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Pony who gets tongue over bit (HELP!)

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    Pony who gets tongue over bit (HELP!)

    I have a Haffy cross who has been notorious for getting his tongue over the bit and we loose all control over the bugger. I bought one of those tongue depressers I also have a flash on him to help support and keep his jaw closed (the caveson) and his mouth to keep it from opening.

    His teeth are fine, the bit (broken pellham) fits fine, bridle is adjusted so that the bit sits where it should and he does have at least 2 wrinkles, but that little bugger can STILL get his tongue almost completely over the bit - he tucks it under the bit and depresser and fidgets. He then has NO brakes, tosses his head if you try to bring him from a trot to a walk (or canter to trot) and just manhandles the rider till he gets to the gate.

    He is about 13h. I am 5'6", 150lbs and I can barely slow him down when he does his tongue trick (I rode to see if it was rider error or pony badness). How the heck is a child supposed to control him if I can't?

    Any thoughts, words of wisdom (besides getting rid of him).??? He is not in pain, not out of alignment, teeth are great shape - he is a turd and in all my years of owning and teaching I have never had an issue with the tongue like this. HELP!

    Well, if you are absolutely certain that the bit fits and all other things related to physical comfort are taken care of, you could possibly try a tongue tie like we do a the track. Some people use a piece of damp cloth, others use an elastic. My best advice is to get someone who knows how to put one on to show you, much better than trying to describe it here. Then lead and lunge him in it before a qualified adult gets on him and rides to make sure he accepts it because although the majority of horses get along just fine with them, some can resent them quite seriously. You could also try a Serena's Song or this
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      I had a horse who liked to do that. I bought a ported bit - almost entire mouthpiece was a port (it was a western bit but maybe there is an english version). That solved the problem. And since it was a western bit - we had no noseband, so it was the bit that kept his tongue where it needed to be.


        My current OTTB is the 1st I've had with your problem. I rode him for a year in a plain cavesson and happy mouth loose ring snaffle before he started putting his tongue over the bit. I went through approx. a dozen different bits, flash noseband, figure 8 noseband, and Micklem bridle before I finally found a bit he was comfortable with. It's a Myler bit with a port, but I can't even find it on their website. I'll take a picture of it if you're interested. BTW, I've been using it for about 6 weeks now, with just a plain cavesson. Dressage work, trail riding, and jumping!
        "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


          a flash noseband with a leverage bit (pelham) seems like a harsh combination.

          If the bit is single jointed, then perhaps his fleshy tongue is pushing the joint into the roof of his mouth, so he sucks it back to make room....consider trying an unjointed or double jointed bit.

          Or what about trying him in a soft nosed hack or similar?
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            Tongue tie. We use them on the saddlebreds all the time, never had an issue with them hurting themselves or flipping out about it so I consider it a very safe alternative (to not being able to stop the horse!). I really don't think they impair the horse at all, just keep them from flipping their tongue over the bit. We actually had a gelding that would eat bananas with his tongue tie and double bridle on, not the best idea but proof that it really doesn't slow them down

            We used brown gauze, easy enough to tear by hand and held up for 10 or so rides. Always remember to wet the tie first or it can be very stiff and uncomfortable in the horses mouth, especially after a few rides. To put it on pull the tongue out the side of the mouth, wrap the gauze once around it so the cross over is on top and tie the ends under the jaw. It will take you a few tries to get it high enough up the tongue to make him keep it on.

            Also, perhaps the saddlebreds are especially adept at this, but I would not tie my horses tongue with anything I would worry about them swallowing (someone mentioned elastic? never used it) The gauze is thin enough that I didn't worry to much if they accidentally got it off and swallowed it, just keep in mind that it can happen.
            A student in all things.


              I had a pony like this once...he would get his tongue over his pelham no matter what. Finally I gave up and tried a full bridle on him--he couldn't figure out how to get his tongue over two bits, and that solved the problem. He actually rode better with the full bridle!


                A tongue tie just seems to me like a way to avoid figuring out why the pony does it in the first place.

                Something seems to be missing in the training if it needs a pelham and a flash.

                I had a client's horse start doing that a few months ago...the issue was the hook for the chain on her pelham was poking her. Not sure why that equaled pulling the tongue back, but switching to a different type of hook resolved the tongue issue.

                What about getting a more comfortable bit? Or a bit with different action? A combo bit seems like a good option as even with the tongue pulled back you still have the nose pressure.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                  Second the Serena's song bit

                  Very effective with the couple nervous mares I galloped and ran in it. I did run them in a tongue tie as an extra precaution. An inch , inch and a quarter wide 18 inch length of bandage flannel, dipped in the water bucket. I liked to start with a longer strip and then trim the ends after I tied it off
                  Originally posted by The Saddle
                  Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                    I might try the Serena's Song...I know Lucky ran in a tongue tie and longing him in a bridle, I can see now what I thought was chewing is him trying to get his tongue over the bit. Using a tongue tie for daily riding, even though I'm pretty sure he'd be all right about putting it on, seems like a hassle if I can find a bit that works.
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                      IMO, the reason for a horse putting their tongue over a bit is that they ARE uncomfortable with the bit's mouth piece. Many horses, especially smaller horses have low pallets (sp?). Traditional jointed bits will often be quite uncomfortable for them. When I say jointed I'm talking about the bulky sort of joints found on most bits. Many horses just hate tongue pressure. I had one mare who was this way. She would either put her long snakey tongue over a snaffle or hang it out the side of her mouth. I also switched to Myler bits because the joints in the mouth piece are smooth, they swivel. I found that she did really well in a fairly high port Kimberwick. She quit fussing with her tongue and settled onto contact.

                      I use nothing but Mylers now. There are several online tack stores that will rent Myler bits to you so you can try before you buy.



                        I had a horse exactly like that - nothing worked - Myler, totally tall ported pelham, double bridle, etc.
                        Finally asked here and someone told me about a rubber bit port that you add on your bit. Its like a black rubber fooler that loops around itself and points up the horse's tongue (like a tongue depressor) but doesn't hurt/annoy/choke like my horse said the metal extras did.
                        It worked perfect. And costs like $2.
                        * -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


                          Another vote for the tongue tie. We use shoelaces.
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                            Ha, I rode a horse that did that. We just switched to a hackamore.


                              JUst apoint for those suggesting a tougue tie. It is illegal for several types of showing. including Dressage and ADS Carriage driving competitions, so it is better to find a legal way to prevent the problem and retrain the horse so it isn't a problem.



                                Sometimes you just need to tie their tongue for a while and they stop doing it. We also had one that only needed it tied at a show. We always used wide shoestrings (like sneaker strings). Just REMEMBER to untie it as soon as you take the bridle off!
                                I'm not a CPA.