A full cheek snaffle comes in many variants and is fundamentally the same as a regular snaffle, with the exception of the added feature provided by the cheek pieces.
The bit consists of a "regular" mouthpiece and the distinctive bit rings that are equipped with cheekpieces. The mouthpiece can be, for example, double-jointed, three-jointed, straight, with or without tongue relief, and so on. It is thus the bit rings that differentiate the fullcheek bit from a regular bit, as they come with cheekpieces along the outside of the horse's mouth. The cheekpieces stabilize the position of the bit.
Fullcheek prevents the bit from sliding too far to the side What characterizes fullcheek are the so-called cheekpieces on the outside that lie against the outside of the horse's mouth. This occurs when a straight bar extends along the bit ring both above and below, along the outside of the horse's mouth. Usually, the bar extends about 6-7 centimeters both upwards and downwards and its function is to prevent the bit (or the bit ring) from sliding too far through the horse's mouth or going inside the corner of the mouth due to rein aids from the opposite side. The function of the fullcheek bit is that the cheekpieces help keep the bit steady in the horse's mouth. When giving leading rein aids, the cheekpiece helps to provide even pressure on the opposite outside of the horse's mouth and there's no risk of the bit sliding too far to the side in the mouth.
How and when is the fullcheek bit used? Many who work with young horses think that fullcheek is a good and gentle bit that helps the young horse understand what rein aids mean. It's said that fullcheek gives a good experience for the young horse when introducing it to a bit in the mouth, as this bit lies still and steady in the horse's mouth and there's no risk of "pulling through" the bit too far in any direction. Horses with sensitive mouth corners or restless mouths, horses that "play" with the bit, or any other issue that can cause the contact to be unstable can be helped by a fullcheek bit. The cheekpieces should lie close to the horse's mouth corners for correct fitting.