New Member
May 25, 2020
Hi what a lovely afternoon... I’ve just got in from a lovely hack on Archie who despite trying to bite the bum of the horse in the front was a perfect ride and I kept control and managed to keep him back.. loved it.
But then he got naughty... the kids took him in the field which I have sectioned off and have an area approx 20x40 for riding as he can and will tank off. Unfortunately one side has some very long grass which Archie know tastes very nice and kept careering in the the long grass...

Now I was talking to one of the other liveries about her bit, she uses a cheek snaffle which she tells me allows more control which I suddenly thought maybe what is needed with Archie.. he is currently in a normal snaffle bit.

He doesn’t seem to tank if with me, only tried it once but I was stronger and quicker to react and controlled him in the snaffle) but he is a big strong guy.

Would a full cheek snaffle help?!?!

I am getting lessons for us all with Archie


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Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
A bit doesn't come with manners. A full cheek helps get the message across in regards to steering not stuffing.
Given the chance mine will stop and stuff. Schooling area means working, so leg, and back it up.
But looking at that grass, it needs topping, it must be hardwork to ride in.


New Member
May 25, 2020
It’s the steering I’m hoping to get on top of..
the field isn’t all that deep with grass... that bit is next to the area we ride in but I haven’t taped it off as was hoping to get the kids controlling him and steering him away from the grass... but when he is in his naughty mischievous mood he will dive in.

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
My old lad use to be fine with me. Put the kids on and he took advantage. I used to tell them that they needed to be strict and also learn when he was about to try to grab a mouthful. Its a habit you need to nip in the bud. Riding means work and not munching regardless of whos riding, unless i stop and give you your head. A different bit wont stop him grabbing.

Strict isnt mistreating the horse but a solid squeeze on with the legs and use your whip and a short sharp slap on the bum or down the shoulder. Just make sure that if they use the whip they have hold of the reins. Very often my lad will shoot forwards. He tried with me a few times and i had to use the whip quite solidly on him so he learned to grab and shoot in anticipation of the whip. But eventually he gave up and just realised it was better not to grab grass.

With regards to the bit. If hes fine with you riding in a snaffle continue with that. If you are going to have a child riding then have another completely separate bridle that you put on. I have two bridles for my youngster. If im hacking on my own hes in a straight bar rubber bit. If hes riddden out with company or on a funride i use a hanging cheek with french link so i have brakes. He loves the competition and gets much stronger. Yes it might help with the kids grabbing grass but first and foremost you need to teach the respect before you change the bit.

The grass is quite long in there so maybe put the horse in to munch it down for a day or two. But i find riding in the same place the grass usually breaks off very quickly and the ground becomes compacted and muddy as soon as it rains.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
As @newforest says, a bit doesn't produce manners. Full cheeks are useful for babies who can get a bit extra guidance if it's used with a consistent contact, for difficult horses where it can mean if all brakes fail you at least may have some steering, and for riders who insist on riding only off the rein because at least they won't pull it through the mouth.

I'd be inclined to find them a better place to school until they've had some more lessons and are better able to cope with him. You don't want dragging them into the grass to become a habit, and also if he's trotting or cantering in grass that long he may end up tripping and they could fall off.
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