Bit for sensitive mouthed TB for trail riding?
 
 

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Bit for sensitive mouthed TB for trail riding?

This is a discussion on Bit for sensitive mouthed TB for trail riding? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • What is a good bit for trail riding with sensitive horse
  • Horse bit for TB in training sensitive

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  • 1 Post By kevinshorses

 
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    10-10-2011, 06:50 PM
  #1
Foal
Bit for sensitive mouthed TB for trail riding?

My TB, Charlie, is a wonderfully trained horse. He is soft in the mouth and goes in a copper D ring snaffle and that's all he needs when doing ring work, jumping, even hacking around the field. However, yesterday I took him to the beach for the first time and he was a nightmare. He was fine on the way out but as soon as we turned around to head back, he was like a ticking time bomb and it was all I could do hold him back. But I refuse to ever let a horse go faster than a sloooow trot when we're heading back so instead we did 6 miles of sidepasses, performing the passage, airs above the ground- all the while snorting like a freight train. It was ridiculous. He's an ex race horse (retired 7 years ago), but even when we were in front of the other horses, he was still wound up. He was not responding whatsoever to my seat or legs, and that's all I usually need to use- most of the time I think the reins are just for decoration on him. But it just did not seem to be enough and he was very unfocused on me, not matter what I asked him to do. I tried half halts, circles, serpentines, backing up, heading into the water, all to no avail. Any ideas on a bit I could use just for trail/beach riding that would help get my point across a little more clearly? I am definitely not the type to switch to a harsher bit on a whim, but the way he was acting was downright dangerous at times so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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    10-10-2011, 07:23 PM
  #2
Banned
I don't see how switching to a harsher bit is going to (truely) solve the problem. I personally have never had to deal with a barn sour horse (Indie gives up after the first circle and decides it's less work to just walk LOL), but at a barn I used to work at they'd ride the horses till they were about to drop, and then head them home.

Another friend of mine, said that once you get home, to send the sour horse right back to work in the round pen. They said that when the horse figures out that getting home doesn't mean works over, they eventually figure out its pointless and just more work to head back.

Hope that helps, I'm sure there are more experienced people on here though that will give more detailed advice :)
     
    10-10-2011, 10:52 PM
  #3
Trained
The only thing I see in your post that might help is the D-ring part. D-rings actually encourage the horse to lock his jaw a bit. Maybe an egg butt version of the same bit would get you a better response since it doesn't have as much of a bite to it. I know it sounds counter-productive to getting more control, but when my TB is feeling sassy, the softer bit seems to help by not picking a fight with him. Just don't bother with loose rings. Those will slide right through his mouth and you'll be heading for the trailer quickly.
     
    10-11-2011, 02:48 PM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
The only thing I see in your post that might help is the D-ring part. D-rings actually encourage the horse to lock his jaw a bit. Maybe an egg butt version of the same bit would get you a better response since it doesn't have as much of a bite to it. I know it sounds counter-productive to getting more control, but when my TB is feeling sassy, the softer bit seems to help by not picking a fight with him. Just don't bother with loose rings. Those will slide right through his mouth and you'll be heading for the trailer quickly.
How do you figure any of the above, in regards to D-ring versus loose ring versus. Eggbutt?

OP, has your horse been ridden in a curb, and how does he respond? You might consider a Pelham with a double rein, so you've got the extra bite if needed. But what's going to help you the most, I think, is just many more trail/beach miles, experience, practice, and wet saddle blankets.
     
    10-11-2011, 03:04 PM
  #5
Trained
Actually, I bought a D-ring with copper rollers for an OTTB I owned many years ago. I found it here:
Korsteel Copper & Steel Roller Mouth Dee Snaffle Bit
He LOVED it. He'd mouth it a LOT and it calmed him down. I don't own him anymore, but I've tried this bit on my other horses and they like it, too. I rode my KMHSA mare yesterday with it, and she played with it and drooled happily. Might help, since he already likes a D-ring.
I am not sure that his behavior was bit-related. I think he needs to be schooled in open areas close to where you ride him indoors. I wouldn't trust him outdoors anywhere until you can choose the speed.
     
    10-11-2011, 03:15 PM
  #6
Trained
Once again the bit is not the issue. Ride your horse away from the barn and back to the barn over and over and over until you are so bored you are ready to fasll off then do it for two more hours. I my opinion horses should leave the round pen as soon as possible and never go back so I wouldn't put the horse in there. Keep a good bend in the horse and when he finally starts to walk flat footed then give him some release. He will probably speed right back up but if you don't give the release then he won't ever catch on.
Corporal likes this.
     
    10-11-2011, 09:28 PM
  #7
Foal
Thanks for all the responses. Like I said before, I'm just not the type to switch to a harsher bit if I thought it wasn't completely necessary. I'm a prior eventer (giving it a go again after a bad injury) and I always followed the guideline: train in a snaffle and compete in what gets you safely through. I'm sure not everyone will agree with that. Charlie is great and I don't really blame it on his training, since he is pretty much impeccable everywhere else. I do, however, think that his previous owner let him (or couldn't stop him from) run home or it could be that he is just not experienced enough in "relaxing" trail rides. While I don't plan on just sticking a cruel bit in his mouth and then upping the severity everytime he gets used to it, I definitely need something that will give me extra control until he gets the experience he needs to realize that he doesn't have to beat everyone home. I also cannot say for sure whether or not he was eager to just get home or if it was the fact that we were with a pack of horses and he wanted to win. Either way though, he was dangerous at times and will need to go in something where I can remind him to focus. Kevinshorses and Corporal, I know exactly what you're saying (that's advice I would give as well), but around and close to the farm is not the issue. I routinely hack out in pastures and trails right around the barn, in just my regular old snaffle bit, and there are no problems. On the beach ride I was also releasing and taking back contact so there was no constant restriction for him to fight. 6 miles later and he still didn't get the point. Bubba, I have not ridden him in a curb or a pelham, but was considering the pelham. Don't worry, I'm not exactly a newbie at riding and I know better than to abuse it. I also agree that experience is the key and that's exactly what I plan to do, as much as I can. I'm planning on giving it a go one more time (with a smaller group) and if there is no improvement, switching the bit to trail/beach ride in until the dang horse just calms down.

Thanks everyone!
     

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