There are many things that can contribute to a horse wanting, or needing, to put his tongue over the bit, such as:
The design features of the bit are making it painful or uncomfortable for him
The bit is the wrong size for his mouth or incorrectly fitted which makes it uncomfortable/painful for him to wear
The horse has pain in his mouth from teeth that are not comfortable
The horse may have pain in his neck that needs chiropractic/osteopathic treatment
The rider is providing a rein-contact that is uncomfortable, restrictive, irritating, too inconsistent or painful for the horse.
If you would like us to look at your specific situation closely in order to make some suggestions, you would be welcome to do a Distance Consultation with us. It would involve you sending some pictures, video and information to us so that we can suggest whether or not the horse-friendly design features of the BALANCE Fulmer Bit should help your horse. Similarly, we can check whether or not the Eeezy Reins would be likely to help you to offer a more acceptable rein contact when riding.
The difference between the two elastics (Standard and Soft) is the amount of stretch they provide and therefore how firm a contact they encourage. Standard elastics require that the rider is willing to take up quite a positive contact in order for the horse to explore the elasticity and the concept of having connection to the rider that is consistent without it being fixed.
We introduced the softer elastics because we found that a lot of people who have been through one of the 'Natural Horsemanship' training programmes have spent a lot of time with little to no rein contact, and find it very challenging to go from that to the level of contact required to work with the Standard elastics. The soft ones are a kind of stepping stone.
In reality, most horses seem to need the level of security and consistency created by the firmer elastics, particularly when they are inexperienced and/or unbalanced. As the horse becomes stronger and more educated in the art of carrying a rider in balance, his need for a firmer rein contact diminishes because he spends more of his time in self carriage.
For more information about what the Eeezy Reins (TM) are for, click here.
For anyone riding in challenging circumstances, such as moving at speed or jumping over undulating terrain, riding young or green horses etc., we would encourage the use of a well fitted breastplate. It ideally needs to be one that allows you to connect back to the girth straps/billets rather than the fall-down staples (sometimes called D-rings) at the front of the saddle. There are 5-point breastplates now on the market that allow you to do this, or you can use one of our own BALANCE English Hunting Breastplates.
The reason we suggest these Breastplates is because providing they are fitted correctly, they do give some extra lateral stability - they act almost like training wheels on a bicycle, not having any influence at all 99% of the time, but coming into action as an early warning system if the saddle starts to become displaced laterally in an extreme situation.
In theory, any bit can be used for driving, but traditionally driving bits offer more control, probably because of the mistaken belief that driving horses should use themselves differently and pull with their front end. It would probably be safer to only use a Fulmer with a single, not pairs, as one horse could get caught up in the other's bridle, or could do damage to the other horse, with the cheeks.
Being able to move in a powerful, balanced and engaged way, without restriction or discomfort, is every horse’s birth-right and essential in order for him to be able to carry the unnatural weight of a rider, without doing harm to himself.