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What is a bit and bridle fit consultation?

I work with riders to select a bit  for a specific horse/purpose, beginning with an assessment of the current bit and bridle, then an examination of the horse's facial structures, as well as the way it goes under saddle, and any training challenges that are apparent.  

I will assess the shape of the palate, the size of the tongue, look for any bruising or sores in the mouth (In a recent Danish Dressage Championship, almost 50% of the horses were found to have evidence of mouth damage). 

After assessing the horse and watching it be tacked up, the horse will be ridden in its normal bit and bridle.  I look for clues as to what is comfortable or uncomfortable for the horse, for example, unsteadiness in the contact, head tossing, short stride, lack of engagement of the hindquarters, being above or behind the bit, etc. 

The next step is trying a selection of bits and bridles, and finding the one that the horse is most happy with.  I use Neue Schule, Bombers, Fager,  and Herm Sprenger bits. I carry a limited selection of Bombers bits for my clients, as lead times on Bombers bits can be quite long. The other manufacturers bits are generally easy to purchase online and have within a week. 

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