Drop cheek snaffle

I have just bought a 7yo 15.3 KPWN mare . I have been riding her in a Nule schule loose ring snaffle with a lozenge and she throws her head up a lot and also grabs down and pulls me out of saddle. Her previous owner used a similar bit and she did this when I tried her. Her teeth checked out fine although she has a tiny tush just come through on right side. My trainer noticed that the lozenge was pulling through onto the bars of her mouth so I tried an old happy mouth fulmer cheek snaffle that I had and she was like a different horse! no head tossing or mouth opening at all and easier to flex at poll with the full cheeks. I would like to eventually progress her up the levels of dressage and not sure that happy mouth bit entirely suitable , my trainer suggested the bomber bits as other pupils had success with them. Do you think the drop cheek snaffle would suit her? She is a size 5 1/4 "
Regards Mary

Posted in Dressage, asked by Mary Baillie, 11 months ago. 374 hits.

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Hi Mary,

Your mare is sensitive to tongue pressure, this is why she was throwing her head and trying to pull you out of the saddle.

I'm sure I don't need to mention this, but please make sure that the bit is sitting up from the tush that is erupting on the right.

I wouldn't recommend the Drop Cheek Snaffle for your mare, while the Snaffle (single joint) mouth piece does not create a lot of tongue pressure, it will squeeze her tongue to some degree, which I don't think she is going to be happy with.

We have a number of options now for Dressage horses that do not accept tongue pressure. Please could you tell me where you are based, and I can give you an idea of what is legal in your area.

Under the FEI, the Ported Barrel is now legal, and this would be a good option for her as it will give tongue relief. In the UK and USA, the Happy Tongue is now legal, this would probably be an even better choice for her as it is softer than the Ported Barrel and she does sound as though she is a very sensitive mare.

Another option is the Ultra Comfy Lock Up, while this doesn't give complete tongue relief, it does soften the pressure on the tongue by a large amount, it also has the benefit of having some movement in the mouth piece.

We'll have a look at cheek pieces when I hear back from you, as those too will change depending on the association involved.

Regards,
Claire@Bombers

Claire @ Bombers
11 months ago
Hi Claire ,I am based in the united Kingdom and will be competing under British Dressage rules. Both myself and my trainer were surprised at how well she accepted the happy mouth considering she is sensitive and we trained again today with excellent results. mary - Mary Baillie 11 months ago

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Hi Mary,

It is amazing what the right bit for the right horse can do!

Under BD the Happy Tongue is legal for Dressage. I would recommend a Fulmer Loose Ring Happy Tongue for her, I think adding tongue relief, you will see even more of an improvement in her.

The Fulmer Loose Ring will give you all the benefits of the Fulmer, plus the fast release of a Loose Ring.

Regards,
Claire@Bombers

Claire @ Bombers
11 months ago
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