We look into what a loose ring snaffle bit with a lozenge is, how it works and how it should be fitted.
What is a loose ring snaffle with a lonzenge?
When choosing a mild action, kind bit for every day use and schooling, a loose ring snaffle with lozenge is a popular option. The lozenge (also called a peanut) refers to the oval piece which sits in the centre of the mouthpiece, joining the two halves of the bit together. The lozenge is round and smooth, applying moderate pressure to the centre of the tongue. The loose ring snaffle bit with lozenge is British Dressage legal (please check your rulebook for details of materials allowed) and are often readily accepted by most horses. Young or green horses may favour this bit due to its mild action.
This type of snaffle bit is double jointed; this means that the mouthpiece sits evenly and comfortably across the tongue, preventing the “nutcracker” action that is found in single jointed bits. The central lozenge disperses pressure across the tongue, relieving unwanted pressure from the edges of the tongue and the palate. The lozenge sits on the centre of the tongue while the bars follow the contour of the horse’s mouth and allow changes to the angle of the horse’s poll and outline which occur through different types of work.
The combination of a double jointed mouthpiece and loose bit rings allow the mouthpiece to move more freely in the horse’s mouth than fixed cheek snaffles. This movement and “play” may be preferred by some horses, helping to encourage acceptance and mouthing. Mouthing naturally encourages salivation which helps to promote a contact. Movement of the mouthpiece will also prevent and discourage horses from fixing against, taking a hold of or leaning on the bit, helping to encourage self-carriage and relaxation of the lower jaw. Instead, the loose ring snaffle with lozenge will allow the horse to develop a nice, consistent feel in the mouth through its training.
How to fit a loose ring snaffle with lozenge
It’s important to make sure that loose ring bits are fitted with clearance between the bit rings and the horse’s lips; as the bit rings move freely there is a greater chance of the horse’s lips being pinched. The hole in the mouthpiece is referred to as the bit ring groove, where the bit ring runs through, and the gap should be approximately 1/8th of an inch between the horse’s lips and the bit ring groove. The fit of a bit should also be assessed when the rider takes up a contact to ensure the fit is accurate.
For further advice on bitting please call us on 01785 472221 or see the Bitting Advice section of our blog.