The most important thing for your Icelandic Horse, if you use a bit,
is to have one that fits him and that he likes.
If he opens his mouth
when he has the bit, it may indicate that it doesn't fit; maybe he needs a
different style, or brand.
Icelandic Horses have low palates, in general, and
single jointed snaffles may be too severe for them by poking them and never
having any relief from the joint, particularly if the rider rides with contact.
Try riding / training your Icelandic Pony on a casual rein (no contact).
He will probably appreciate it!
By Brandon Carpenter:
This is about preferences in metal on the bit mouthpieces.
The Myler I like is sweet iron or what was once called mild steel.
It is inlayed with very small bits of copper. All the different
horses I used this bit on have one thing in common. The inlay portion
of the bit is positioned between the lips because it is on the outside
portion of the bars. I doubt very much if the copper has any affect
at all on the horses. I sure haven't noticed any salivation
differences with this bit.
Copper will cause more salivation in some horses than others. It can
be a very useful tool to keep a mouth moist, but if the salivation is
because the copper is offensive to the horse then I won't use it.
Stainless steel seems to not be as pleasant as sweet iron. I have
found horses to just not have quite the response with stainless. They
seem to not accept the bit as well.
In my opinion aluminum is horrible. It definately makes the horses
mouth go cold the longer it is in the mouth. Aluminum has the same
affect on us. If you hold it quite a while, you can feel the affect.
Ever sit on aluminum bleachers during a sporting event? Anyone I have
ever watched begins to figit and complains of a numb butt. I know my
butt gets numb quickly, not like sitting on wooden bleachers.
My Grandfather was given a pair of aluminum spurs. Every time he
wore them, after a few hours he complained that his feet felt like
they were asleep. Over the period of many weeks, he couldn't figure
out what was causing the problem. He checked that they were spread
wide enough on his boot, and not pinching even in the slightest. He
then thought about what aluminum does to a horses mouth. He didn't
figure that it could do the same thing through his boot. He began to
not wear them at times and had no problem when he left them off. When
they went on, his feet felt numb.
We have experimented with this on others. Without them knowing what
we were doing, we have had them wear the aluminum spurs. Guess what
happened? Yes, hard to believe, but true.
As a little kid, I had a pair of aluminum spurs and my feet also felt
numb after time, I just didn't know the difference until I out grew
I have tasted and held bits in my mouth many times. Usually not where
anyone would see so I could be confirmed crazy. Others I have talked
to have done the same thing. Copper seems to have the widest variety
of tastes or sensations of most of the bits tried. Our body chemistry
I suspect is the culprit. There is no reason why horses don't have
the same differences in chemistry to cause the same differences.
One of the things I have seen many horses salivate because of is over
flexing at the pole, especially when the rider won't get out of the
mouth. The salivary glands are being palpated constantly causing
excess salivation. Ever see some of the big lick horses have a river