Bit Mouthpiece Question

@Aces_N_Eights @skydy
I’ve used this old bit on my horse a few times and she really liked it. The port is 2 1/2" h x 2 1/2 wide at the base. Borrowed from a friend.
I got this new bit on trial and she doesn’t want it in her mouth. The new one is a JWP. Nicely balanced with 2" width at the base and 1 1/2" height (port). I’d like to work my way towards a spade at some point. I also don’t think she likes the Santa Barbara cheeks on the new vet. The slobber bar comes too close to her chin and she wants to grab the shank of the bit… Any help would be much appreciated

The mouthpiece on the old bit looks thicker. Are the cheeks aluminum? That looks like a very old bit with a smooth mouthpiece and no sharp edges.

Is the new bit heavier? Make sure the area where the mouthpiece joins the cheek isn’t pinching her. Sometimes relatively inexpensive bits of this type are not well designed.

The Santa Barbara cheeks may well be annoying her or may just be fun for her to play with.

When I showed with these type of bits I was a child and not responsible for bitting the horses I rode, so I can’t be of much help .

If you want to eventually ride your horse in a spade (why?) you will need a person well versed in bringing horses up to that level to teach you how. Not every horse does well in them.

1 Like

The old bit is heavier. I’d like to find one just like it. I spoke with the new bitmaker. They think that she doesn’t like the Santa Barbara cheeks. They also think she may like the Mona Lisa mouth. My reason for eventually using a spade? Tradition, challenge, precision…My horse is already trained off leg and seat. Mostly seat and has a wonderful mouth.

No chance your friend will sell you the old bit?

I don’t think the Mona Lisa mouthpiece has a cricket (roller.) Not sure, it’s been a long time, but that may be a down side if your horse liked the cricket on the old bit.

Did they recommend a cheek that was good for bit grabbers?

Here is a pic of their Mona Lisa. It does have a cricket and the 600 cheekpiece is what they recommended. It has a longer shank. The Santa Barbaro slobber bar almost touched the jerseys lips.

I plan to ask him, but I don’t think he’ll sell it.

You didn’t include the link. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s different from the Mona Lisa port I remember.
Here’s what I was thinking of.
Scroll down to #10
I hope you find a good fit for your mare. It sounds as if they are nice people to work with.

Yes, they are nice. Thanks for the info.

@Maude I’m in poor cell phone service now but if I get in a good spot tomorrow I’ll send you a PM.

1 Like


Based on several of your topics/questions, I think it is important that you find a trainer in your area who can help you in person. Check local show/event schedules for Ranch Horse and/or Stock Horse associations. Both of those organizations are extremely welcoming to new riders from all sorts of backgrounds, and most of their shows include a clinic on the first day. I bet you would find multiple trainers at those shows who are open to working with a “non-traditional” horse like yours. (I say this as someone with Arabs who is active in both these groups.)

Making a bridle horse is an extremely complex process, and it really is best done with the guidance of an experienced trainer.