he prefers the flat mouth piece and a thinner bit. So yea, spent a fortune on high-end bits, and the cheap $22 bit off Amazon is what he is most happy in.

                      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                      P.S. Just saw that it's very similar to the first bit posted above! :-) I like that Albacon!
                      "Horses are too spency!" - Mom

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another one for cheap bits. The Korsteel curved mouth eggbutt single joint works well on my mare. It's about 14mm, so a touch thicker than a Myler, but not at all bulky.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thank you for the suggestions so far!

                          She has a very small, narrow mouth which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a “big” bit - with the happy mouth she could not fully close her mouth.

                          I am 100% positive this is not a training issue as some have suggested. She is light as a feather and very responsive in her leather loose ring I am just trying to find the legal equivalent (if the leather was legal I wouldn’t be asking about other bits!). She does not care for the Myler as it is too harsh despite being a simple loose ring comfort snaffle, which leads me to believe she would prefer either a non metal bit or a Mullen mouth or both (hence trying the happy mouth and Nathe).

                          I may have to try the Neue Schule bits as I’ve only heard great things about them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smthn_Like_Olivia View Post
                            So yea, spent a fortune on high-end bits, and the cheap $22 bit off Amazon is what he is most happy in.
                            My friend had a horse that was struggling getting used to the double and she wanted to try a set of thinner bits as his mouth is small despite being a big horse. Another friend lent her the Coronet Weymouth with a narrow diameter mouthpiece that she uses with her mare. It was recommended by a very BNT (who used it on his own horse).
                            "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kaya842 View Post
                              Thank you for the suggestions so far!

                              She has a very small, narrow mouth which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a “big” bit - with the happy mouth she could not fully close her mouth.

                              I am 100% positive this is not a training issue as some have suggested. She is light as a feather and very responsive in her leather loose ring I am just trying to find the legal equivalent (if the leather was legal I wouldn’t be asking about other bits!). She does not care for the Myler as it is too harsh despite being a simple loose ring comfort snaffle, which leads me to believe she would prefer either a non metal bit or a Mullen mouth or both (hence trying the happy mouth and Nathe).

                              I may have to try the Neue Schule bits as I’ve only heard great things about them.
                              One of the horses who loves the NS tranz angled bit had previously broken his upper jaw in a trailer accident, and went bridleless for quite a while and then moved to a leather bit because he couldn't tolerate any sort of metal.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by kaya842 View Post

                                I am 100% positive this is not a training issue as some have suggested. She is light as a feather and very responsive in her leather loose ring I am just trying to find the legal equivalent (if the leather was legal I wouldn’t be asking about other bits!).
                                I wasn’t suggesting the horse had a training “issue”. The simple fact is that different bits feel different and the way they transmit the aids is going to feel different, and a horse may not automatically have the same response to one as they did another. Let’s say you had decided to switch disciplines from English to Western instead of between English disciplines. The horse is probably going to be “dull” to seat and leg cues because they are going to feel very different with a Western saddle of any kind as compared to how they felt while wearing an English saddle of any kind. It shouldn’t take long for the horse to learn how the new cues feel, though, if you go back to some basic schooling with the new tack, and there aren’t any issues where the new tack is actively uncomfortable. It’s a different story if the horse is gaping, chewing, clearly uncomfortable, but the only concern you originally described with at least some bits was that she was “dull.” That can be changed with training and doesn’t necessarily mean she has an “issue” or was poorly trained before.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by kaya842 View Post
                                  Hi all!
                                  I am need help finding a bit for my soft mouthed mare. She is normally a jumper but we are starting to dabble in more and more dressage shows. In the jumper ring/ at home she goes in a leather loose ring (which isn’t legal of course). We have tried happy mouths (too fat and too hard), nathe (too fat as well), Myler comfort snaffle (she likes it mostly but can be over reactive to it), KK Ultra (too fat) all in a variety of cheek pieces (eggbut, dee ring, loose ring). All of the ones that were too fat she was a little “dull” in - she “hears” me but tunes me out just a little. She responds but isn’t as quick about it as she could possibly be.
                                  The loose ring seems to work the best for our communication but she prefers the dee ring (and sometimes tunes me out just a little in the leather Dee Ring).
                                  Get a thinner bit! My previous mare hung on fatter bits and objected to bits that put pressure on the tongue (she had a small mouth and a large tongue) and went very well in a 14mm Sprenger double-jointed bean mouth snaffle (the old Training Snaffle that the don't make anymore). The bean was the key. Also, FOR HER, she required a longer bit because she had quite fleshy lips and really, really objected to a "properly fitting bit" that pinched her lips. Many trainers said the bit was too big for her but I knew she needed the room and the trainers eventually agreed. I showed her extensively in this bit and did many clinics with FEI peeps none mentioned the size. Measuring her mouth, she was probably at 4.5" , but this bit is 4.75.

                                  My current gelding also has a small mouth for his size and goes very well in this bit. I suspect he'd lean on a fatter bit and would object to something like a Dr Bristol unless it was oversized enough to lay on the tongue rather than press on it. He goes very well in this 14mm bit and the trainer agrees.
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My mare has very little room in her mouth, too. We've tried KK Ultra, Neue Schule Tranz Angled, Neue Schule Verbindend, Neue Schule Team Up, Myler (can't recall exactly which one).

                                    Someone then loaned me a Centaur EcoPure bit, which is a rubber bit but much thinner than most rubber bits. We tried both the double jointed snaffle with the lozenge and the french link. She seems to prefer the french link:

                                    https://marystack.com/ecopure-french...iABEgLE1vD_BwE

                                    Bonus is its price point!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Janet View Post

                                      But is that dressage-legal?
                                      Yes FEI legal

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                                      • #20
                                        My very soft-mouthed horse goes very well in the Lorenzini bits. They're titanium so very lightweight. (He also has a pretty small mouth for his size, and they do come in different diameters.) Not the cheapest experiment, but if you can find one to borrow, it might be worth it!

                                        ETA--I have a horse in training with me who also goes really well in this bit (egg-butt, double jointed w/ the bean). She has some bit/contact anxieties and they are definitely reduced in this bit.

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