New Bit


So it might not have been the best idea to get on Lucky after a 6 week vacation with a brand new bit, but lucky for me, it worked out. When I first started with her I tried a normal loosing ring snaffle with a key. She hated it. So I tried just a loose ring. She hated that to. I tried three more bits before settling on a normal D ring snaffle. Gen was a 5 1/4 size bit, and Phoenix was fine with that to, but I could tell that the bits were not just right for Lucky.

For Christmas I asked for a new bit. I saw this oval mouth loose ring and thought it might do a better job. Lucky is so stiff everywhere normally that it wasn’t until the end of fall that I really noticed that her jaw was locked and tense for about half of all of our rides. Since she had just had her teeth checked I new it was the bit and that it was time for a change. It was a gamble buying this bit because she really hasn’t seemed to like loose rings, but I had hoped that with the bigger size and how fat it was she would take to it.

Since this is such a mild bit I wasn’t thinking when I just went ahead and got on her with it, but right away she loved it. I know that we are only walking, and not much at that, but she is now consistently getting a little slobber with it. How great is that! She is still locking her jaw at the start of the ride, but now she is relaxing it after a little bit! I wonder if she has ever really liked a bit before. Hopefully she will continue to like this one.

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8 thoughts on “New Bit

  1. The general consensus is that the most important contributor to the comfort of the horse’s mouth is our hands. My feeling is that although that is true, the bit does play a significant role. Each horse’s mouth is different – some have large tongues, some have low palettes, some are more sensitive than others, etc, – and different bits fit, well, differently. But unless we have great hands, it’s hard to differentiate the effects of us or the equipment we use. If she’s happy in the new bit, which is very mild and the go-to bit for dressage, than don’t question it too much and just go with it!

  2. PS. There’s a study by Dr. Hillary Clayton that shows that the only difference between the eggbutt and the loose ring is that the horse feels our movement a tad sooner with the loose ring because even a tiny movement jingles the ring, whereas with the eggbutt, a little more movement is needed to move the bit.

    It’s a great article that was published in USDF Connection December 2005. I have a copy if you want it.

  3. Looks like Willie’s bit! He looooves it, and he, too, is a bigger size than “average” — 5 1/2″.

    Jabby liked it well enough, but I think the movement of the rings is too distracting for him — he’s happier with the eggbutt. (Which Willie HATED, to the point of gnashing his teeth and tossing his head.) It’s funny how such little differences can matter so much to them.

  4. The double jointed lozenge link bits are my favorites. Monty loved them, Rugby loved them and Joey also works extremely well with them. The fact that they do not poke the horse in the palate when pressure is increased on the reins makes them a very user friendly bit.

    I have that exact same bit with a copper mouth and all 3 of my horses (past and present) worked happily in that bit.

  5. It seems like money well spent. I have almost the same bit… a 18mm cannon sprenger kk ultra, but a wee tiny 4 3/4 (for my 16.2hh mare…). Love it, and the ponies love it too.

  6. I’m happy you found something that works! If it ever seems like it is starting to bug her, consider having an equine chiropractor check her jaw. I’ve seen several horses with TMJ that tend to lock up when they are cold but for some reason, a new bit seems to have a positive effect for a while. Hopefully Lucky isn’t one of those and really did just need a new bit!

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