I didn't where to put this so i posted it here. My TB mare sticks her tongue out when i'm riding. It's out far enough that it hits her in th face and she panics and shakes her head to put it back in her mouth. Her tongue is also really thick. Is there anything i can do to encourage her to keep it in her mouth. i believe she might be getting it over the bit.

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try riding her in a hackamore, bitless bridle, side pull or even just a halter. See if that is the problem, if the bit is the problem then I would advise staying with one of those, if it isn't I do not know what to advise you, what kind of bit do you use?
A korsteel type bit but i have to ride with bits as most of the shows i go to do not permit bitless attire plus she likes to go speedy!
Have you tried the JP bits by Korsteel.? Their mouthpieces are curved, giving the tongue more room and relief from pressure. I have had good results with thick tongued Arabians with these bits, both single jointed and double jointed snaffles.
Just one thing about these bits, the horses I ride seemed to want them stabilized in the mouth. I put bit loops on the full cheek, and made bit loops for the D-ring out of bias tape. With the bit stabilized, the horses go really well with good contact. Without the bit loops one Arab I rode would dive his head down when contact was released, with the bit loops he held his head normally both on contact and on loose reins.
These JP bits are only a little bit more expensive that the regular Korsteel bits, slightly over $35 USD.
i have a korsteel bit.. but i don't know the exact brand but i think it is that one. I think i'll try putting on some bit loops. THere are times when she almosy has her head to the ground then brings it back up
The mouthpieces of the JP Korsteel bit curve a great deal more than the regular Korsteel bits. The regular bits will lay out flat on a table, the JP's curve upward. This gives the tongues A LOT of room.
Another thing you might want to play with is the length of the cheek pieces. If there are several wrinkles at the corner of the mouth they are a bit tight, and there will be poll pressure that never lets up. I have found that the horses I ride are happier if there is no wrinkle (with the bit touching the corner of the bit) or at most one wrinkle. This will also get the bit to bear on a new part of the mouth. I have found it amazing how much more cooperative the horses are if the bridle is not too tight!
While you are at it you might check that the browband is not too tight. If the crown piece of the bridle is rubbing agaist the base of the ears your horse will be MUCH more happy with a wider browband (side to side, not front to back!) Too wide a browband does not seem to badly affect my horses, just the ones that are too tight which will make any horse resistant and miserable.
I hope this helps some.
I'll try it. Though my bit seems to have quite a curve but it seems really thick though it's plastic
Have you looked at any of the Myler bits? They are curved as well. They also have independent side action. There are many different types available. I have the Low Port Comfort Snaffle and my little Arabian seems to like it. They are fairly expensive though, and I don't know which ones are approved for showing in. Also, William Micklem (from this site) has developed his own type of bitless bridle, that can also accomodate a bit when needed. Looks like a nice bridle.......maybe check that out as well. Good luck!
Horses with thick tongues often do not like thick bits.
What does your bit look like? Is it a snaffle? Does it have two or three pieces in the mouthpiece?
Do you use a noseband? Which type? Do you make the noseband really tight or do you leave the vertical two fingers leeway?
Did she come to you with this habit, or if she did not what bit did you use when she started it?
Do you know if her palate is high and arched or low and flat?
It sounds to me that her tongue does not have enough room in her mouth, and that MAY be the main reason she sticks her tongue out, or that her tongue might be really sensitive to pressure. A thick mouthpiece can cause these horses discomfort as there is not enough room in their mouths.
The JP Korsteel bits give plenty of tongue room, and the ones I have do not have thick mouthpieces. I think that there are Ovation bits that are curved in the mouthpiece, they run around the same as the JP bits ($30-40 USD.)
I haven't tried the Myler bits but they look like they also give plenty of tongue room and the mouthpieces are on the thin side. Several of the Herm Sprenger bits have curved mouthpieces but the mouthpieces are thicker than the JP's and Mylers. The problem with the Myler and Herm Sprenger bits are that they are expensive, though both brands are VERY well made. The number of choices also can give me the heejie beejies when trying to figure out which bit to use!
One thick-tongued horse I rode it took me SEVEN bits before I found one he REALLY liked keeping contact with that he also was controllable with. This horse also had a low palate, and if he did not like your hands he would try to run away.
Is there any way you can borrow some bits to try on your horse?
I'm trying my arabians D-ring french link but her bit is a d-ring rubber korsteel snaffle. The noseband has about 2-3 fingers of room and she started it with her rubber bit. She perfers runner bits as she has also been ridden in a loose ring happy mouth snaffle. She doesn't accept palhams or really 'strong' bits. She started it a while ago and it has gotten worse and she'll do it with different bits (all pretty thin). Right now I have a flash on her to keep her mouth from opening enough to much. I don't know about her palate at all.
I've been thinking about your TB and you. I looked at your pictures (love your part Arab!!!) and I see no reason to suspect your hands--no one with horrible hands could get an Arabian blooded horse go so prettily in hand. So your hands must be decent.
Is there any way your TB mare's tongue or upper palate could have gotten bruised? Could you have accidentally irritated an old injury, one that happened before you got her? Just something to think about, I have no idea of how to prove it. But it is something to think about if she just gets worse and worse.
If you can borrow a bitless bridle, just to experiment, and see if she does it when there is no bit in her mouth. If she keeps her tongue in it may be that the bit is irritating an old injury. Healing something like this probably takes time.
In other words this may not be a bit problem at all.
If she allows it I would suggest looking in her mouth. See if there are any scars on her tongue. Try and see if there is any bruising on the roof of her mouth. Everything may be fine, but right now this is the only thing I can think of.
Thanks he can be a handful though.

I'll check on that if i can. I know I can open her mouth some more i can get her lip up just fine!
Yes, the high Arab blooded horses CAN be handfuls!!! I had a 7/8 Arab 1/8 ASB that made me into an advanced rider--I had no choice. Since then I've learned delicacy with contact which really helped with a super reactive full Arab I rode.
I do not know if you "pick up" your horse's communications, but you might ask your TB mare about exactly what is bothering her. The answer can come as a stray thought, a physical sensation, or even a wierd dream.
With the super reactive extremely sensitive mouthed Arab I rode, I explained everything to him before I tried it (it looked like I was telling his owner, but he was the real target.) I did this for EVERYTHING--what I was trying to do in training, every tack change I made (7 bits, 2 different bitless bridles, 3 saddles), and he was very cooperative in showing his approval or disapproval, and he showed his disapproval in subtle ways unlike with earlier riders where he would just run away. Since I have MS and I am pretty clumsy physically I really appreciated his sublety of expression.
I know that it can be harder to "hear" what the TB's say than the Arabs, but they can end up being quite responsive to this approach if you give them time and listen real hard. (By the way I am NOT a horse psychic, I just realize horses can communicate in their own way and I try to listen.)
Be sure to have a flashlight so you can see inside her mouth if she cooperates with keeping it open long enough to look. Or try to look at her tongue while it is stuck out, it sounds like she does that quite well. Look for scars.
It is sooo exasperating with any newer horse, one you have great hopes for, when the horse comes up with a problem. May you solve this problem easily.


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