Horse bit information

Horse bit problems

My horse opens his mouth or crosses his jaw when I ride him!

Before you start changing the horse bit, you need to eliminate other factors that could be causing your horse to behave this way, such as the dentist and not forgetting his back.

This could be his way of letting you know something is wrong.

Is the horse up to date with the qualified equine dentist?

Whenever I buy a horse, I automatically get his teeth checked and his back as a precautionary measure even if the previous owner has said he's up to date.

When you buy a horse and ask is he up to date with the dentist, you’ll be surprised how many people say yes, when in fact the horse has never been seen by an equine dentist.

Have you looked inside the horse’s mouth and assessed his mouth conformation ?

Have you checked the mouth for cuts, bruises or ulcers?

Have you looked inside the horse’s mouth to see what pressure points the bit is exerting on the horse’s mouth.

You need to find out if the bit is suitable for the horse and does it sit comfortably.

Do you need to use a milder bit to control horse?

Could this be the horse’s way of trying to evade the pain caused by the bit?

Once you have made a full assessment there are various nosebands that can assist, such as a drop noseband, flash noseband and the grackle otherwise known as the Mexican.

Remember if you tie a horse’s mouth down without assessing the situation first, you could end up increasing the pressure and cause more discomfort inside the mouth.

So you won’t be solving the problem, just masking it!

Flash noseband

Make sure the buckle strap does not rest on the lips and the strap is well away from the nostrils.

It must sit comfortably on the horse's head.


It is also known as a cross or figure of eight noseband and is used to prevent a horse from crossing his jaw.

If positioned correctly,(like the one in the picture)  it can be quite effective.

Many people wear a grackle as a “show piece.” They don’t need one, but wear it because it looks nice on the horse.

Drop noseband  "Busse Reitsport "

A horse that opens his mouth wide to evade the action of the bit needs a drop noseband to prevent this.

If it is fitted too low, it can interfere with the horse’s breathing, so it's important to fit it correctly.

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Horse bit

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Equine mouth conformation

Gag bits

Horse control

Curb bits

Pelham bits

Horse-bit evasions

Snaffle bits

Horse-bit information