Over the 14 years I’ve owned my mare Wish, she has never really felt 100% settled in the contact. As well as having regular training, I also found that changing the bit I ride in has helped.
I have a pool of three bits that I use on a rotation to keep her as happy as possible, but over the years I have always felt I was missing something. Some days she felt amazing, while others she would chew at the bit and become quite heavy in the hand.
She’s always had her saddle checked every six months by an SMS qualified master saddler, and her bridle and girth have also been checked. She has a routine teeth check up every six months too.
I was confident that Wish is as comfortable as she can be, so I started to look at what other bits were available that might help.
Doing my research
I’d heard of Bomber Bits, and a few of my horsey friends had recommended them as they had seen such positive results in their horses.
I did some research online about the range as it was important that the bit I selected is allowed at British Dressage competitions. There’s a large range of Bomber bits and it took a while for me to find something that I thought would be suitable.
The DC Dressage Happy Tongue Swivel bit appeared from the description to offer what I felt we were lacking. As it was quite expensive, I ordered one on a trial basis, which enabled me to use it for three weeks so that I could be sure it was going to work before deciding to buy.
How it works
The DC Dressage Happy Tongue Swivel bit is designed to release as many pressure points as possible to create comfortable communication. The reins attach to the large dee, which swings open independently of the cheekpiece.
The mouthpiece is fixed to the cheekpiece with a solid surface area to encourage flexion. The key feature of the cheekpiece is the loose ring, which attaches to the bridle and can rotate, ensuring the poll and cheek area is relieved from rein engagement.
A change in performance
When the bit arrived, I couldn’t wait to try it out. It was easy to fit and Wish didn’t seem phased by having a new bit in her mouth. I wasn’t expecting this bit to transform her way of going, I was just looking for something that she accepted and was happy in.
However, I was suitably impressed with our first ride in the bit. Wish seemed to accept it and felt secure and happy in the contact. I could also be a lot lighter with my aids and she just felt generally softer and more supple.
The big test would be whether this feeling continued, or would it only last for a month or so.
A year on and Wish is still happy and going really well in this bit. I haven’t had to do my usual bit swopping.
We still have our odd wobbly moments when I ask for a little bit more or when we’re trying something new, but it doesn’t take long for her to settle back into her work and accept the contact nicely in this bit.
If you’re struggling to find a bit that your horse is happy in, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Bomber bit range — you may just find the answer.
Find out more about these bits at www.bombers.co.za/