View Full Version : Rubber snaffle question and advice needed

18-06-11, 04:08 PM
I bought Catchie over a year ago and he came in a rubber snaffle bit

(link: http://www.rideaway.co.uk/cottage-craft-flexible-rubber-mouth-snaffle/default.aspx)

and the lady i purchased him off was adament that he didnt need anything stronger so i just accepted it. On numerous occasions, such as at shows however, when people have asked about the bit he's in or seen the bit he's in, i recieved very surprised/confused reactions... And its not until now that it has actually occurred to me that maybe this is "not the done thing" .... Reading up on the bit i keep noticing that it is suggested used on youngsters for mouthing or on sore mouths. Another interesting thing i noticed is that it says some horses can lack confidence in this bit, and Catchie is a very nervous pony in new "scary" situations...

I was lucky to get in touch with his old old owners (not the people i purchased him from) and they sent me some photos and i noticed he is in what looks like a standard eggbutt snaffle and i am seriously contemplating trying him in one again..

He's very contollable and has impeccable brakes... Unless he isnt at the front when cantering/galloping and when xc he can be strong and is more than capable of just running through the rubber snaffle.. Ocasionally when showjumping a bit more control would be desirable too... Lol!

So basically my question is, is there a reason i got the said reactions from the rubber snaffle and also would you recomend changing to an eggbutt snaffle/similar style bit or stick with the rubber snaffle?

Sorry for the essay... I am so useless on bits! There are so many it just totally baffles me!

Thanks in advance :)

18-06-11, 05:02 PM
Are you saying that you are happy with your pony and bit, but want to change because of other peoples reactions:confused:

You could always try a different bit if you want to, but I would think "if it aint broke dont fix it". How lucky to have such a nice well behaved pony:)

18-06-11, 05:30 PM
Get in touch with some Bit Banks and try before you buy . Snaffles , single jointed , push the joint downwards onto the tongue , because of this the horse cannot easily swallow . So you could continue with your current bit if your horse is happy . If you need more brakes worth looking at say a Cambridge mouth , with slots , a Kimblewick , the cambridge mouth means that your horse can swallow , the slots mean you can have poll pressure and of course curb pressure but the mouthpiece is really kind within your horses mouth . Its a case of try afew and you will find the right bit that suits your horse , it just takes abit of time but well worth it.

18-06-11, 05:40 PM
Not so much worried what they think, just worrying they knew something I didn't, lol.

Thank you both for your replies :) will research the bit banks and see what I can dig up :)

18-06-11, 05:42 PM
Not sure why anyone would react like that?

Anyway, the one thing with these bits is that they can be pretty bulky inside the Horses mouth. Also, rubber and plastic type bits can cause friction and get chewed. You would know if it was though on his lips. When it says 'lack confidence' it means confidence in taking a contact. Some Horses tend to back off the contact is some bits. Flexible ones like this (and the waterford) aren't usually ideal for encouraging a contact - but there's always exceptions. Many eventers use a waterford for XC as the Horse is less likely to lean on it.

If your Horse is happy in it them I'd leave it. An eggbutt is the cheek type. Would have likely been a single jointed or french link. Lets face it, most Horses get more onward bound XC or if they are behind others.

Is your Horse evading it in any way? By that I mean leaning, not accepting the contact, opening his mouth etc?

18-06-11, 05:51 PM
Suzysparkle - that makes more sense now (refering to the confidence section) but I do have trouble getting him to accept the contact. He will come down onto the bit, however he will not hold it and instantly goes back to original head carriage which is quite high (pretty confident this is not due to pain, had backman out couple of weeks ago and all fine, as is saddle.) When a friend of mine rode him they also commented on his un-willingness (if that's a word) to drop his head

18-06-11, 06:04 PM
You might find a change it bits worth a go then. As for what to try - well there is a minefield!! There are so many. I'd probably start with a french link or lozenge link. See if you can borrow any at your yard maybe?

Miss L Toe
19-06-11, 07:35 AM
I start my ponies with the rubber snaffle for mouthing, but it is too big for them for riding, I use a Neu Schule starter [loose ring lozenge] bit for backing and riding away and again if I am starting after a rest period, it is fairly thick, so you need to look in the mouth (look for thick tongue and height of roof of mouth, to find out if there is room for an 18mm bit, or does he need a 16mm bit.
I don't change from the Neu Schule until I feel I have gone as far as I can, and this is where you are at with your rubber bit.
The lozenge bits are kind and they are mouth shaped. Loose rings are often better than egg buts as he can move the bit about but can't grab hold of it.
I am not keen on french link, compared to lozenge, they press hard on the tongue, and might be OK for hard pullers, buy not for your type.
just put a bit on your inner elbow, close up your arm, and then pull on the bit as it would be experienced by the horse.

19-06-11, 03:02 PM
I've got an ex-novice eventer on loan and she has always had a rubber snaffle bit. She comes from a very experienced but traditional equestrian owner. My own horse, who I had for 20 years, went best in a straight bar Happy Mouth with cheeks.
If your horse is happy in his mouth and you have control, I wouldn't change it. You could try a Nathe as they are slightly thinner than a normal rubber snaffle.