Please Help Keep His Tongue In!

18th March 2019


Hi, I have a 16.2hh 8 year old Chestnut Dutch Warmblood Gelding that I have owned for 6 years.  We compete in Dressage Double bridle aiming for PSG.  He has a tongue evasion and has put his tongue out of the front of his mouth from day one.  He sticks it out and then brings it in and sometimes lets it hang for a little while.  When I flex my hand/wrist and add pressure to one side of the bit the tongue comes in and he chews on the bit BUT appears that he also pushes against the bit as he chews so you never really feel the right reaction to the pressure.  He can get short in the neck during his work and if someone new was to climb aboard they would say he is ‘tough’ in the bridle.  He doesn’t want to flex easily from left to right.  I am currently in the Sprenger Bemelmans Weymouth with the KK Ultra as my Bridoon Bit.  Changing the bits has helped, but only for approximately 3 weeks; so far my current bits have had the best result but we still get comments from the dressage judge.


Having reviewed your question and from the completed Bitting Questionnaire you sent to us, we would suggest that you try the Pacifier Weymouth in conjunction with the Verbindend bridoon and/or the Comfy Contact Baucher.  As a training tool  you could experiment with the Warmblood Loose Ring Pelham sometimes known as the Warmblood Show Pelham, this mouthpiece is designed to accommodate the fat tongue or more sensitive tongue.  Your horse sounds like he definitely has a sensitive mouth, which is why you experience a short term benefit when changing bits as they employ different pressure points, this is not uncommon at all.  The thinking behind the Pacifier is owing to the backward facing mouthpiece it will remain further up in the mouth utilising a less sensitive area of the horse’s tongue.  It should also prove much more difficult for him to draw the tongue back sufficiently to push down on the mouthpiece as we also need to stop the habit.  He may well have a fatter longer tongue which would lends itself to this evasion, so we need to make him so comfortable that he does not feel the need to keep alleviating and shifting the pressure points himself by pushing down on the Weymouth. We would suggest that you experiment with the tension on the curb.  Please do let me know how you get on, we do have other options but these bits are a very good starting point that will hopefully resolve the tongue evasion.


Managing The sensitive Mouth

Introducing The Doubles

The Recommendation Given Is As A Result Of Information Gained From The Completed Bitting Questionnaire And In Some Instances An In-Depth Telephone Conversation.

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