Which Bit Should I Switch To? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-30-2010, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Which Bit Should I Switch To?

I have a little bit of a problem. I have been working my horse in a double twisted wire bit. (You may think that is harsh, but we have tried milder bits and they will not work for him.) The problem with this bit is I can work him at home in it but I cant show him in it. I have tried a Kimberwick but I was wondering what other options I have out there. I want him to be comfortable but at the same time I want the control I have with the double twist. Thanks in advance:)

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-30-2010, 10:28 AM
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Specifically, what kind of control issues are you having? No steering, no brakes, "headset" issues...?

(Almost) every control issue can be resolved with a simple snaffle and the correct training fix for the specific horse and problem in question.

Without any other information, my knee-jerk advice would be to back down to a plain snaffle, either single or double jointed, and figure out why your horse isn't controllable in anything but a double twisted wire. It could be saddle pain, stiffness/soreness/tension, confusion about the aids, any one of (or multiple) issues.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 09:10 PM
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Agreed...what exactly are you trying to fix?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 09:26 PM
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It sounds like you have some holes in your and your horse's training. Your horse probably won't reposond to a softer bit yet because his mouth has been numbed by the severity of the double twisted wire. Go back to a softer bit, preferably a snaffle, and give his mouth time to adjust. Something with copper will help him salivate and soften into the bit. Be patient and take the time to /train/ around those issues, not mask them.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 01:29 AM
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I agree with what the others have said...control does not come from the hands, it comes from leg and seat, and even before that with good, solid training and respect. I suggest taking a closer look at your control problem, whatever it may specifically be. If you can fix the issue, you ought to be able to find a mild, smooth snaffle your horse likes and you'll be better off for it.

IMHO, the less artillery in the mouth the better. That being said, I've known horses who LIKED harsher bits, honestly did, for whatever reason. But most don't.

The thing is here, what concerns me is, you are obviously relying on your bit for the control, and the bit is an aid, not a lifeline.

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Ok in order to fully understand why I use the bit I do for him I have some history that needs to be told.

I got him when he was 4 and just gelded. And we were told he was green broke. Little did we know he wasnt even close to "green" and he was very aggressive toward people and other horses. Another thing is he is one of those horses that would rather fight than run away. And because of this we had some training issues. Long story short, its been 3 years and I can now ride him in with other horses.

The problems we still have is we still have the "hardheadedness", so we use the double twist to keep him consistant and "in check". He is very light, so its not like Im using this bit to tear his mouth up.

But when we go to show we cant use a double twist in the show ring, which is why I posted this thread. I want something that will keep him in check just like the double twist, but something thats not any harsher than what we already have.

And for the "holes" in his training. All I will say is his training isnt perfect but, when he is working decently, this horse can walk/ trot/ canter and whoa on the very split second I ask him to. Believe me he would not be in a show ring if he didnt understand my cues. We did have issus with the saddle but now I have a better fitting saddle. So it isnt training problems or pain problems. I hope eventually that we will be able to work down to a milder bit but for now this is what he needs.

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post #7 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 02:46 PM
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What type of showing do you do? I ask this because it will help in deciding what types of bit you would want to play with. You may be able to go to a slow twist or at least a single wire.

I'm thinking since he is used to such a harsh bit that switching to a plain old snaffle is going to be a challenge, you might want to do it at a slower pace, which will mean tons of ground work to ensure you do have the control you are looking for. If you are riding in the harsher bit with minimal contact then, in my opinion you are better off with that then riding in a light bit that forces you to lug on the horses mouth.

Out of curiousity, what is your concern with the port bit?

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post #8 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I show him in hunter. And I dont really have any concerns with a ported bit Im just seeing what other options are out there that would be legal to use...

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 03:03 PM
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Have you tried a pelham? Or how about a 6 ring...I found they work really well.
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 03:11 PM
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Your horse, your call.

But farmpony is so right about not just going right to something like a little old eggbutt snaffle or something similar. But you knew that anyway, it seems.

We really need to know what disciplines you are doing/interested in to give you any suggestion though. What's legal in one place isn't legal in another, and what's required of you and your horse is also very different of course and it often changes things entirely!

ETA: Oh, you posted while I was writing my post, LOL!

I'm thinking a slow twist of some sort. Perhaps the pelham, as Erika suggested, but I know squat about hunters, admittedly.

Cinnamon Whiskey 11 y/o 15hh Chestnut AQHA mare, 2'6 Jumpers
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