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Tongue over bit

(17 Posts)
Mousesmummy Wed 09-Apr-14 22:54:57

Any advice gratefully received please.
We bought a very timid quiet cob x a few weeks ago. He was in a snaffle with no flash or anything and seemed happy enough. A week or two ago we tried a smaller bit as was a tad large and since then he has put his tongue over everything! We've tried to go back to the original one but no luck. He's now unrideable for dd as has no brakes at all, he's not trying to get her off, just tearing around a bit. He's come out of himself a lot since we bought him.
Lots of opinions from people! Do we go for something stronger? Or start at the beginning again - we tried him in a hackamore last weekend and it seemed to terrify him - he looked so sad tonight anticipating it all. Don't want him to be frightened but equally need to address this asap before the habit is too ingrained.
Any knowledgable folk out there please?

5OBalesofHay Wed 09-Apr-14 23:16:27

A hackamore is a very strong 'bit'.but you could try kind bitless. Or ask. Her instructor?

Floralnomad Thu 10-Apr-14 11:46:02

A friend of mine had this problem and changed to a Sprenger Turnado bit and Flash noseband and it stopped hers.

Littlebigbum Thu 10-Apr-14 14:30:36

my mare had a chifney for a while

Booboostoo Thu 10-Apr-14 16:11:32

You just need to try different snaffles until you find one that he is happy with. My cob is also fine with the Sprenger Turnado so maybe that is a good place to start. There are bit banks that will allow you to exchange bits until you find the one that works for him.

If he were mine I would try hard to keep him in a snaffle as that way he can do dressage competitions later on. The tongue over the bit is not a problem that needs a stronger bit (a hackamore is a very strong bit) and I'm not surprised he got scared. It's a problem that needs careful management until you find the right bit so that he can't do it. Also consider bits of different diametres. Again if you ask the bit bank for advice they should be able to help.

I have never heard of anyone riding in a chifney and can't imagine what it would achieve! I have only ever used it for horses that reared in hand and then very carefully!

Booboostoo Thu 10-Apr-14 16:12:48

Sorry just to add, getting the tongue over the bit is not a habit that becomes ingrained. They either do it in bits the don't like or don't do it in bits that work well so don't panic. Get someone experienced to try the bits out in a safe environment like an enclosed arena.

Mousesmummy Thu 10-Apr-14 17:37:47

Thank you ladies! Yes we want to keep him in a snaffle if possible as he's only a baby really. I will definitely speak to the bitbank!

CalamityKate Thu 10-Apr-14 17:48:25

A chifney isn't for riding with!

BelleateSebastian Thu 10-Apr-14 18:05:22

A Chifney! Christ!!! A short shanked (english) Hackamore isn't scary or unkind if used and fitted correctly smile I would have another go with this

chocolatecakeystuff Thu 10-Apr-14 19:32:40

You can't ride in a chifney?!?!?! Can you? lol....
Try lots of different snaffles, I'm sure it's a new trick he's learnt, that when he finds something he likes he'll stop so stick with it. I found a happy mouth type snaffle worked really well when dd's pony started doing this, but each to their own & she was very soft in the mouth & tiny tiney, started doing it with the wider bit we tried. Gave her something else to think about, try different diameters etc.

JRsandCoffee Fri 11-Apr-14 11:19:34

Hi, a couple of suggestions/ questions and agree re the hackamore being severe.

What type of snaffle is it? Standard eggbut with a single link can in some cases actually be a very severe bit if the structure of the horse in questions's mouth means there isn't much space - i.e. low palate, narrow, etc. Which ties in with the horse evading the pain by getting tounge over. I had a pony that matched this description and I just tried a lot of linked snaffles through a bit bank until I found one that worked for him.

Is the bit sitting too low? If the bit is low enough that it is banging on his baby tushes then try raising it. This may be a new problem for him given his age. It is much better comfort wise for him to have ever such a slight smile on his face than have the bit banging his teeth, there should be a few little wrinkles at the corners of his mouth.

If you try many things and nothing seems to work for you then (prepares to be flamed) I'd suggest you try a curved bar pelham (not a linked one). Not fashionable but there is a reason why they remain popular, they just work for some horses and can be ridden on D's to avoid double reins if a child or inexperienced rider is on board.

5OBalesofHay Fri 11-Apr-14 11:42:29

A good starting point could a hanging cheek French link snaffle. It is suspended in the mouth but mild and dressage legal.

dappleton Fri 11-Apr-14 16:21:41

I've tried loads of bits and noseband combo's for this problem. The only solution has been a Micklem bridle used bitless. But agree with other posts that suggest double checking the fitting and trying a few options from a bit bank to find what works for your pony.

flowersinthegarden Fri 02-May-14 21:01:30

May be worth trying a french link snaffle with full cheeks. Fit the bit reasonably high and pop the cheeks in keepers. Should keep the bit reasonably still in his mouth.

BaldricksWife Fri 09-May-14 15:17:56

Get a black rubber dummy for a couple of quid from the local saddler, they look cumbersome, but work, and the horses never seem to mind them. Get saddler to show you how to fit it to the bit if you have not used one before x

pumpkin2012 Sat 10-May-14 20:52:23

Have you had his teeth checked? If he is young could be wolf teeth causing it?

Pipkinhartley Mon 19-May-14 21:15:46

I wouldn't go down the bitless route with such a young (and as you say, timid) horse.
Personally, I'd go back to the snaffle you started with and try a grackle noseband - that should stop him from being able to cross his jaw and (hopefully!) stop him getting his tongue over the bit.
And agree with pumpkins suggestion re wolf teeth.
Good luck, hope you find a solution!

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