Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bits... damn bits! part 2

HA! Had the camera ready today. I switched back to the Myler because I don't know if I'm going to keep the $130 bit. I took off the drop noseband just to see what would happen. I'm taking boys from where I work horse camping next week and I don't want Jasper to have to have his mouth tied shut while we're out on the trails for hours.

He actually went around the same as he does with the noseband. He felt the same, anyway- who knows what his tongue was doing out of my sight. Our session was cut a bit short as Junior the Snotty Pony fake-spooked and crowhopped and the boy riding him fell off.

THIS is what I'm dealing with:







(Where does he put it all?)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, the bit is not hanging 2" below where it should be. He's just such a contortionist with his mouth it can do amazing things. See?





And handsome Alexandre gets a bath.

14 comments:

manymisadventures said...

Hmm...the first thing that comes to mind for me is a very very thin bit, thinner than the Myler. I'm thinking specifically of a very thin french link I saw in a friend's tack room tonight - not sure if it was a Myler or some other type?

I wonder if the problem is completely physical - i.e., this bit hurts like hell no matter what so I must put my tongue over it to feel comfortable - or if it is partly physical and partly behavioral, i.e. bits in the past have been uncomfortable and I've learned that putting my tongue over it makes things easy.


If partly behavioral, I wonder what would happen if you took the reins off a bridle and allowed him to hang out and eat with the bit in. I know people sometimes do that for young horses to help them get comfortable with a bit, and all the motion might make him behave a little more sensibly? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Were this pictures taken with the headstall completely on? the bit seems to be sitting too low shouldn't there be 3 wrinkles on the corner of his mouth on either side.... I think if I put the bit real low ... Jed would stick his tongue over it.....
You've probably tried to raise it in his mouth already...
This bit I think is called a Dr Bristol...french link with the flattened peice in the middle.. I used it with Jed when he first started.

I had an unbeleivable ride on Jed today.... jumped 3'9

I can't wait for you to get here !!

Terri

Albigears said...

I tried that for a couple of days- leaving his bridle on him for hours and feeding his dinner with it on. It didn't seem to make a difference but maybe I need to do it every day for a couple of weeks...

That's just it, though. When it comes right down to it I really don't know if it's all physical or some of it is behavioral. Racehorse's tongues are almost always tied down- maybe he needs that.

Albigears said...

Terri- when he actually closes his mouth there are a couple of wrinkles on each side.

3'9? What level is that in eventing? Skip Training, go straight to Intermediate!

jacksonsgrrl said...

Well now I am belly laughing! What an amazing tongue! You need a bridle just for his tongue!!! My trainer was talking about a very thin snaffle (so thin you can't really get it out of a catalog), I wonder if you could get something like that but with a French Link? The french link is really great for horses who don't have a lot of room and low/small palates. Poor guy is gonna end up with his tongue tied up! And just how do you do that anyway???
~Mindy

BritnieAnn said...

LOL, very attractive Jasper!! Gosh, sure hope you can get find a solution, I have no ideas, sorry!

Kate said...

I've had a lot of bitting problems with my horse in the past, and have done a lot of experimenting. If your horse has both a low palate and a large tongue - you might want a bit that doesn't have a single joint - e.g. no plain snaffles - but that doesn't put much if any pressure on the tongue - which the Mylar comfort snaffle does. If he's putting his tongue over the bit, it may be the tongue pressure that he doesn't like. There is a Mylar ported snaffle that might do the trick - it's a bit I like a lot for certain horses. I personally never use a flash or a tongue tie - if my horse is uncomfortable, I want to know about it. Odd mouth behaviors can also be a sign of dental or chiropractic problems.

I did a post on May 9 which in large part about bits - there's a picture of the ported Mylar snaffle there if you're interested. Also, you might want to let him tell you how high or low he's comfortable with the bit sitting - I'm not a believer in hanging the bit at the same height for all horses - since each horse is different.

Good luck!

Albigears said...

Kate, I checked out your bit about bits. So the ported Mylar doesn't put pressure on the tongue? That might just be the ticket.

Are they legal for dressage??

Kate said...

I don't know if the Mylar ported is legal for dressage - I expect it isn't. But if it works, then at least you'll know the type of bit you need to find that is legal - or it may be that if it works and he learns to deal with the bit he may then be able to better deal with other bits. To me, bitting is a real trial and error process - in fact I'm dealing with some of those issues with my mare right now (again!)!

manymisadventures said...

Huh. Maybe if the ported Myler doesn't work, you should try asking on COTH (if you haven't already). Lots more good ideas to be found there, I've usually found.

Anonymous said...

The bit is incorrectly fitted, hanging too low in the mouth. It will be quite painful where it is.

Albigears said...

Yes, from the pictures it looks like it's too low. However, when I'm not pulling down on it and sticking my fingers in his mouth to get a picture, it's actually sitting correctly.

When the bit is evened out and his mouth is closed there are 2-3 wrinkles on both sides.

Hmmm, maybe I'll need to find another picture from that day...

Serena said...

Dude your horse is Gene Simmons. I would suggest riding him in a halter but he could probably wrap his tongue around THAT too if he wanted. :)

Anonymous said...

So does someone actually look inside each horse's mouth to see if he has a proper bit??? Sheesh.

I would suggest a nice halter. No one would even notice.

Mom