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Bit Ideas For Sensitive Mouthed TB

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  • Bit Ideas For Sensitive Mouthed TB

    OK, I've tried the following.
    1. Nathe Flexible loose Ring Snaffle
    2. HS Turnado Aurigan Loose Ring
    3. Eggbutt Dr. Bristol
    4. Eggbutt French Link
    5. Full Cheek JP w/ regular jointed snaffle mouth

    Last bit has been the most successful when used w/bit keepers and raised up one hole for a higher position in the mouth. Also, using flash noseband. I am now leaning towards a JP D bit with copper lozenger in the center so the bit does not have the nutcracker affect. Have not been able to locate a Full Cheek with other than single joint except a HS - Wow the prices have gone up on those! As I'm experimenting I'd rather not go there!

    I can not get this mare to seek contact.(Except when you ask her for an extended trot...) Yes, I know that I have a problem with following the contact (working on it) and may have made this mess myself, but I am seeking out others who may have had this problem and made some progress.

  • #2
    Go figure, Sophie likes the hard rubber mullen mouth egg butt I pulled from the bargin bin at our local tack shop.

    For $15
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    • #3
      Honestly it is the rider's hands that teach the horse to seek contact. Obviously if a bit is painful or does not fit it will be a problem, but the bits you have listed are quite mild. (Except the Dr. Bristol, I really would not recommend that for dressage.) Changing the bit again will not solve your problem. Not trying to sound like a jerk here, but I have FINALLY realized the power of a forward-thinking contact during the last two years with my horse and it is truly worth working and waiting for. You need the right trainer, not a different bit. Are you currently working with someone? Honestly I wish I had not absolutely wasted SOOOOO many years on contact issues all because I had no one to show me the right feeling. Where are you located?


      • #4
        Try a baucher, double-jointed.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


        • #5

          The Baucher is great. My sensitive mouth TB likes lower sitting bits-maybe he has a low palate? He likes the Baucher (single jointed) a lot and almost leaned into it too much. Ask around and borrow bits before buying. GL!


          • #6
            My TB who thought a either a dee ring snaffle or dee ring snaffle with a french link were too much, goes well in a dee ring happy mouth.


            • #7
              Originally posted by dwblover View Post
              Honestly it is the rider's hands that teach the horse to seek contact.
              so very very very true.
              That said, try a myler loosering french link. most TB's have tiny spaces to fit a bit, and the mylers are really thin. My boy loves his.
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                yes, I would try a double-jointed baucher or maybe even a mullen mouth. It sounds like she likes the stability of the full cheek. Baucher would give pretty much the same effect. check e-bay and tack sales for full cheeks; they are kind of out of style right now.

                The reason I suggest a mullen mouth is you say she will not seek contact. a mullen mouth may give her something more firm/stable to seek after.


                • #9
                  Another option is the tester bits from Dressage Extensions. I am actually doing this to make sure I picked out the right weymouth for my sensitive OTTB! We borrowed several and I *think* I picked out the same one but....

                  My guy is super soft in the mouth and encouraging him to take contact has always been a tough spot. I use the KK training bit (not ultra) in german silver.

                  Another thing I realized with him is his mouth is smaller than I would have thought! He actually wears a smaller snaffle than my Arab and he likes the thinner mouthpiece.

                  Becky & the boys
                  Becky & Red
                  In Loving Memory of Gabriel, 1998-2005 and Raalph, 1977-2013


                  • #10
                    really like the kk ultra 2 for my ottb jumper.

                    my 19 yr old semi-retired always went in a loose ring hollow mouth with a square life saver in the middle - even doing the level 4 jumpers.

                    the mouth is really what you make of it over time.
                    'What's in your trunk?'
                    Free tools for Trainers and Riders


                    • #11
                      I'm with dwblover on this. All the bits you listed are mild mild mild so sounds like you may need to pick one and let her learn to trust your hands. Ignore "headset" a while and show her seeking contact is good. So happy I found someone who can show me what it means to have a willing happy horse that loves working forward and seeking contact.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by crthunder View Post

                        My guy is super soft in the mouth and encouraging him to take contact has always been a tough spot. I use the KK training bit (not ultra) in german silver.
                        Side question: WHERE do you find HS bits that do not have Aurigan mouthpieces? They are too heavy for my mare. I have her in a borrowed, older KK D-ring from the days before Aurigan, but I can't keep borrowing it forever, and would probably prefer an eggbutt KK.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                        • #13
                          Just throwing this out there since I didn't see anybody else post it, but I am sure it wouldn't hurt to have her teeth checked by an Equine Dentist.

                          Just to eliminate pain as an issue then go from there.


                          • #14
                            I finally tossed a halter with reins attached on my OTTB yesterday and rode in that... And it made all the difference. Instead of being fussy and nervous and giraffe like, and backing his head away from the bit pressure, he stretched all the way down even at the trot. And no more tossing his head in transitions. I stuck his bridle back on and he went back to being NOT HAPPY and not even remotely seeking the contact.

                            I mean, I don't have the quietest hands in the world but they're ok (don't judge me off all my old youtube videos, I've finally gotten some lessons and my hands have gotten a LOT quieter these past few weeks especially), and when he does look for the contact I try to hold steady and do nothing, keeping everything the same, and he still only holds the contact for like one stride before backing off again.

                            So I'm watching this thread too because there's something he doesn't like about his bit (eggbutt french link snaffle). I'm thinking of trying a happy mouth or something rubber coated thinking maybe he doesn't like the metal, or really anything else lighter weight because my eggbutt is strangely heavy even to hold in your hand. I'm interested to see all the suggestions because I need to make a change.

                            If that doesn't work? I'm looking at bitless bridles too. Maybe he'll just never enjoy being ridden with a bit like he does without one. I'd rather find a bit that he likes though because he is a little... enthusiastic... about jumping. I'm not even approaching a jump with just that halter on, lol.

                            I feel like the queen of run on sentences after this post. I'll go crawl back in my hole that I lurk from and go back to rarely posting.
                            RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AnEnglishRider View Post
                              I finally tossed a halter with reins attached on my OTTB yesterday and rode in that... And it made all the difference. Instead of being fussy and nervous and giraffe like, and backing his head away from the bit pressure, he stretched all the way down even at the trot. And no more tossing his head in transitions. I stuck his bridle back on and he went back to being NOT HAPPY and not even remotely seeking the contact.
                              My trakehner had a low palate and a thick tongue. It made most bits uncomfortable for him.

                              The bit he went best in was a mullen mouth snaffle.

                              But he really, really preferred bitless. I used a side pull style bridle as he hated the cross under ones. Night and day in his performance. I even hunted him in a side pull!

                              Sometimes the bit is what's causing the problem.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                              • #16
                                Hmmm... good thought on the side pull. My barn owner has had horses that really liked the cross under kind. I wish she had one I could try out. I know I don't want a hackamore because he's had one of those on before when he was younger and the curb chain on it freaked him out. That was the very first time I rode him (and when his owners asked me to keep riding him that was the first thing I changed... he flipped out when I (gently, because I knew the power of a hackamore) asked him to slow down and not gallop off in the hackamore, in the bridle he's just a little bit nervous).

                                Who knows? I'll probably never have the money to show him anyway, maybe for the rest of his life I'll ride him in that halter if I never find a bit he likes. If I do that though, I'm buying a nicer halter... the one I have is old faded pink and it's ugly.

                                What kind of mullen mouth? was it metal, rubber, thick, thin?
                                RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012


                                • #17
                                  I've been riding my ottb in a JP rubber D ring snaffle. I tried all the various "soft" bit like you did, even got him a KK, a Myler comfort snaffle, and a thick copper Stubben boucher, but couldn't quite get the contact I wanted. The rubber bit is so much better. The JP bits are curved, so since my boy seems to not like tongue pressure (he sucks his tongue back in his mouth), I got him the regular snaffle vs the french link, the way it is curved it doesn't look like it can poke into the roof of his mouth. The D rings add stability and aid my steering when he's naughty and leans too hard on it. They aren't real expensive either. I'm hoping I can use this to re-educate his mouth and teach him to trust my hands and carry contact, then maybe switch him back to a KK or something, but I suppose if he is going well in it I may as well leave him in it.
                                  Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
                                  Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
                                  My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


                                  • #18
                                    My TB mare goes in a Happy Mouth mullen mouthpiece D ring when she uses a bit. I only use it when we are showing as she starts to get really heavy and pissy with the bit if I use it alot. The rest of the time she goes in a hackamore.


                                    • #19
                                      My Arab likes the Herm Sprenger Dynamic - it's got a slightly different mouth from the KK Ultra. He strongly prefers the eggbutt to a loose ring.

                                      You can rent them Bit of Britain if you want to try a few before you commit. http://www.bitofbritain.com/Herm_Spr.../2035-rent.htm

                                      One other thought - have you considered a Micklem bridle? It does seem to stabilize the bit, and might help if your horse is bothered by the movement rather than the bit itself. Dover will let you try before you buy. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=364267797


                                      • #20
                                        I'd try a Micklem bridle, then a Myler. My guy really didn't like a flash while he was learning to accept contact, so I switched to a Micklem temporarily and it was night and day. He likes thinner mouthed bits for the most part, unless it's a loose ring snaffle or his beloved normal weight pelham. (I kid you not, he adores that bit.)
                                        Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.