bit trouble...need advice bad!!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-12-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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bit trouble...need advice bad!!!

Hello there!
I am new to barrel's, but not riding. I was always taught to go to the basics when you have a stubborn horse that doesn't listen...but i have a ex roping Florida Cracker horse and he is hot. I have gone to the basics many times, riding in snaffles of all types and the horse just will not slow down.
It is his job to GO GO GO and i get that, but recently i took him to an arena and he wouldn't listen to me AT ALL. I am using a Tomb Thumb and it sometimes works.
I have a whoa and all that, but otherwise he's dead to me up there.
I've been told about the Dogbone Combination bit and the Lady Bug Hack and the Beetle Hack...honestly i need a little 'bite' to my bit but i do not know anything about these bits AT ALL.
I would really appreciate advice to these bits and suggestions...
Thank you,
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-12-2011, 01:37 PM
Green Broke
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Have you tried him in a ported bit such as a curb with shanks? You can also get snaffles with ports. Some horses respond better to these full-bar type mouthpieces than broken ones. A good leverage bit with a port with also add more pressure on his tongue to encourage him to tuck his head in.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-12-2011, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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actually yes i have. He actually has a natural high head but tucks his head to get away from the bit bc he just wants to GO. I will try one without a break, thank you! and i have tried the wounder bit on him too but no luck...
Thank you for your advice! i will try what u suggested! thank you,
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 08:53 AM
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Ok, well here's just my 2 cents.

I hate wonder bits. Too much gag. I hate ported bits for barrel racing. There isnt enough flexability in the bit and when you have a horse that starts dropping his shoulder, you don't want the horse to break at the poll, you want the horse to lift at the shoulders. Tom Thumbs are garbage bits. Unforgiving and just plain ick. I'm just not a fan of combo bits... I have NEVER had a horse work well in one.

Before anything, I would have an Equine Dentist (NOT vet) verify that the horse's mouth needs no medical attention. You would be suprised at the kind of stuff that developes over a few months.

So you have tried bringing the horse back down to snaffles. Have you tried the one rein stop?
Every time my horse starts getting hot, I'd do a one rein stop until his feet stop moving, give him his head, and let him stand. When his head goes down, walk him off. Repeat if he breaks into a faster gait.
I've "converted" several "hot" horses and all it takes is patience and wet saddle pads.

As far as bits themselves go, I prefer a Loomis for younger,spicier horses.(wire poll for a horse who just gets their head up and out there to evade bit pressure) It's a bit they cant escape, but has a release point and is flexible.

I wouldnt bump up to more shanks until the horse can warm up and work quietly. Bigger shanks dont fix issues, but they will amplify them as time goes on. For a sensitive, hot horse, a larger bit can cause more anxiety.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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I think i have said my question a horse trainer whos trained many, i know to do all these things, and i do...
Its the fact that he just know his job is to RUN. He is responsive when i pull him around to do the one reined, but as soon as i ask him to walk on, he doesn't walk.
And i except he's like this, because a lot of Florida Crackers and ropers and such are like this.
But he hates all bits i have used. Even the snaffles. (throws his head, tosses it around, gaping mouth) and yes, the dentist is coming out this week to check him up, and we will see.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 03:22 PM
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I suppose I'm not really sure what your question is.

If he gives to the one rein stop, then immediately goes off again, then it isnt a bit issue. Gaping mouth and throwing his head is him trying to evade the bit. Training issue.

If bit advice to cover this up is what your looking for, I really couldnt tell you whether a cathedral or a combo would suffice. I can't say I've ever approached a training issue in that manner before. Sorry.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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yeah its a major training issue and i can't fix it for the life of me. It's one of the worse cases i've worked with...i'm not use to having this problem...all my horses are well trained by my hand and easier to fix...and i realized with earlier issues with him that he won't work as a fast pace horse.
In my opinion, he is sour of the ring from the way he acts. I did NOT want to go to harsher bits, it was a last resort to try to get him calmed some sort...
please don't think i am those people who just throw on a painful, harsh bit when a difficult horse comes along...i TOTALLY believe in going to basics if something like this comes up.
I have been taught to be light, and supple with horses, and i am not naive. I was just trying to find 'His' bit because he is obviously use to one certain bit and God only knows what he was used in.
As i said, please don't think i am some idiot who needs to be banned from horses. :) I am not. lol
It's just this one horse i can't seem to 'fix' and bring 'back' and make him soft.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 10:16 PM
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I can completely understand. It's part of the learning experience.

Do you have a video of what he's doing? It may be able to see what might be able to be done.

Like I said, when I got my racing bred QH, he was pretty on the muscle. Obedient, but wanted to do everything at a very fast pace and had a tendacy to rush through things... not my style. It took a LONG time to get him to wait for me. Lots of stopping and standing. Lots of walking.

If you asked for a lope to the right, he would burst into a fast footed run... A trot to the right, he would move out far too fast without an ounce of collection... same with even a walk. It took walking him for nearly a month to the right and asking for nothing more than a walk, whoa, back, and pivot... just to get him to relax and realize there's simply no rush.

All I can say is dont give up on him just yet. Have TONS of patience and just keep asking.

If in a snaffle isnt going far enough back to basics, start from the ground. Put him in a rope halter and get him flexing, breaking at the poll, and doing all of it calmly. Then build from there...treat him like a 3 yr old goober and show him exactly what you expect by breaking it down into even simpler terms.

I've had another horse that was painfully arena sour. Not only would getting him into the arena be a battle, he'd be trying to bolt the entire time you'd ask for an ounce of work from him... Took 2 weeks of riding 3 days a week of tacking up, getting on, and walking along the rail of the arena and leave, and untack. Gradually building up to a walk/jog work out, then walk/jog/lope.

Just patience, that's all...
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-13-2011, 11:11 PM
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love buckoff's replies and agree completely

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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yes Buck Off, i love that reply and thank you! i haven't given up on him and he's a lot of work, it's hard because of my other two horses but he's coming along. I took him to an arena the other night and simply walked for hours. I don't believe he'll be a game horse, but idc about that...i just want to get him calmed and happy.
Thank you!!
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