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Naomi Tavian Jumping | 9 Questions | 207 Answers

How many wrinkles do you leave behind the bit and why?
After researching into he horse anatomy and bit action, I decided to never leave any for any horse I ride or train.

How many wrinkles do you leave behind the bit and why?
After researching into he horse anatomy and bit action, I decided to never leave any for any horse I ride or train.
20
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In my experience horses display behaviours such as putting their tongue over, opening their mouths, raising their head, dropping it low or going behind contact and snatching your reins away, all because there has been a wrong or excessive use of the reins. Occasionally it's because of side reins and draw reins. It's a confidence problem and I solve all these situations with the same double jointed snaffle and same teaching technique.

The need to change a bit is more of a myth. If used appropriately and knowledgeably, any bit will do.
That said, I hate single jointed snaffles.
My friends horse constantly plays with his bit so I understand what you're talking about.
I haven't recently had any issues at all with horses puttin their tongues over the bit, and my horse is very happy and comfortable with his bit (never fussy, always salivating, loves pushing forward to it). I just know of horses who (so far as I could tell) didn't have any issues with their bits/weren't in pain, but would play with their bits a lot (especially if they were low in their mouths) and that involved sometimes putting their tongues over their bits; never out of discomfort but because the bit being that low in their mouths was such a distraction...
I know this isn't the most popular opinion here, but as long as it doesn't make your horse uncomfortable and it's what they're used too I don't see the issue with having a wrinkle. If they showed the slightest sign of pain I'd move it right away because the horses comfort and health is my top priority. I find that bits also tend to rub more when lower in the mouth. This may be different for your horses though.
Brenna noble: a horse will put its tongue over the bit to avoid pain, you might want to start experimenting with bits until you find one that is comfortable for your horse and won't cause them to try to avoid it😕
Same! I don't think anyone would like a chunk of metal sitting on their teeth. Much better to let it sit comfortably and loose until you actually need it, though I'm working on brideless with mine rn
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Interesting Eryn, what do you mean by 'sits better'? What aspects of the fit do you consider?
I usually do one wrinkle because in my opinion two is too tight and none is too loose. I find it also sits better in my horses mouth like this too.
That is a great idea i think i will definitely have to do that for a couple of my horses!
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To make sure it's a perfect match to every horse I have half holes in every bridle. I really reccomend that. Sometimes a hole looser is too much and a hole tighter has a wrinkle. That's where I pierce the middle hole. 😊
I see... that makes sense, from now on i will have to make sure there are no wrinkles (:
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I have experienced this situation many times before. It happens to horses that either have always been ridden with one or more wrinkles and when the horse doesn't like the way a particular bit sits and moves in the mouth. Its most often about habit.The habit of having the bit more up in their mouth. So when they feel the bit lower, they are surprised.

The problem with one or more winkles is that first you are placing pressure in the horse's mouth without even holding the reins, so when you use them you don't start from 0. Also you cannot be extremely refined in your requests because something is already going on in the horse's mouth. You also are closer to the molars so when you use the bit it can hit the teeth and be very painful.

Well the solution is straightforward but not so easy, you take a bit without joints, you place it so its in the middle between the canines and the molars. The horse will wiggle its tongue in annoyance and open its mouth. You need to give it time. Maybe ride around at walk asking for simple things like circles and serpentines. It might take one ride, or two. Another great way is wear the halter and the bridle on top and attach a normal lead rope to the halter and take your horse to graze or place her in a pasture ( only under supervision ). Through these two activities they will get used to it. Its also what I do when bridling a colt for the first times.
Not all my horses do this.
This is very interesting, i let my horse decide where he or she wants the bit most of my horses dont like it when there are no wrinkles and most the time want it with about one wrinkle. ( that is were they like to hold it) so if they constantly chew when there is no wrinkle until i tighten to where they seem to like, (with one wrinkle) why do they do this and what do you suggest doing about it?
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Interesting Brenna, let's look into it. Your argument makes sense but why would a horse put its tongue over the bit?
How do you know it's too low? When is it too high?
I usually leave two because if you leave more it will be too low in the horses mouth, and I find it very distracting for them. I find when it's that low, many horses stick their tongues over the bit. It's also just what I've been told to do. At the same time I'm wondering if my pony's old owners used to ride with like 4 wrinkles, because if he's ever fussy about the big, he doesn't respond to a finger tugging on his lip at all...
Actually I leave 2 because I've been told that's how we do, and that's it. I have to confess I've never tried to understand what was actually the best for my horse juste because people told me I have to do this way. But I'll try, that sounds interesting and I don't take any risk appart from having my horse better than he's already :)
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It's something that has always left me questioning, none of my trainers had an answer for the two-wrinkle rule other than "it shows the right position to put the bit", which other than being wrong is not even really explanatory.
It's always interesting for me to know other people's reasons for things. How many do you leave and why?
Thank you Naomi! I didn't know at all!
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Yes, with every wrinkle, the bit is closer to the horse's molars, which when using the bit will cause it to hit the teeth, especially snaffles and if you ever hit your teeth on something you know how much it hurts.
Moreover by looking at the horse's skull the idea is that the bit is in the middle between the front teeth and molars to not come in contact with either. That place is about three fingers in front of the molars, which coincides with where the horse's lips are. I tend to make half holes in the bridles to get the perfect fit for every horse. It shouldn't be loose or tight. One wrinkle is too tight and stresses and stretches the lip, also making a neutral situation with the reins not really neutral. You are pulling in his mouth without even holding the reins. I place it in between loose and one wrinkle. And all horses I ever trained in such way performed better and improved under many aspects.
Hello Naomi, could you explain why you don't?
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