Tuesday Tip – Bit Cheeks

Let’s talk a little bit about bit cheeks! I’m just going to share what happened with Zorro to illustrate how changing the cheeks can be helpful. (and you do have to buy a bit with the different cheeks. we can’t simply change out the cheeks on the bits we sell, though that would be awesome!)

Zorro is a very sensitive pony that had some issues with the bit last year. I worked very hard on myself and practiced my line handling and I was able to help him overcome most of them. He will still ignore the bit once in awhile and just open his mouth and keep moving his feet but that is less about my hands and more about him not wanting to listen. So we are still working on THAT!

But one thing I noticed was that when I switched from a baucher cheek arch mouth, to a half cheek arch mouth, he was much happier and less fussy. I studied the difference in the way the bit hung in his mouth with the half cheek versus the baucher cheek. Zorro would hold the bit with the arch forward a bit more with the half cheeks. When I would lift the lines with the half cheek he was able to continue to hold the mouth piece the way he wanted to, but the baucher cheek made it so he could not change how it sat in his mouth.

Cheeks attached to the purchase. The lines will attach to the rings.
Cheeks attached to the cheek rings, lines attached to the cheek rings!

The baucher cheek has a purchase, the part that attaches to the cheeks and then the lines are on the cheek ring, because these are separate it makes it so the mouth piece is fairly non mobile. Some horses and ponies will like this, and others may want to hold the mouth piece their own way.

So if you are trying the arch mouth with the baucher cheek and your pony still seems a bit fussy, maybe it’s time to try a half cheek!

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