I have a 4 year old, super skittish mare that I'm trying to get in harness slowly...very very slowly. While she's taken everything well considering she's scared of her own shadow...Except the bit. She's 1. A tongue roller and 2 she LOVES to get her tongue over the bit then gag herself with it! I started her in a regular half cheek broken snaffle and switched to a french link snaffle, then a myler with the broken part covered with a roller so it's more solid then the others. Anyway so far switching bits hasn't worked, I've tightened the her cavesson and tried to work her up into using the bit. I've worked her with just the bit in her mouth and did groundwork with it just there so she could play with it. I'm at a loss, any ideas. I want to show her so NOT using a bit is outta the question...
Kay, so I am no driving expert, nor do I know much about it... but when it comes to some bitting issues, I know my stuff... by the sounds of things you are still in the training stages so the snaffle Im thinking that could help you will work, and I also believe you can show in it! :)
The bit is a full check snaffle with keys. The keys are used for horses that like to get their tongue over the bit or stick it out. The keys make it hard for the horse to put their tongue over it and something to play with in a postive manner... I know of a driving trainer - who is also a personal friend - who swears by theses bits for horses with your problem... and its extremely soft!!!
Do not crank down the caveson. She is uncomfortable and it is stressfull to not be able to get your mouth open.
I started with a rubber mullen mouth so it os soft and has tongue relief. Curb and tongue roller sounds too harsh for a young horse. I leave my bridle on with no reins in the stall for a few hours a day and they get much more comfortable and used to it. That has helped my horse from trying to get her tingue over it. Make sure it is up high enough also.
She has been stalled with the bridle and such for a few hours a day, that's how I start all mine. She currently doesn't have the caveson anymore just because I have it on another harness. She's comfortable with everything now it's just like she plays with it to the point where she gets her tongue over it and gets stuck. I do have her in a snaffle, it's got a roller on the broken part so that it doesn't nutcracker but it still bends.
Country girl: do you know what this bit is actually called? And GOSH I have no idea if I can find that in mini size