I have had my horse for 2 ½ months now, she came with a Loose Ring French Link Snaffle Bit and I would like to change to a Neue Schule Bit. I have tried my friend’s Verbindend and my horse goes ok in it – no worse but no huge improvement either. I was looking at the Team Up Bit but would like some advice as to whether this would be the best bit to try or if there would be anything more suitable. I am also unsure about whether she would be best staying in a loose ring snaffle or whether a fixed cheek bit would suit her better. I would like help getting her more forward into the contact and have her happier and more comfortable in the contact. I would need to be dressage legal as we will be competing.She isn’t strong and doesn’t lean on the bit, but she often lifts her head or crosses her jaw to avoid the contact and I can struggle to get her to come forward into the contact. She can get a bit resistant in upward transitions and gets ‘stuck’ and stops going forward. If not allowed to move forward she will go in reverse! I have also noticed that she often tries to stop and rub her mouth, when I stop her doing this she can start to throw her head around a little. It almost looks as if her bit has been rubbing slightly, she is not sore, but has some flaky skin at the edges of her mouth. She has had back, teeth, feet and saddle check and there are no issues at all.
Thanks for your email about bitting for your Warmblood mare. The Advice Team has reviewed your comments and would suggest that you try the Tranz Angled Lozenge Eggbutt (code 8023-E) in order to promote a comfortable and sustainable contact. The stability from the butt of the Eggbutt should also reduce friction and rubbing. She does sound uncomfortable and extremely irritated by the bit. It may lessen the irritation, her desire to rub and even help the flaky skin if you were to use a cream which will promote healing before bitting her. Although we understand that it is early days and that you need to develop a partnership but in order to determine if this is only a bitting problem it would be useful to measure her response in a hackamore or bitless bridle. This should be done in a safe environment and when she is not fresh! We are happy to offer more advice on this should you need it.