Which bits work best?

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Which bits work best?

This is a discussion on Which bits work best? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    07-30-2011, 08:23 PM
Talking Which bits work best?

There is a sale on one of my favorite websites! I am getting spurs and I get a bit 50% off. For barrel racing, which bit works best? Pictures would be nice as well
Thank you!
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    07-30-2011, 09:54 PM
Totally and completely depends on the horse, how finished it is, what inconsistencies it has etc.

No one can tell you without your horses background.
    07-30-2011, 10:36 PM
Green Broke
Western bits? I don't know. Anything snaffle related. It's not hard on their mouth. What is on you horse now?
    07-31-2011, 12:43 AM
It totally depends on your horse. What is your horse riding in now?

An example of how far and in between it can be is with my horses. Selena I can lope a barrel pattern bridleless. Rebel requires a Myler shank bit. Bailey goes in a twisted wire snaffle and my old barrel mare rode in a pretty pwerful gag bit just because she needed that extra tweaking ability.
    07-31-2011, 03:26 AM
There is no such thing as a "barrel racing bit." There is no "fix all" bit. You can run barrels in any bit, and I would suggest starting with the one your horse is already used to. For general bitting information from a barrel racer's perspective, check out the link in my signature.
    07-31-2011, 12:46 PM

This is what he is using now. Any suggestions on how to get him to lean around barrels?
    07-31-2011, 02:31 PM
To lean around barrels? You don't want your horse to lean--that's actually a bad thing. Any particular reason you have a twisted instead of a smooth snaffle?
    07-31-2011, 05:34 PM
Thats the bit I got him with.
    07-31-2011, 08:50 PM
I think you mean you want him tighter and lower around the barrels?... I use the Martha Josey Million Dollar Bit. Its a lighter bit with a rope over the nose, so it gives you more control through his nose pressure points. So you stay out of his mouth so much. Also keeps his head lower. I love it and use it on both my horses and all my barrel racing friends use it too:) one of my horses is almost only ridden in a D ring snaffle *(lightmouthed), the other rides in long shank bits(toughmouthed). It works on both, and has a lifetime warranty. Deffinetly the best, most diverse bit I've ever owned and used. Go to the website, read all about it.... you wont regret it:)
Josey Bits
    07-31-2011, 11:43 PM
Soapbox alert....

I absolutely positively hate the fact that the Josey Million Dollar bit is promoted as the be-all and end-all of barrel bits. It's frankly a terribly contraption, and rarely is its use justified (it's only good, in my opinion, for the obscure horse who likes such a bit, and then for inexperienced or bad riders on an otherwise would-be runaway horse). It does not give clarity of cue in the slightest. There's way too much crap going on for that. You can't directly access the corner of your horse's mouth to ask him to lift or move over without first yanking and tugging at the curb, the gag, and the noseband, thus placing pressure all over the place, on his chin, his mouth, his poll, and his sensitive nasal bones. The rope noseband is extremely abrasive, and I frequently see horses with permanent dents in their noses from it constantly digging in up there. The shanks are too long, the gag is too extreme, the twisted wire mouthpiece is completely unnecessary....I'm *not* going to stick my neck out and say that it's a harsh bit, or a cruel bit, because it some rare instances, in the right hands, it can be an appropriate and humane tool. But rarely is it used in such a manner. Instead, it's used by novices to yank their horse around barrels, and as such, it serves as a substitute for proper riding and training. I cannot in good conscience recommend such a bit.

Yes, I was fed all these lines to begin with. My Josey Combo was the first bit I ever owned, and I used it for everything from trail riding to competition. I was lucky enough to have a tolerant, long-suffering horse. His mouth was, however, ruined from a lifetime of being ridden in similar bits.

To the OP, I say switch to a smooth snaffle, and as you get into barrel racing you might find it advantages to switch to a smooth or dogbone Argentine or Junior Cowhorse--the curb and leverage action may help you with communication and control at fast speeds.

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