Best bit for a horse with no brakes? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 04-05-2009, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Best bit for a horse with no brakes?

One of my mares is a bit hard to stop.

I have tried a thousand bits on her - she just loves to go. I don't know if it's a bit problem as much as a will problem - I just don't think she wants to stop once she starts going. She loves to run.

And ideas on a western bit that might make stopping her a bit easier?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:05 AM
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Better training.

Go back to the ground and work on the whoa from there, then work your way back into the saddle.
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post #3 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:07 AM
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I agree with Solon.

My horse is hard to stop and after a long break I gotta go back to ground work to get him polished on his 'Whoa'.
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post #4 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Tried it. She "whoas" fine from the ground. Be it lunging, at liberty, in hand. She has no problem stopping while on the ground, both verbally and through contact. Under saddle she stops fine while walking and trotting. It's when we canter and gallop that she has trouble.

ETA: That's my first instinct too, is to go back to the ground. But on the ground she has complete respect, and does anything I ask. So I don't know what the problem is.
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post #5 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:12 AM
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Just work her more in a snaffle. My horse does the same thing. He will speed up and get unsteady at the lope. What has worked for me, is trying to ride a perfect circle. That or I will work on starting with a big circle, and making it smaller, then bigger again. It gets him listening to me.
I would stay in a snaffle though and just work on various exercises, transistions, etc.

How old is the horse and how long in work?
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post #6 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:14 AM
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Then something isn't connecting with how you are telling her to 'whoa' from the saddle. You may be giving her conflicting messages.

What do you do when you ask her to stop?

Does she whoa when cantering on the lunge line?
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post #7 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:14 AM
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Maybe after warming her up in the saddle you can make her run herself tired at a canter. Then after a bit of running she will listen to you better. It works for my horse, but my horse is notorious for being lazy.

You can even probably use a wall (not a fenced one, but a wall that she can't jump) to help will stopping. (But of course have enough distance to tell her to stop, like fifty or forty feet ahead of time. Don't go charging at a wall and ten feet before it ask her to stop... but I am sure you already know that is pretty unsafe).
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post #8 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:16 AM
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I let my horse run around the arena and get rid of that first bit of energy. Then he's focused on the riding.
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post #9 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:47 AM
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Training and muscle issue.

If you cannot stop your horse in a snaffle, then you are using force to MAKE her stop--no ands, ifs, or butts.

And if you have tried other bits, has it occurred to you that she may run through a 'stop' signal because she's afraid of the pain in her mouth? Many horses do this.

Stopping at the canter is hard on a horse--and hard for a horse when they don't have the proper muscles to do it. One classical dressage trainer said something to the effect of, 'you only have so many canter-to-halts in a horse. Use them wisely!'

Work on getting your horse to respond to a canter-to-trot transition, EASILY and gently. Then Canter-trot-walk. Then take the trot steps out slowly (over a course of a few weeks) until it's canter-to-walk. Then Canter-to-stop should be easy.

Don't be too hard on a horse--stopping on the lunge is a lot different then stopping with a rider, especially one that could be hindering the horse. Be careful, don't use too much hand, and praise often.

There is no reason to go to a bigger bit just to get a horse to stop.

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post #10 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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She is 16. I've had her for 2 years now. She was a competition cutting horse at three, and then was made a brood mare after an injury. She is extremely fast.

I lunge her before we ride to let off some energy.

As for something not connecting in the saddle, I'm not doing anything different on her than I've ever done on any horse - I'm not leaning forward or asking her to go with my legs. I've had quite a few people watch us ride and asked them if it looks like I'm doing anything wrong, and they've all said no. She also has trouble stopping when others ride her, so I honestly don't feel like I'm asking her wrong. I feel as though she just wants to keep going, and the pressure from the bit isn't bothersome enough for her to yield to it.

And yes, on the lunge line she stops from a canter.

ETA: Mayfeild, I'm not necessarily talking about coming to a complete halt from a canter. I understand that that is very difficult for a horse. I'm simply talking about slowing. She has a tendency to delay response. It takes her too long to transition from a canter to a trot. Once she's trotting, she has no problem stopping. She -loves- to run.

I have also -never- used anything but a snaffle variation, with different length cheeks and that sort of thing. I've never used anything labeled "harsh" or "strong" - only "moderate" to "medium."

I guess my question should have been more clear.

Last edited by LeahKathleen; 04-06-2009 at 12:53 AM.
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