What bit do you use on your gaited horse? A survey. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 29 Old 06-11-2013, 01:20 PM
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I ride all my walkers in a tom thumb type bit and they are very light and responsive I like the fact that you have the best of both worlds the lateral control of a snaffle and the vertical control at the pole you get from the short shanks. I use them on young and finished horses alike. All of this is just my personal preference and am sure other bits(and bitless gear) work just as well it comes down to comfort(yours and the horse's) and consistent training.
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post #22 of 29 Old 06-14-2013, 04:07 PM
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I use a mechanical hackamore.
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post #23 of 29 Old 06-14-2013, 04:10 PM
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We don't use a bit on our gaited horse. :)

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post #24 of 29 Old 06-17-2013, 01:28 PM
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D ring myler bits, D ring
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post #25 of 29 Old 06-17-2013, 02:17 PM
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My friend/trainer says she uses the Clinton Anderson snaffle for ALL her horses,and it's the best bit she's used on anything,even gaited horses. She used the CA tom thumb sometimes though.
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post #26 of 29 Old 06-17-2013, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TNRiderChic View Post
I like the Myler 3 Ring Combination Bit with the comfort snaffle. The way it is designed you can ride your horse more off the nose or more off the bit, depending on your horse's temperament and behavior. The overall effect is to give the horse ample opportunity to respond to the rider's rein signals, in addition to dispersing the rein pressure over multiple pressure points rather than concentrating on the bars or tongue.
I watched the video of this and was impressed, but then went on an independent Internet search and came across people saying that this bit is harsh. Is it?
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post #27 of 29 Old 06-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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In a bit, harshness is like beauty...it generally lies in the eye of the beholder.

(And, let's have clean terminology: snaffle bits do not have leverage; any bit with leverage is a curb.)

Sometimes, though, it's quite apparent. Bicycle chain mouthpieces, thin wire mouthpieces, chain-saw chain mouthpieces (yes, I've seen them used on mules). mouthpieces with intentionally roughed surfaces (think a farrier's rasp), etc. are examples of clearly harsh items.

The longer the shank on a curb bit the more powerful, and potentially painful for the horse, the bit is.

But myths prevail. "Thick is not harsh." Well, if it's so thick that it's too big for the horse's mouth then it's harsh. Conversely, thin is not harsh if it properly fits the horse's mouth. And in either case it's the hand that supplies the active power. So either can be harsh or soft depending upon how it's used.

The bit is a communication device. What do want to communicate? With a youngster you want to communicate basics so you ran use a bit that doesn't do much more that say "gee" or "haw" or "whoa." As the horse gains skill you can use a bit that allows more nuanced communication. When you get to upper levels of disciplines then you can see things like the double bridle or spade bit used effectively (and humanely).

Put another way, you can communicate with your horse via tin can telephone or high quality digital phone; which do you prefer?

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post #28 of 29 Old 06-23-2013, 02:36 PM
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I ride my Walking Horse filly in a snaffle. She gaits just fine in it.

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post #29 of 29 Old 06-23-2013, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone who responded. I found it helpful and interesting!


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