Chewing on the happy tongue

I own a 6 year old heavyweight cob. He has got progressively worse in accepting a contact in the last 6 months, ducking behind the bit and getting his tongue over the bit when asked to work in any sort of outline. I have tried verbindend, single jointed, myler comfort, all of which start well but then he works out how to get his tongue over and once he works it out it becomes the focus of the session. I now have a bomber happy tongue on trial hoping this will help us but having tried it yesterday, although he didn’t get his tongue over he just chewed and chewed at it, which has never happened before. I’m wary about continuing as it is on hire and don’t want to send it back with teeth marks, or is he likely to just get used to it the more I use it? Does it sound like it is not fitting correctly?

Posted in Dressage, asked by Alex, one year 1. 427 hits.


Hi Alex,

Thank you for getting in touch with us!

Our first thought when a horse is chewing and fussing at the bit constantly is that the horse does not like metal, but your horse has proved that he doesn't have an issue with metal because this is the first time that he is chewing and fussing excessively.

I do think that the fit is perhaps not quite right. If could email me photos of how the bit fits, I can have a look and let you know, my email is:

More important even than the visible fit is how the bit fits on the inside of the mouth. We have been seeing many horses with quite a narrow bottom jaw. This effects how a ported bit fits as the port could be too wide for the jaw. We developed the Narrow Tongue as a solution for this. The Narrow Tongue has a slightly narrower port than the Happy Tongue and therefore fits better on a horse with a narrow bottom jaw. Have a look inside his mouth when the bit is fitted, if the bend where the port starts to go up is sitting close to the edge of the lips, then the port is too wide and we need to go to a slightly narrower port for the bit for fit correctly.


Claire @ Bombers
one year 1
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