opnion on driving bits - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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opnion on driving bits

I would love to hear what you use for a bit & why. My instructor is very picky about what equipment she uses & what brands. She wants me to use a Liverpool mullen mouth. I undestand what works well for her & her horse may not always work well for me & my donk. I"m currently reading "Carriage Driving, Updated Edition" by Heike Bean & Sarha Blanchard. They say a liverpool mullen mouth is a harsh bit & should only be used by a seasoned driver. So I'm trying to gather as much information as I can so I can do the best by my boy
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post #2 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 06:20 PM
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I started Sour with a half cheek single jointed snaffle, because I didn't know much about the bit types and it seemed like the common bit. She was fine in it, but when I needed to apply more than just a little bit of contact I could tell she didn't like the nutcracker action so I switched to a half cheek mullen mouth, and she goes great.

I also own a Butterfly Mullen Mouth but I've only really used it for schooling her, not for normal pleasure driving, and I only use it on the top ring to keep it as mild as possible. It offers me a little more control though for when she's in new situations, and gives her tounge relief which she seems to prefer to anything else.

When you buy a bit, look into Iowa Valley Horse Carriage's selection. I've been really impressed with my bits from them, and they're super helpful.
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 06:32 PM
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driveing bits.

hiya I use a liverpool straight bar my boy axcepts it well.
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 07:40 PM
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I have used most all of them, and at home I usually drive in a french link snaffle. If I show, they get too strong, and I use a butterfly or liverpool arched mullen. For a long time, I used a Myler driving bit, or a Myler kimberwicke. My horses' heads are not real still(it is my hands) and the Mylers had too much movement.

I have a beautiful bit that my gelding LOVES, made by Jacob Bowman at Bowman Leather in Ohio. He and his father made my leather harness, and his uncle made most of my synthetic harness.

Nancy
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 08:26 PM
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Granted, we don't show or anything, but my family has been driving teams for farming for generations. We've always just used loose-ring snaffles on everything. I was raised to believe that it's the training that matters, not the bit. Heck, we had a team of mules that worked 100% off voice commands, even in strange/scary situations like parades and shows.

Of course, you must take into account the individual horse's preferences and needs, but I don't see the need to bit up beyond a snaffle type (1:1 pressure ratio).

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #6 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 10:49 PM
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My OTTB who was with the Amish for years goes nicely in a snaffle half cheek driving bit while my OTTB trotter was a bad puller on the track and came to me with a left lip that has a scar and a left bar that has a dark spot (he was locked on that left line and rein when I first started riding) that made every bit in the barn uncomfortable for him. He now goes happily in a Pee Wee bit that we use for riding and driving. He has a wonderful singlefoot/rack that is smooth as silk and very ground covering (not speed racking just a nice saddle rack for trails) and trots all day under harness. He has stopped pulling and is finally comfortable/pain free.
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post #7 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Granted, we don't show or anything, but my family has been driving teams for farming for generations. We've always just used loose-ring snaffles on everything. I was raised to believe that it's the training that matters, not the bit. Heck, we had a team of mules that worked 100% off voice commands, even in strange/scary situations like parades and shows.

Of course, you must take into account the individual horse's preferences and needs, but I don't see the need to bit up beyond a snaffle type (1:1 pressure ratio).
This is very true,. The bits are for me, more than the horse. Driving show horses on CONTACT and with the whip in hand causes my hands to turn to numb stumps. I can drive draft horses on a loose rein ALL day!!

Nancy
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Idrivetrotters: a Pee Wee bit? I've never heard of one. Can you describe it?

Greentree & Smrobs: You can drive without contact???? I'm being taught that is a big no no! I'm very intregued! Is it just a matter of training?

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post #9 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 09:39 PM
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Ok, ok. I admit it. I really just like the elegance of my butterfly bit. LOL. Sour goes perfectly well in her half cheek, though she can get a tiny bit strong in new places with lots of people, but I just couldn't resist how nice the butterfly bit looked...and with the curb chain off and the reins on the first ring, it works like her snaffle anywho. Hehe.
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post #10 of 29 Old 06-03-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littrella View Post
Idrivetrotters: a Pee Wee bit? I've never heard of one. Can you describe it?

Greentree & Smrobs: You can drive without contact???? I'm being taught that is a big no no! I'm very intregued! Is it just a matter of training?
LOL, littrella. Yes, you can drive without contact, and in the "carriage driving" world, it IS not recommended. Saddlebreds, Arabians, Morgans, either. Draft show horses are driven with contact. Draft work horses, "western pleasure" driving horses, and Amish type road horses are all driven with loose reins.

They are also commanded with (GASP) the reins slapped on the butt....

All of mine get to walk on loose rein to cool down after a traing session, though.

Nancy
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