Welcome my brethren!
I acquired a parrot mouthed 3 year old TB a few months ago that I intend to use for Eventing. I am familiar with the condition, but I have limited experience with it. Now that I’m starting to bring him into training I became curious about a few things and wanted to see what other people’s experiences have been dealing with their parrot mouthed horses. This got a bit lengthy. If you don’t feel like reading it all then refer to the synopsis at the end.
I’m already educated on the high maintenance dentistry needs of these guys and I have a great dentist that is helping me manage that aspect. Aside from missing a front tooth, he has a good callus and his back teeth actually seem to line up. I feed his grain/hay from the ground and he does very well eating.
My curiosities arose when determining what bridle and bit combination to use. He has a shallow palate that I’ve been trying different bits out with. I had a Korsteel full cheek snaffle with a french link and a happy mouth french link full cheek snaffle that he didn’t care for. I figured that these were too thick for his tiny mouth and I tried out a thinner Myler loose ring comfort snaffle bit that I had lying around. He seemed to like the mouth piece better than the previous ones. I’m thinking of getting him a Myler eggbutt comfort snaffle to try out. What kinds of bits are you guys using for your horses? I dug through a bunch of old COTH posts regarding parrot mouths and found a small tidbit in one post that said people had success with a forward ported bit. Has anyone found that those seem to be easier on the parrot mouthed guys?
I also wondered what kinds of bridles you guys tend to use. I’m not one that overly tightens the flash and noseband. I’m even more cautious about this with my TB since I don’t want his teeth to be jammed into his gum. I currently have a figure 8 bridle for him. I had originally debated using a flash on him with his condition. I ended up going with the flash since I couldn’t shake the worry that he might be able to get his tongue over the bit easily, considering his shorter lower jaw. Do you use a flash with your horse (not over tightened of course)? Or do you think it’s better for them to go without one? Do you find that these horses can get their tongue over the bit easier?
I’d love to hear any other tidbits you’ve learned along the way with your parrot mouthed horses. I know a lot of this will be trial and error and I’m going to make sure I find what works for my horse. I wanted to start a discussion with all of you to try and glean as many experiences as I can to come to a good solution for my horse, since my experience is limited.
Synopsis: Dentistry is under control, what kind of bit do you use?, what kind of bridle? Flash/no flash?, do you find that parrot mouths can get their tongue over the bit easier?, and any other fun tidbits unique to these horses you’d like to share.