Is a snaffle bit right for my horse? - Page 2
   

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Is a snaffle bit right for my horse?

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  • My horse doesnt listen to a dee ring snaffle with rollers
  • 6.5 inch french link

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    12-16-2012, 09:12 AM
  #11
Green Broke
My mare doesnt like the d-ring single jointed snaffle that I have her in now, but since the rest of my bits are shanked and she's regressed from that training level with 2 months off, she'll be in that until I can afford the double joint. She use to ride in a hack, but had just too much stop and I wasnt comfortable putting that rope noseband on her, and she'll need a bit for pleasure and reining. While she'll never be in the money in those disciplines, I still plan to work her in them to keep her from thinking arena means run the barrel pattern and nothing else. She'll be in the money with games, but I want her to be able to do other things without being fast, all the time. I finally got the lope that I've been looking to get from her, but she can still kick it into gear and haul ass. Now we just work on more seat for the stop and listening to neck reining all the time as opposed to when she feels like it..Then I can go back to the 3-piece reiner she loves.

Try a double jointed snaffle and possibly copper rollers, I'll bet any money that's why ST loves the reiner so much..otherwise she chews the bit when she gets bored (standing around at a show, etc).
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    12-16-2012, 09:44 AM
  #12
Trained
My gelding is a snot in anything BUT a double jointed snaffle. Or... he's ok in anything with shanks, even mouthpieces he doesn't like... but god help you if you put a single jointed or nonjointed snaffle in his mouth! Generally if a horse has a fear of the bit [which it sounds like yours might] it's best to go for something softer. I had a horse that was really quite dead in the mouth that I switched into a THICK rubber snaffle, which sounds counterintuitive but it worked!

Presently I am in the process of bridle training my young TB and while I presently have her in a single jointed full cheek snaffle she's going to be switched to a double jointed probably loose ring once she's got the hang of responding to bit aids.

Mum's new horse is presently in a single jointed full cheek but is a bit funny about bit aids so we're going to have a play and see what he likes. And Mum's pony [who will be 2 in a few days] was mouthed with the same bit I'm training Magic in, but is now in a lovely double jointed eggbutt. I've only met one horse that doesn't like a double jointed bit.
     
    12-16-2012, 09:53 AM
  #13
Green Broke
The size of the bit is super important! Imagine being stuffed into shoes 1.5 inches too small and told to run a race, or dance or just spend the day as normal. Try him in a properly fitting snaffle before moving to harsher bits.
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    12-16-2012, 11:38 AM
  #14
Yearling
A French-link snaffle is about the mildest bit a horse can have. If he tosses his head with that, he'll toss with anything. If it were my horse, I'd do the following:
-Be sure to know the bit size. Use only that bit size
-Find a french-link - it can be a dog-bone, lozenge, roller, or whatever in the middle, just as long as it has the 2 joints. But DON'T use a Dr Bristol, which looks confusingly similar.
-I'd use an eggbutt cheekpiece. It won't put any pressure on the side of his face, and can't pinch like a loose-ring can.
Between all that, and his having good teeth, he should have nothing to complain about. I'd have him wear it (without reins) while grooming, groundworking, etc, just so he could get used to the feel of it without any pressure on his mouth. When he stops tossing, you can start riding him with it. Make sure the bridle is adjusted correctly. If it's too loose or too tight, the bit can clank into his teeth. You should have one wrinkle at the corner of the mouth. Does he have his wolf-teeth still?
-Maryland Saddlery has a lot of inexpensive consignment bits - try them or eBay if you can't find an inexpensive or free one to try locally.
     
    12-16-2012, 12:01 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by freia    
You should have one wrinkle at the corner of the mouth.
Just wanted to say that this is a guideline, not a rule. My gelding has canines super far back, so he needs his bridle a little bit "tighter", and I know a bunch of horses that don't have any wrinkles at all, but if you check inside their mouths their bits are perfectly adjusted. Depends on the horse's individual mouth conformation.

My gelding has a small mouth and a really fat tongue with fleshy lips [to the point where his tongue pokes out the side when he has a bit in his mouth!], so a thin-ish double jointed snaffle works well for him. A mullen mouth [unjointed] snaffle is the next best thing for a horse with his mouth confo but for some reason he's a snot in one... his pelham is mullen mouth though because a] you're not allowed jointed ones here at the level I compete, and b] he hates ports. He's ok with a mullen mouth shanked bit.

My filly, I haven't had a really good look at, but her mouth seems pretty normal. She'll be in a double jointed snaffle just because I personally prefer them, unless she has some complaint against them in which case I'll use whatever she's happiest in. I'll mouth her in the single jointed full cheek I have just because it offers her a little more support with lateral bit aids. Her bit sits "high" in her mouth because she has really short lips.

Mum's filly used to be mine. I mouthed her with a single jointed full cheek snaffle, then moved her to a double jointed eggbutt snaffle once she'd figured it out. She's very soft in the mouth so she's happiest in a really soft bit. Her bit goes by the one wrinkle rule.

Mum's new gelding is presently in a single jointed full cheek snaffle, but we're going to play, because he's a bit funny about the bit and we want to see if changing it to something else makes any difference. I've offered her my thick double jointed loose ring snaffle [Monty hates it - too thick for his mouth, and he doesn't like loose rings - so I don't use it], and if it fits Ben and he's happy in it then I'll give it to her. We haven't played with bit placement with him yet - we pick him up probably Wednesday - but he has really short lips too so there's a good chance his bit will sit "high" too.
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    12-16-2012, 01:43 PM
  #16
Weanling
My head is spinning from all the information. But that's a good thing.

I am going to go with a french link snaffle first if I can find it in the proper size. It's not easy to find 6 1/2" bits I'm learning. There is no where locally that stocks them and what I've found online isn't a great selection, but luckily the snaffles don't seem to be too expensive at the larger size.

I do think he's afraid of the bit. The head tossing starts as soon as he sees metal on the headstall. So my plan was basically to put the headstall on him with a bit and do groundwork and grooming until he gets used to it and hopefully stops tossing his head. We'll see how it goes!
     
    12-16-2012, 01:57 PM
  #17
Trained
I'd be afraid of the bit too if someone put a bit in my mouth that was an INCH AND A HALF too small! Far out...

If you need to have a bit custom made, then go that route [shouldn't be TOO bad for something that is after all fairly standard], but there should be bits available in that size at draft horse outfitters [there are a few online stores but not having a horse that needs a bit that big I don't know what they are so you'll have to google it].

Just popping the bit in the horse's mouth and leaving it there for a while, doing nothing with it, is a good course of action to show him it won't hurt him any more. It's the first phase in "my" method of training a horse to accept the bit, too, and the horses I've 'mouthed' have ended up lovely and soft, and very willing to take the bit, so clearly it works.
     
    12-16-2012, 02:22 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
There are lots of snaffles. Lots of folks have a box of them stashed away somewhere...borrow some and try. There are 2 link and 3 link, narrow, med & wide links, O-rings, D-rings, eggbutt designs...

2 of my 3 horses don't give a rat's rear what is put in their mouth. OTOH, my mare takes a few rides to decide, and then she'll put up a fuss if she doesn't like it. Right now she seems happiest in a Waterford, which some people consider a harsh bit. However, she seemed almost as content in a copper full cheek snaffle, so I may go back to it. I'm not entirely certain she isn't playing a game to see how many bits she can get me to try...
I also have a horse that takes a 6.5" and I would like to know where this person is that has a box of those to try,
     
    12-16-2012, 02:23 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinaev    
My head is spinning from all the information. But that's a good thing.

I am going to go with a french link snaffle first if I can find it in the proper size. It's not easy to find 6 1/2" bits I'm learning. There is no where locally that stocks them and what I've found online isn't a great selection, but luckily the snaffles don't seem to be too expensive at the larger size.

I do think he's afraid of the bit. The head tossing starts as soon as he sees metal on the headstall. So my plan was basically to put the headstall on him with a bit and do groundwork and grooming until he gets used to it and hopefully stops tossing his head. We'll see how it goes!
Drafttack.com, you will find what you want.
     
    12-16-2012, 03:23 PM
  #20
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2many    
I also have a horse that takes a 6.5" and I would like to know where this person is that has a box of those to try,
I dunno. Any horse that big would scare me. I stick to skinny Arabians and a little BLM mustang. I figure any horse whose weight needs 4 digits to record probably eats more than I can afford to buy...
     

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