What type of bit? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-25-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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What type of bit?

What type if bit do you use on your gaited horses, what breed are they and why do you use that type of bit? Just trying to get an idea of what I should be using with my 3 yr. old TWH. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-25-2010, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by secretmolly View Post
What type if bit do you use on your gaited horses, what breed are they and why do you use that type of bit? Just trying to get an idea of what I should be using with my 3 yr. old TWH. Thanks!
I usually use a bit similar to this one with my MFT mare and my Paso Fino gelding: http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/Pets...T901043_123163

Here it is on my MFT: Mystique on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I use that bit on them because they like it. My mare has a thick tongue and a low palate and can't be ridden in a single jointed bit. My gelding has a small mouth and is VERY picky with bits. I was lucky to find one that they both like.

They both also like my d-ring dogbone snaffle.

You should really try a few different bits on your horse and see which one works well with him. All horses are different.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 12:11 AM
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We've always used, with much success, Myler shank bits.

We have like 3 of this particular one but at one point our hard mouthed gelding was at a higher level bit.

Western Bits - Myler 5" HBT Shank Forward Tilt Ported Barrel (MB 36)

Also used this one to transition my QH from snaffle and he enjoyed it and responded well.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 08:31 AM
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We have Mangalarga Marchadors. Their gait can be either lateral, diagonal, or centered. We start our youngsters in a simple sweet iron snaffle with either a broken mouthpiece or Mullen Mouth (straight bar) depending upon how the horse responds. As their training continues we move to a bit that will give more effective communication, such as a Pelham with an appropriate mouthpiece.

This summer I'm going to try a full double bridle (bit and bradoon) on my mare. She's 17, well trained, and ready for this step. I may or may not continue with it, but it looks like it will be a fun project.

I regularly use double reins on the Pelham as she can get strong in open country and the extra "communication ability" can help her stay focused.

It's been my experience that most gaited horses work best "on the bit." I' don't really know why this is (but I think Lee Ziegler, RIP, has addressed it). If you're going to be on the bit you have to watch the configuration of the mouthpiece and ensure that your hands are not beating up the horse's mouth.

The selection of bit means you have to look at two things: what will work best in the horse's mouth and what can be effectively handled by the rider. The first consideration is not always within the rider's control, but the second clearly is.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-28-2010, 02:39 PM
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I currently use the Robart's "pinchless" Walking Horse bit. It's very similar to the one marketed and sold by Brenda Imus' "Gaits of Gold" but significantly less expensive and (IMO) actually a better design, using better-quality materials.

The horses I've ridden in the Robart's (TWHs) have done very well in it. One of them is my own "old reliable" trail buddy, a 12 year old TWH I've owned since he was three. The other horses, two in particular, often got very tense on trail. One was being ridden in a "Wonder Bit," the other was going in a double-twisted wire TWH bit. It was like a vicious circle with those bits, because if the horse got tense, the rider got nervous and took up more slack in anticipation of the horse having a "blow-up." That would make the horse even more anxious, until it was just a prancing ball of energy.

I've taken both horses out on trail (with other horses, and on their own) in the Robart's bit and they seem very relaxed and "happy" with it. . .while still being responsive to cues. I love the independently-moving sides and the "pinchless" feature in the corners of the mouth.

Side note:
As it often happens, when a trainer puts their name on a piece of equipment, the price jumps of the item significantly. I bought the Robart's bit last year after the Imus bit I'd owned for just a couple of years began breaking apart in the mouthpiece. While there have supposedly been "improvements" made to the Imus bit, it still costs about $30 more than the Robart's. . .personally, after the negative experience I had with the Imus product (and their customer service), I'll just stick to the Robart's.

"Parelli horsemanship is just like painting by the numbers. You need absolutely no skill. You just put this color here and this color there, and when you're done, you have ... a mess no one wants." mp
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-28-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I am currently using a low port bit with 6" shanks, after using a plain old snaffle with my filly. I started feeling like she wasn't being responsive enough, so I went on some advice from the person who helped train her and she suggested the low port. I just wanted to be sure it wasn't too much, so far she seems to be doing well with it though.
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