View Full Version : Mouth Sores
18-02-09, 05:44 PM
My horse of 3 weeks aged 6 has started to develop mouth sores. These are sores at either side of his mouth where his bit sits. I have put him in a Happy Mouth Full cheek snaffle with a roller and keepers, he also has a flash noseband. I'm not fussy with my hands, I don't need to pull him up but I do have an active contact which he seeks quite happily. I chose the full cheek as he is still quite green and needs the extra encouragment with turning. I know the bit size is correct but I have noticed it doesn't fit evenly across the mouth - there is more bit showing at one side than the other. When ridden he sometimes tilts his head to the side that less bit is showing. I have a feeling he needs his teeth checking but the women I bought him from is an EDT so i would have presumed his teeth were regularly checked. I have the dentist coming out shortly but does anyone have any theories or suggestions?
18-02-09, 06:38 PM
Did they develop before or after you changed to a happy mouth? Happy mouth bits can actually worsen this problem as the plastic can cause friction. Try rubbing one over your hand and you'll see what I mean. Metal glides more freely.
Unfortunately some Horses (mine being one of them) are more prone to this than others. The first step is definately checking the teeth which you are doing and of course have the right size bit. You say one side shows more than the other, check your cheeckpieces are level. Just because they are on the same hole doesn't mean they are even. Best to take bridle apart and hold them together to check.
The right bit makes a huge difference. Bit guards can help. Also best not to use too thick a bit. I found a myler comfort snaffle best. You can also use glymol mouth paint in the corners, and some people rate cream for piles. The best thing though (if you can find crystals) is gauze soaked in alum solution. Wrap round the bit and let the Horse stand wearing it. Very old fashioned cure but heals the mouth very quickly. Other things you can try are sweet iron or copper bits and feed a sugar cube before you get on to encourage salivation.
You dont need to be sherlock holmes to work out its the bit or your hands! Some single jointed bits have uneven length pieces either side of the joint, which could mean the bit is sitting crooked in the mouth and creating friction, hence rubs. Nylon bits can be quite hard and if they get chewed they can be very rough.
The flash could be causing the problem. Has he worn one before? It could be holding the bit up against the corners of the mouth or restricting movement so the bit starts rubbing.
The only other thought is has the horse been in regular work prior to you getting him? If not then the mouth may be sore because the skin is soft and not used to a bit.
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