Walking Horse bits
   

       The Horse Forum > Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics > Horse Breeds > Gaited Horses

Walking Horse bits

This is a discussion on Walking Horse bits within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Walking bits
  • Walking horse bit, how it works

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-03-2009, 12:07 AM
  #1
Weanling
Walking Horse bits

I've asked so many different people about which bit to to use while training my 3 y.o TWH filly. I've been told so many different things. After reading and researching, I've ordered a French Link Snaffle bit. It makes sense to me that using something mechanically simple and less harsh is ideal for starting out, especially because I'm not tremendously experienced.
Friends have insisted I need to use a Walking Horse bit with 6" shanks. I don't think I want to start with that, but is there an advantage to using it later? I was told that a walking horse bit is necessary for a TWH to move their head correctly. Is there any reality to that?
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    08-03-2009, 10:13 AM
  #2
dee
Started
I don't know anything about TWHs, but my dream bit is supposed to work for all breeds, especially gaited horses. I want the Mikmar feather bit. Unfortunately, it costs more than I can afford. (More than 1/4 of what I paid for the $Q!!$ horse!)
     
    08-03-2009, 05:24 PM
  #3
Zab
Yearling
I have no idea if it will benefit your horses gait.
But if your horse is like all other horses, gaited or not, any shank bit without a chain/strap will work for a stiff and hollow back and tensions, which in un-healthy for any horse, without making much sense for the horse, and it will take way more in tthe horses mouth than you can imagine by feeling the preassure in your fingers.

Any shank bit with a curbstrap will work to make the horse lower his head and while that works for a nicer, rounder back (as long as the horse just doesn't break off in the neck) it will make it more natural for the horse to trot, or go towards a trotty gait. It could be good if your horse is gaiting in a very lateral way, but then I'd still prefer a snaffle to soften the horse up in the sides and back. A shank with a curb strap would also be much stronger than a snaffle, but it's more honest in that that you'll feel the bits strength in your hand.

A snaffle is a good bit for keeping the horse relaxed and soft/flexible in the sides, which is important for a healthy horse. It's easy to allow a higher headset without causing tensions and allow the back to move, annd you can also lower the horses head if the horse tends to go more to a pace than a four-beat gait, or raise it if it goes towards a trot or diagonal gait.

But, it's easier to get a horse to gait if the horse is tensed up. However, my personal belief is that no horse should carry a rider with a tensed and/or hollow back, no matter if they're walking, gaiting, trotting or cantering. In the long run it's unhealthy and can cause serious back injuries (''kissing spines'' might be caused of a long term hollowed back, and less serious back problems caused by it can still be painful.) And back problems gets the horse more tensed up and more eager to chose a gait rather than a trot, it can even make the gait flashier.
I rather work for a soft, flexible horse that perhaps offer a less flashy gait for much more work, but at least I know that the horse is sound and carry my weight in a way that won't hurt it in the long run. But that's my choice.
I'd choose a snaffle, anyway. I can very well use other, shanked, bits when I see a benefit from it, but the naffle is what I use on Crow, and a snaffle is what I'll use for Sólon when he grows up. (standardbred and icelandic horse)

Of course you can still get a good, carrying horse with a shank bit, but I find it much easier to get a tensed/stiff horse that gaits and think that ''hey, this is great, he's gaiting!" instead of continuing from there to make the gait less stiff and more carrying as the horse learns to gait better.

After what I've seen, a whole lot of gaited horses are asked for a hollow back when they move up to gait.. I just don't agree with that.
     
    08-03-2009, 07:44 PM
  #4
Yearling
Have you considered the Imus training bit?

Brenda Imus Gaited Horse Services - gaited horses,gaited horse saddles,gaited horse training,gaited horse bits, and more!
     
    08-03-2009, 09:22 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoggle    
I've asked so many different people about which bit to to use while training my 3 y.o TWH filly. I've been told so many different things. After reading and researching, I've ordered a French Link Snaffle bit. It makes sense to me that using something mechanically simple and less harsh is ideal for starting out, especially because I'm not tremendously experienced.
Friends have insisted I need to use a Walking Horse bit with 6" shanks. I don't think I want to start with that, but is there an advantage to using it later? I was told that a walking horse bit is necessary for a TWH to move their head correctly. Is there any reality to that?
Ok, you are right automatically wanting to start out small. Kudos.
You do not need to start your TWH in any shank let alone a 6 inch port shank. A TWH bit can help certain horses but all are different and no, you don't need one at the [minute]. You may, however, find a little while into your training that he needs one for better head carriage and getting his forehand and backhind end in it's correct 'spot' for getting that desired gait. Make sense?

So for now, ignore your friends. You will be doing your horse a favor, IMO.
     
    08-04-2009, 03:10 AM
  #6
Weanling
I am personally against the long shanks, if you can train your horse to give you her head then you should be able to collect her and round out her back with smaller shanks. I personally converted all my horses (pasos and TWH) to the Imus Comfort Gait bit. I didnt use the IMUS comfort training bit because the regular bit can double over as almost a D-ring snaffle. However one of the TWH didnt seem to adjust to the bit and we found a lot of luck with the pelham bit. Its a trial and error thing, how is she doing with what you are using on her now? I have also known people who ride their TWH in a tom thumb and don't have any problems with their head bob, gaiting, or confirmation. I say try your french link snaffle and if it works and she seems to like it and respond well keep it. I don't agree with bits that force the horse into confirmation. It takes a little more time and effort to train your horse into confirmation but the long term results are worth it. You have a more limber, flexible, happy companion
     
    08-05-2009, 07:52 PM
  #7
Weanling
I just heard from my trainer the other day (let's see if I can remember it correctly . . . ) that Walking Horse bits only allow the horse to travel forward (and turn and stop and stuff, I didn't mean it like that) and that it doesn't teach them to collect themselves and gather themselves it just makes them collect, so if you switch them out of a Walking Horse bit, they don't know how to gather themselves. That's what happened when I switched my TN Walker from a Tom Thumb (horrible bit for him, I've read that it's very confusing) to a Eggbutt snaffle and I was wondering why his canter was insane. French Link Snaffle sounds pretty good, just teach your Walker how to collect by herself by disengaging.
     
    08-05-2009, 08:03 PM
  #8
Green Broke
TWH bits, IMO, are just like any old bit. Shanks and port. They swivel for the TWH's natural head swing, but they are just regular bits. Anyone horse can use them.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Horse Snorting while walking around??? ILoveGeorgieMyPony Horse Talk 7 06-23-2009 04:15 PM
Walking Horse Bit farmpony84 Horse Tack and Equipment 4 04-05-2009 05:16 PM
walking horse bit sandy2u1 Horse Tack and Equipment 13 08-19-2008 10:06 PM
walking your horse like a dog jazzyrider Horse Talk 15 04-12-2008 02:19 PM
Tennessee Walking Horse dave_in_delaware Horse Breeds 14 07-31-2007 08:26 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0