bit rubbing

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bit rubbing

This is a discussion on bit rubbing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-10-2008, 09:48 AM
bit rubbing

Well basically, the bit is rubbing the corners of my mare's mouth. Is there anything I can do to help avoid this? There's nothing wrong with the bit, i've checked. I think its happening because I'm riding her much more now that I'm on holidays.

Any suggestions would be great
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    07-10-2008, 10:02 AM
Rubber bit guards that fit over the rings between the rings and the lips can help. You can buy them or make them from plastic milk cartons to test before you invest.

Cut about a 3-4 inch circle from the milk carton (make a flat disc) and cut a center hole that will fit the diameter of the mouthpiece. You will have a slit cut to apply over the bit and duct tape the edges and slit so the plastic can't hurt the horse. Try that a few days and see if it helps. If it does, you can invest in real bit guards from the store. If not, you have saved a couple of dollars.
    07-10-2008, 12:00 PM
I agree to what BFH said...there are bit guards you can get. All it really is is a plastic (I believe it's plastic) round piece that put on the ends of the bit. That will prevent the rubbing.

Also make sure the bit isn't too small, that also will cause rubbing. You should be able to fit 1 finger (I use my pointer finger) on each side of the bit without having your finger go into the horses mouth. Any more and the bit is too big...any less and the bit is too small.
    07-10-2008, 01:33 PM
Weaver makes a good Neoprene Bit Guard
they are cheap (a few bucks a set). My bits fit properly but I put them on my working snaffles to prevent any pinching possible.
    07-10-2008, 01:36 PM
Green Broke
Just making sure...the sores are on the sides of her mouth, and not in the corners of her mouth (where the bit presses against when you pull on the reins) right?
    07-11-2008, 01:04 AM
Hi Everyone!

Thanks for the info!

SW - the bit size is fine. I might try the homemade bitguards and see how that goes.

Kickshaw - The sores are in the corners of her lips... the place where the bit constantly touches, whether I have contact or not. You know the part that you are supposed to have one wrinkle if the bit is correctly fitted. Kinda hard to explain... but I think you get what I mean.

I've heard that some people use vaseline - anyone tried that?
    07-11-2008, 03:43 AM
Perhaps the problem is the wrinkle? Yes, I know it's tradition(well, the tradition here seems to be 2 wrinkles), but never found anyone that could give me a valid reason for it & while I used to see sores from bits on some of the trail horses I used to work with that were bridled with this principle, I've never seen the problem in horses who's bits are fitted more comfortably.
    07-11-2008, 06:00 AM
I think the reason bits are supposed to give one wrinkle is because of the bit's positioning. If the bit is too low (i.e. No wrinkles) the horse can easily get the tougue over its bit and also, the bit can bang on the horse's canine teeth (if a gelding). Plus, the bit will move around a lot more as it won't be as secure. That's the reason for the wrinkle, loosie. Its odd that nobody you asked knew the reason.
    07-11-2008, 08:27 AM
Originally Posted by sempre_cantando
I've heard that some people use vaseline - anyone tried that?
i have put vaseline on after the fact...helps with the sore cracking open. But since I started using bit guards I really havent had any problems
    07-11-2008, 04:41 PM
This is just a thought, but how often do you clean the bit? Do you rinse it off after every ride? Also, is the bit nice and smooth or has she chomped on it? Do you use a steel, sweet iron, or copper bit (where it touches her corners).

I'm trying to come up with all possibilities...she could be getting irritated from some slobber/ dirt build up. There could be a groove on the bit that's rubbing. Or she could be allergic to the metal, and the longer contact is aggravating it.

Also, what style bit are you using?

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