Bits! Argghh - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-19-2009, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Bits! Argghh

Today I took extra time getting Candy ready for our ride. Shes got a 'soft mouth' and I haven't had any problems in that area of riding, she doesn't pull and has great breaks. When her bridle was on I decided, on a whim, to open her mouth to see exactly where the bit sat and how different pressure would effect her mouth. She is ridden in a plain loose-ring snaffle, but I was horrified at what I saw. The 'bars' are quite small, but there didn't seem to be much room in there. There was alot of pressure on the tongue but at the same time the join on the bit seemed to poke right into the palate of the roof of her mouth! That CANNOT be comfortable, I thought. But she just stood there, dozing off - she has never shown any signs of discomfort, then again maybe she has? She is fine to bridle and never throws her head whilst riding/bridling. She does play with the bit every now and then and sometimes sucks 'behind' the bit...
Anyway, now I'm having an internal struggle at the use of bits. When I took the bridle off after our ride I opened her mouth again and saw pinkish-coloured marks around the side of her tongue where the bit sat. Even more horrified!!! I feel terrible!!

I'm thinking of trying a bitless type of bridle, or perhaps a bit with a french-link (I think thats what its called). The only problem with a bitless or hackamore is we compete (casually) in low level dressage and showjumping. I just can't justify using the bit again (or any bit??) after all that pressure on those soft tissues in such a sensative part of the mouth!

SallyRC123 is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 07-19-2009, 09:35 AM
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three words....Happymouth bit. It worked for my old horse, and she had the same problem your horse has. Browsing Happy Mouth Bits
morganshow11 is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 07-19-2009, 05:05 PM
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Sounds like the bit might be too big for her mouth. Do you have any pictures?
RedRoan is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 07-20-2009, 03:57 PM
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The thinner the mouthpiece on a bit, the more painful it is and the thicker it is, the more gentle. Also, like RedRoan said, check and make sure the actual size of the bit (length from cheek to cheek) is the right size for her mouth. Since she rides very well to begin with and has a soft mouth, then if you get something else for her, a bit with thicker mouthpiece. That may also stop the marks on her bars.

I don't like standard snaffles because of what you described - the nutcracker. Somebody said the Happymouth. I think that's a good idea. I like dogbone snaffles, too. It still works like a regular snaffle, but it gets rid of the pointy-joint-in-the-roof issue. You might also invest in a Myler bit - like their Comfort Snaffle. The mouths on these bits get rid of the pinching. They're REALLY mild (when used properly). Kind of expensive, but they're worth it. They look like this:

Last edited by Liberty Valance; 07-20-2009 at 04:03 PM.
Liberty Valance is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 07-20-2009, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou, I have looked at the Happymouth bits and they seem like they would work well. The nutcracker effect from a standard snaffle makes me cringe, I am looking at double-jointed snaffles and the Myler bits as they relieve the pressure on the tongue and allow the horse to swallow more comfortably. I'm just wondering with the sizes they have advertised - 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6? What are these sizes? Are they in inches? How will I measure the correct size for Candy?

Will try and get some pictures soon!
SallyRC123 is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 07-21-2009, 03:55 PM
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That's usually the length of the mouthpiece (in inches).
Liberty Valance is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 07-21-2009, 04:08 PM
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I ride my mare in a D Ring French Link and she really enjoys that bit. They are a great bit IMO maybe look into a french link as well as the others
ClassicalRomantic is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 07-21-2009, 04:10 PM
Green Broke
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We use a bitless, and love it! If you do decide to go that route, I'd be happy to answer any questions.
As for the measurements - that is the size of the mouthpiece. Here is a bit on measuring:
Measure Your Horse's Mouth for Proper Bit Sizing
themacpack is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 07-21-2009, 06:19 PM
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I would venture a guess that probably a Myler or Billy Allen bit would work wonders for your girl. The thicker the mouth, the better and softer it is to the horse.
smrobs is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 07-22-2009, 06:15 PM
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My horse likes a french link pelham bit the most! And only with double reins! He's more excelled than he probably should be!
RacePony007 is offline  

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