Adjusting to a new bit?

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Adjusting to a new bit?

This is a discussion on Adjusting to a new bit? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Simplicity bit that doesn't pinch short shank the horses mouth
  • Adjusting bit in horse mouth

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    12-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Green Broke
Adjusting to a new bit?

Okay for those that don't know I put Sassy in a three piece simplicity bit, bumping her up from a snaffle. I felt it was time for her to go up a bit, not for harshness, just for refining a few things.

I've recently come across a problem..she turns great and works with it really good. However, when a little more pressure is put on the reins, she throws her head straight up in the air. I think she has no idea how to react to the poll pressure?

I really don't want to put her in a tie down since she has a great headset normally (let's ignore the first 15 minutes of our ride which is her just acting like a child lol). Then again I have come to peace with the fact she is a barrel horse, not a WP show pony and her head isn't going to be down perfectly level all the time, and her conformation also don't allow for it completely with her neck set. I know some of you might think it stupid, and if so PLEASE give me another way to help her learn how to react to the bit. I was thinking of riding her in draw reins just a couple times for her to figure it out...sounds crazy, but really I have never had this happen.

I'm also wondering if she needs adjusting in her upper neck by her poll since she shakes her head violently randomly while loping circles.
I think I just solved my own problem. It just needed to be written down. Bahahah XD

Oh, and Sassy is getting registered with the AQHA at 5 years old what's her name going to be?! Sassafraskickinbass. BE JEALOUS.
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    12-16-2012, 09:02 PM
How do you have the bit adjusted? Are you using a curb strap?

And I would have her checked out by a chiro if she is randomly shaking her head.
    12-16-2012, 10:45 PM
It's possible she just doesn't like this bit. Period. Have you tried anything else?
    12-16-2012, 11:28 PM
Green Broke
I don't use it with a curb strap. I've tried hackamores, she HATES nose and chin pressure. She's been riden in a bosal, it's been about 2 years since I rode he with it and she did fine back then..would it be silly to barrel race in a bosal?

The bit looks like it is in her mouth correctly. It goes down to the bottom of the shank to keep it in her mouth, but she doesn't have wrinkles. Her headstall is a brow band but I might switch it to a one year to maybe eliminate the amount of straps over her poll?

She does the head shaking with the snaffle too, and that doesn't work off of poll pressure, which is what is leading me to think she is off whack.
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    12-16-2012, 11:30 PM
Green Broke
Lol one ear
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    12-16-2012, 11:32 PM
When were her teeth done last?

Also for a super light bit I really like the Easy 5...I call it the no whoa bit with JJ lol. I find my self making runs on him at home to see if it is ME or the horse making error. But it is a great little step up bit and SUPER light.
    12-16-2012, 11:38 PM
Have you checked out Mikmars? I know they are expensive (you can find a few on ebay). I just got one because of similar issues and it is going really well!!! There are a million positive reviews. I got the Rancher that doesn't have the nose rope. The snaffle isn't as kind as many think it is. The Mikmars are great for protecting their mouth and getting their head down. Watch some of the videos on their site and see what you think. Mine came with a great video that goes in depth on various bits and describes how a Mikmar works. They are great for transitioning out of snaffles as well. Anyway, Gigi is responding so well to this bit! She is MUCH more relaxed and during my lesson last week (the first time I tried the bit on her) she loped a circle calmly without veering off or speeding up for the first time! Also I just walked her on barrels and then trotted her today and she didn't veer off or loose her hind end. She did so well on the 3rd barrel I stopped right there! I think I am going to get even better results as we work more in it. Sorry for rambling but thought it might help!
    12-16-2012, 11:42 PM
Ps. Their customer service can help you to choose a bit too. Here is the link to their site: Mikmar Bit Company Oh yeah, and they have free shipping right now. That sealed the deal for me and the 30 day guarantee. They look big but they are SUPER light and Gigi seems to really enjoy it.
    12-17-2012, 01:13 AM
Also keeping in mind that "headset" shouldn't be a goal, the horse will relax and put its head down on its own when they get comfortable. Getting them soft to the bridle though is another matter.
    12-17-2012, 01:30 AM
Maybe she needs her teeth floated. However, for a sport where you have to have a bit, try doing some ground work. Put your hand in her poll and increase pressure with every second she doesn't drop her head from your hands. Just squeeze harder and harder until she drops her head to get away from you, when she drops her head, give her a 3 second break and do it again. She will get over the issue with poll pressure. Do this similar practice with everything she doesn't like! Just do what she doesn't like until she gets the right answer. Like if she doesn't want you rubbing her ears, just rub the crap out of them until she quits freaking out and then stop. She'll figure out that if she does the right thing, you quit doing what she doesn't like.
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