Sadly, the favourite secondary response is to clamp the jaw shut with a tight restrictive noseband as a sticking plaster effect. The outcome for the horse is, compressing all the soft tissue inside the mouth onto a bit that the horse is trying to tell is not right, leading to an uncomfortable and often painful problem for the horse.
It soon became apparent that there was little practical knowledge to be found, apart from a few books and a couple of known Bitting professionals. After attending a Myler Bit demo with Dale Myler I soon became inquisitive to know more. The Myler brothers theory started to make sense that there should be many varying shapes to suit mouth conformation. This led me to ask a lot of questions and start my research from books and attend a Loriner course, talk to bit manufactures and work alongside another Bitting consultant.
However, I needed to know more, not only about bits and their actions but how the horse responded to different mouth and cheekpiece options. At that time there were no teaching courses available, bit choices were far more limited than the vast array of what we see today. Fuelled by a passion and thirst to know more, I took myself off to America, Europe and nationally to work with bit designers, manufacturers, equine dental technicians, physiotherapists, and trainers.
My ‘hands on’ practical approach soon taught me the only one who decides if the bit is right, is the horse! Fast forward to the current day and many thousands of horse and rider combinations seen, I think it’s now safe to say I have accumulated a sizable amount of knowledge over time. Bit choices have increased, and designs have improved, giving us many options to choose from.