Dressage legal Bit with the best brakes

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Dressage legal Bit with the best brakes

This is a discussion on Dressage legal Bit with the best brakes within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    07-15-2010, 01:36 AM
Dressage legal Bit with the best brakes

I'm wanting to switch out of the Kimberwick I'm using on my very forward mare. My riding isn't advanced as she is used to so my trainer had me switch from the Eggbutt snaffle I had her in to the Kimberwick so she'd stop running away with me and I could concentrate on improving my riding and not just speed control (tug of war) with her.

So even if I'm not quite ready to switch, I will be one day and I'm wanting to know the bit to get that will actually be legal for dressage (lower level, of course) and provide as much brakes as possible.

The Baucher has been recommended to me and I liked the Herm Sprenger B one with the 45 degree angle center piece but I've heard it doesn't have as much/any leverage compared to the standard one due to the lower location of the bars. But if it is the Baucher I should get, which brand?
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    07-15-2010, 02:05 AM
Dressage is all about the training of the horse, not sticking a bit in to "create" brakes. If you need a bit to 'install brakes,' then you aren't riding dressage. Talk to your trainer about exercises you can be doing to work on a better line of communication between you and your horse
    07-15-2010, 02:16 AM
Yeah, i'm fully aware of what dressage is about. However, I'm a beginner with a very forward horse. And I'm trying to do the right thing with the right bit. Sadly, I was literally IN DANGER riding the snaffle I was in a few months ago. And there wasn't much I could do to improve without switching to a bit that required my horse to listen since I have no seat for her to listen to.

So yeah I know a bit isn't going to solve the issues. And I'm fine riding around in the Kimberwick, at least I'm safe and my skills and communication are evolving. But at what point can/should I be switching and if now's the right time, what should I switch to. It's hard to create bend with ported kimberwick. Sadly, I only get to see my trainer once a month and less now during show season as she lives several hrs away.

I guess I should have said I'm in training to learn dressage and I want to use a dressage legal bit. Sorry, I usually state I'm a beginner, but I guess I missed that this time.
    07-15-2010, 05:29 AM
First of all, just like to say that no bit should be used to create brakes.
I won't give an opinion on what bit to use as I don't personally know the horse but I'd recommend PMing JustDressageIt as she's the forum's bit guru :)
    07-15-2010, 06:45 AM
Well, I'm definitely going to be asking other knowledge horse persons as to their recommendations and was hoping to get some further advice to consider here as well.

Yes I know what I'm supposed to use my reins for and yes I know what I'm supposed to use my seat for - knowing and doing are separate issues at this point. My horse is VERY forward and sensitive, the very definition of a horse that would be suitable for a kimberwick. Prior to the kimberwick I was NEVER able to give any release nor improve myself as the focus was on speed control of horse.

My horse is slowly learning that I'm no longer a meek pushover but also that I'm becoming a better, more balanced and thoughtful rider (thank you kimberwick for allowing me to become that). But the eggbutt snaffle I'm using now still isn't enough as I tried it the other day (we went back to no release option). So maybe it's not time yet.

I was trying to be clear as to the need I have with the bit, ie. Brakes, so that I would get the most accurate suggestion. I thought brakes was a more descriptive word then leverage, but maybe not. But whether or not I need brakes, or whether or not I am a crappy rider isn't what I asked. I asked which dressage legal bit would be the best choice for a very forward moving horse (ie. Brakes).

One day I would love to ride like I should, but I'm not there yet, even if my 20yr horse is. She will teach me a lot, this I know.

So, please if you have bit to recommend, please do so.
    07-15-2010, 04:50 PM
Around here, if you need better "brakes" you tighten the noseband of the flash. He will not be able to open his mouth, and the effect of the bit will be at its strongest.

Keep in mind, though, a horse is a fellow creature, and does not HAVE "brakes."
    07-15-2010, 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by Beling    
Keep in mind, though, a horse is a fellow creature, and does not HAVE "brakes."
I find it perfectly acceptable for the OP to reference the term 'brake'. Heck even the BNT and clinicians use vehicle terminology. It's a common ground to help people to understand. A good teacher teaches to the level of the student, not to hear themselves talk.
    07-15-2010, 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Beling    
Around here, if you need better "brakes" you tighten the noseband of the flash. He will not be able to open his mouth, and the effect of the bit will be at its strongest.
Please please please do not do this anymore. The noseband is not to be used to "keep the mouth shut." It is there as a decoration mostly, to finish the "english" look, and it is used with a standing martingale as well, but even then the noseband should NOT be tight.
In any noseband, you should be able to fit two stacked fingers in between the jawbone and the leather when it's done up. Any tighter than that and it's incorrect.
Think about it: The horse is using its body language (mouth, ears, body position, tail) to speak to us and tell us when there's something wrong - tying the mouth closed (i.e. With a tight noseband) might solve the gaping problem, but you really want to figure out WHY they're gaping in the first place.

To the OP - you do not need a strong bit, you need a good instructor that will work with both you and your horse to achieve control with a simple, light snaffle.
    07-16-2010, 01:03 AM
Wow. I do have a great instructor, but sadly only get lessons once a month. But fearing for my safety, she suggested a Kimberwick to start. You didn't see my early lessons where even I feared I'd never get her stopped (had to have a lesson about that too) and now how pretty decent my mare goes in the Kimberwick (most of the time).

I got a Herm Sprenger Baucher in the mail today and tried that. It's better then the snaffle, but not by much - but at least my mare is listening to the half halts now (which is every 3 steps).

Thanks for all the replies, I'm sure you all had the best of intentions even if none of you answered my question about the bits.
    07-16-2010, 01:09 AM
A baucher bit IS a snaffle - It doesn't have leverage because there is no curb chain and the reins are not atached lower than the mouthpiece.

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