should i change bits? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 03:53 PM
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Also, I am not really fond of that dogbone bit that you have posted. The way the mouthpiece attaches to the shanks is not ideal.

I know you don't know me, or any of us, from a hole in the ground, so I'll introduce myself a bit. I raise QH's and Appies and start a lot of young horses. I do a wee bit of speed events, going to the provincial gymkhana club finals last year & placing 3rd in poles.
It's hard to do an evaluation from just a few written posts, but I would start with getting your horses teeth checked.
Next I'll ask, what are your cues going around the barrels? Where is your hand? Do you lift the rein or pull sideways?
Does your horse react the same with his mouth and body when doing a turn not around barrels?
Does he move his shoulders away from leg pressure?
Lots of questions, I know, but it can be so hard to help someone over the net.
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post #22 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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going around the barrels i slide my inside foot back to help push his hind end around so that he is straight when we go to the next barrel. i dont kick a whole lot like other people i mostly use my voice and kiss to speed him up. when we approach a barrel i shift a little back and barely lean and say "ease" to let him know we are about to turn and to ease up a little otherwise sometimes he flys past the barrel instead of turning around it. when we are going around i straighten up i just lean to help him start it off then hes fine.

yes he also does this when i turn him sharply whether around a barrel or not. its just worse when we are doing barrels because of the speed so it happens quicker probably making his mouth hurt more.

sometimes he moves away from pressure and sometimes he doesnt. im in the proccess of teaching him to move his shoulders, hind end, and body away from pressure. he doesnt know how to side pass or neck rein yet but ive only had him for about a year now with about 4 or 5 months being winter. i dont ride much in winter because it gets too cold or the ground is either ice or slush. he is still in training on this stuff but i hate the thought of a bit hurting him, disrupting the proccess and point of what im trying to teach him.

i dont mind the questions. it helps you understand my situation better. my horse is 10 so he should know some of this stuff by now but the people i got him from didnt do much with him. he has alot of potential as a barrel racer/ speed horse. he just needs help to get there and being in pain because of a bit doesnt help. im asking advice for which bit you think would help most without inflicting pain and that i could most likely use on him for the rest of his life as long as he works well in it.

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post #23 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 07:22 PM
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I love, love, love the bit that I pictured. My horses really seem to do well in it and I haven't had resentful, sore horses due to it. Personally, it'd be the bit I'd try first. I like the little S hacks, but more for finished horses that are already patterned and don't still need much training.
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post #24 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 08:15 PM
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Any chance you can get a video so we can see what's going on? Like reiningfan, I would get his teeth looked at, and like reiningfan, I don't like the dogbone you posted...if you do go the dogbone route, I'd recommend Jr. Cowhorse shanks based on your description. You've gotten plenty of good suggestions, though.
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post #25 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horserider33 View Post
he doesnt know how to side pass or neck rein yet but ive only had him for about a year now
I just want to highlight this. It is my understanding that a horse should not be ridden in a curb until it can neck rein, and that if direct rein is needed still, they should be in a snaffle still. Can someone like Bubba clarify this for me?
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post #26 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 09:17 PM
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If hes opening his mouth and you dont like it then get a nose band. Yes I realize western people dont use nosebands but you could start. That way he couldnt avoid the bit. But I still think you need to work on transitions.
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post #27 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 09:18 PM
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Your horse should be at least starting to understand neck reining before switching to a curb. Best case scenario is that it is already neck reining when you switch bits.
Some curbs don't lend themselves to direct reining at all. The one I posted pics of can be used two handed to help isolate specific parts of the horse.
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post #28 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JumperWithFire View Post
If hes opening his mouth and you dont like it then get a nose band. Yes I realize western people dont use nosebands but you could start. That way he couldnt avoid the bit. But I still think you need to work on transitions.
If she is worried that the bit is causing him discomfort, I wouldn't recommend a noseband. That could just make him sore & resentful if he has a dental issue.
If he were simply evading pressure, then I'd think of using one.
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post #29 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 10:20 PM
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I'm confuzzled by the viewpoint that some of the above bits are cruel, yet it's OK to use a noseband if your horse is avoiding the bit.
What, so he can't get away from the pain of it and has to grimace and bear it? No. If the horse is fighting the bit, the key is not to tie his mouth shut and force him to submit, but rather to change to a bit he likes and/or correct the necessary holes in the training. I've been saying this forever, but recently saw the following posted on the Myler Facebook page:

Quote:
Nosebands can make a horse's head look more elegant by breaking up the length of the head; if you must use a noseband, adjust it loosely. Don't strap your horse's mouth shut over the bit. If your horse is opening his mouth over the bit, there's a reason for it. A snug noseband can also cause painful lesions as the cheek is forced against the upper row of teeth.

...

Press your hands against your cheeks and move your lower jaw up and down. We had the opportunity to meet a terrific equine dentist at the CHA conference last October. She explained the lesions--she's seen them frequently but they aren't really noticeable with just a cursory exam and a standard float. It was a little startling to learn what goes on in a horse's mouth. I'll post her name when I find it. She was an excellent speaker.
As for neck-reining / curb, to me, it depends on the curb bit. A solid curb should only be used on a neck-reined horse. A broken curb, however, can be used with direct-reining, and frequently is. If it's a good, well-made bit, designed for this sort of use, I personally would have no problem using it on a horse that did not know how to neck-rein. I'm not sure that I would use that bit to introduce the concept of neck-reining to the horse, however.
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post #30 of 50 Old 08-11-2011, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
I'm confuzzled by the viewpoint that some of the above bits are cruel, yet it's OK to use a noseband if your horse is avoiding the bit.
What, so he can't get away from the pain of it and has to grimace and bear it? No. If the horse is fighting the bit, the key is not to tie his mouth shut and force him to submit, but rather to change to a bit he likes and/or correct the necessary holes in the training. I've been saying this forever, but recently saw the following posted on the Myler Facebook page:



As for neck-reining / curb, to me, it depends on the curb bit. A solid curb should only be used on a neck-reined horse. A broken curb, however, can be used with direct-reining, and frequently is. If it's a good, well-made bit, designed for this sort of use, I personally would have no problem using it on a horse that did not know how to neck-rein. I'm not sure that I would use that bit to introduce the concept of neck-reining to the horse, however.

I should be more specific. If I have a horse that is an older broke horse who has had their teeth checked and is sound, yet still gaping, I will put a noseband on fairly loose, just enough so that they can't gape their mouth open, yet not winching it shut.
Sometimes with older horses, they have figured out to open their mouth to avoid having to listen to the bit. I have found it especially common in horses that have been used as kids mounts. I would not use one when the kids are riding though.
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