my horse needs a bit


10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
South Western Kansas
last christmass we took our vet and a horse trailer and went on a 6 hour tour....with 3 kids in the back seat of the truck and my husband and the vet and i up front we hualed home a horse we renamed luna....i don't know all of her history only that she had been dumped off on a farm, sold to a guy who kept her at the farm where she was dumped off. ride her once and never came back....when lu came to use she was very mistrusting in every way, she was so head shy you could not pet her on her nose.....we haven't really ridden her this much this year..i just wanted to give her time........
with every day brushings, moments spent along with her letting her graze and hand walking , i've gotten to the point now i can rub her in between the ears on her pole, run my hand down her face and tickle her nose....she has stopped useing her head as a weapon.
The BO that i got her from said that she only used a hackamore on her but she knew the horse would take a bit.....turns out some where in 4-h rules that a horse can not be shown in a hackamore except in speed advents....i tired a hackamore on her and she went ok with it but i had to use split rains at frist...a few days ago i put togeather a english bridle for her (every one ride western here except me) and put a wide mouth d ring snafle bit on my surprise she took bit and all ( she didn't like her ears going through the crown and the brow band part) i was wondering if any one has every used a happy mouth before?.....if so did you like it? if not what would you recomand useing instead?


To Finish Is To Win
11 Years
Jun 8, 2008
NE Michigan
I've found that horses tend to prefer 3 part snaffles like French Link, Dr. Bristol or something like that. They are more comfortable than the usual snaffles. You can get them w/ mild ports, twisted wire or with roller parts. I've used stainless steel, sweet iron and copper and haven't noticed any difference in salivation and responsiveness.


12 Years
Nov 21, 2007
A French link would probably be a good choice for you. I do NOT recommend a Happy Mouth. I purchased one for my draft cross Amish buggy horse I am retraining to be a hunter. It was the eggbutt. It isn't very effective, they can hardly feel it. He is now working much better in a ss short shanked Pelham. Also, I had used the Happy Mouth maybe a dozen times and the hard rubber crap was chafing and fraying, so they don't last too long.


11 Years
Jul 13, 2008
Kendall/DeKalb County IL
It bugs me to no end that 4-H rules state that you have to use a bit the only time you can use a hackmore is for speed events. GRRRRRR!!!
This is one reason we do not show our mare in 4-H.
The best advice I can give you is if you have friends that have horse see if they have different bits you can try. Till you can find one that she likes.
Bits can get $$$$.

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