Which Bit?

       The Horse Forum > Horse Tack > Horse Tack and Equipment

Which Bit?

This is a discussion on Which Bit? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

Like Tree10Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    02-29-2012, 01:16 PM
Which Bit?

Hi there. Im going to make this short and too the point. I used to use a loose ring snaffle on my horse, and he would completely lean on my hands. I was carrying his head entirely. So I switched to a kimberwick. It works great, he collects with very little contact. However, im worried its too harsh for jumping. He isnt stretching his neck over the jumps, even though I release. As well, I kind of feel like im cheating, because the bit does all the work. Any suggestions?
Sponsored Links
    02-29-2012, 03:29 PM
I would really consider going back to a mild snaffle and spend lots of time properly schooling your horse. Most of the reasons that a horse leans on the bit can be solved with proper schooling in a mild snaffle, but no amount of schooling will help if it is because the rider is hanging on the reins. It takes 2 to hang on the reins!
I would spend lots of time working on transitions. Lots of transitions! Also be sure you are half halting properly. If you are having trouble it would be worth it to get some lessons. It can really help having someone on the ground who can see things that you cannot see or are not even aware of.

I really like french link snaffles, I use the eggbutt french link a lot, but I also like the full cheek and dee ring french links too! A loose ring french link might be a good one for your horse, being a loose ring it can make it a little harder to lean on, and the french link in my opinion is way better that the single joint. Single joints can be like nutcrackers and they can learn to lean on it. Most important thing to remember is to really be aware of your contact, really work on keeping everything soft, following relaxed and elastic.
    02-29-2012, 03:55 PM
Super Moderator
I have a couple of questions that may or may not have significance, bear with me:
Is this horse a gray? Is the kimberwick jointed or unjointed?
Have you had his teeth checked by a vet?
    03-01-2012, 11:11 AM
Originally Posted by HorsesAreMyPassion    
If you are having trouble it would be worth it to get some lessons. It can really help having someone on the ground who can see things that you cannot see or are not even aware of.
I actually do take lessons, one jumping and one flat a week. My trainer says that I should stay in the kimberwick so that I can focus on my riding rather then what my horse is doing.
    03-01-2012, 11:12 AM
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
I have a couple of questions that may or may not have significance, bear with me:
Is this horse a gray? Is the kimberwick jointed or unjointed?
Have you had his teeth checked by a vet?
Yes, he is grey. The kimberwick is unjointed. And he had his teeth done two summers ago, and checked last year. He'll have them checked again in a month or so. Im curious as to why his color matters!
Wallaby likes this.
    03-01-2012, 11:22 AM
I think there's things called grey horse melanomas (sp?) which is why they asked
Posted via Mobile Device
Wallaby likes this.
    03-01-2012, 01:27 PM
Super Moderator
Why I asked was that there are these things called "gray horse melanomas" (basically harmless tumors, unless they are interfering with life functions) that all gray horses eventually get, some get them sooner than others.
A very common place for these melanomas to crop up is in the corners of the mouth (my gray mare has them there). When they're in the corners of the mouth, they seem to really impinge upon the horse's ability to feel any sort of jointed bit. The horse, in my experience, starts leaning on the bit, rooting in response to hard bit pressure, and generally just being kind of ornery about bit cues.

With my horse, at least, she's terribly dull and lean-y in any jointed bit but put a solid bit in her mouth and she's super light and responsive.

That's why I ask, it sounded to me like your horse was displaying "classic" symptoms. I could be totally off base, of course, but check the corners of your horse's mouth. If they feel hard and kinda lumpy, you've found the problem.

I haven't tried a mullen mouth snaffle on my mare yet but I have found that she really enjoys a ported pelham. I stick on on her and just attach a snaffle rein, no curb rein, and she goes along quite happily and very lightly. Of course, for showing, a ported pelham with just a snaffle rein probably wouldn't cut it.

Basically, any solid mouthpiece (if the melanomas are his problem) is going to be the ticket for you two. I'd stay away from leverage bits that give you no option to not use leverage, like a kimberwick, if possible just because you don't want to be accidentally encouraging false collection.

Good luck! :)
smrobs and SullysRider like this.
    03-01-2012, 02:16 PM
That's great to be having 2 lessons/week! It is difficult giving advice when you don't really know the whole story! I just mentioned the first things that came to mind, teeth and other health issues to have the vet check should have been mentioned in my post as well, I always consider these things if there is any kind of a problem.

I find it strange that your trainer gets you to ride him in the kimberwick though, and not try and work through the issue in a snaffle?! Maybe he does have melanomas?

I have a 17.1 hand TB, I got him when he was 4. He was race trained, so he was trained to take hold of that bit and go! He is a very large powerful horse and I am only 5 feet 2 inches and I can ride him in a happy mouth snaffle outdoors hacking out, but mostly I just use a regular stainless steel french link snaffle. It would have been easy to just put a stonger bit in his mouth, but I spent a ton of time schooling him, etc and I really had to concentrate on my own contact, feel timing, seat and legs,etc and really learn how to ride him properly. He was my first horse and he taught me a lot!

Maybe I just have a thing about thinking people should be able to ride just about anything in a mild snaffle! I do realize too that even a mild snaffle can be harsh in the wrong hands and a stronger bit can be kind in the right hands!

Good luck with your horse!
    05-11-2012, 01:41 PM
So, I've done some research, and what was recommended to me was a french link baucher. Any opinions on this bit?
    05-14-2012, 12:37 PM

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:29 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0