Soap Box Time: Million Dollar Bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-14-2011, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outside of Oklahoma City
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Soap Box Time: Million Dollar Bit

Okay, soap box time. If you don't agree with me, that's fine, this is my opinion. I just hope you read through it all and see it from my view.

I was at drill practice, and I noticed this one girl was riding with the million dollar bit. A week before she had been riding in a o-ring snaffle. I asked her why she switched, she said she needed more control because her horse wasn't acting right.
THE BIT DOESN'T MAKE YOUR HORSE ACT BETTER. After giving the million dollar bit a good long look, I don't understand it any more. Sure, Martha Josey wins all the time with it, but guess what, She doesn't touch her horse's face once during her run. She could run in a freaking bosal hackamore, with no issues. It's more economical to create a bit that makes you get a better time, people would rather by a bit then a $500 clinic. But, guess what. The bit does not fix training issues. It covers them up, and create issues later down the road. I'm training my filly for barrels, and I'll smack myself if I even dare to to put her in anything harsher than a twisted snaffle.
Now, I get that some barrel horses get a little out of hand, and even the softest mouthed horses get rough once they are in the gate, but with proper training, you don't need a bit that is a gag, twisted wire, dog bone, long shanked combo hackamore bit.

Just sayin.

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown
MangoRoX87 is offline  
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-14-2011, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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^^^ Well said!

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-15-2011, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
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I ride in a bit similar to a million dollar, but the difference is I don't rip on my horse. My mare knows a snaffle is trail time, a halter is fun play time, a twisted snaffle is english time, a tom thumb is western time, and my gaming bit is gaming time. She knows exactly what to expect before we even start. I can run barrels in a halter if I wanted & she'd do it like a champ, but I don't. I want her to know the difference in bits and disciplines, and she does.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 12:07 AM
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Thank you TeegasMommy. I train all my horses in a snaffle. My old guy still runs barrels in his rubber covered d ring he has had since he was two. I can ride him in a halter, short shank for showing, and just a smooth mouthed loose ring for moving cattle, trails. My OTTB I have in two snaffles a plain loose ring for barrel work and a french link for just all around riding. I would like to eventually get her into a jr cowhorse for gymkhana just because she has a lot of run in her and a bit more rate with her when we get finished will be nice. But not until she knows everything and can do everything in a snaffle, then if you have a horse that needs a little more this or that you can play and see how your horse goes in it. You should be able to make your horse lighter and more responsive in a higher level bit, not heavier. I should be able to go back to a snaffle if I need and have the same horse before I put a shank bit in her mouth.

Scooby I never moved up because he has too much natural rate. He slows himself down to what he knows he can safely turn a barrel at. Depending on the ground depends on his speed, no matter what I do or how I ride him. I really don't need to even use the reins except for direction once in a while. He is all voice and leg commands that one.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 05:54 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Georgia
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Very nice post Mango! Both of my horses can ride in snaffles or a halter with no problems, but when it come to running at a show Hickory has a short shank tom thumb and Nikki has a snaffle combination bit...Harsh bits won't fix a horse's issue.

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post #6 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Weaverville NC
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I did not know what this bit was but I googled it and all I can say is it looks harsh and I would never put that in my horses mouth.


Horses lend us the wings we lack.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: abilene,tx
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I ride my gelding in 2 bits.
We train in a plain D ring snaffle to keep him soft but I run him in a short shank jr cowhorse dog bone center bit that he runs great in as he does get a little harder headed when running and need that little extra lift that that snaffle doesn't give, however I don't rip on him and i generally ride him on a loose rein. So I do agree with you training is 90% of it and the bit is only 10(that extra security with 1 rein stop haha)

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-29-2011, 11:03 PM
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I love love love your post and totally agree 100%. No matter WHAT disipline, a strong bit in novice hands never replaces good training, it can only "cover up". My POA mare (who is now retired) used to run barrels and poles at home in just a rope halter. At playdays we used an O ring and as we got more advanced we moved to an argentine snaffle.

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post #9 of 14 Old 10-01-2011, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
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My barrel mare rides in a Sharon Camarillo sweet six, with the o ring mouthpiece, my colt rides in a Myler comfort snaffle, low port. And my older gelding rides in a barrel mouthed shank bit.

A lot of people base decisions for bits based on who wins with them. I don't care if Charmayne James, Sherry Cervi, Brenda Mays, Martha Josey, and Jill Moody themselves swore on a bit...I wouldn't buy it without thoroughly analyzing it, and taking it to the tack store and playing with it on myself first

(For those of you that don't know this, you can get a pretty good idea of how a bit feels in a horses mouth by placing the mouthpiece on the inside of your arm and holding it in your elbow, since the skin is super soft there. I test all mine like that first)

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.

Last edited by SorrelHorse; 10-01-2011 at 10:57 PM.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 10-03-2011, 02:10 AM
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To be honest, I'm not sure how accurate that method is. For example, take your standard broken snaffle and stick under your elbow. Odds are you'll pinch the hell out of yourself by accident and run off screaming. But if you ever did that to your horse's tongue, he wouldn't be able to stand the excrutiating horror, and would promptly rear up and fall over backwards on you. But that doesn't happen....generally! The tongue is thick tissue, well lubricated with mucous/saliva. And the bit pressure is dispersed over a wider area and prevented from folding too tightly (and thus pinching) but the breadth of the horse's mouth.
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