Would you switch bits?

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Would you switch bits?

This is a discussion on Would you switch bits? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • My horse chomps her bit during arena work
  • Butterfly gag experience

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    05-05-2012, 07:02 PM
Would you switch bits?

So blah blah blah, you guys already know all about Selena...Well she can run pretty solid right now but our biggest issue is getting her to LIFT. I can MAKE her do it, but she's not a natural lifter by any means.

Right now she runs in the same bit she shows in for eq classes, reining, cow classes, etc. It's a Billy Allen shank.

I guess I'm torn between really training the lift into her or if I should just switch to a bit for gaming that provides more lift. I can see pros and cons on both sides. She has a ridiculous amount of power for such a little horse but she's light enough to be ran in a halter (Thank god for her previous training) I don't want to put anything harsh on her but if there's a nice bit that can help her I'd love some suggestions. I have a lot in my tack room already and access to even more from my trainer.
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    05-05-2012, 07:24 PM
Green Broke
I just tried out a Jr. Cowhorse 3 piece dogbone with a roller. I LOVE IT.
The mild gag will give you some lift for sure, and it's still a very mild bit for a soft mouthed horse.
    05-05-2012, 07:42 PM
I was thinking about putting her in the smooth cowhorse. She doesn't really like twisted bits, though I bet she would like a three piece better so I might put my dogbone on her. Thanks for the reply.
    05-05-2012, 07:45 PM
Green Broke
I think the copper roller makes the bit. My horse likes to chomp insanely, and I tried her with the dogbone cowhorse with the roller and she almost quit chomping.

EDT: To answer your question, I think it couldn't hurt to try different bits since you actually have access to a lot of bits. But, if you already have something in mind, try it!
    05-05-2012, 07:53 PM
I guess I just wanna hear that it's okay to do so...LOL. I mentioned it at a show once and I thought I was going to get killed or something you'd think I'd just dropped a bomb on everyone's world. Apparantly I'm now a horrible person for ever trying to "cover up" with a bit....But I don't think this would really be "covering up"....
    05-05-2012, 07:58 PM
Green Broke
I don't think it is. Covering up would be getting a bigger, harsher bit to compensate for training. I think it would be difficult to train a horse to "lift" when all it's life, it has been doing pretty much the opposite. It's not like a cowhorse is a harsh bit, it's probably just as light or lighter than your Myler. So, how can you be covering anything up with it? You're just helping your horse excel. And if people want to beak you, let them complain and then kick their butts in the arena.
    05-06-2012, 08:17 PM
Selena has such a good foundation on her, I don't see any harm in putting her into a lifter bit to get even more out of her.

I've been running in a 3 piece smooth mouth with a copper roller. I believe the shanks are 5" but my lease mare is doing great in it. She's a seasoned running but I have to lift her off of the barrels/poles or she muscles through them. It's similar to the JR Cowhorse.
    05-07-2012, 10:15 AM
I don't see the harm in switching bits, I do it a lot if a horse doesn't feel right in the current one. And a bit switch doesn't mean you have to switch to a harsher bit, just find one that you and your horse both like and works.

But if you need lift I would stay away from a lot of gag...you get more of a a bit with little to no gag action when asking for lift.
    05-07-2012, 11:06 AM
Okay, thanks guys. I think I'm going to try switching her to the jr. Cowhorse and if not go to a shorter shank dogbone. If those don't help I'll go from there.
    05-07-2012, 11:13 AM
Green Broke
Sounds great! Keep us updated, I want to know how the Jr. Cowhorse works for you, cause it seems like it's almost a super-bit!

I think it has just the right amount of gag, because too much gag just makes their heads go higher, but if you have a little bit of gag, it will just add some lift, but not too much.

Anyone have experience with butterfly gags??
Teskey's Saddle Shop: Butterfly Smooth Snaffle Gag Bit, 238312

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