Horse Question - What bit is right for my pony?
My 14.2 pony is currently in a full cheek fulmer snaffle. Recently what I think he's been doing is putting his tongue over the bit, and also leaning on it. Now when I try and do 20m circles in canter he (what feels like) locks the bit and makes it impossible for me to have any control over him. He has also done this once in canter when bolting around the school.
It is really annoying as I have absolutely no control and does not leave room for an enjoyable riding experience as I am not in the slightest bit strong enough to even attempt to pull his head up.
So am thinking of changing the bit?
Your pony sounds like he may be better in a rubber pelham. This bit can be used with two reigns, the top loop as a snaffle bit and the bottom loop if brought into play is the pelham.
However I would also recommend that you get his teeth checked first as the onstart of a wolf tooth can cause a horse to lean on the bit. Also do much more circle work, try to keep your inside reign loose but your inside leg on at the girth to encourage your pony to carry his own weight. These circles may be quite a problem if your pony is thick in his gullet, but with patience he can be made to bend and carry his own weight. Good luck
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I would first get his teeth checked. Hooks and ulcers can make them pretty balky. After that, if he still runs through the Fulmer, I would try a snaffle with a little more 'bite' to it, maybe a little thinner mouth with a caveson and a martingale and some round pen work in a surcingle for a while and then go back to the Fulmer. Or you could try going to a shanked snaffle.
If this only tends to happen on a circle, the first thing I would check is your saddle fit. It may not be your bit at all. The saddle may be pinching him and the pinch will become exaggerated during turns.
Checking his teeth is also a good idea, but horses do not tend to 'grab' a bit if their mouths hurt.
A fulmer is a great choice not only for hanging, but for steering.If you have determined he is not sour because of pain, you may consider a different mouth-piece. A french link, Dr. Bristol or a slow twist, even in a regular full-cheek style may be a good next step.
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