Trouble With The Double!

18th March 2019


Hi I have a 15 year old 16.3hh Hannoverian Gelding that I have owned for 13 years.  We compete at Open Medium level dressage in New Zealand.  In the double I absolutely have him through and in a great outline.  I do find my medium and extensions are more dramatic in my snaffle than double but early days of training in a double.  Now his tongue is coming out in the double and getting cuts in his mouth inside the cheeks.  When I put the snaffle bridle back on he has got his tongue over the bit the last couple of times.  I did crank the cavesson noseband up tight as it could go but wonder if that made things worse- tension.  He is currently in a loose ring snaffle and his doubles are fairly thick Sprenger Weymouth and single jointed bridoon.   He has only been in his double for a few weeks.


After reviewing your question and Bitting Questionnaire we would suggest that you not use these doubles, he is obviously uncomfortable most likely through tongue pressure hence getting his tongue over the top of the snaffle which he hasn’t done previously.   Spend some time re-establishing the snaffle before considering experimenting with doubles again.   As you have discovered cranking up the noseband when the horse is uncomfortable anyway simply compounds the situation by increasing the pressure and discomfort, therefore by doing this we are not addressing the real issue.  Before you reintroduce the doubles get your dentist to examine his mouth and send us photographs of his mouth conformation.  Photograph the doubles he objected to in situ and on their own too so we can check exactly what they are.  At which point we will be happy to make a recommendation.  Also please refer to our article ‘Introducing the doubles’.

Having seen the photographs he does have a particularly large fat tongue.  We would suggest that you try the Warmblood Weymouth in conjunction with the Verbindend bridoon.  It may be an idea to hire these from your local bit bank first so that you can assess them before fully committing to buy them.  Please do keep us informed with your progress.


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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