07-04-2012, 07:11 PM
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ALWAYS train in a snaffle. I very rarely ride any barrel horse in training in anything but, and then before a show we school in the actual competition bit.
I wouldn't start him out in the sherry cervi lifter. I DO like the dogbone short shank version of the bit, but I would start with either a draw gag with a smooth snaffle mouthpiece or a Jr. Cowhorse bit if I were you and then see what helps him.
Every horse has differant needs too. Lift or not lift, light or a little harder, nose pressure, poll pressure, etc. For example I have Selena in a combination bit that is light because she responds best to nose pressure. However, Rebel, will panic if that bit is placed on him.
I would start super light and then move him up depending on what he needs. :) Remember not to just slap a bigger bit on him, keep him light in a snaffle and then if he abo****ely needs it go up a little more to something that compliments his running style. Maybe a video would help us help you :)