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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I've just been having a look at my horses mouth this morning, and discovered that he has an obvious rub on each side of his lip where the bit rests (Corners of his mouth).
I'm wanting to know if any one else has happen, and how the resolved it?
It's got no broken skin, but has obviously been rubbing as its very light and sensitive looking.

I'm currently using a metal french link snaffle.
Would anyone else suggest a different bit that doesn't rub?

He's a tb and has quite sensitive skin.
I'm really worried and don't want to be hurting him - Also may explain why he's a bit heavy on the reins/chews.

Thanks guys!
Also wasn't sure what thread this belonged in - training or health? as I guess its a bit of both!
 

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My first check would be to see if it is too small. If I remember my tack correctly a french link is double jointed bit. Generally with a double jointed bit you should go up a 1/4" from his normal size. So as an example, if the horse normally uses a 5" snaffle he would use a 5 1/4" french link. You can also try putting a dab of vasaline on the rub marks when you use the bit, but I would check the size too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My first check would be to see if it is too small. If I remember my tack correctly a french link is double jointed bit. Generally with a double jointed bit you should go up a 1/4" from his normal size. So as an example, if the horse normally uses a 5" snaffle he would use a 5 1/4" french link. You can also try putting a dab of vasaline on the rub marks when you use the bit, but I would check the size too.
Thats interesting! I'll have a look at the size tomorrow and talk to my instructor about it.
I've put some Vaseline today and will keep up with it.
I've been washing my bit every other ride, so going to up it to every single ride. It could be that dirt is rubbing him there also?
 

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It could be the size of the bit but I think you mentioned the answer in your first post. "He's a bit heavy on the reins".
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Also if the bit is the right size you could buy some bit guards (the are very cheap!) and these should help prevent it - however, remember these will slightly decrease the length of the bit!
 

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If it rubs, it is not comfortable for the horse. There is many YouTube videos how to measure for a correct size of bit, but I would definitely replace that one. Something that irritates the skin on the horse's mouth is not going to encourage a soft horse.
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I have a sneaking suspicion that the rubs aren't causing him to be heavy in the reins...but being heavy in the reins can certainly be causing the rubs. If he's pulling against you all the time, then it's going to create pressure and friction there and no amount of bit swapping will change it.

For sure, double check to make sure it's not too small as that would make the problem worse, but if it fits well, then I'd say its root is in a training issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a sneaking suspicion that the rubs aren't causing him to be heavy in the reins...but being heavy in the reins can certainly be causing the rubs. If he's pulling against you all the time, then it's going to create pressure and friction there and no amount of bit swapping will change it.

For sure, double check to make sure it's not too small as that would make the problem worse, but if it fits well, then I'd say its root is in a training issue.
When I first got him - a year ago, he was extremely heavy on the reins and schooled in a running gag.
A year on and he's improved a huge amount.
I've got two instructors i've talked to about that and they've both said its nothing to do with the bit. More to do with his past training.

By heavy on the reins I mean very occasionally - but I've always though it was a stiffness thing as its when he's had a few days off - its also mainly when asking him to flex (counter flexing then flexing to the inside normally fixes this) He's normally quite light, sometimes too light on the reins.

However I thought that the times he was a bit heavy could be because he's feeling pain, or causing the rubbing. I'll get my bit checked tomorrow with my instructor! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If its stainless steel your horse may have a dry mouth, and need something in copper or sweet iron. I've seen that before.
He doesn't foam or salivate at all, so that very interesting! I'm going to give that a shot! So you'd suggest a normal fench link snaffle in copper or sweet iron?
 

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What type of cheeks are on the bit? (sorry if this was already asked and I missed it)

When I first got my horse I was borrowing a loose ring double jointed snaffle and found that the corners of his mouth were pink(er) after riding. Nothing major- if he had dark skin I probably never would have noticed. It was the right size, it was just irritating him for some reason. (As a side note, I've never heard of sizing french links up 1/4" and don't see why that would be the case, but I have heard of sizing loose rings up like that to allow a little extra space so the rings don't pinch) I ended up buying him a KK Ultra 2-type which has the same type of action as a loose ring with built-in bit guards and haven't had a problem with it since. Switching to an eggbutt, D-ring, or other type of cheek would probably have fixed the problem, too.

 
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