Bit ideas?
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Horse Tack > Horse Tack and Equipment

Bit ideas?

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

    Like Tree3Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        04-30-2013, 03:39 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Bit ideas?

    I have a 7 year old ottb. I purchased her in October 2012 and rode her constantly for 2 months, we were riding in a cheap English saddle and bridle, with a very thin snaffle bit, she seemed to really like that bit. When the snow hit and I basically stopped riding, I switched her to a western saddle and a double jointed snaffle. She HATED the double jointed snaffle (which was much thicker than her previous) She was always throwing her head and chomping on the bit. Last month I switched her to my barrel horses gag bit. She doesn't seem to mind this one, its in between sizes of the first two. I would like to find her a nice English bit, but can't really find one I like.

    She is a pretty easy going girl, likes to please and listens pretty well. Her only down fall is that, if she is in her "racing" mode, running against my boyfriends horse, she does take a little extra to stop. And after letting her run, she almost NEVER walks, she will do this trotty, prance thing the rest of the way home, even if that's another hour ride. I've been really trying to work with her on walking, but it's taking a bit of time, she is a little stubborn sometimes.

    Any ideas for what I can try???

    Oh, the first two bits were just the regular O shaped mouthpieces, not D rings or full cheek.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        05-01-2013, 08:30 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    As far as bits go...the thinner the mouthpiece, the stronger the bit. When you say she "likes" that bit better, do you mean she is easier to stop? Or does she throw her head with the thicker mouthpiece? If she is easier to stop, it's not that she likes it better, it's that it hurts more.

    Regular, single jointed snaffles work more off of pressure on the bars, and double jointed, or french link snaffles, work more on tongue pressure. My horse prefers double jointed ones because he has a low palate and those don't have the "nutcracker" effect that single jointed ones can have. Each horse is different and yours may just like the pressure on the bars of the mouth more than the tongue.

    As for the friskiness after running her, that's just her adrenaline rush. You can try circling her to try and calm her down, and I have heard that figure eights are also good for this. Some horses naturally come down from that high easier than others. I have a TB (never raced) and we can go galloping and come down to a walk on the buckle. He does a minute to stop though.
    BigBenLoverforLife likes this.
         
        05-01-2013, 08:54 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cosmomomo    
    As far as bits go...the thinner the mouthpiece, the stronger the bit. When you say she "likes" that bit better, do you mean she is easier to stop? Or does she throw her head with the thicker mouthpiece? If she is easier to stop, it's not that she likes it better, it's that it hurts more.

    Regular, single jointed snaffles work more off of pressure on the bars, and double jointed, or french link snaffles, work more on tongue pressure. My horse prefers double jointed ones because he has a low palate and those don't have the "nutcracker" effect that single jointed ones can have. Each horse is different and yours may just like the pressure on the bars of the mouth more than the tongue.

    As for the friskiness after running her, that's just her adrenaline rush. You can try circling her to try and calm her down, and I have heard that figure eights are also good for this. Some horses naturally come down from that high easier than others. I have a TB (never raced) and we can go galloping and come down to a walk on the buckle. He does a minute to stop though.
    What I meant by her liking the bit more was, she doesn't chop on it or throw her head like she does with the thicker bits. She just overall seems like a happier horse. She almost likes when she knows exactly what I want, like she's very proud of herself for knowing that I wanted her to turn that way without really using much rein. She does a really good job most days, I'm very surprised actually. Because I flip flop from western to English, I neck rein some days and direct the other. As for leg cues, I've tried the western way but I can never actually do it. I learned to ride when I was little and I learned english, I've never been able to get over that either. As of lately, I've been riding in an English saddle with my barrel racing bridle and reins and gag bit, using only one hand and neck reining, and then using english leg cues. Somehow she's figured out that I'm crazy and knows what I want lol.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        05-01-2013, 09:02 PM
      #4
    Trained
    Why don't you just put her back in the thinner snaffle then?

    It doesn't matter what saddle you are in to neck or direct rein. It also doesn't matter which "style" leg cues you learned (I don't even know what you mean by using "western" leg cues....I've ridden and shown both and have not had any change)

    I would remove the gag bit for now.
         
        05-01-2013, 09:30 PM
      #5
    Foal
    I sold off all of my English gear a few months ago. I bought a very nice barrel saddle and fancy bling headstall, and I never planned on riding English again, since I just ride trails. I'm kicking myself for that now!

    I mostly get made fun of for riding in an English saddle with all my western stuff and neck reining. Apparently it's frowned upon. I don't care much, I laugh at myself for it as well.

    As for the leg cues, when you ride English, you squeeze right leg to go right and left leg to go left. Just like in direct reining, left hand to go left.
    I know there is a requirement for using the outside leg as well, however this is how I think about it and basically the only way I can explain it.

    In the years I've ridden western horses, I have picked up that they are taught the opposite. They are suppose to move against the pressure, so when you turn right, you squeeze your left leg. That goes along with the neck reining, when you lay the reins across the neck to the right, the horse goes left.

    Sorry if that makes no sense, I'm trying to make sense of it in my own head still...either way, that is how I ride and my mare seems to know what I want. Now if I jump on my old barrel mare, I can give her any leg cue and she will only listen to her neck reins. If I jump on my friends western trail horse and give the leg cues I'm used to, she has NO idea what I want.

    I'm looking for a new bit so that I can get rid of the gag bit, but she WAY prefers that to the double jointed snaffle!
         
        05-01-2013, 10:02 PM
      #6
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cosmomomo    
    As far as bits go...the thinner the mouthpiece, the stronger the bit. When you say she "likes" that bit better, do you mean she is easier to stop? Or does she throw her head with the thicker mouthpiece? If she is easier to stop, it's not that she likes it better, it's that it hurts more...
    I think I disagree. Depending on the horse's mouth, a thinner bit might fit better and be more comfortable for the horse to carry.

    My mare responds well to poll pressure - something gag bits and curb bits provide, and that snaffles do not.

    And if a horse gets excited, it may take more 'pain' to cut thru her excitement. My mare will stop off of seat when she isn't excited. If she thinks she is racing another horse, then seat won't do it. Neither will a snaffle - she'll just extend her head out, clench her teeth, and cheerfully ignore the snaffle. But she responds quickly to mild poll pressure. She can't avoid it, and it just seems to make sense to her.

    Fat snaffles are not the answer for every horse. Right now, it looks like Mia will be using this bit full time. She responds quickly & well, neck reins with it, and doesn't toss her head or pull against it on a trail ride. On our last ride, a couple of motorcycles opened up full bore about 50 feet from her. She started to tense up, I gave a light tap on the reins, and she stood still and waited. Since the motorcycles were leaving, she quickly realized she could go back to walking - all of which was far less harsh than my yanking her around with a snaffle. And while walking or trotting, she keeps her head level and quiet, unlike how she behaved with a snaffle (any of the 5 or 6 I tried):

         
        05-01-2013, 11:06 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Yes, she may like the thinner mouthpiece better if it fits in her mouth better. There is no denying that. However, a thinner mouthpiece DOES translate to being a harsher bit. Saying that's not true is like saying it hurts less to get smacked in the leg with a piece of wire than it does with a steel rod at equal force.
    If you don't have any experience to relate to that analogy, then I can't help you.
    I was simply questioning HOW she thought the horse liked it better. (i.e. Whether she stopped better, or didn't throw her head as much.)
         
        05-01-2013, 11:18 PM
      #8
    Trained
    I guess if someone is accustomed to jerking on the reins a lot, then a thinner bit would be harsher. But if you leave your horse's mouth be, then a thinner one might well be more comfortable for the horse. And if you use whatever pressure is needed to get a response, then release, then whatever pressure is used is up to the horse, who probably responds at about the same point in terms of psi.

    If you switch from a snaffle to a gag or curb, then you are also applying pressure outside the mouth, which might result in less pressure in the mouth.
         
        05-01-2013, 11:53 PM
      #9
    Showing
    When your horse raced it knew it was heading back to it's stall and that's likely what it did at the end of the race. When it does this for you, turn around and head back the other way. Get you boyfriend on his horse to do the same. She will be royally confused but don't turn for home until she settles down. It's going to take a while to fix this but being consistant helps.
         
        05-02-2013, 08:18 AM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
    When your horse raced it knew it was heading back to it's stall and that's likely what it did at the end of the race. When it does this for you, turn around and head back the other way. Get you boyfriend on his horse to do the same. She will be royally confused but don't turn for home until she settles down. It's going to take a while to fix this but being consistant helps.
    The weird part is, she doesn't seem like she wants to go back home. She knows we don't ever go home until she walks nicely, but she loves being out! She's very excited to leave the barn, very excited to go work! We never run them anywhere near the barn. She just wants to keep going after we run, doesn't matter which way we turn, she just wants to go. If it was up to her, we wouldn't ever walk, we would trot or run the whole way.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Dissertation ideas regarding laminitis. Any ideas? AmyCH Horse Health 3 03-27-2013 04:14 PM
    Horse who doesn't like taking the bit, maybe a bit change? LovesMyDunnBoy Horse Tack and Equipment 10 09-13-2012 06:25 PM
    Good Bit Ideas? ChipsAhoy Horse Tack and Equipment 11 07-05-2012 07:14 PM
    I found an old bit today..Ideas? DrumRunner General Off Topic Discussion 2 04-12-2012 07:12 PM
    Bit ideas for barrel racing BojoBanjo Western Riding 12 02-04-2010 12:08 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:10 AM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0