Joined: 20 Sep 2003
|Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:40 am Post subject: Bits for an Off Track Thoroughbred
|I was asked:
|I would be most appreciative of your suggestion for a bit that would be the next step from the rope halter -- and a departure from her full-cheek snaffle which makes her high-headed, head tossy, and hollow-backed. |
Often Thoroughbreds like single jointed snaffles, but it sounds like you may have one that doesn't. Sometimes the shape of a horse's mouth makes a single-jointed snaffle uncomfortable. If her mouth isn't suited to a single jointed snaffle, you could try a double jointed bit (French link or "bean" bit, such as a "KK Ultra," but not a Dr. Bristol) or a simple mullen. It's possible, though, that the bit you tried is too small, too large, or even flawed in a way that makes it uncomfortable. Sometimes bits have a manufacturing flaw or wear down over time such that they have sharp edges, especially near the joint in the middle (or, in a loose ring, where the ring attaches to the mouthpiece).
The mouthpiece may be too thin or thick for her mouth. If she has a very thick tongue or the roof of her mouth is low, she may need a thin mouthpiece. Generally, though, the thicker a mouthpiece is, the more gentle it is.
It's possible that she doesn't like the full cheeks, which would be unusual but does happen. Do you have them on keepers? Sometimes horses like a full cheek with keeps but not without (or vice versa).
When trying bits for the first time, I usually start with an eggbutt snaffle with a thick mouthpiece. I do typically find that Thoroughbreds like this bit--but of course, there are always exceptions.
Good luck! Bit searching can be tough. Sometimes a horse may even simply hate all bits, for one reason or another: memories of rough hands, old injuries to the mouth, a tooth problem, or even an old fracture of the hyoid bone (under the jaw).