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Bit and tongue issue

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Last activity 2019-06-17 2:20 PM
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   General Discussion -> Barrel Talk
Reg. Jun 2019
Posted 2019-06-11 2:52 PM
Subject: Bit and tongue issue


Posts: 1


I have a seven year old gelding that I am trying to season and we have two issues:

  1. He has a habit of sucking his tongue back when I apply pressure on the bit. Right now I am riding him in a smooth snaffle with a leather curb strap. He’s very light mouth and responsive. So when I go to pull he has his mouth open and tongue suck back.
  2. He becomes high headed when I apply pressure, due to the tongue issue. So when I do try to slow him down at the end of a run it’s difficult to slow and stop him. The more I pull to slow down the high his head goes due to the bit.

He’s very responsive when riding and light mouth. Whenever I am not applying pressure on the bit, whether it be walking, trotting or lopping, he’s ok. But once I left or just apply a little pressure there goes the tongue. I feel he’s more focused on his bit and tongue than what’s doing.

Could it be the size of the bit?

The type I am using or do suggest?

Tie down or bonnett?



Horse age: 7

Horse Height: 16 hh

Horse mouth measurements: 6”

Last Float done back in Sept. of 2018. 

Thank for taking the time to read and respond.

Edited by Nessa007 2019-06-11 3:00 PM
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Reg. Nov 2015
Posted 2019-06-11 3:57 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 574

Have you tried a hack? 

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Reg. Feb 2006
Posted 2019-06-11 4:08 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue

Elite Veteran

Posts: 963
Location: Loco,Ok

Why aggravate the situation. Put a hackamore on. 

Clampitt Hackamores. I make several different lengths and weights customize if needed.  

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Chandler's Mom
Reg. Jan 2015
Posted 2019-06-11 7:27 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue

My Heart Be Happy

Posts: 8998
Location: Arkansas


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Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-06-11 7:35 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue

A Somebody to Everybody

Posts: 39259
Location: *Seguin TEXAS of Course*

Kinda sounds like to me this horse might have a shallow mouth with a low palate, have you tryed a chain mouth on him? Or a dog bone, I would not ride him in a snaffle, its hitting the roof of his mouth when you put pressure on the bit.

Edited by Southtxponygirl 2019-06-11 7:39 PM
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Reg. Jan 2010
Posted 2019-06-11 7:52 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue


Posts: 1557
Location: North of where I want to be

 I do not want to high jack this,but I am having the same issue with my mare. I do ride in a 3 piece dutton locked snaffle and she tolerates that. So I am definitely following this.

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Reg. Aug 2017
Posted 2019-06-17 1:58 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue


Posts: 21
Location: North central Florida

Try using a Cavason (mouth-shutter) under your bridle.  He won't be able to open his mouth to avoid the bit.  They quickly learn to do this if not started correctly.  i would also use a loose tie down also.

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Reg. Dec 2018
Posted 2019-06-17 2:09 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue


Posts: 127

CanChaser1013 - 2019-06-17 2:58 PM

Try using a Cavason (mouth-shutter) under your bridle.  He won't be able to open his mouth to avoid the bit.  They quickly learn to do this if not started correctly.  i would also use a loose tie down also.

Was just going to suggest a Caveson. Most of the time they will grow out of the need to use one. Sounds like your horse has learned that in opening his mouth he is getting away from pressure in an incorrect way. I will suggest not to crank the caveson too tight until he gets used to it and to make sure it is fitted properly as it can effect his breathing otherwise. 

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Reg. Feb 2013
Posted 2019-06-17 2:20 PM
Subject: RE: Bit and tongue issue

Married to a Louie Lover

Posts: 3303

Could be a variety of things.  You can try a hack, or you can keep trying different styles of mouth piece.  I don’t like the feel of a hack personally for my hands and for the horses I’ve tried them on - that’s just me and the horses I’ve had. 

If your riding in a 2 piece snaffle, try a 3 piece.  Or try a solid mouth bit.  I’ve got one gelding who goes really well in a Jim Edwards V correctional.  I can ride him in anything, but the he really seems to enjoy the tongue relief.

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