Does anyone used a 'Happy Mouth' bit for a barrel racing/pole bending horse?
 
 

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Does anyone used a 'Happy Mouth' bit for a barrel racing/pole bending horse?

This is a discussion on Does anyone used a 'Happy Mouth' bit for a barrel racing/pole bending horse? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Barrel racing bits for sensitive horses
  • What are barrel mouth bits good for

 
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    05-03-2013, 11:25 PM
  #1
Banned
Does anyone used a 'Happy Mouth' bit for a barrel racing/pole bending horse?

I have a pretty sensitive mouthed horse because of a past owner was pretty abusive with their bits, anyways its hard to find a bit that doesn't bother him. At home I ride him in a little S hack, but I'm afraid that when we go to a show he's going to be hard to stop. [They don't close the gates once you enter the arena.] I was reading online somewhere where this girl used a 'Happy Mouth' bit which is at my understanding a English bit. Just wondering you guy's opinions on it and if any one of you have used it on a barrel/pole horse. Thank you!
     
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    05-04-2013, 12:17 AM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelracer21    
I have a pretty sensitive mouthed horse because of a past owner was pretty abusive with their bits, anyways its hard to find a bit that doesn't bother him. At home I ride him in a little S hack, but I'm afraid that when we go to a show he's going to be hard to stop. [They don't close the gates once you enter the arena.] I was reading online somewhere where this girl used a 'Happy Mouth' bit which is at my understanding a English bit. Just wondering you guy's opinions on it and if any one of you have used it on a barrel/pole horse. Thank you!

I know a lot of barrel racers/pole benders who run in Little S without any issues....you might just have to try and see. If is hard to stop then you know you will have to find something else.

What bits and mouth pieces have you tried out on him?
     
    05-04-2013, 12:25 AM
  #3
Started
We just put a little S on our QP. The brakes are better then ever and that pony runs a lot harder now. Not for everyone, I understand that. But in this case, it worked great.

Have you tried stopping him with the little S? Kinda seems like the first thing I'd do, but we gotta ask questions if you really want a good answer.
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    05-04-2013, 12:43 AM
  #4
Banned
He's a new horse, and of course I've stopped him in the little S. That's what I've been using since I got him. He works and stops fine in it now, but the girl I bought him from said he used to have a problem with not wanting to stop but she spent months working with him, and fixed that issue. She did a lot of backing up and other exercises to keep him in his hind end. She showed me everything she did with him when I went to try him out before I bought him. And I still continue to do what she has always done. She used some kind of bit that I have never seen before, she couldn't tell me what kind it was. (she couldn't remember what it was called.) She used that one to work him and practice and then used the Martha Joesy Million Dollar bit for runs only. I have and MJ million dollar bit but he acted up like it was uncomfortable when I used mine. (It's older and kind of stiff so I'm thinking that's the problem.) I've ordered a new one but they were out of stock so there's no telling when I'll get it in.

Anyways, I haven't been able to take him to any barrel races because it's been raining non-stop and they've all be cancelled due to the rain so I haven't been able to see how he's really going to be. At home he's perfect. But with past horses of mine, they would act perfect at home (easy to work and stop and control) then when I go to a race they just get excited and ready to run. I'm just worried about the little S not being enough 'whoa' at a race with all the excitement.

I was told that the reason he's so sensitive in the mouth is because a previous owner in the past used a really thin bit and it messed up his tongue. That's why I tried my hack on him, just keep the bits out of his mouth for good. I just don't want to cause any problems like him throwing his head a lot because of using a hack so much.
     
    05-04-2013, 01:11 AM
  #5
Trained
I don't like happy mouths in general because I find them too stiff, I like more flexible bits. Also not a lot of salivation and some horses will chew them up. Sure, you could try it, but you won't have any more brakes than you would in the little S.

If you go in to run him and he's acting like an idiot, walk, trot, lope the pattern. Do NOT run him if you aren't sure what he's going to do. Good way to get both of you hurt. Maybe take him and exhibition/time only him. If he acts okay going in the gate, ask him to run, and if he gets goofy go ahead and collect him back to you slowly throughout the run so by the time he gets to the gate he's already going slow.

One thing is tricky about barrel horses. Some are idiots going in. My sweet, calm, little Selena is a freight train when I go in but she's listening. If you don't think your horse is going to listen, get her relaxing. Stand next to the gate while people are going in and when the gate opens, get off and loosen your cinch. Do those exhibitions and keep her chill. Once you get confident she is going to listen to you, let 'er go.

Have you ran her at home before? Does she stop? What happens when you ask her to stop from a faster lope?
     

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