Bitting expert Stephen Biddlecombe answers a reader’s question on bitting
Q. I have just bought a five year old TB cross gelding to potentially event with – he qualified for the Burghley Young Event Horse competition last summer, but his owners didn’t attend, as they were selling him. They sold him to me in a loose ring jointed snaffle but I am finding him a little strong when jumping, as he can take hold of the bit – any advice?
D. Harrier, Northants
A.Obviously it is advisable to have some lessons with a new horse – you could also chat through your concerns with the previous owner, and check whether you have changed anything else that may affect his temperament and energy, e.g. his feed?
If you believe that trying another bit may help, a sweet iron bit could work, especially as he’s still very ‘green’.
Sweet iron heightens the horse’s awareness of the bit and they oxidise easily, encouraging salivation.
The Buster Roller Petros Loose Ring could work. The bit has a rotating Petros mouthpiece with a 40mm roller – this increases pressure on the horse’s tongue, and prevents the horse taking hold of the bit – it is positioned at 45°, to follow the contour the tongue contour. When the rein is used, the increased bar pressure helps lift the head – meanwhile, the loose ring provides a quick-release effect.
I would definitely emphasis however the importance of correct schooling with such a promising youngster, so please talk to your instructor.