Difficult to bit horse

Hi there, I have an 8 year old appaloosa gelding. He shakes his head constantly as soon as the bridle and bit is put on. He is currently riding in a loose ring elliptical snaffle, which he is not happy with. I have also tried him in an eggbutt bomber happy tongue which he is slightly better in but gets very strong and uncontrollable when going up the gaits. I tried a straight bar happy mouth loose ring too, but he had a similar response as to the happy tongue. I have also tried him in the Rogan and S-type hackamore, but he then becomes very anxious and refuses to do anything. With the elliptical snaffle and happy tongue he pulls his head in first, then stretches out and shakes his head. Any advice on a suitable bit for him? His teeth was done recently and no problems were reported by the dentist.

Posted in General, asked by Rochelle, 8 months ago. 242 hits.


Hi Rochelle,

Thank you for your question.

When the dentist saw your horse, did he/she feel the horse's bars, or just look in his mouth? Sometimes bumps and divots in the bars cannot be seen but only felt.

Have you had a physio and/or chiro have a look over your horse? If he is experiencing discomfort anywhere in his body then the bit is not going to make a huge difference.

Was the Eggbutt Happy Tongue you tried an older model? More than 18 months? If so, then it would have had a wider port, for many horses this wider port is too wide for the bars, for this reason we now make a Narrow Tongue with a slightly narrower port, so that it sits better in the mouth.

Have a look under his tongue at the gap between his bars, how many fingers can you fit in the gap between the bars?

If he is quite narrow we would then go to an Ultra Comfy Lock Up. The Ultra Comfy is double locked so that it cannot fold downwards or backwards, this means that it retains its shape in the horse’s mouth, and it eliminates any nut cracker action.  The mouth piece is also angled on the sides, so that it goes up and over the tongue, this greatly reduces tongue pressure, while not greatly increasing pressure on the bars.  Due to its’ shape, it will also fit the horse with a narrow bottom jaw without causing any discomfort.


Claire @ Bombers
8 months ago
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