Best bit for a horse with no brakes? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mayfieldk View Post
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.
Love your posts, mayfield.


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post #12 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
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..
That tells me right away that she either does not understand the aids correctly or as Mayfieldk stated...""and hard for a horse when they don't have the proper muscles to do it""

This means you ensure the aids are correct...every time. If that is OK then the muscling is not there and she is running on her forehand because she does not have the power at the rear to act in a supportive way. Support = strength and the ability to go slower while maintaining a gait.

If she is being ridden in a snaffle I would turn her by closing the outside rein on her and opening the inside rein so the turn becomes sharper. This will make her have to re balance herself to make the turn and in order to do that she MUST slow down a bit....and THAT is when you apply a half halt to slow her down farther.
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post #13 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't asking for bigger, just different.

I do appreciate the advice. I ask here because I know the people on this forum are smart.

I just specifically asked for a bit because I have gone back to ground work, I have worked on everything I have been told to work on, she is medically sound, her teeth have been done. She has excellent, smooth transitions from walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter, trot to walk, trot to stop, and walk to stop. Her canter to trot transition is delayed longer than it should be.

But I'll take everything said into consideration. Thanks.
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post #14 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 02:55 AM
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Hi,

Agree with what others have said, esp Mayfield. First & foremost, rule out pain. You said she's medically sound, teeth done, which is great. Also make sure her back & saddle aren't causing her discomfort. I would personally ditch the bit all together until you teach her to be responsive to you. I've had plenty of success 'retraining' many a confirmed 'problem child' by simply removing the implements of pain. Some actually don't even require further training - eliminating pain was all that it took.

Single joint snaffles can be extremely harsh when used forcefully. Any bit is harsh when used forcefully actually and many horses have problems with bits generally, regardless of how well they may be used & fitted. See Dr Cook's site for more info on possible issues.

I do not use a bit of any kind on a horse before it's well enough trained that it wasn't needed forcefully for control.
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post #15 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
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.
My horse is like that too. She's very slow on ground and does have a perfect "whoa", but as long as I'm in saddle she's getting all excited and quick as a bolt.

I'm not sure bit is a way to go. I agree with other posters about the transitions. You can also do smaller circle so she'll be more controlled.

Last edited by kitten_Val; 04-06-2009 at 08:36 AM.
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post #16 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahKathleen View Post
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.
I agree, first I would rule out pain. I would have an equine chiropractor out to check her back and your saddle fit and placement. A sore back or slightly ill fitting saddle can make a horse "spooky" or hard to handle.

Ideally, you want better training, not a bigger bit. If you can afford it, I would find a good all-around trainer that can give you lessons and help worth with you both at the same time. You need to learn to use more than just your hands to stop, and re-sensitize your mare to the bit and your cues in general.

If money is a factor (and isn't it to all of us! Lol), then I would try one of the following bits (as well as getting some training books and/or videos and try to work on it yourself).

You need to neck rein with these:
Schneider Saddlery
Reinsman Billy Allen Reiner Bit

You can do some minor direct reining with these (light pull with either hand to turn):
Good Water Argentine Bit by Partrade
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Black Steel Training Snaffle Bit 5 Inch Mouth

Full direct reining is fine with these:
Schneider Saddlery
Schneider Saddlery
Myler Comfort Combo Hack
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post #17 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
I just specifically asked for a bit because I have gone back to ground work, I have worked on everything I have been told to work on, she is medically sound, her teeth have been done. She has excellent, smooth transitions from walk to trot, trot to canter, walk to canter, trot to walk, trot to stop, and walk to stop. Her canter to trot transition is delayed longer than it should be.
I would also look closely at her diet. Diet plays a LARGE role in horse behavior. What is she eating exactly and how much? Grain? Hay? Supplements?

Last edited by luvs2ride1979; 04-06-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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post #18 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
I agree, first I would rule out pain. I would have an equine chiropractor out to check her back and your saddle fit and placement. A sore back or slightly ill fitting saddle can make a horse "spooky" or hard to handle.

Ideally, you want better training, not a bigger bit. You need to learn to use more than just your hands to stop, and re-sensitize your mare to the bit and your cues in general.

I ruled out pain issues before posting this. She has been checked for saddle fit.

I wasn't asking for "bigger" or "harsher," simply different, something that feels a bit different in her mouth. I haven't had luck with my usual methods of dealing with problems like this - most horses indeed need work on the ground, have a pain issue, or something else. In my experience, different horses like different things - some just respond better to a different type of bit. I was just hoping someone with a horse similar to mine had found a bit that their horse liked and that worked for them.

Anyway, thank you for the bit suggestions.
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post #19 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 10:51 PM
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What does your trainer advise?

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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post #20 of 53 Old 04-06-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not working with a trainer at the moment. However, I've spoken with several at our equestrian center regarding this issue, and was essentially told to rule out pain, go back to the ground, and evaluate my cues, and if everything checked out ok, which it did, to try some different bits and see what she liked best. I have had no luck. Which led me to my question.
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