Bit questions

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Bit questions

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

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    10-21-2009, 12:50 PM
Super Moderator
Bit questions

I'm looking to try something other than a slow twist. We do not have a lot of whoa right now (my hunt pony - he's been ridden by a teen that let him get away with too much - she no longer rides him). We CAN get the whoa back but it's going to take a lot of back to the basics work.

What does a french link do? How severe is it and what is it "for"?


And I was interested in some mylars too... not quite this one but close:

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    10-21-2009, 01:04 PM
Super Moderator
This is more the one I was looking at:
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    10-21-2009, 05:41 PM
You can put a double twisted wire leverage bit in a horse's mouth and you aren't going to have any more "whoa" than if you had a snaffle in the mouth. You're just going to have a pissed off horse.

I'm glad that you are looking at getting rid of the twisted bit. All of the bits you have posted are quite mild because they conform to the shape of the horse's mouth. When pressure is applied on them, they are going to fold so that they do not hit the palate and give a fair amount of room for the tongue.
What these bits are "for" is encouraging a horse to accept the bit, take a correct contact and encourage the rider to ride properly with seat and leg.
Just with the french link - make sure you are not buying a Dr. Bristol. These bits will have a 45 degree angle between the link and the bit and a flat link. They are quite severe.

Good luck!
    10-21-2009, 06:05 PM

The two Myler bits you posted are NOT port bits; that arch is for tongue relief, and will not protrude up into the palate. If your horse is very tongue sensitive, the higher one is a great way to get pressure relief.
    10-21-2009, 06:19 PM
I like french links with round "peanuts" in the middle the peanuts are a lot mider than flat links. A peanut will soften the "nut cracker" effect of a regular snaffle, and also encourages the horse to play and relax into it better.

Mylers have a new concept where the bit can twist from side to side. Some models can collapse slightly but others can't collapse at all. Something people don't often consider with the non-collapsing mylers, is that since they don't have a collasing joint, their action is based far more on the bars of the mouth, much like a standard straight-bar. If the horse is used to a regular jointed-snaffle which acts mostly on the corners of the mouth, using one would be a big change and it would take a bit of getting used to.
    10-21-2009, 09:43 PM
Farmpony -- I have one of my girls on a french link. The younger one. She responds very well to it. She was trained on a straight bit and was very head strong and had the head-flippy disease when I got her. With the french link, I think she gets my commands better and doesn't feel like she has something to pull against.
    10-21-2009, 11:43 PM
Super Moderator
I think I'm going to try the french link first. Or maybe I'll buy them both. I hate that they are so expensive. I'm really hoping his teeth are part of this new issue. Thanks for the advice. I do have a double copper roller bit that I use on my 25 year old QH. I've been using that same bit for a good 15 years... I could try it I geuss.....?
    10-22-2009, 12:11 AM
A good test for the severity of any bit if you are unsure of what it is like in the horse's mouth is to put the bit on your shin like you would in the horse's mouth (like the shin is the horse's tongue) and pull. You can also put the bit in the crook of your elbow.
    10-22-2009, 12:22 AM
^^ great idea

I've used french links, I try to use them more then snaffles, but its hard for me to find a 4 3/4 bit for my mare sometimes. Mylars are pretty good bits. They have videos out, you might want to take a look at those too. I also am a fan of waterfords.
    10-22-2009, 07:21 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt

The two Myler bits you posted are NOT port bits; that arch is for tongue relief, and will not protrude up into the palate. If your horse is very tongue sensitive, the higher one is a great way to get pressure relief.
How would I know the difference between tongue sensitive and hard mouth?

He will ride with his mouth wide open and his tongue hanging out...? and he's really head flingy. He also gets really choppy but I don't have an english saddle that's wide enough for him (the girls that come out do have one). I used my western work saddle on him the other day and I think it may have been too narrow. He is built like a draft, even though he's only about 14.2 and a half, he's HUGE in the barrel....

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