Where the bit should sit

Iron Maiden

Sep 14, 2006
OK, so where should the bit sit in the horse's mouth? I know that the BHS say the bit should sit so you have two wrinkles at the corner of the horse's mouth. However I've heard it said that horses like a low bit because they can hold it where they feel most comfortable with their tongue. I have found that Mrs P sometimes seems happier with the bit quite low (not so it's hitting the backs of her teeth, but so there's no wrinkle in her mouth). My RI reckons this isn't a good idea because she might learn to put her tongue over the bit - obviously I don't want this to happen.

So I'm a bit :confused: Does anyone have any particular experience to share on this?


I think it's trial and error personally, depending on the bit and the horse. I'm not sure about the tongue thing though, if Mrs P is happy I'd personally stick with it until proven otherwise :)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
I think it's trial and error personally, depending on the bit and the horse. I'm not sure about the tongue thing though, if Mrs P is happy I'd personally stick with it until proven otherwise :)

Just what I was going to say :)


New Member
Dec 27, 2008
Yorkshire, UK
from what I know a snaffle should sit with two slight wrinkles at the corners of the horse's mouth as the snaffle acts on the corners as well as the bars (and tongue). If it is fitted too low the central joint can cause pain on the roof of the mouth as the palete is lower towards the front. Also fitted too low it can knock against the incisor teeth.
The pelham should sit lower - to just lift the corner of the mouth with no wrinkles as it acts less on the corners and more on the bars and through leverage on the poll. Also sitting the bit here allows the curb chain to sit in the correct position. The weymouth similarly sits lower because of the same action and because it sits below the bradoon.

So that is the theory, but in practice I think it depends on the horse's mouth conformation. If she is comfortable with it lower then I would have thought she was less likely to displace her tongue. My horse will stick his tongue out if the bit is too high or too low or if the contact becomes too light or too heavy, but then he is a fussy B**@$r.
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