Yes, bit go round, she does have a few 6" bits in stock.
Bitting is a bit of a sore subject between Xander and I, never have I owned and equine with so many opinions on bits, and so few of them favorable! And of course I have a bit box that is the byproduct of over 5 decades of collecting bits, but go on and ask me how many of them were 6 in bits before he came along. So to say the last couple of years of bit experimentation has been a bit frustrating and challenging for my pocket book, (generally at $200 a pop) is to understate the problem!
But here’s a few things I’ve learned:
In general the snaffle or three link liverpools aren’t that great in my experience, there’s just something about how they move once you go past the smooth or rough cheek setting that makes them uncomfortable to the horse. I don’t know how to describe it but the shanks rotate in at the top. If you have a horse that goes correctly in that style mouthpiece, then I feel like that’s just something you can leave as a half cheek rather than go to a liverpool.
Fjords have a lot of tongue in their mouth and straight bar (smooth or rough) liverpools are generally pretty harsh. I’m not saying there aren’t moments that call for it, but it shouldn’t be the first thing out of your box!
If you’ve got a really soft fjord who has issues with tongue pressure, it’s probably worth investing in a Bowman UTR
If your pony likes a bowman UTR but still needs a bit more bit as it were, then good luck finding a Conrad Liverpool!
At some point you may find yourself in a clinic with a well-known dutch driver/rider and you may find out that your horse actually needs a very specific and uncommon custom bit made by a crotchety old Hungarian who only makes them when he feels like getting around to it and you should probably find a German to order it since his German is better than his English. This will be extra devastating when you find out that this is the bit your fjord has waited for all his life! #truestory
At the very least, you probably want a forward arch Mullen mouth, this seems to give them about the most amount of relief. And if you have that with a two slot Liverpool then you can generally get the job done on smoother rough cheek, first or second slot. Fortunately that’s about the cheapest option out there so it might be a good place to start.
If competing is ever an option and you have a second slot horse, you may just want to go ahead and invest in a three-slot bit because nobody wants to go in the ring on a dead man’s slot!
Xan does marathon and cones in the Bowman UTR and he is currently fairly happy in wilson rings plus a forward arch Mullen for dressage schools. One day it will be a Pivot Conrad plus wilson rings, but … Crochety Hungarian. In the meantime I’ll try the Bowman with the Wilson rings as well.