What is a good bit to try for a horse with high head-carriage?
Whenever you are bitting your horse for the first time, or considering changing your bit, it is strongly advised that you speak to a qualified bit fitter. Bit fitters are able to assess your horse’s mouth and see what should work. We wouldn’t consider getting a saddle without having a saddle fitter to look at it, and the same should be true with a bit! If there isn’t a qualified bit fitter in your area, a vet or dentist is the best placed person to give you an assessment of the mouth.
A bit with mild poll action can help encourage the horse to lower his head. Hanging cheek (filet baucher) bits work very well to introduce slight poll action. If you need something stronger, you can try a Portuguese gag. Avoid single-jointed bits, as the nutcracker effect can cause the horse to raise his head.
However, it is vital to remember that some breeds and conformation types, such as Friesians have high-set necks and therefore naturally high head-carriage. In these cases you need to accept the horse for how he is built, as working him in a lower frame can actually cause more harm than good.