Barrel Bits.

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Barrel Bits.

This is a discussion on Barrel Bits. within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Barrel racing bits
  • Can a jr cow horse bit used for barrel racing

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    04-16-2012, 01:14 PM
Barrel Bits.

Bits can be so confusing, and my new mare I got to find a bit for. I will be starting her out in an Jr. Cowhorse Bit, and she is really soft mouthed and listens to leg cues. She was trained in an barrel low ported curb for western pleasure. I have also used used an halter on her, but donít think it would have stopped her if we started loping. What bits do you use? How is you horse to handle? Iím trying to get ideas of bits? With want I said could you give me an hint of an good bit for her?

Bit I plan on putting her in right now?
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    04-16-2012, 01:16 PM
In my honest opinion if you can't do it in a snaffel on a loose rein you shouldn't be doing it. Work on training (natural aids) rahter than utilizing forceful artificial aides(curb bits etc.).

But remember, every bit can be soft or harsh depending on who is on the other end of the reins.
Barrels4Lyfe and GreySorrel like this.
    04-16-2012, 01:33 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Crimsons Clover    
in my honest opinion if you can't do it in a snaffel on a loose rein you shouldn't be doing it. Work on training (natural aids) rahter than utilizing forceful artificial aides(curb bits etc.
I have to disagree with this.. The snaffle is not the best bit ever like many people think it is..If all of your horses ride in a snaffle, congratulations.. But not all horses respond well to a snaffle..Good training or not..

Personally, my mares ride in two different combo bits and my gelding in the Jr Cowhorse..What a lot of people don't realize is that ANY bit can be a barrel racing bit..Yes, there are special bits out there but that doesn't mean that just those bits can be used when barrel racing. The Jr Cowhorse is a very nice bit, it's not harsh but it does distribute enough pressure for a horse who may need that little extra pressure that the snaffle doesn't provide.

While I do disagree with Crimsons about the snaffles, when choosing a bit it DOES depend on the level of training the horse has had and the horse's responsiveness to the bit. It is also very important to make sure you are riding your horse right when using different bits, a bit isn't going to fix a problem and if you're too heavy OR too light in your horse's mouth you will create a problem.
nvr2many likes this.
    04-16-2012, 01:40 PM
The reson I prefer snaffels is beacuse they are inexpensive and built in such a way that a horse can hold it in his mouth the way it is confortable for him.

Any bit will work but that curved jointed mouthpice is really the most anatomicly gentle thing there is.

Now if you take to jerking on that snaffel it becomes a terrible thing just like with any other bit.
    04-16-2012, 01:42 PM

Just an example of what I mean by annatomicly gentle
    04-16-2012, 01:44 PM
Green Broke
As an owner I'd rather spend a little more money on the bit that would work best for my horse. Not because something is the cheapest, you pay for quality.. And if used correctly, a horse can hold almost any bit comfortably in their mouth. Just because a bit is a curb doesn't mean that it's terrible and harsh..

I've seen people ride their "light mouth" horse in a snaffle and when turning the barrel the rider has pulled the snaffle completely through their horse's mouth. Sorry, but just because you think something is gentle doesn't mean it's always correct.
NdAppy and nvr2many like this.
    04-16-2012, 01:54 PM
Well that goes back to it mattering most about how the rider uses the bit. I don't have anything against curb bits other than I think useing that alternate pressure in lue of training is wrong.

For example I have my current horse at the point where a wiggle sent down both reins at once tells him to drop his nose and tuck his chin, which is pretty cool. I used to get the same results with a kimberwik bit but when useing that there was alot of resistance, tight reins, mouth gapping etc. even on a loose rein. So that bit was obviously not right for the horse. I've also been through a couple different snaffels before I found one that my horse acceped willingly.

So whose to say what bit will be right for the horse other than the horse?
My preference is snaffels for the resons above just as you have your preference and reasons, and that works :)

I just like to encourage everyone to try and use as little bit as possible. I've always felt the curb bit should be reserved for the expert horse so that they can pick up on the most subtle cues from their rider while on a loose rein. I don't think they should be used on young or inexpereinced horses to train them to ride a certian way.
    04-16-2012, 02:05 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Crimsons Clover    
in my honest opinion if you can't do it in a snaffel on a loose rein you shouldn't be doing it. Work on training (natural aids) rahter than utilizing forceful artificial aides(curb bits etc.
You're welcome to your opinion, and I respect that..but also realize that you posted this statement which is entirely not all.. My whole point against your statement is that just because someone can't do something on a loose rein snaffle doesn't mean there is a training issue, a rider issue, or that the person is having to use a 'forceful aid'.. If the owner/rider knows how to correctly use a curb bit then there is NOTHING wrong with the person using that bit on their horse.

OP, The Jr Cowhorse is a very good bit, especially if you are going from a low ported curb. My gelding has a light mouth but a snaffle just isn't enough for him. I recommend the Jr Cowhorse all of the time to people who are looking for a new bit in your situation. I hope it works well for you.
NdAppy and nvr2many like this.
    04-16-2012, 02:15 PM
I agree 100% with Drumrunner. One of my mares cannot be ridden in a snaffle. You would think by looking at her in a snaffle that we yank her face off... Nope. She can't stand them so she gaps and evades, etc. Put a tendertouch in her mouth and she is as soft as can be. No evading of the bit, etc. She much prefers the Tendertouch over the snaffle... I can do things with her in the tendertouch that I cannot do to her in the snaffle.

All or nothing statements, like the ones made in this thread about snaffles, should not be applied to horses as each horse need to be looked at as an individual...
nvr2many and DrumRunner like this.
    04-16-2012, 02:55 PM
Green Broke
I ran Lucky in a snaffle, I switched her from a really (weird) solid, low port really minor curb and she ran much better. I'll be running Sweet Thing (new horse I'm leasing with option to buy) in a rope noseband hack (she's all leg/seat with only slight lifts of the rein).

I, personally, really like the Jr Cowhorse bits. They have the curb action if I absolutely need it but are relatively easy on the mouth. I rode Poco and another horse in one and loved how it felt. I'll probably use a Jr Cow on my barrel horses if they respond like all the other horses I've ridden with it.
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