Which bit to use on a strong horse? English style - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm really sorry for being insistent like this, but it's really frustrating to know your horse has, not only potential, but the willingness and eagerness to go forward. She loves learning new things. And when she can't understand something, she gets upset. You'll probably tell me that I'm imagining things but that horse has obviously a strong personality. I know that riding her in a stronger bit all the time will not help. I just want it for the competitions, and when I know I'll have trouble with the snaffle.

I was told that maybe a bit working less in the mouth and more on the poll would help. Since that way she can't put her weight against the bit as much. What do you think? And what about the Glory Butterfly? Anybody heard of that one?
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post #12 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 10:36 AM
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I found with my previous horse sometimes it wasn't just about changing in to a stronger bit, but changing to a thinner version of that bit.

It won't solve the problem, as others have mentioned, she needs to learn to come off your hands by using her hind legs better. Once you go down the route of putting a stronger bit in, you'll be doing it forever.
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post #13 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 88Emerald88 View Post
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.
The bit will NEVER put the horse on the "backhand" or haunches. Training does this.

But my mare was started in a straight bar mullen mouth with chain....
A mullen mouth bit is perfectly legal for dressage but any mullen mouthed snaffle bits I have seen do not come with any chain attachment ability.
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post #14 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 10:59 AM
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A Horse will typically lean on a leverage bit and get heavy on the forehand, because of the break in a snaffle you can stop a horse by bringing his head around to your knee spin him etc. you have to use the reins independently if you pull on your horse your horse is going to pull back and the horse is going to win every time! To quote John Lyons "Bits don't train horses, people train horses"
I would concentrate on doing exercises to make her use her hind end more, sure you can't do them at a show but theres tons of stuff you can do at home to get her to be 'light'
Also the whole 'she's part thoroughbred' thing has nothing to do with it my TB rides in a loose ring snaffle with a french link.
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post #15 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DuffyDuck View Post
It won't solve the problem, as others have mentioned, she needs to learn to come off your hands by using her hind legs better. Once you go down the route of putting a stronger bit in, you'll be doing it forever.
That's what we are working on. I'm just wondering if there is any other bit than the Pelham that is permitted in the hunter/jumper ring and that won't put her on the forehand so much because I'm not sure if she's going to be ready with only the snaffle for the spring time.

And the bit she was started on really has a chain... It's for draft horses. >_< They gave it to me when I bought her. I don't use it though. And I have no idea where they found it. And at first I had to put a stronger bit in, because I had absolutely no response. And now, I'm riding in a normal snaffle most of the time.

And exercises ok, but do you have any ideas? I do trotting poles set at a longer distance than usually and she does them fine. Have any ideas?

P.S.: And I was more saying she's part percheron. Judges and clinicians have told me that's why she pulls so much.
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post #16 of 25 Old 11-23-2011, 07:14 PM
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Yes, there are plenty of people who will tell you that the part draft is why she is heavy on the forehand. I have had my Clyde cross for 17 yrs. He is extremely heavy on the forehand and always has been. However, I have recently learned ways to make him lighter...I just don;t have the motovation to try them,since he is basically retired. Anyway, when we were still jumping he would get SOOOO heavy. I finally switched to a Waterford. Now I have no idea any more what is legal and what is not, nor do I know what a "bubble bit" is. The waterford is such that they really cannot lean on it as well as a more solid bit. I have one that is a D ring, and I use a gag for cross country. It helps, but does not solve the issue, as others have said.

My new guy came to me riding in a Tom Thumb, and was a bit strong at times. I do not jump anymore, and have gone to Western, but have spent many many months of trainers and hours of riding getting him soft. Totally soft. A couple of things specifically helped me. I learned that as soon as he pulls, if you pull back, they just brace harder. Drop them like a rock. Obviously, you should not try this cross country, but in a ring. THey start to pull-let go. THey will learn that pulling does no good. I frankly got away from a bit altogehter for about 6 months. Rode in a rope halter and found he was much more responsive. You may find that a bitless is actually better. I had one horse afraid to go forward at all in a bitless.
When your horse speeds up, don't fight and pull-do circles. When you get the speed you want-go back out on the rail.....when they speed up-circle again. Serpentines are your friend. Concentrate on using your body to turn your horse and NOT pulling! As I said, I have spent hours-many just walking (which is hardest, actually, like riding a bike slowly)using NO reins at all, turning the horse with (exagerated at first) body and leg cues. I have also come to have a much better understanding of using your body and weight to get your horse slower (as well as faster), and have mine trained to a very quiet "shhh" to slow (draft does this really well, actually). Sit very deep, breathe out and "shhhhh".
Good luck-maybe NO bit will be your solution!

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post #17 of 25 Old 11-24-2011, 01:11 AM
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I completely understand your frustration with having a horse with potential but having the feeling that you cant totally get through to them. My horse is completely insane. She was going to be my upper level (preliminary and intermediate and possibly advanced) horse but she is dangerous when she gets out there, like tearing throughout the fields blocking you out bucking etc. So i retired her from that to work on the basics. You seem to have good training but try working on the basics a little more.

When i jump my horse i use a bubble bit watterford because she cant lean on it and it has leverage. I know people always say the bit is not a solution to a problem, bits just mask the problem blah blah blah... Generally these people just hear that from other people and they think it applies to everything. In some cases bits are not the answer, but i believe this is one of the cases you could use not necessarily a stronger bit, although it is stronger, but a bit with a different action. So try a different bit and see if it helps you.

When working with a bubble bit waterford, because it is a strong bit, you cant hang on it and you have to be very very light with your hands and only use it as a last resort to get into your horse head and say hey, im up here, now listen. But when used properly you can get a nice light horse that listens to you.

Again, i dont believe that bits are the solution to every problem, and in the wrong hands they can be very bad, but if you get not necessarily a stronger bit but a bit with a different action, it should help. So if you have a horse that leans and is strong maybe a gag, or bubble bit (form of gag) will help.

So to the people that swear by, changing the bit is not the answer, they can be right in some cases, but using the correct bit can help the problem. For example, what percent of grand prix show jumping horses use a snaffle? Most use a gag because it lifts them up in front of the jump and pulls them back.

I hope that all made sense:/ sorry it was all kind of scattered.

I hope it helps! :)

6 yo Hano x Canadian
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post #18 of 25 Old 11-24-2011, 09:54 AM
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3 ring bit :)
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post #19 of 25 Old 11-24-2011, 10:18 AM
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Sure bits have different actions- but if my horse isn't working well in a snaffle or rope halter to start i'm not going to change bits until I get the basics down, once you have them you might use a more advanced bit with a different action to subtly correct a few things. but if i can't ride my horse with a snaffle to start I am not going to advance.
Also I know of a percheron who rides dressage and he rides in a snaffle his owner had to do a lot of training to get him where he is now though.
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post #20 of 25 Old 11-24-2011, 11:03 AM
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Maybe you should read this.
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