Which bit do you think would work? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-26-2012, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Which bit do you think would work?

I ride Suri in a fat french link snaffle, but for jumping (or big open spaces) it's simply not enough bit. She goes very nicely in the snaffle for flat work, uphill, soft and stops/slows off the seat. However, when jumps are introduced she brushes me off and rushes like a mad woman who must clear the fences as fast as possible. In fields when we go in a snaffle she gets very heavy in the bridle and quite fast. She is not excessively green to fences and jumps calmly in the Summer but when the weather cools down she is just so full of energy! I am currently jumping her in a french link dutch gag/four ring elevator/bubble bit and double reins. The problem with this is she falls behind the bridle and tosses her head quite a bit even when I ride with contact on just the biggest ring attached directly to the bit she still acts like it's simply too much bit. It is slightly narrower than the flat snaffle so I am not sure if perhaps that is the issue. So basically my question is, what bit should I go to? I am thinking a fat french link pelham with double reins so that I could do the majority of my riding off the snaffle rein and only employ the curb rein when necessary. Does that sound alright or is there something else I should consider? Oh and I also have tried a kimberwick before, single joint and ported. The ported made her bit sour (I am not heavy with my hands but it may either be that her mouth is not suited for a port or she simply is not a fan) and I rode with the single jointed one for awhile but for some reason after awhile she would no longer turn, I put her back in a snaffle and wha-la turns! Oh and I have tried a mehcanical hack but that was too strong as well. Suggestions? Brownie points if you read the whole thing!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-28-2012, 07:54 AM
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I may be wrong but it sounds to me like your mare is just getting excited. You say that when you jump her in a snaffle she rushes and when you put a bigger bit on her she tosses her head. I don't think shes tossing her head because it's too much bit but because it IS working to slow her down but she doesn't like it.

I don't really know what to suggest except maybe working her on the flat more when she gets excited and if she rushes towards the fence, steer her off course until shes calm again and repeat until she approaches calmly.

You could also try a different kind of snaffle. I like the french links but they tend to be very very soft. Maybe you could try a twisted wire snaffle?

I ride pleasure horses mostly and don't know much about jumpers. But I hope this helps!
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-28-2012, 02:07 PM
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I agree with the face the music except for the part about the twisted wire snaffle, it may work at first but over time it makes the horses mouth "dull" and she might just pull through the bit and still rush the fences, try a pelham, but I suggest, you simply jump her more( sounds weird right) if you ride her more often it will seem like less of a big deal come colder weather and she might settle in. As far as bits, bigger can sometimes make a horse more hot and anxious/ unhappy, I'd keep what u got:) hope this helped, if not oh well:)
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-28-2012, 02:49 PM
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I have a hot horse (hot even when he eats nothing but hay) who is ridden in a half moon port french link kimberwick. The curb action is basically nil compared to others, but he too can be over bitted quite easily and 99% of the time responds quite well to it.
The Saddlery :: Quarter Moon Kimberwick Bit (by Smith-Worthington) - Canyon Creek Saddlery

Your horse sounds a lot like mine - a bit rowdy and fresh, but has good intentions towards her job. Can you throw in some extra work on the flat (dressage or something) to focus her mind a bit more? But I'd be inclined to keep working with the french link - it is so hard to bring a horse back to a snaffle type mouth once they have worn a stronger bit for too long...hope this helps!

Clippityclop is finally getting to spend some time in the saddle!
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-28-2012, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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We do dressage between jumping days, but we do miss days so, you're right we should do more. For the most part her flat work is pretty good (she is still a greenie so she has her quirks) it's just when the jumps go up that she gets excited. I won't use a twisted wire snaffle as it would make her way too dull. I understand what hanna said about jumping more but since it's wintertime we are doing as much jumping as possible (we have an outdoor arena). I am very much the type of person that likes to ride all my horses in the softest bit possible, and I was very hesitant to move her into anything stronger, but, when I have to haul on her face after a jump to keep her from hurting us, a snaffle isn't really soft anymore. I am thinking we will just stick to low grids and lots of pole work in the snaffle (she generally doesn't get too excited over tiny jumps) and see if I can get her to focus on me a bit more(and more dressage!). Thanks everybody for your suggestions!
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