Monday 15 July 2019

A Bit of a Change

When I started Cisco two years ago I had a hard time finding a bit that he deemed acceptable.

I tried a single jointed snaffle, a french link, the Neue Schule Verbindend, and a Neue Schule Tranz-Angled Lozenge baucher. All mild bits, of different thicknesses and different shapes to the mouthpieces.

With all of them, he rooted down, got his tongue over top, and had a mouth so slobbery that he drooled after only wearing it for a short period. All which led me to think that he didn't like tongue pressure.

He also was not inclined to take the bit into his mouth when bridling. A taller person may have made it happen easier, but since I am rather vertically challenged, it was a bit of a struggle. I used a ported solid mouth kimberwick that I own to teach him how to be bridled, with the curb chain wadded up in vetrap to keep it out of the way. It worked nicely for this.

When I started riding him I used a Myler Low-Port Comfort Snaffle. I didn't get the rooting down that the jointed snaffles had caused, but he was quite mouthy and fussy.

This one had space for his tongue, but I've not had much luck overall with this bit.
Last summer I bought a Bombers Happy Tongue loose ring for him. This made an immediate difference in the connection - he was far less fussy.
Tongue space, and pretty blue. Sadly the blue is now gunmetal gray.

At one point near the beginning, I had purchased a Herm Sprenger Dynamic KK Eggbutt snaffle for Cisco. Which of course, he didn't like. But I've been wondering of late if he would now be open to a jointed snaffle of some type.
The eggbutt that looks like a D-ring. Also the most expensive one.
I prefer to use a double jointed snaffle - I think it is easier to get softer flexion with this type of bit versus a bit with a solid mouthpiece. But it isn't going in my mouth, so ultimately, my horse has the final say on what type of bit they go in. I've been thinking of trying that Sprenger bit again. If he still hates it, we'll go back to the Bombers.

His birthday ride on Thursday seemed like a good time to swap bits. I wasn't really planning on doing much with him, so he could mostly just carry it in his mouth.

And you know what? It wasn't terrible.

He mouthed it a bit in a good way before I got on. He was maybe a bit fussier than normal in his mouth through the ride, but I don't know if I was being hyperaware of it or not. There was no rooting, no tongue over top, and his mouth was not super gooby.

Most importantly, during the couple of minutes of trot that we did, he gave me soft flexion, maybe better to the right than with the Bombers bit, and was pretty good about reaching forward and down.

I'm going to keep it on his bridle for a few rides and see how it goes. If he doesn't like it, I'll happily swap the Bombers back on. But I'll be keeping my eye out for something else to try. 


  1. Good luck! Finding a bit is almost as hard as saddle fitting!

    1. Oh, for the good old days when every horse went in the same type of saddle and the same kind of bit. Now everything needs to fit and be comfortable and ergonomic.

  2. Why are bits so expensive. If I could, I'd just buy them to keep them for years and years haha.

    1. I have a small collection that I will never sell. They don't go bad, so they can stay in storage. I keep thinking I might to use them as art in my house, but I've never figured out where I could put them.