What bit works best with your gaited horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
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What bit works best with your gaited horse?

I am curious about something.

MANY gaited horses that come from breeders are on short or long shanked bits. Personally, I have seen very few on snaffles. But I have noticed, (at least in my area) many of the gaited horse clinicians won't let you be in their clinic unless your horse is on a snaffle!

My horse hated bits; all bits. So, I tried a very gentle hackamore (wide soft leather; very little pressure) and he calmed right down. Now I can also use a bitless bridle (Dr. Cook style model). A trainer who rides my horse when I am not home uses a soft rubber snaffle bit that is apple flavored. That seems to be the only bit he will tolerate; I think it is the apple!

I am just curious.... what works best for you?

"Do you give the horse its strength, or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?" (Job 39:19)
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 01:51 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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D ring snaffle with copper. Yep. I actually get the best gait in that bit. She isn't the biggest fan of the broken mouth piece though. She doesn't like tounge pressure.Tolerates it, but she would rather have a port and a solid mouth piece. She much prefers my Myler short shank with a medium port. She tolerates this bit better (no mouthing, responsive, happy), but tends to pace in it.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 07:56 AM
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Snaffle or my copper french link(:

I live to ride and I ride to live
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 08:11 AM
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Which horse and which discipline?

My main competition mare goes in a Pelham with four reins.

Our stallion (my competition horse for this year) goes in a full double bridle with bit and bradoon.

Our three youngsters are starting in snaffles (loose ring, D-ring, etc. with broken mouthpieces).

All of the above are Mangalarga Marchadors.

The same horse may well require multiple bits if they are doing mutiple jobs.

It's not at all uncommon for a gaited horse (particularly Walkers and those breeds derived from the same root stock) to "mouth" or "worry" their bits. The use of a copper mouthpiece promotes salivation and helps keep the mouth soft. Some horses don't really like the copper and prefer sweet iron. Many high end bits (like KK) use a proprietary metal. Just what will work with any given horse can vary.

A good horseman will have a selection of bits available that will be suitable for the horse they are riding in the job in which they are riding it. They they'll use the bit that is most appropriate at that time.

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 09:38 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
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My Paso Fino didn't like any bit when I bought her-so I rode her in a halter for a few years, then I went to a snaffle & alternate between an egg butt & a French Link-she does great in them-she's 20 yrs. old now!
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 09:57 AM
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I ride my mare in a open ring snaffle and she does ok with it. I am gonna try a dring with copper mouth and see how it does!
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 08:45 PM
Green Broke
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medium port curb. All Stainless.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 08:49 PM
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My Paso Fino LOVES the Imus Comfort Gait bit. It was pricey, but worth every penny:

Imus Comfort Gait Bit | Bits

She also makes this bit, which is more of a transition bit from the snaffle to a bit with some slight leverage action:


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post #9 of 12 Old 05-03-2012, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: MS.
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A low port kimberwick is what works best on my TWH mare, then a short shanked dogbone mouth bit, then an eggbutt snaffle, in that order.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-04-2012, 12:03 AM
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I like my full cheek snaffle for the average "work" sessions, and for my weekend trail rides Indie prefers her flat leather nosed M.hack :) Once she is fully brushed up, it's not uncommon to shift right into a halter instead of a snaffle for average work. Never had a problem getting her into her rack, and never saw a reason to use those huge Walker shanks I've seen on a lot of gaited horses unless the horse preferred the shanks.
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