What bit to use for drills & how much contact??

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding > Barrel Racing

What bit to use for drills & how much contact??

This is a discussion on What bit to use for drills & how much contact?? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-10-2012, 10:03 PM
What bit to use for drills & how much contact??

I'm new to barrel racing with most of my previous riding experience being in dressage. That being said, I have found a good trainer to work with. We've finally found a bit that my horse likes. It's a 3 piece smooth mouth lifter bit. We are still doing a lot of slow work, but have loped the pattern a few times. I'm wondering if I should keep using the same bit when doing slow, training work. I've read that a lot of you here use a basic snaffle when doing slow work. My experience when riding in a snaffle is to have the horse working "through" and "on the bit". Again, my dressage past. Is this the same amount of contact I should have now when doing drills, etc? Or should I just keep working him in the lifter bit every ride?
Sponsored Links
    11-10-2012, 10:42 PM
First why did you switch to a lifter bit? Pics of the bit?
    11-11-2012, 12:07 AM
Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
First why did you switch to a lifter bit? Pics of the bit?
L & W Bits - Lift Bits #182 is the cheek style that I'm currently using. Mouthpiece is a smooth 3 piece (dog bone).

My horse has a moderate club foot, which my farrier has done wonders with. But he still has some assymetry in his shoulders (high left/low right). He also ran on the track for 5 years. He has a tendency to drop his inside shoulder in turns and is also very good at bracing the right shoulder up during the lope to the right. He does ok in a Myler comfort snaffle, but carries himself much better in the little bit. He also is very adimit in his dislike of single joint snaffles (braces above the bit, crosses his jaws, and sticks his tongue out constantly).
    11-11-2012, 12:45 AM
Typically, when you actually get to doing the pattern with some speed, you'll want a separate bit for competition, and a separate bit for "regular riding" and tuning (and maybe even more separate bits for specific purposes). Or, some horses will go fine in the same bit for everything. It really will vary for each individual horse and your competition level.

I personally like switching up bits every once in a while anyway on the horse, because it is one of those things that helps keep things fresh and keep the horse responding well to a bit.

What does your trainer say about using a different bit for drills?
    11-11-2012, 12:51 AM
I like to use a lot of differant bits and remain rounded during slow work. Builds the right muscles for when you go fast. IMO Dressage and reining are the two best things you can do for your barrel horse. I would go ahead and stick him in a snaffle for slow work; Even a french link or lifesaver snaffle or that myler one. If he doesn't do well, maybe a light shank or gag like a sweet six or jr. Cowhorse.
    11-11-2012, 12:52 AM
Posted via Mobile Device
    11-11-2012, 12:52 AM
Ok my phone is now posting blank posts lol!
Posted via Mobile Device
    11-11-2012, 01:09 AM
I don't ride in the same bits, I have different bits for everything. For riding and training I prefer snaffles, I may use some light bits like Easy 5, Half Wonder, Jr. Cowhorse, Tender Touch and a nice little dutton bit that I just bought (fell off the BHA bandwagon! UGH).

Each horse has a specific bit for running, and some horses have a bit for warming up and tuning aswell.

I find that when I switch bits up it keeps the horses on their toes and responding well.
    11-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Originally Posted by beau159    
What does your trainer say about using a different bit for drills?
She keeps all her young/green horses in the same bit for everything, including trailer riding. But then again, bone if them are in anything overly aggressive (combinations with a snaffle, o rings, and d rings). She said to switch back and forth if I wanted to, but really didn't feel it was necessary. I guess in my mind I find it hard to understand working him round in a bit with a curb and shank, especially 2 handed. Too many years in the dressage arena I guess. That mindset is hard to lose.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills. DrumRunner Barrel Racing 83 01-13-2016 04:14 PM
Drills to help with turning Horsealot Barrel Racing 2 10-04-2012 07:26 PM
I felt it! Contact, I got contact with Oliver!! Klassic Superstar Horse Training 3 05-23-2012 01:08 PM
What drills do you do? SorrelHorse Barrel Racing 5 02-03-2012 03:26 AM
Good riding drills? Tennille Horse Training 0 03-22-2011 12:13 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0