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The bumpy plastic mullen bits

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  • The bumpy plastic mullen bits

    I know that the consensus is that the "bumpy" mullens - smooth but with the profile of a double jointed bit - are not legal for dressage. I understand why the current rule is interpreted that way.

    Do people feel that they should not be legal for dressage, or is it just that no one has bothered to submit a rule change to make them legal? From my point of view, it's a perfectly acceptable mild bit, and the nice thing is that they are readily available in a range of sizes and a range of cheekpieces, from Happy Mouth and now Korsteel. My daughter's small pony is going in one of these, and I like it because it stays steady and kind in his tiny mouth even when she gets a little unsteady in her hands. The only dressage legal version I can find in 4 1/2" will require a special order from England. That seems overkill for an eight year old child to do an intro test.

    I am also starting to wonder about taking his existing one with the bumps and just attacking it with my dremel tool and some sandpaper.

    I am thinking about submitting a rule change proposal myself, but I wondered if people truly objected to these bits for dressage.
    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

  • #2
    I'd be very interested as well. My boy has a Happy Mouth mullen, which I didn't realize was illegal until just a couple days ago. No worries, since we won't be showing, but it's got me curious.

    Comment


    • #3
      Happy Mouth makes a smooth mullen mouth now that is easy to find in the U.S.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by dwblover View Post
        Happy Mouth makes a smooth mullen mouth now that is easy to find in the U.S.
        Only in 5" as far as I've been able to find, and only in a loose 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

        Comment


        • #5
          So the bumps make it illegal? What do they do?

          we're talking this:
          http://www.smartpakequine.com/images...en_eggbutt.jpg

          vs

          this:
          http://www.bigblackhorse.com/images/...its/BT145T.jpg

          Comment


          • #6
            I thought those bits were illegal not because of the bumps, but because they were not rigid?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by 2LaZ2race View Post
              So the bumps make it illegal? What do they do?

              we're talking this:
              http://www.smartpakequine.com/images...en_eggbutt.jpg

              vs

              this:
              http://www.bigblackhorse.com/images/...its/BT145T.jpg
              Yup, exactly. The bumps are illegal because they're not shown as a legal profile in the rule book. I have not come across anyone who felt they were harsh or added to the action of the bit. My assumption is that they're there more as a marketing gimmick.

              I have no particular love for the bumps, though I do appreciate that the mouthpiece isn't as thick as the standard legal plastic/rubber mullen. That tongue has to go somewhere.
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                But the Sprenger Duo would be legal, right?

                http://www.123tack.com/winning/produ...hannelid=FROOG

                eta: I still wonder whether the Happy Mouth mullen is legal under the "rigid" requirement, has anyone got more info on that? They are not completely rigid.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                  I thought those bits were illegal not because of the bumps, but because they were not rigid?
                  Actually, they're extremely rigid. More rigid than I might like. It's a very hard plastic.

                  I don't know why the rules are written to allow flexible metal bits (ie, double jointed mouthpiece) but then there's the note about the flexible rubber bit, "except as noted below", which I don't really follow.
                  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

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                    But the Sprenger Duo would be legal, right?

                    http://www.123tack.com/winning/produ...hannelid=FROOG

                    eta: I still wonder whether the Happy Mouth mullen is legal under the "rigid" requirement, has anyone got more info on that? They are not completely rigid.
                    I think the Duo would be legal. I certainly hope so.

                    The Happy Mouth is completely and utterly rigid, as rigid as stainless steel. No bend at all. I hear the Duo has some flex to it. The Korsteel mouthpiece has a little bit of flex, not like rubber, but you can deform it with your hands if you use some force.

                    But I'd be interested to hear why anyone was upset about the idea that a dressage bit would flex.
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hmm, the one I had did allow some bend.

                      I think the action of a flexible plastic/rubber bit and a double jointed mouthpiece would be much different- not sure how they'd be different, or why one would be more desirable than the other, but different

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                        Hmm, the one I had did allow some bend.

                        I think the action of a flexible plastic/rubber bit and a double jointed mouthpiece would be much different- not sure how they'd be different, or why one would be more desirable than the other, but different
                        I agree, very different. But why would the rubber be bad?

                        I have two horses in a mullen. One is the small pony, and he is in that bit because of his very small mouth and rider's wiggly hands mean that any motion in the bit is uncomfortable for him. The soft, steady bit means he doesn't get clanked in the teeth with metal. His mouth is so small that even if I were riding him, I would choose a plastic mullen. It is very difficult to fit him with any kind of jointed snaffle and have it not rattle into his teeth on a headshake, etc.

                        The other is my large pony. She likes to play. With a solid bit, she is wonderful and light and steady. With any kind of jointed bit, she is absurdly mouthy, biting it and wiggling her head around and so focused on the feel of the bit that it's hard to get her attention. I don't know if she's playing for fun or if it's not comfortable for her. But, the mullen makes us both happy, so the mullen it is. She might be fine in a jointed bit with very stiff joints, ones that would conform to her mouth but not bounce and flop. That's how I imagine a flexible rubber bit would work for her - it would shape in her mouth but it wouldn't wiggle. With the hard mullens, I think it is probably hit or miss whether the curve matches the horse's mouth shape.
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Brief hijack -- so are the smooth-mouthed Happy Mouth loose-ring mullens legal? Apparently that's a bit that my new guy likes. It doesn't look comfortable to me, though, lol.
                          Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by LisaW-B View Post
                            Brief hijack -- so are the smooth-mouthed Happy Mouth loose-ring mullens legal? Apparently that's a bit that my new guy likes. It doesn't look comfortable to me, though, lol.
                            Yes.
                            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

                            Comment

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