I had my first Horse Trials on my OTTB mare on the weekend, and found an area that needs drastic improvement!
I have been doing all my riding (Dressage, SJ, XC Schooling, Fitness gallops) in a Sprenger Duo loose ring snaffle - it is a bit with a plastic mouthpiece shaped to give the tongue more room. She absolutely LOVES this bit.
I changed to the Duo after riding her in a KK training bit - she would go ok in this bit, but would never actively seek contact.... She is much better after the change...
Anyway, all was well for the Dressage and SJ phases, but come XC - I had almost NO control! She would poke her nose out in front so her face was almost horizontal to the ground everytime I would half halt her or try to slow her down (even well before a jump, or just to turn on course!)
I have been trying to think of another bit to try, and I know sprenger make a Duo bit in a 3 and 4 ring gag... I was wondering if the added poll pressure would help me to pull her up, and stop her tossing her head about?
I want to stick with this mouth piece as I know she loves it, but I need something additional to help the brakes!
The rest of the time I ride her she has an ultra soft mouth....
I was riding XC with a hanovarian noseband with the drop part, and I was using a breastplate with rings...