HS KK Loose Ring for Large TB

Just want to make sure I’m getting the right size for the new guy. He’s a moose, more like warmblood size compared to my old man. He measured at 5 1/2 for a bit so I’ll be getting a 6 inch loose ring.

He has a large mouth with fleshy lips. I feel like a 16mm mouthpiece will be too narrow. I’m looking for a 20mm but not finding one so far, would an 18mm be ok? Thanks

What does your trainer say?

Finding the right bit for a horse is not an exact science - there are considerations to take into play about their conformation, but at the end of the day every horse is an individual (as is the person holding the reins) and there may be a Goldilocks phase as you go through your options. Certain bits might be ok in certain hands, and suddenly unpalatable in others - and sometimes the horse’s age and dentistry plays a role too.

There is a tool out there to measure bits called a bit sizer - this tool gets you the exact measurement you need for your horse. Mouthpiece type and ring type play a role too - you may have to size up on certain bit styles, like loose rings.

Most of the TBs that have come through my program settle in bits in the 5 1/2-5 3/4 realm.

20mm is not uncommon mouthpiece size, but that is rather thick - 16mm is not terribly narrow either. 16mm-18mm seems to be the average mouthpiece size from my small sample size of personal horses.

I have a TB similar to what you describe (which, IME, is very typical of TBs - fleshy large mouths and flat palates) who is in a 5 3/4 eggbutt – but then I have his brother who has very similar conformation in his mouth, who is incredibly particular about his mouth and of all things, has gone the best in a single link Baucher.

Try it, see if it makes a difference – and dont be afraid to play around with different sizes and mouthpieces until you get the “just right”.

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I’m not currently riding with a trainer. I have found out there is someone reputable out here that should come to my place for lessons when I’m ready to start up again.

My old guy has a 16mm loose ring & he goes fabulous in it. When I was riding with a trainer I stayed in the loose ring & never questioned about going to a double bridle since we weren’t going to show.

I think I’ll try the 18mm for the new kid. I haven’t been on him yet since I have no tack large enough. The old guy is narrow & pretty refined compared to the new kid. They are like night & day standing next to each other. If it doesn’t work then I’ll try bit rentals until I find something that does.

It really stinks not having access to a large tack shop here. I’m having to order everything online. The closest one is Pensacola & last time I was there it wasn’t much. I got spoiled having access to Dover & at least 6 other fairly close shops back in the Chicago suburbs.