Which bit to use on a strong horse? English style - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Which bit to use on a strong horse? English style

Hello everyone ^_^
I was wondering if someone could help me find a bit for my mare. I do competitions, dressage, jumper, hunter and eventing. For the dressage, I usually use a snaffle but when I come to more difficult moves, she doesn’t respond to it. I use a Pelham for jumping, since she gets pretty excited. She’s a big horse, so I have some trouble collecting her after the jumps in the snaffle. Unfortunately, she gets on the forehand when I ride her in the Pelham. So, I was wondering, does anybody have an idea of a bit I could use that would help me put her weight on her backhand and that is also accepted in the hunter/jumper ring? And what about the dressage ring? If you have any questions, ask away! Thanks a lot ^_^

P.S.: Keep in mind that I compete in Quebec competitions.
P.P.S.: I was suggested the Glory Butterfly bit but I have no clue on if and where it is accepted in the show ring...
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 06:32 PM
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Those are the USEF rules and Canadian competitions generally will follow the tack rules similarily. Pages 26 - 28 have the permitted dressage bits.
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 08:15 PM
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have you ever tried a bubble bit or a myler? google them, really good for horses that are strong and tend to do their own thing! ..do you use a chain along with your pelham?? might be worth a try..
and see when it comes to getting her collected straight after a jump , when your training you should try positioning a jump toward the area fence or a corner, riding toward it should make her slow down and come back into your hand.. if it was me id try and get her to stop 3 or 4 strides after the jump, when shes in your hand stride on straight into canter again.. try and keep her on the bridle.. keep repeating this until she cops on! it does work.. when you feel that shes listening to you keep her going after the jump and ride around to it again.. gradually work through a course of jumps like this..
Hop you can get some help from this
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 09:48 PM
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The pelham is a good choice, and a myler might be a good alternative.

On the other hand, this is probably more of a training problem than a bitting problem. You need to really work with making her pay attention to you and respond to your cues, rather than just trying to find a harsher bit.

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 10:47 PM
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Get a trainer to help you. A stronger bit will mask not solve the problem.
VanillaBean and amschrader87 like this.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 11:21 PM
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Agree completely with casey. If u want to correct the problem and not have to keep looking for stronger bits. Get a trainer.
Stronger bits are not the solution to a strong horse.
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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I have a trainer that rides her 2 times a week. The problem is not in the training she has now. It's in the training she had when she was green broke. I've had her for several years now and she has improved. (Before she didn't react at all for a snaffle) But other trainers and judges have told me that she needs a stronger bit. She's a 16hh2, 1300 pound horse. I'm a tiny insect on her back. x) In a snaffle, she doesn't understand why she should listen. She's a very dominant horse, which doesn't help. And the problem with the Pelham is that it puts her on the forehand, and she just runs down the jumps. I'm really looking for a bit that would help me put her on the backhand and one that she can't set her teeth against. I have tried a bubble bit also but I have the same problem as the Pelham. The Pelham does have a chain.

I have tried the exercise you are proposing Derry Girl and she usually turns on her shoulder. When she does do it well, she won't do it correctly on a jump that has an open field after it. x) She's too intelligent for her own good! What doesn't help also is that she's Thoroughbred/Percheron cross.... with Secretariat blood on her dad's side. So she looooovveess to run. x) She's the type of horse that, if she's excited, I have to make her run fast and afterwards she is responsive. x) If I just try to tired her doing exercises, it doesn't work. x) Hope it helps x) And thank you all for your help. ^_^
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 11:36 PM
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The problem is she was never taught how to be soft and supple. If she was she would respond to the bit. Being tb or not has nothing to do with it. My horse has storm cat and sectretariat bloodlines and is a lazy turtle. She was not trained properly to begin with. To do that sometimes you have to go back to basics and re-train. Start from the ground up.
A stronger bit will only make the problem worst and eventually you'll run out pf stronger bits.
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-22-2011, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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I would only use the stronger bit in competitions. I ride her in a snaffle otherwise. And we did go back to step one. We retrained her all over. And she is way better than she was. But I still don't have the ''holding the reins between 2 fingers'' feel. We have tried to stop her each time she gets strong, and it just frustrates her. And she starts rearing. We have tried to push her forward when she gets strong and that works in dressage but not in jumping. I’m looking for a bit that will give me that stronger edge on competition days.

And my trainer isn't the problem. She starts horses in a snaffle. And they are superb afterwards. But my mare was started in a straight bar mullen mouth with chain.... So when I bought her and we changed her to the snaffle, I would put pressure on her back, no reponse. I would put pressure on the reins, no reponse. I would then keep pulling slowly but still no reponse. And the end, we had to put 2 hands on one rein to stop her. Now she is way better. But still not as soft as I would like her to be.

Last edited by 88Emerald88; 11-22-2011 at 11:48 PM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I can't do an exercise repeately. I can't even practise my dressage test before the competitions. I do an exercise twice and she knows it. Let's say after the jump, I ask her to stop after 5 strides. Well, after doing it twice, she'll stop without me asking her. So it doesn't help with the problem. x) On dressage tests, she likes the challenge but if I do the same twice, the second time around she's worse because she's bored. She'll be on the forehand, and doing the test alone.

I'm really sorry to be pushy like that but I would like to find a solution. I've tried a lot of things and they don't work long-term.

Last edited by 88Emerald88; 11-23-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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