I am concerned that my pony’s bit might be too small. I am using the same snaffle bit he came with when I bought him, so I assumed it was the right fit, but I have noticed there seems to be some rubbing in the corner of his mouth. How can I tell if it’s the right size or not?
Jess P, by email
We contacted our friends and experts at Neue Schule and put your question to them. Here’s what they had to say:
If you’re using a Loose Ring snaffle then the general rule would be to have clearance either side of no more than one eighth of an inch from the corner of the lip up to the hole that the ring passes through.
With a fixed cheek, the lip should gently brush up against the butt end ensuring a snug, although not tight, fit.
Note that when moving from a loose ring to a fixed cheek we recommend you size down a ¼” as you do not need to compensate for the holes.
Any signs of damage to the mouth will be a good indication of fit, particularly rubs. These can be painful for the horse and again be another distraction from your rein aids. It is as important to regularly check your horse’s mouth for any changes as much as you would the rest of your horse’s body.
The wrong size of bit can hamper the action and in turn make the bit useless for your situation even though in reality it may be the right one for your horse. Our website has a knowledge base section where you can see pictures of how a correctly fitted bit should look.