CURB bits are popular with show jumpers. We speak to an Irish rider who has found success with the unusual Segundo Mouth bit.

What is the Segundo Mouth?

THE Segundo Mouth is a Weymouth bit; it has leverage action and works on several points o control on the horse’s head, and also within the mouth. This bit is unusual in that it does not use tongue pressure, as it features a large port through which the tongue lies.

Who uses it?

IRISH international rider Denis Coakley is a fan of the Segundo Mouth bit.

“It’s very good for horses that are strong in the mouth, as the horse can’t lean on the bit or get his tongue over it,” he explains. “I find it settles the horse and that you can ride with a softer rein.

“It’s useful for reschooling horses, but it isn’t for novice riders — in the wrong hands, the Segundo can be severe. I used to use it on Quiletto, the French-bred stallion I rode to win at grand prix level, because he was inclined to lean on the bridle.”

After purchasing the bit in America, fellow Irish show jumper Kevin Babington successfully used the Segundo Mouth on his European gold medal-winning ride Carling King, who recently retired.

Which horses does it suit?

THIS bit is said to work well on horses with a narrow jaw, and those who find it difficult to lay their tongue down comfortably with a bit in their mouth and who lean on the contact.

Where can I buy one?

IF you want to give a Segundo Mouth bit a try, you can buy one from Equiport for around £80.
Equiport Tel: 01606 351685 www.equiport.com

When considering changing your horse’s bit, consult your instructor or a bitting expert for advice.

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (26 April, ’07)