bitting issue


5 December 2013
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I would like some advice about a bitting issue with an 8 year old arab/appaloosa mare.

We have had her for 3 years now - she is an athletic,forward going horse with a fabulous temperament but we have one major problem,and that is,her not accepting the rein and bit contact. I ride her in a KK Ultra snaffle which my other 2 horses (arabs) happily accept. This horse,however will happily go balanced on a very loose rein but when any contact is taken up,her head goes above the bit and her gait becomes stilted and anxious. Should I try something like a straight bar? She has a really large fleshy tongue,and (unusually in a mare),tusk teeth,though these are too low down to interfere with the bit. Her wolf teeth are removed. When contact is taken up,she restlessly,crunches on the bit and rolls up/twists her tongue,so it doesn't come over the bit but does get close to doing that.
I don't want to go down the bit less route just yet,as I would like to do some dressage with her,eventually. Teeth are regularly seen to as is her back.

Any suggestions as to what I might try? I have already booked an equine dentist to come and have a look at her (our vet normally does her teeth).

Thank you.


Well-Known Member
3 October 2006
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I think I'd be getting in touch with a local bit bank and just try different bits to see if you can find one that she likes.

I'd be tempted to try her with a straight bar or ported mouthpiece to see if she finds that more comfortable.