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I need a bit suggestion...

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  • I need a bit suggestion...

    My 3 year old TB, Tate, the young prince, has very sensitive mouth corners. We had been working in a loose ring, single jointed, happy mouth when I first noticed some wear in the corners of his lips. He had munched a rough spot in the hard plastic on the same side with the most rawness so I assumed that was the problem. Chucked that bit and gave him a few days off then put him in a fat, loose ring, french snaffle (double jointed w/ the "bean.") Made him raw again. Next I tried a flexible, mullen mouth, eggbutt (the one with the "bumps") that he had worn for a couple months earlier this year without a problem and it's now a problem!

    He goes in consistent light contact, but isn't "on the bit" in a frame yet, although I do want him looking for a little contact. He was pretty happy in all those bits. From my choice of bits you can see he doesn't need anything harsh, and is quite controllable in the mildest of bits--and I'd like to keep it that way!

    What's out there that is very forgiving on sensitive lips and mild enough to encourage him to make/seek contact? He's getting the next week off, so I figure now is a good time to order something new...

  • #2
    I notice this problem myself in hot, humid, sweaty weather...my little guy's lips peel a bit right where the bit would hit the lips. We don't tend to have this problem in the cooler weather, though. That said, if you touch or put a little ointment on those spots they are sore to the touch so I obviously needed to find a fix.

    This might sound weird but one thing I tried last summer that helped a lot was some latex wrap. My guy goes really nicely in a plain, thin loose ring snaffle and I didn't want to change that up much...he is picky. Doesn't like fat bits, rubber, extra joints, eggbuts, etc. Okay, fine. So I tried folding over a very thin, small layer of latex about where a bit guard would lie, and that did the trick. It did, I am sure, affect the movement of the bit somewhat, but he seemed not to bat an eye or change, and it helped with the peeling/chafing when he would sweat/salivate.

    Might work for you if your guy likes the bit he has otherwise? Bit guards are always an option for the short term as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have trained with several top class international eventers whom all swear by putting vaseline, decitin, or another soothing ointment into the corners of their mouth before work, in effect the bit slides across more easily and doesn't create rubs.

      The latex is a great suggestion, and if you don't have any handy at the moment, I've found vetwrap works just as well. This also works well for anyone using a harsher mouth piece bit, like a twisted wire. Wrap a little latex around the edge of the bit where the lips will lay.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Middleburg View Post
        I have trained with several top class international eventers whom all swear by putting vaseline, decitin, or another soothing ointment into the corners of their mouth before work, in effect the bit slides across more easily and doesn't create rubs.

        The latex is a great suggestion, and if you don't have any handy at the moment, I've found vetwrap works just as well. This also works well for anyone using a harsher mouth piece bit, like a twisted wire. Wrap a little latex around the edge of the bit where the lips will lay.
        Middleburg, I really like the vaseline idea as well and have not tried that! I think I will as we're at that time of year again. I have also bitted up a little to a Wonder Bit for XC (he has a lot of go and alas I am still learning)...I'd like to give this a go along with the latex. Thanks!

        Vetwrap also a good idea, I hadn't tried that either.

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        • #5
          I do think their little baby lips need to toughen a little, and sometimes vaseline is just the ticket.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            Hmmmm -- I would suggest the same happy mouth with an eggbutt or eggbutt D, plus some latex Buzzmonster usually had latex on his bits that he wore off at camp, as he was always so sensitive!

            I like the stability of the eggbutt D better than the loose ring -- also won't pinch.

            Got any recent pics?!!

            libby
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            • #7
              Same thing happens on a few of mine and I love the vaseline for keeping them comfortable. I also love love the herm sprenger duo bit that I use on my extra sensitive guys to help them seek out the bit. The nathe is similar and I got lucky finding mine on ebay. The happy mouth mullen is a bit harder and can really rub.
              http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                I second the duo or what I have, a nathe.

                Another bit that got rid of the chaps and pinches on my OTTB with fat lips is the Stubben EZ control. It is a french link with side action, but will not fold to pinch the lips. It is kind of like a mullen with side control. It is the first time that my horse dies not have marks on his mouth, and he is 17.

                Another thing that I found is that although my horse looked fine in the 5" bit, when I measured him, because of his fat lips, he measured a 5.5." I feel a bit like an idiot, but he always looked fine in the smaller bits because the fat lips just got pressed in.

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                • #9
                  FWIW, one of my friends rides their TB in the EZ control and he can pull like a mac truck in that stinkin' thing.
                  Big Idea Eventing

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
                    FWIW, one of my friends rides their TB in the EZ control and he can pull like a mac truck in that stinkin' thing.
                    Agreed, but for horses that don't want to reach for contact, it is awesome!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks guys! What's the difference in the Duo and the Nathe? The pictures look the same...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nathe is a bit softer/more flexible than the Duo. My TB loves the duo -- I've never had a nathe personally so can't speak to if he would be different in one, but I've drooled over them in tack stores. I bought the duo because I think it looks as if it would last a bit longer/be harder to chew through.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Nathe lasts amazingly well. I have one that has lasted for years, while I have gone through numerous Happy Mouths in the meantime. I use the Happy Mouths to jump, I used the Nathe on the flat. So the HMs got used tons less, but died way sooner.

                          In fact, I bought a new Nathe to have on hand, and it sits in the wrapping unneeded because the original is still trucking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What about a loose ring eggbut? VTO sells them. I have one, works like a loosering, but has cheek protection from the eggbut sleeves that the loose ring slides through.

                            http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...gory_Code=BITS

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by NRB View Post
                              What about a loose ring eggbut? VTO sells them. I have one, works like a loosering, but has cheek protection from the eggbut sleeves that the loose ring slides through.

                              http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...gory_Code=BITS
                              I don't think it is the joint between the bit and the ring that is rubbing/pinching, but actually mouth piece itself. The rub is much to deep into the folds of the lips, in fact you can't see it unless you actually manipulate the lips--nothing on the outside edge at all...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by subk View Post
                                I don't think it is the joint between the bit and the ring that is rubbing/pinching, but actually mouth piece itself. The rub is much to deep into the folds of the lips, in fact you can't see it unless you actually manipulate the lips--nothing on the outside edge at all...
                                Oh Ouch, so you mean the joint in the middle, the one that lies on the tongue? How does that get over to pinch the sides? Doesn't matter, sounds like a solid mouthpiece is the answer then.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I read an interesting article in EQUUS (this month or last month) that most horses have oral ulcers when they are in work (and wearing bits). The article recommended switching between a couple of different bits and bridles on a regular basis to relieve pressure points caused by either one. Does anyone actually do this, I wonder?
                                  SportHorseRiders.com
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                                  • #18
                                    I've had luck going with a slightly bigger happy mouth french link (bigger meant that he couldn't get his lips working it as much to start a rub) and also putting quite a lot of vaseline in the corners of their mouths. The upside of the vaseline is that it's slippery/downside is that it will keep their skin pretty soft (kind of the opposite of what you want). I know one runner/rider who swore by bodyglide - she said it kept the bit from catching but didn't soften the skin. YMMV - I was never brave enough to try it.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by NRB View Post
                                      Oh Ouch, so you mean the joint in the middle, the one that lies on the tongue? How does that get over to pinch the sides? Doesn't matter, sounds like a solid mouthpiece is the answer then.
                                      Not the joint but the actual bar of the bit. He rubs in a mullen mouth which is unjointed.

                                      Spots BodyGlide might be just the ticket. I have some since I use it when I bike. I'll give it a try next week and report in!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Buddy got rubs in the corners of his lips when I was using a fat loose ring, and also when I tried the KK french link. I think that was because he was really mouthy with the fatter bits. I switched him to a plain eggbutt, which I had been avoiding because I wanted to use something light and soft, but he is much happier and has not been getting the rubs. They are all so different- good luck finding something that works for Prince Tate!

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