Traditionally, mullen mouthpieces are straight, or with a slight arch, and made from solid stainless steel.
Some riders feel that this can give an unresponsive or ‘wooden’ feel down the reins, with the horse somehow evading, e.g. ‘locking’ into the contact, or coming behind, and avoiding the contact.
This is mainly due to the lack of ergonomics in these types of bits, with the pressure largely centred across the tongue, and down onto the bars….
… (The bars being the region between the incisors and the molars, e.g. the inter-dental area where there are no teeth. The bars are actually a part of the skull, being the mandibular bars of the jaw – the bars are covered with gum tissue, with the tongue resting on top – and this area is where all bits rest). This makes for a lot of direct pressure!
Connection, contact and communication
However, a more flexible mouthpiece, e.g. one made from a non-metal material with a malleable core, allows the mouthpiece to better mould to the contours of the equine mouth, bringing about a better connection, contact and communication. Therefore, a flexible mouthpiece is very useful for horses that have a sensitive mouth, and don’t like complicated mouthpieces.
Traditional single-jointed snaffles (that many people choose as their go-to, ‘kind’ mouthpiece) actually have a nut-cracker pinching action on the horse’s tongue and bars – a malleable mullen is in fact a much kinder option, as it is unjointed, and curves to pressure, to accommodate the horse’s tongue. A synthetic rubber material also provides some bar relief.
A soft, comfortable feel in the mouth
Enter the new Bombers Moulded range – first up is the mullen – this spreads tongue pressure with a soft, comfortable feel in the mouth, with some supporting bar pressure. (The eggbut is pictured above).
The new Bombers Moulded Mullen is required for the sensitive fussy mouth, or where there is bar damage. Bomber Bits’ bitting philosophy required this addition for circumstances that previously required a compromise. Bombers developed the synthetic compound (with a pleasing rubbery texture) to cover the internal cable. The mouthpiece has been shaped, flattened and angled at 45 degrees, for a soft and evenly distributed tongue pressure that gives minimal bar pressure. The Moulded Mullen is ideal for small equine mouths and narrow bars; equine mouth conformations that are traditionally difficult to bit.
The unique compound can even sustain some chewing, and the mouthpiece is available in all of the popular cheekpiece styles, including Loose Ring, Eggbutt, Full Check, Pelham and Drop Cheek.
Excitingly, every bit in the range is ‘dressage’ legal under BD and FEI rules.
RRP of the Moulded Mullen range is from £85.