Full cheeks are usually present on bits with a snaffle mouthpiece and the name refers to the two pieces of metal which extend above and below the bit ring. The style of the bit is designed to aid the rider when they are turning, and they are used principally for young horses in training and more established horses that are difficult or resistant to turn. For this reason, full cheek snaffles are often seen with a range of mouthpieces, ranging from the very mild in soft materials to the quite severe in metal.
The two metal arms are on a swivel attachment and are designed to exert lateral pressure on the horse’s lips and side of the face above and below the mouthpiece of the bit. Use of one rein to turn creates a response on the other side of the bit, helping to bring the horse’s head around in the direction the rider wishes to go.
The full cheek snaffle can really progress the training of young horses. It is also particularly effective on older horses where turning at speed may be a problem when Show Jumping or during Cross Country. The full cheek design prevents the bit from sliding sideways through the horse’s mouth, especially useful if the horse evades the rein aid by opening its mouth and/or tilting its head.
There are other equestrian disciplines in which the rein aid is perhaps of specific importance because the rider is less dominant, such as when Driving, Side-Saddle and Para Riding, and so, a full cheek snaffle is a popular choice with riders and drivers in these categories. Care should be taken with full cheek snaffles as the arms are prone to getting caught in the reins or in other parts of the horse’s tack.
At Greg Grant Saddlery, we have nearly 30 Full Cheek Bits for you to choose from! Buy Online with confidence - we are a Family Owned Australian Business that has been supplying the Equestrian Industry for over 40 years.