Full Cheek vs. Dee Ring - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Full Cheek vs. Dee Ring

Currently, my horse is going in a Full cheek, single jointed snaffle. I was wondering about the difference between a Full Cheek and a Dee Ring bit. I know the full cheek has the long "arms" that come up, but the Dee Ring has something similar... They just don't go up as far. So, if I tried my horse in a Dee Ring, do you think it would make a difference?
AngelWithoutWings54 is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 02:11 PM
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You are right, there isn't much difference. The full cheek just has longer "arms" that can help aid in turning; the d-ring's straight side is more of a prevention so the bit can't get pulled through the horse's mouth. If your horse rides well in a full-cheek, though, there is no reason to switch; they are similar but different enough that your horse could ride differently in a d-ring (possibly be less willing to turn). Are you having problems with a full-cheek? A good reason to switch from full-cheek is if your horse gets stiff in his/her neck and jaw when you ride in it, especially doing dressage work with a lot of flexion and turning...full cheeks tend to do that to some horses.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, he has always been stiff in his neck (but than again, he's always been ridden in a full cheek...), and he doesn't bend through corners/circles (even when asked). He doesn't seen to dislike the bit, but it seems like it might be a little uncomfortable. Also, he seems to have a slightly lower palette, so I'm considering getting a double jointed bit.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 07:03 PM
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If he is stiff in his neck, work on flexing from the ground just with your rope halter on him. With consistent work, he should gain flexibility. What about his body language led you to think the bit was uncomfortable? Generally speaking, that is very good all around bit that most horses work well in. A french link is softer, though, and if you think he'll do well in that, go for it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 07:17 PM
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Give the bit a chance. Constant bit switching isn't good for the horse or the rider, there is no consistency.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-10-2010, 02:00 PM
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That neck stiffness could definetly be caused by the bit...it sounds like classic full-cheek stiffness, although neck stretching exercises are good too. You can try this one bit called a fulmer...I've never used it, but it's like a combination of a loose-ring and a full-cheek. Instead of the rein attatching to a fixed metal ring, the part that you hook the cheekpiece to is a loose-ring, just with the full-cheek arms. Wild_spot is right that you don't want to switch bits too often if you don't have to, but in your case I think it would really benefit your horse to try some different things. I would definetly move to a loose-ring or fulmer or some other bit without a "fixed" end like a D-ring or eggbutt, to encourage him to salivate and relax and bend. Copper mouthpieces are supposed to help them salivate. You could also get a chiropracter out to look at him...he might be "out" somewhere in his neck and/or back that is causing him to not want to bend. You can do "carrot stretches", where you have a carrot or some other treat in your hand, and you let him smell it and then put it by his barrel, a little behind his shoulder, so he has to stretch to get the treat. He might not be able to go all the way to his barrel at first, but the idea is to get him to stretch his neck. You do it on both sides, every day before you ride, to get him to loosen up. Then you can do it while you're mounted if he starts being stiff...you give and take steadily with one rein, leaving the other pretty much slack, until he bends the way you're asking. Then you give him the rein back. You gradually ask for more and more bend until you can get his nose touching your toe. Eventually you want to be able to just give a little pull on one rein, and he should bend his head and keep it bent, even when you release all rein pressure, until you ask with the other rein for him to straighten. Remember to do this on both sides also, and always give him at least a little bit of rein as reward if he gives to you and bends!

Let us know what works!
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