Regular Programming Interrupted Again

Favorite time of the year.

The heat is gone.  Northern California Foothills seem new, all over again!   No Holidays to worry about just yet.  Love fall!

Temporary shut-down of activities – came down with a serious bug suddenly on Friday night.  Fever will knock anyone out…  Hopefully it’s short-lived for just a few days (?) and I’ll be back out to see the leaves start falling soon!

We're geeky and we know it!
We’re geeky and we know it!

The past few weeks I’ve experimented with changing Valiosa’s bit and bridle fit.  I’m sure you’ve been there too.

A quiet, responsive, and comfortable mouth fit with a dressage legal bit is the goal.  (No shortcuts.)  The KK Ultra, so popular with many dressage horses, is of course not the right fit for every horse…  And I refuse to do any silly Cranking-Down-On-The-Noseband on a young horse.

The Happy Mouth Loose Ring Shaped Mullen Snaffle (Now that’s a mouthful.) is too, hmmmm, straight.  Only use it occasionally for lunging her now.

The Loose Ring Double Jointed Cooper Snaffle with Shaped Link is too “busy” for her at this age it seems.

The Sprenger Double Jointed is sadly too large for her.  The Full Cheek Eggbutt Copper Double Jointed has worked the best so far, but the one I own has a fairly large lozenge in the middle.  Just experimenting if we can do even better.

Right now, testing out my Happy Mouth Boucher snaffle.  It’s single jointed, which is not my favorite, she chomps it to death at the end of the ride on a loose rein.  The plastic won’t last long like that.


Bit fit – personal for each horse, so it’s not always helpful to look at what other’s are using.  In less than 5 weeks Loomis Basin Equine will be out for a dental clinic.  This year I’ll make sure to ask  what the vet thinks of her palate height and tongue.

Feel free to chime in with your bit of success!

Now, just waiting for the fever to break.




7 thoughts on “Regular Programming Interrupted Again

  1. I hope you feel better soon! I will chime in on what I learned from Miguel Tavora at our last clinic (Portuguese master – look him up online, lots of great articles to read, and if you ever get to clinic with him: do it!). He expresses disdain at my KK ultra, said that those bits have caused more tongue problems over the years and that for generations, horses were very happy with simple snaffles and it would be better to go back to those. Having the thing in the middle to play with causes problems, he feels. Well, maybe. I don’t like the nutcracker effect but there are some shaped single jointed snaffles that try to eliminate that so you can try those. I ride in the double most days so it’s not much of an issue any more anyway (he also told me to ride in the double all the time at this level now, stop messing around with the snaffle, and that my hands are fine to ride in the double daily. O.k. then, and I am finding that Finn is going better and his neck muscle looks better). The other thing Miguel said to my friend who has a Lusitano is that they need an eggbutt bit (maybe because the corners of their mouths are fleshy and sensitive?) so that they aren’t pinched by the loose rings. She bought a cheap ($25) single jointed egg butt to replace the Sprenger and her horse seems perfectly happy. As you say, though, it is an experimental process and I would add, it changes depending on where your horse is in the training process. What works for the next year or two may change as she becomes more engaged. Try borrowing bits to try on her if you can, to keep the cost down. There are bit rental places but that’s for expensive bits. I do like the NS and Sprenger bits, but they are expensive. Good luck and I completely agree about NOT tying her mouth shut. So horrid.

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    1. I knew it! The lozenge is just not for everyone! Nice to know that was his opinion too. I still don’t know for sure what will be best for Valiosa. She got much more busy in her mouth with the single jointed, but I think perhaps because it was a Happy Mouth, not copper. And the other, Full Cheek, bit I have WITH a lozenge, has the middle piece designed so large I think it may cause pressure on her bars. Definitely will take you up on the point of reevaluating her bit every couple of years. (Because there WILL be positive change, right 😉
      Next up, if my Tylenol can kick in and I feel better this week, I’ll ride a few more times in the single jointed, then switch to another, new, Copper double jointed boucher with small lozenge, then also try going back to the loose ring just for kicks a week later or so. Good point on the Egg butt! Perhaps she WAS getting pinched even though it didn’t look like it…


  2. I think I had that bug last week and it was HORRIBLE. I’m actually still lingering from it… a little coughing and some gross feelings depending on the day.

    Murray is going best in a thin, loose ring, flat-jointed French link right now. Like, really well. (this one: It’s not too big, not too shaped, not too anything. Murray finds it very inoffensive and I love it!

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    1. Ugh, hope we both recover. Like now, immediately!!
      The French Link, and especially steel, is one of the few I haven’t tried yet. Thought since she was a young horse, a lozenge would be milder, and copper would give a better feel. Hey, at that price, I’d be willing to give it a shot!!
      Thank you.
      As per Horse Sage’s earlier comment, I’d check it out in an Egg Butt, for the lips…


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