Which bit for hunter which snatches reins & bolts

Hi - I have a warm blood cross who has just been a hack & done the odd event over the past 5 years . Since March as I lost my hunter she has stepped into his shoes & has evented over summer & hunting now . She has a very thick tongue & fleshy mouth . She will put her tongue over the bit & over the summer used a Demi anky hanging snaffle with success relieving the pressure from her tongue . We have now hunted 3 times this season . I put her in Demi anky 21/2 ring the 1 st time . Brakes weren’t good on the snaffle rein so I lowered it to lower ring which she did not like shaking her head & lunging forward grabbing rein . The 2nd time I used her Demi anky hanging snaffle with a double nose and . She still o jectex to be held back & the corners of her lips were cut & inside of her lips bruised when we returned . She still tried to snatch reins . Yesterday I tried a happy tongue. Eggbutt 21/2 ring . I think it was not as snug as it should have been with a couple of mm either side . I used only the snaffle rein . She started not too bad but as we progressed & were jumping she would lock onto a fence , lunge forward snatching reins from my hands & gallop fill pelt into fence . In the last 20 mins I tried to take her quietly across the ground without jumping but by this stage she was just snatching bit & taking off . On inspection of her mouth the inside of her lips are rubbed & bruised . Her lips are so thick & fleshy that they appear to cover the bars. There are no marks on her bars . She is a brilliant hunter apart from this standing quietly & taking on any fence . My old hunter was strong but could be bitter effectively. It’s the snatching bit & lunging forward into a fence a full pelt which is very nerve wracking!!

Posted in Showjumping & Hunter, asked by Gill , 12 months ago. 419 hits.


Hi Gill,

Thank you for your question. Has your mare been checked over by a dentist and physio/chiro? Just to ensure that there isn't anything else that could be worrying her.

Your mare has quite soft mouth, which is why she is showing so much resistance to the bit.

It is very important for the ported bits to fit correctly, so that they sit correctly in the mouth. This is especially true for a horse that has a very fleshy mouth. A fleshy mouth often hides a very small bone structure, this results in the bit looking like it fits well, but it not fitting the inside of the mouth very well.

Your mare being quite fleshy means that we will need to look at a fixed cheek piece for her, this allows us to fit the bit a little on the small side so that it better fits the inside of the mouth as well.

If the Happy Tongue you tried is a little older, it probably has a wider port, your mare would be better suited to a slightly narrower port, we now make a Narrow Tongue for these horses.

I recommend a Kimblewick Lite Ultra Comfy Lock Up. The Kimblewick Lite will give you some options of where to place your rein, depending on the day. 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
12 months ago
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