Icelandic Short Shank Happy Tongue

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The Icelandic bits are unique in the equestrian world. The mouthpiece is attached to the shanks in such a way as to allow movement in all directions.

The special feature of the Icelandic bit is the loose chain. The chain is not fastened more than needed to make the shank angle at 90° - 100° from the mouth and it is often looser. The chain on the Icelandic bit is set so that it touches the horse only slightly or not at all when the horse is vertical flexed at the poll. If the horse moves its head upwards and against the rein the chain immediately takes effect and the horse feels an increased pressure, which in turn guides the horse to seek the position where there is no pressure and it is comfortable.

A well-educated horse will become even better when ridden with an Icelandic bit, but a badly trained horse can become even worse.

The Icelandic Short Shank is a good introduction to the Icelandic bits, as the shorter shanks make it softer and more forgiving than the long shank version.

The Happy Tongue is a solid mouth piece. It is curved and ported to give tongue relief. The Happy Tongue would be a good place to start if your horse is:

  • Shaking its head
  • Sticking its tongue out
  • Sucking its tongue back and as a result making an intermittent coughing noise
  • Trying to put its tongue over the bit
  • Going behind the bit to avoid the contact
  • Snatching the reins forward and down

The rider will know immediately if this is the correct bit, as a horse with a sensitive tongue will finally begin to work into, and accept the contact. Changing the cheekpieces would then allow the rider to adjust the level of control.

material-oxidisation

Icelandic Short Shank Happy Tongue
Mouth Width 1 4
Bit Adjustment 2 Bit Width 3 4
MMS 5 mm + 0 mm  MMS + 5 mm
Notes:
1 The measured width of a horse's mouth (from corner to corner with no wrinkles) rounded up to the nearest 5mm. These are typical values for the breed. MMS = Measured Mouth Size. Click here for more information on measuring your horse's mouth
2 Factors to be added to the measured width of a horse's mouth to ensure the bit width is calculated correctly. This varies depending on the mouthpiece and cheekpiece of the bit. For this bit add 5 mm for a loose ring cheek piece, to allow for space between the ring and the horse's lip, eliminating a possible pressure point and pinching. A fixed mouth piece does not require any additional width to be added to the measured width of the horse's mouth.
3 The width of the bit for a optimal fit, taking into account its components and the width of the horse's mouth. If calculating a bit width based upon a previously purchased Bomber bit, please make sure all relevant adjustments for differences in cheek and mouth pieces are adhered too.
4 Measurements in inches are approximate.

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