One of our supported rider Dawn has been on a long journey finding the correct bit for her gorgeous Connemara x Thoroughbred Twilight. We really hope you enjoy her story. For those not already following Dawn (whiskers_twilight), you can follow her story on Instagram here. Dawn was a customer before we asked her to join our little team of sponsored riders.
Let’s talk Bits – get a cuppa it’s a long one
As a kid we had the choice of either a snaffle (90% of horses were ridden in this bit-no-one cared if you didn’t have any brakes), Kimblewick, or if you were really struggling a Pelham (2 reins never with roundings) and occasionally we would see a running gag – again with 2 reins.
Nowadays it’s an absolute minefield there is far too much to choose from!
Twilight is super light in the mouth/hand probably one of the lightest horses I’ve ever ridden. He started off in a plain eggbutt snaffle. He has never been strong but I just felt that this wasn’t quite the right bit. -I got a bit fitter out who suggested a Myler Low Port. He went ok in this for a while but I still wasn’t sure he was 100% happy. He used to tuck his nose on his chest and evade the contact. After doing my research it seemed this bit fitter put everything in a Myler.
So, back to the drawing board we went and that’s when I was put in touch with the lovely Kirstie from @forelock_loadeq.
I used the Forelock and Load bitting service and I sent her 100’s of emails, videos, pictures. She suggested a couple of Bombers Bits to try, the Happy Tongue and the Ultra Comfy Lock Up. Luckily for me the shop is only 40 minutes away, so I drove up to collect them. One thing Kirstie was really insistent on was the fit of the bit. Most of the time people are using a bit that is too big for their horse’s mouth. As with the Myler he went ok but still not great.
More emails, videos and pics followed and Kirstie came up with the Ported Barrel and the Moulded Mullen. The Ported Barrel was ok but the Moulded Mullen was a total game changer. The Moulded Mullen is a uniquely shaped mouthpiece that is angled at 45 degrees. It is exceptionally soft, very flexible and distributes the pressure evenly over and across the tongue.
Kirstie also recommended eggbutt’s for the stability in the mouthpiece and for Twilight to gain confidence in what was in his mouth. He took the contact forward and was much more accepting and this is what I was looking for all along, all sorted… or so I thought… Roll on 18 months! When he finds something difficult, or gets impatient his go to is to chew. For example, if we are on grass and he thinks we should be cantering and I want to walk, his go to is to chew. He is a mouthy horse anyway and likes to have something in his mouth. He does it in the stable when it’s time to go to the field, it’s almost like his comfort blanket. Chewing + a rubber bit = disaster for my bank account.
Back in touch with Kirstie and we decide to go for the ‘new’ Cable Snaffle. He took a bit of time getting used to it but we had a lesson last week and he worked really well. I will still keep the Moulded Mullen probably just for jumping for now (I also have plenty of bit tape for damage limitation). I cannot recommend Kirstie enough she has been awesome.
For info he has a low palate, the biggest fleshy tongue ever, and a fairly small mouth for the size of him. Let’s hope he never needs a double bridle as I don’t think he’ll fit 2 bits in!
We love a challenge at Forelock and Load and will definitely be on hand to help Dawn and Twilight if and when they need a double set. Huge thank you to Dawn for taking the time to write down her journey and for letting us use it as a Blog.