new bit for a forward horse?

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new bit for a forward horse?

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  • Bit to use on forward horses
  • My horse won't stop when i want him to, harsher bit or bridal

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    04-25-2012, 04:51 PM
new bit for a forward horse?

Hi guys!

I'm looking for a new bit for my jumper who is very forward, when he's ridden regularly he's pretty good but for days like today where it took a lot of hard half halts and fighting to get him to go at a nice pace its a nightmare! The more canter work we do the more excited he gets. He's being ridden in a plain slow twist dee ring now, I was thinking a full twist might do the job but are there any suggestions?
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    04-25-2012, 05:35 PM
Is it possible to get a trainer out to help work with your horse?

Simply upgrading the bit and pulling on the horses mouth to get him to stop is not the right answer, he needs to be worked with and better trained. IMO, bits like the full twist, a leverage bit, etc. and the other bits on the upper end of harshness should ONLY be used for well trained horses AND riders so that the rider can just gently twitch their hand to reinforce the aids, and if there won't be a constant pressure on the horses mouth.

Putting a harsher bit in the mouth is like painting over rust, it is not a fix, but a cover-up, but you aren't dealing with rust, you are dealing with a real live living creature. The fix? Work with him, with a trainer if at all possible.
Yoshi likes this.
    04-25-2012, 05:41 PM
Instead of going for a harsher bit (which will just make his mouth harder - then it'll stop working) instead work on the half halts.

Start by trotting and asking for a halt. Do this by stopping your hips. Planting elbows on your waist and pushing down (NOT forward) with BOTH stirrups. I like to exhale at the same time which, besides being a verbal cur for the horse, also makes your body "heavier" since you no longer have as much air in your lungs. If that doesn't work add in a whoa - object is trot to halt with ZERO walk steps.

Once that's good make every other transition a trot HH where at the last second as horse is stepping underneath itself with it's rear legs the rider allows their hips to move and the elbows to come forward about 1/2 an inch (think of it as softening your elbows). Horse should continue trotting after rocking back on it's butt during the HH. If that doesn't work go back to full halts and work on tour timing - it MUST be correct - horse MUST be stepping underneath itself with rear legs to lift front end and stop falling on it's forehand (which is what is happening now).

Now once that's good start the canter to walk (or halt) work using the same principals.

Much smarter to do this rather than put a harsher bit (which acts like a bandaid on a gaping wound) in the horses mouth - cause what will you do when his mouth is so callused that he doesn't feel the harsher bit? Instead use the technique above to sharpen his "listening" skills to you as a rider. It will make you a better rider and him a better and happier horse.
kitten_Val likes this.
    04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
We are in weekly lessons with my coach, and he's always been good in my lessons, she has me do sitting trot when he gets too fast and he responds well to my seat, our last lesson she gave us some homework to work on our canter trot transitions to do ten strides trot, ten strides canter and today after he got settled he did fairly well with transitions. Like I said, some days he's wonderful to ride, some others it takes alot of work
    04-25-2012, 09:49 PM
Training horses takes patience.
kitten_Val likes this.
    04-26-2012, 05:07 AM
Originally Posted by brighteyes08    
We are in weekly lessons with my coach, and he's always been good in my lessons, she has me do sitting trot when he gets too fast and he responds well to my seat, our last lesson she gave us some homework to work on our canter trot transitions to do ten strides trot, ten strides canter and today after he got settled he did fairly well with transitions. Like I said, some days he's wonderful to ride, some others it takes alot of work
Personally I think you need to go back to a simpler bit without any twists. Teach your horse to mind and listen for your cues.. and respect them! Personally I would never put a twisted bit into my horse's mouth as that will cause him to react to pain rather than react to my cues of seat, leg, then hand.

If you get a harsher bit, it'll work for awhile.. then your horse will blow his aids... then he'll do whatever he wants, then you're back at square one. I think you both need a different approach starting with a softer bit. Get him soft again. There's no shame in lunging before you ride either. Get him focused and listening.

Is there a video you have of you riding your horse so we can see what's going on?

What I do to slow my horse down is lots and lots of transitions from walk to trot, trot to canter, canter to trot, back to walk.. or you can add some halts in there. Changes of direction, weaving, spiraling circles with a nicely bent horse (not overly bent or hind end swinging around), leg yields, any lateral work that you know, serpentines.

Add ground poles and trot over those. Look at reining and dressage patterns and do a few. Have a plan.. keep your horse's mind busy but sharp.

Personally I wouldn't sit trot, I'd post. Here's why.

When you post, all of your weight goes down your legs as there is no other place for it to go. It's a very clear "slow down" to the horse, especially when you manipulate the timing of the post.

Sitting trot has to be done when the horse is round.. when the horse is not round and strung out or blasting past your aides, you're more likely to start slamming on their back and causing more of an issue.. which creates a lot of "noise" and your slow down cues are muffled.

I hope you don't mind the advice
    04-26-2012, 11:31 PM
Dont worry I love advice :)

I understand what your saying, but sitting trot does work really well on him, I rode again today and he was a bit better, but I think he's stiff on his right side because he wants to canter faster on that lead and when I slow him down he's very "wobbly". I can't detect anything at the trot.

Today I did a lot of walk-trot transitions, and some trot-canter ones at the end, alternating on the large and circling, direction changes. His bad habit is that when he's excited he ALWAYS tries to break from a walk to trot, and constantly tucks his head and chomps away at the bit. I always keep my patience until he finally gives it up, but its absolutely ridiculous. Wahh where did my good horse gooo

He's been ridden in a number of different bits, I've only used a french link, a waterford and a slow twist snaffle on him though.
    04-26-2012, 11:42 PM
Originally Posted by brighteyes08    
but I think he's stiff on his right side because he wants to canter faster on that lead and when I slow him down he's very "wobbly". I can't detect anything at the trot.
That sounds more like he's unbalanced and leaning on you for support. Has he had any training done, what kind of a horse is he? If he's stiff, doing poll flexion exercises, bending exercises, and posting on the correct diagonal will help stretch him out.

His other habit sounds like he's kind of nervous yet excited.. he can't quite settle down and relax. Maybe spend lots more time focused on the walk? My horse used to be like this.. we'd spend 89% trotting, and the other 11% attempting to walk but it was more like prancing.

I'd really like to see a video of how he's acting..

And yes it's very frustrating, but with persistence you will get him where you want him and the 'battles' will become shorter over time.
    04-27-2012, 10:37 PM
Ive always learned that when my horse gets faster and pulls, he is telling me he is crooked, and im not riding him strait. We had a hard time with canter, to trot transitions, I just really worked on that transition and tried not to get into a pulling match, when he got strong, he needed to be ridden lighter and strait, it is really hard to stay soft when your horse is getting forward and pulling, but if you pull against him, he will probably just pull harder, and it turns into a pulling match...and those are incredibly unpleasant and fustrating (ive had a lot of those days) but very few lately =)...i ride my horse with a slow twist also, I think he would be ok with out it sometimes, if I were you I wouldnt go to a harsher bit, because then your horses mouth may just get harder and harder
My advice is to just keep working at it, and to not make it turn into a pulling match (which is easier said than done sometimes)
Good luck! It will get better=)
    04-28-2012, 01:26 AM
Green Broke
I agree that a harsher bit is not the answer. I had a jumper and when I got him he was in some kind of leverage bit, I downgraded to a KK training snaffle (double jointed loose ring) and he wasn't so bad at all. I think especially with jumpers, the horses try and go forward, and the rider holds them back and the horse begins to rely on the bit to lean against. This means that many riders are often riding in a hard contact with constant pressure somewhat holding the horse.

I got really sick of that quick, the constant leaning and pressure was hard on my hands and shoulders, and it meant that the aid needed to stop was REALLY strong. So I downgraded to the KK, and did a lot of work, and when he began to lean instead of pulling back, I'd just let go and he'd maybe even stumble for a moment, or break stride, but then he'd get his own balance back and I'd hold a light contact.

I practiced walking, trotting and cantering on a loose rein with no contact, and practiced getting him to stop with just a touch on the reins, or seat. When he ran instead of pulling him up, I'd spiral into tight circles and then as soon as he was doing the correct pace we'd go straight again. So if I was walking and he broke into a trot, I'd circle and when he walked go straight again. He got it pretty quick.

Anyway, harsher bit is not the answer.

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