Single vs. double jointed snaffle question - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Single vs. double jointed snaffle question

Curious for some opinions. I've been experimenting a little with bits on my mare. As long as I've had her, she's gone in a simple single-jointed dee ring. I played around with switching her to a couple of different double-jointed options (dee ring with copper lozenge and happy mouth dee with roller)-and she really hated both of the double-jointed options.

I'm perfectly fine just keeping her in the simple single-jointed option that she's always gone in, but I wonder what it is about the mechanics of the different options that make her more and less comfortable. I'd always thought the the double-jointed option was "gentler" and put pressure on tongue vs. bars, so was surprised she grew so tense and resistant in the double-jointed bits. Do you think her negative reaction to the double-jointed mean she's more sensitive in the tongue vs. roof of mouth?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 10:01 AM
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My mare seemed to dislike double-jointed snaffles, but is now acting fine with a double-jointed shanked bit. My guess is that the french link snaffles I tried before were thick, and the single joints were thinner...and the double-jointed shanked bit I'm using now is also thinner. So maybe a thinner mouthpiece may be what she likes, and a single or double joint isn't important to her.

I'm also not convinced that single-joint snaffles will have a nutcracker effect unless they are used with a horse trained to keep its head vertical. The width of the horse's head should limit how much fold the snaffle can make, and if the horse carries its head at 45 deg, the action of the reins should cause any folding to move along the length of the mouth instead of into the roof.

I think the mechanics of how a bit works inside the horse's mouth are more complex than the "single joint = mean, thin mouthpiece = mean, curb = mean" analysis I see on the Internet. I've got an Appy who acts the same no matter what bit I've put in his mouth. My fussier Arabian mare is calmer and more relaxed with a somewhat thin curb bit. I'm tempted to see if she would behave well in a thinner snaffle, but she is acting happy enough in her most recent bit that I'll probably stay with it...at least for a while:


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post #3 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 10:20 AM
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You mention copper on the two double-jointed bits - maybe she doesn't like the copper?

Are the thicknesses similar? Cheek peices?

I have a double jointed bit and my mare was ridden in a double jointed bit in her old home. However, mine is a loose-ring while the one she had before was a full-cheek. Seems she prefers my full-cheek single jointed over the double jointed loose-ring bit. In her case it had more to do with the "play" in the cheek peice than the mouth peice. Each horse has their preference - pick the bit they go in best is my thought.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think you've both hit on something with your questions about thickness- particularly with the first one I tried, which had a copper lozenge. That whole mouthpiece was pretty thick (and the "bean" was huge), and she has a really petite head and muzzle- I think maybe it was just taking up too much space in her mouth. It was also a "hunter dee," meaning the rings seemed huge compared to the plain single dee I'd been using, so maybe it felt uncomfortable along the side of her mouth.

I don't think that fully explains her rejection of the happy mouth though, as that was pretty similar in thickness to her old bit. But who knows, the way the joints came together, the different texture of the rubber mouthpiece, something obviously was disagreeable to her...

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, as I agree with Cat that it's best to just go with what the horse likes, and in this case, it's a just a plain old single-jointed dee. I was just curious if there could be some obvious physical or mechanical reason for why she reacted so poorly to the double-jointed option.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-07-2013, 02:47 PM
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Agree, the bit the horse is happier with is the answer. Assuming the rider's hands are not the cause of discomfort, of course. Mine go better in a double-jointed than single jointed. So that's what I use.

I found this article on mechanical actions of bits/bridles interesting:
::: Sustainable Dressage - Tack & Auxillary Equipment - The Bridle & the Bit :::
There is a section on single-double jointed bit action.
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