What bit do you recommend for a thoroughbred ex race horse aiming at lower level eventing

My horse is currently ridden in a d ring snaffle with copper rollers, when working on the flat he softens down onto the bit for a few seconds every couple of strides but he then opens his mouth slightly and raises his head, he does constantly while schooling. I had put it down to my leg being weak but my leg has now strengthen and he still does it. When asking for canter hes quiet strong and tends to open his mouth more when i try to hold him. He is a thoroughbred ex race horse and I'm aiming at low level eventing. what bit do you recommend?
I also tried a bit with a double joint and a ported lozenge , his reaction to this was to ride with his head in the air and his mouth open.
He's seems happier in the d ring but still not right. I can email a video of trot and canter, it won't upload here.

Posted in Eventing, asked by sinead behan, 4 years ago. 952 hits.


Hi Sinead,

The mechanics on the Snaffle will ask the horse to raise his head. It is the bar pressure that this bit creates that does this.

I suspect that your horse may be somewhat tongue sensitive, and is trying to get away from the tongue pressure that most bits create.

My suggestion is to try a Ported Barrel for the show jumping and cross country portions, and a Lock up Snaffle for the Dressage. In most associations the Ported Barrel is not legal for Dressage. The exception to this is the USEF, where the Ported Barrel is legal for Dressage.

The Ported Barrel will remove the pressure from the horse's tongue, but unfortunately the Lock up will not. The Lock Up will distribute the pressure evenly over the whole mouth, thus eliminating any pressure points on the tongue.

We can make this mouth piece with almost any cheek piece, but we like to recommend the Loose Ring. The Loose Ring does not add any additional pressure, and it also offers a very quick release from pressure when the rider gives.


Claire @ Bombers
4 years ago
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