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To try Another Bit or Not (Horse Opening Mouth Under Saddle)?

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  • To try Another Bit or Not (Horse Opening Mouth Under Saddle)?

    My Thoroughbred had went in a single jointed snaffle before I got him and that's what I always used with him until a couple years back when I switched him to one of Stubben's double jointed eggbutt bits (since I felt that the single jointed bit's
    nutcracker action didn't sound too pleasant). He's still going in the Stubben and seems fine enough, but...

    When I watch videos of my rides, I see that he'll frequently open his mouth. He's up-to-date on his dental work and I'd say that this is just something he does. An evasion? Perhaps. But what should I do? Ignore it and figure that it is just something he does? A flash doesn't do much for his behavior (because I never would crank it up) and recently I removed it from his bridle completely.

    I'm temped to try one of Herm Sprenger's bits (WH Ultra Loose Ring Oval Snaffle, KK Ultra Loose Ring, KK Dynamic RS Loose Ring, or 2-Type KK Ultra--but, I have no idea which) because of the trial program that some places (BoB, VTO, etc.) offer for their bits. However, I thought I'd see what some other CoTHer's opinions were, first. So, any thoughts? TIA!

    ETA: I do not think that I am too hard with my hands, although there are small moments where I suppose everyone slips up. I ride with a couple of different trainers and horse is the same when the one trainer exercises him (and she is not overly "handsy".
    Last edited by Dressage.For.Life.; Jul. 4, 2011, 08:15 PM.
    Originally posted by RugBug
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.

  • #2
    I really love KKs and so do my horses, but I find the biggest improvement I get in the quietness of their mouth comes from the quietness in use of my hands.

    As in, it may be the bit, or the hands using it.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


    • Original Poster

      After reviewing our videos some more, I really think that he's just a very active with his bit and that he likes to chew it a lot when he is really thinking...anyone else have a horse like this? Any types of bits that are best to avoid (like, some of the "busier" HS bits like their 2-Type KK Ultra?)? thanks.
      Originally posted by RugBug
      Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


      • #4
        I like a 14mm loose ring french link for a busy mouthed horse. I'm riding my young mare in this bit, and have successfully used it on other horses. It's good for a sensitive mouth and also for a horse with a low palate. My mare is pretty quiet in this bit, provided I leave the flash in the tack box.


        • #5
          Love this bit. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=207415431

          Herm Sprenger KK Ultra Loose Ring Snaffle Bit
          21mm Aurigan Item # X1-01356

          The middle piece is shorter and angled 45 degrees for a more comfortable fit for the palate. Very easily accepted by young horses and we do not use flashes here now that we have found this bit because they are unnecessary. We use cranks but do not crank them down - just like that there is less irritation under the buckle.
          Altamont Sport Horses
          Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
          Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
          Birmingham, AL


          • #6
            Have you tried the single jointed snaffle recently? It is possible that the double joint is just a little "fussy" for him and allows him to play with it excessively. Many horses are very happy in a single jointed snaffle. You could also try a Baucher - it sits more quietly in the horse's mouth by design.

            Why aren't you using the flash? It is there for a reason. Of course I'd never advocate using one cranked down so tight that the horse's lips are turning blue, but there's no reason not to use one tightened appropriately. It could help the bit be more stable in his mouth.
            "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
            but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

            Trolls be trollin'! -DH


            • Original Poster

              Altamont: If I try another bit I guess I am not sure what diameter of mouthpiece I should order (14, 16, 18, 21mm)? My horse is a Thoroughbred but I'm not sure what his mouth is like (as far as a high or low palate, etc. goes).

              CatPS: I took the flash off just to see if he went any differently without it. And, because he's been about the same, I have just left it off. I'll see if I can dig it up and I'll try it out again (I didn't think that it would possibly keep the bit from simply moving around as much). I have not tried him in his old single-jointed bit recently but I'll give it a go, too. Thanks for the ideas!
              Originally posted by RugBug
              Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


              • #8
                If you can, try a Myler comfort snaffle - the wide barrel, level 1 bit with no hooks is legal. I've just put my OTTB in one, and he is much steadier and quieter in the bridle. I just had my second ride in it yesterday - and I think he's figuring out that it won't pinch him - he's starting to stretch into contact nicely. He was previously in a loose ring KK french link.
                Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


                • #9
                  another vote for the Boucher.


                  • Original Poster

                    CatPS and Stryder: Thanks for suggesting a boucher! I didn't even think of it but it makes sense--that a quieter bit like a boucher may be the ticket for my horse--thank you! I had actually been going the opposite way in thinking of trying one of HS's loose rings. Now, after thinking about bouchers, I bet a loose ring would make my horse even worse (but ya never know with horses!) so I'm going to see if I can borrow a plain loose ring from my barn and see how he goes in it (since there will be more movement by design) and maybe work on trying a boucher.

                    And thanks Johnnysauntie, too. Glad you found what works for your OTTB!
                    Originally posted by RugBug
                    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.