Bit for a snatcher

I have a 6 year old 17.2hh warmblood gelding, I had him in an eliptical dutch gag a while ago and he started snatching downwards quite badly. I figured he might be like his mother who was very tongue sensitive, she loved the 2 and a half ring ported barrel, so I have changed him to the ported barrel loose ring, but he is still snatching quite badly. He also has a habit of porpoise bucking when we jump and when he is fresh and I am finding it hard to get his head back up in the loose ring. Any suggestions on what I can try?

Posted in Showjumping & Hunter, asked by Natascha Erasmus, one year 1. 535 hits.

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Hi Natascha,

First off, have you had his teeth, neck and back checked? Just to ensure that there isn't anything else that could be bothering him.

Was he any better at all in the Ported Barrel?

The Ported Barrel will give tongue relief, but it is one of the stronger tongue relief bits, and it may just be that little bit too much for him still.

I suggest trying him in a Happy Tongue, this will give him plenty of tongue relief, and it is the softest of the tongue relief bits, which should then stop his wanting to snatch.

I wouldn't want to add more than a 2½ Rings pressures to the bit. He seems to be quite sensitive, and adding in lots of poll pressure and leverage on the mouth piece is only going to upset him more. The 2½ should give you just enough to help bring his head up, without adding so much pressure that it starts to upset him.

Regards,
Claire@Bombers

Claire @ Bombers
one year 1

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Hi Claire

I have had him checked by a physio, he gets regular dental and saddle checks, the physio, denstis and saddle fitter says he is fine, which makes me thinks that he is actually just playing, he does have a distinct cheeky streak. He once nearly kicked someone who was walking past in the head because he happened to decide to impersonate a lippizaner at that moment out of pure excitement. He is a little bit better in the ported barrel than he was in the eliptical. However he still snatches. I have tried him in a happy tongue loose ring, but he snatches in that as well. I think whichever mouth piece it is I will definitely need the 2 and a half ring as on Saturday he nearly pulled me over his head twice when he porpoise bucked and one of those times he nearly went head first into the arena fence as I cannot get his head back up and that leaves me with no control turn him away from the arena fence.

Natascha Erasmus
one year 1
Hi Claire Those pics are not recent and I ride him in a different martingale now. I have had him in the ported barrel for two weeks now and the snatching has significantly improved. He didn't snatch at all today. The bucks while jumping if I make it hard for him by getting too close to the fence or being a bit off or if I ride him too forward into the jumps. If I get there on the correct distance in a calm fashion he doesn't buck. My only remaining issue is not being able to get his head back up when he bucks which leads to an extended bucking episode and puts me in danger of losing my reins all together in which case I would be toast. I know you said the ported barrel is the harder of tongue relief mouth pieces, if I go with the 2 and a half ring would you suggest a softer mouth piece like the happy tongue or the blue one? (can't remember what you call it) - Natascha Erasmus 12 months ago
Hi Natascha, Some horse do take a little longer to adjust to the tongue pressure being removed. Yes, I would definitely go down to the Happy Tongue mouth piece with the 2½ Ring, I think we want to make sure that the softest bit possible is used, he's quite opinionated! I would stick to the Happy Tongue over the Bomber Blue. The Happy Tongue is actually the softer of the two, by a little bit, and he hasn't shown any dislike for metal. Regards, Claire@Bombers - Claire @ Bombers 12 months ago
Thanks so much for all your help and advice :) I will put in an order for the 2 and a half ring happy tongue - Natascha Erasmus 12 months ago

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Hi Natascha,

I asked Bomber to have a look at your photos as well. He pointed out that the neck strap of your martingale is not attached to your saddle, and is moving quite far up his neck. Have you always ridden him in that martingale? I could well be the pressure from that strap in the wrong place that is contributing to the bucking and snatching.

Regards,
Claire@Bombers

Claire @ Bombers
12 months ago
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