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should i change bits?

This is a discussion on should i change bits? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        08-10-2011, 03:33 AM
      #11
    Trained
    The problem lies at the other end of the reins. Changing the bit won't help.
         
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        08-10-2011, 04:10 AM
      #12
    Banned
    OP--Could be a dental problem, could be a physical problem as others have suggested, could (very likely) be a training problem. I don't have a whole lot of advice on the bitting end except to get out of the Tom Thumb. Maybe start with a simple snaffle, just to see how your suppling and flexibility is going with the plainest bit of all. If you have a coach or trainer, enlist their help. I imagine this horse needs a solid course in the basics of giving the pressure, bending, etc. When you get going consistent again, you might look at a dogbone Jr. Cowhorse as a starting place for a curb bit.

    Wait, one more thing to throw out--what about a Little S hackamore?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    Can you tell me how that bit is different from the Tom Thumb? I see fundamentally the same sort of bit, though the curves differ a bit and the twist is different, of course.
    And the gag--there's one huge difference in action right off the bat. It'll pull through the mouth, gradually tightening on the lips and bars, adding poll and curb pressure as it goes and pulls back and up on the tongue. Then you have far less leverage in the Cervi than in the TT. Why? Although the overall cheeks are longer, the ratio of shank to purchase is 1:1 as opposed to, what, 4:1 in your average TT? The magnification of leverage pressure will be negligible on the Cervi (at its maximum when the gag is fully engaged, but still probably only a quarter or third again added) while the average TT is going to multiple pressure on the reins fourfold. That's a lot of pressure on the jaw. Along with the gag mentioned earlier, you've also got the obvious "loose jaw," which is always a huge advantage for curb bits, lending itself to ease and subtlety of cues. A better finished mouthpiece with a smaller, more mobile central joint seals the deal. I disagree with kevin that the Cervi bits are the stuff of nightmares. Save for the twisted and too-thin smooth mouthpieces, they are definitely the lighter, better, less harsh bits of the two discussed.
    Stillstandin and Horserider33 like this.
         
        08-11-2011, 01:33 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Ok. Based on your posts and also some research I did im looking at these two:


    (both pictures/ products from chickssaddlery.com)

    My problem with the hack in the first pic is in the description it says that there is not much stopping ability. I currantly have a mechanical hack on one of my horses and it works well her but im not sure how well it would on Joe(my barrel horse) I have rode Joe in a halter before so I trust him but the control part didnt go so well lol. He can have a very bad "you are not the boss of me" attitude at times and its VERY difficult to get him to do much unlesss you have a shank bit in his mouth. He is MUCH better with minding me and listening to me than in the first few months we had him. On the website that the pics came from the bits are on sale and I might try the dogbone bit first and if that works well then I wont bother to try anything else but I will think about trying the hack on him anyway. If it doesnt work I can always try it on some of my other horses. If you have any other ideas on this let me know
    Thanks!
         
        08-11-2011, 02:37 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    If a horse is stiff to one direction, I always assume it is, like Bubba said, either a physical or training problem. I would get the horse out of the bit it is in and get it into either a snaffle or a bit where you can isolate shoulders and get lateral movement.
    This is my "go to" bit for horses I am moving out of a snaffle.


    This one is short shanked, but I have the same basic mouth with other lengths of shanks as well.


    As you can see, I can lift one side and get movement and therefore a cue, on the side I want. Impossible to do with a tom thumb.


    For your horse, I would go back to basics, ask for turns on the haunches and forehand, do some sidepassing, two tracking, etc, to get it's body moving and loosened up. If you can get both sides going well and not stiff, you will have an easier time with your patterns in the long term.
         
        08-11-2011, 02:38 PM
      #15
    Banned
    Trust me--you'll have plenty of stopping power in the Little S, if you decide to go that way.
         
        08-11-2011, 03:40 PM
      #16
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by reiningfan    
    If a horse is stiff to one direction, I always assume it is, like Bubba said, either a physical or training problem. I would get the horse out of the bit it is in and get it into either a snaffle or a bit where you can isolate shoulders and get lateral movement.
    This is my "go to" bit for horses I am moving out of a snaffle.


    This one is short shanked, but I have the same basic mouth with other lengths of shanks as well.


    As you can see, I can lift one side and get movement and therefore a cue, on the side I want. Impossible to do with a tom thumb.


    For your horse, I would go back to basics, ask for turns on the haunches and forehand, do some sidepassing, two tracking, etc, to get it's body moving and loosened up. If you can get both sides going well and not stiff, you will have an easier time with your patterns in the long term.
    I don't barrel race anymore and seldom even ride western. BUT, I have seen this bit in a couple of threads and I really like what I see with it. The mechanics are nice! I would definitely try this bit if I was riding western.


    I really agree with Kevin about the Cervi bits!!!
         
        08-11-2011, 03:54 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Agree with kevinshorses. Problems stopping and turning are not solved by a harsher bit. Just made worse and the only result is a harder mouthed horse. Transitions people! Practicing transitions means everything! I ride all my horses in a loose ring snaffle. :) As far as barrel racing goes though Im not quite sure what you start them out in.
         
        08-11-2011, 03:59 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Im not trying to get a harsher bit. Im actually trying to get a softer bit but one that still has control for his attitude moments
         
        08-11-2011, 04:12 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Ignore that last post lol. I added more to it:
    Im not trying to get a harsher bit. Im actually trying to get a softer bit but one that still has control for his attitude moments and also one that doesnt hurt his mouth.
    I understand everyone's veiw points that say it may be my fault and I might be riding him incorrectly and I don't want to sound rude but I don't think its my fault when he opens his mouth and winces in pain. I know that I am kinda causing it by being the one is pulling on his mouth to get around the barrel but its the bit that is hurting him. Also I can't help it when im trying to get through the pattern when competing. At home I don't have an area big enough or anyplace close to me that has enough room to practice RUNNING the barrels. At home I can only trot to teach the pattern but there is only this problem when my horse is running the barrels and while im working with other stuff that involves tight turns. Other than that he is pretty good with the bit he has.
    I will try to get both the s hack and the dogbone bit and will try them both. I honestly am reluctant to continue training because I hate knowing that im hurting him everytime I ride him.
         
        08-11-2011, 04:42 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Have you had his teeth looked at? From the description of his reaction, I'd say that would be an avenue to try.
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