english bit vs. western bit - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 20 Old 03-30-2008, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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english bit vs. western bit

What exactly makes it a western bit and an english bit? What is particually better?
I know the snaffle is said to be the gentlest bit for english, but what's the most gentle western bit?

If I decide to do western with my horse, could I still use an english bit? I know I can for pleasure riding...but what about for shows? I don't think I can, but just wanted to make sure.

If I just do pleasure western what bit would be best?

My horse is on an eggbutt snaffle at the moment, and listens fairly good with it, but does have his moments (at least twice while riding) where he won't listen (aka not stop or turn).
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-30-2008, 09:24 PM
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Snaffles are western bits too.... but curb bits are more of the traditional western bit...... so the gentlest western bit is still a snaffle, but if you want a true western then you need one with short shanks
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-30-2008, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
Snaffles are western bits too.... but curb bits are more of the traditional western bit...... so the gentlest western bit is still a snaffle, but if you want a true western then you need one with short shanks
there are snaffles for western? Didn't know that...would the short shanks get more responce from Sonny do you think?
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-30-2008, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
Snaffles are western bits too.... but curb bits are more of the traditional western bit...... so the gentlest western bit is still a snaffle, but if you want a true western then you need one with short shanks
there are snaffles for western? Didn't know that...would the short shanks get more responce from Sonny do you think?
the basic snaffle is used in western too, so they aren't necessarily western ones..... the snaffle I have on my western bridle I can take off and throw on an english bridle and it'd be perfectly fine.....

Curb bits work off of leverage instead of direct pressure.... so he has to know how to flex at the poll, but because you said he was trained western I don't think you would have a problem..... it wouldn't hurt to try a short shanked curb sometime
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I am definitely planning on using one, but I don't want to go out and buy one and end up not using it.
Maybe the barn owner will let me borrow a western bit or two to try...if they are the right size.
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 10:08 AM
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Shanks.
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 10:34 AM
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Acceptable bits for western or engish are really only determined by show rules.

In western pleasure, a horse that is under 6 years old may wear an O-ring or D-ring snaffle for showing. Also, the riders may use two hands. When the horse turns six though, you have to use a shanked bit and ride single handed in show classes.

The reason for the two handed rule is that snaffles are basically useless without two hands, so riding one handed in a snaffle defeats the purpose.

For english, shanks are prohibited, so riders will only use english snaffles, kimberwicks, or pelhams. I don't think there are any age related rules.

So basically what I'm getting at is that you can ride in a snaffle, but if your horse is 6 years old or older you can't show western in one.
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim

In western pleasure, a horse that is under 6 years old may wear an O-ring or D-ring snaffle for showing. Also, the riders may use two hands. When the horse turns six though, you have to use a shanked bit and ride single handed in show classes.

So basically what I'm getting at is that you can ride in a snaffle, but if your horse is 6 years old or older you can't show western in one.
Its 5 and under around here
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 10:51 AM
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"under 6" - "5 and under"...thats the same though right?
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post #10 of 20 Old 03-31-2008, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim
"under 6" - "5 and under"...thats the same though right?
same thing to me...

What western snaffle with a shank closely resembles the Eggbutt snaffle? Sonny likes the eggbutt, but I want something mainly that he's gong to respond to
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