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Loose ring snaffles pinching?

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  • Loose ring snaffles pinching?

    I’ve always heard that loose ring snaffles can pinch the horses mouths and so I’ve never used one. I’m interested in a Stubben bit and the loose ring is cheaper than the dee ring so I’m considering it. Should I be worried about my horse getting pinched? What is the benefit of the loose ring style over other cheek styles?

    this is the bit, does anyone have it and have issues with pinching?

  • #2
    The functional difference between a loose ring and a D is that because the D is fixed to the mouthpiece, there is less "give" so you have a bit more stopping power, plus the straight bars of the D can help a bit with steering. So a loose ring bit is slightly milder bit than a D with the exact same mouthpiece.

    To answer the pinching question, I have always used those rubber disc-shaped rings on any loose ring or elevator bit, so I have never had one pinch a horse's mouth. I definitely think it could pinch without the rings, particularly if it is towards the narrow side. The rings are cheap and don't look bad (especially if you get black), although they can be a b**** to get on the bit at first - soaking in warm water first helps tremendously!


    • #3
      I often use a single jointed loose-ring snaffle for flatting and have never had an issue with pinching, It really depends on the horse. (In dressage, most bits are loose ring and I have rarely, if ever, seen bit guards in use.)


      • #4
        Sometimes you just need to order a loose ring a little wider than you would a fixed cheekpiece. That usually solves the problem. If you need the rings right up close to his face for steering,you’d be better off with a full cheek or D anyway.
        Stubben tried to fix the issue with their golden wings bits but when I last checked they weren’t legal.


        • #5
          I've had my Stubben on 4 different horses, never ever a pinch or other problem
          Go, Baby, Go......
          Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector


          • #6
            Are you competing? If so, in what ring? I don't think bit guards are legal in the hunters, and a loose ring would be out of place in that ring. You'd have to check bit guard legality in the Eq, but the loose ring wouldn't be a problem. Jumpers so one is going to care. I've never had a problem with a loose ring rubbing but I've mostly used those on other peoples dressage horses and they usually had a flash to stabilize the bit.


            • #7
              The only time I’ve had one pinch was with age and wear. The holes through which the rings ran got wider and the edges got sharper. This was with cheapish hollow mouth snaffles. I’ve seen the same sort of thing happen with happy mouth loose rings.

              Haven’t had a problem with non-hollow mouth loose rings, including Mylers, Herm Springers and Neue Schule.

              Loose ring in the hunters isn’t a problem.
              The Evil Chem Prof


              • #8
                I go up 1/2" in width with loose rings and have never had a problem


                • #9
                  I've never had a problem with a loose ring pinching.

                  The D ring is of course more in fashion for the hunters, though I'd personally have no trouble going around in a loose ring. The D sides can be helpful on a horse that resists a bend or gets opinionated - they provide a bit more of a turning hint. I have a horse with a lovely soft mouth in a D who is terrible in a loose ring. I've also had horses that really like the softness of connection of the loose ring. They both hang in the mouth a wee bit differently also.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lintesia View Post
                    (In dressage, most bits are loose ring and I have rarely, if ever, seen bit guards in use.)
                    That is because bit guards are illegal in Dressage. DR121.7.

                    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.


                    • #11
                      I have to be careful with the style of loose ring bits I used on my retired horse. He was a grey/white pinto and rubbed easily. Certain types of loose rings would pinch him. But I think he was pretty thin skinned. The Stubben in the OP would almost certainly pinch him.
                      I used a loose ring that had ends like this one.

                      I was able to use a Beval bit with no problem.

                      I had to use bit guards on a Happy Mouth mullen 3 ring elevator bit.
                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Janet View Post

                        That is because bit guards are illegal in Dressage. DR121.7.
                        In competition, of course. I was thinking of general schooling, and should have been clearer. My bad!


                        • #13
                          Nearly all dressage horses go in loose rings despite bit guards being illegal. As long as you don't order too small, there are rarely issues. Depending on how your D rings fit, you may have to go up 1/4 to 1/2".