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Bitless Bridles

This is a discussion on Bitless Bridles within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Micklhem bridle any good for soft pallette issues in horses
  • What.org noseband with a peewee bit

 
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    09-19-2010, 12:36 PM
  #1
Foal
Bitless Bridles

Hello All,

My mare has been giving me so much trouble when I ride with a bit. I have only had her a couple of months. I noticed when I got her that her palete seemed pretty low. I'm no expert, so I mentioned it to my trainer. She didn't think much of it then. Bella had three months of professional training previously, but that trainer has a pretty ugly reputation. When my trainer first rode her, we found that she is broke, responsive to aids and very willing. She's a great horse.

But lately when I ride, Bella will stretch her neck out and twist he head over, constantly mouthing the bit as if it's uncomfortable. Got the trainer to look closer and she agreed the palete is low, we compare her to other horses at the barn. Bella acted the same way when my trainer rode her. That same day we both rode her with a halter and 2 lead ropes. She was like a different horse. I was so much more comfortable riding her. Although it took a lot of strength since I had no bit.

So here's what I ordered and I'd like to get any opinions you have on these items:
* Micklem Multibridle - I've been looking at this one for a while anyway, so I'm going to try it. Apparently it has three settings for 3 levels of control.
* Herm Sprenger Short Shank Hackamore
* The Pee Wee Bit - this is a very thin bit, but it's supposed to be gentle.

I rode Bella in a lunging cavason the other day and she was responsive. She even folllowed voice aids. I do believe the problem is the bit, I've tried several. So I'm hoping one of these will give me the control I need.

Thanks for any opionions/advice.
     
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    09-19-2010, 04:17 PM
  #2
Showing
You might want to have her teeth checked, there could also be a point or hook that is causing those problems or being aggravated by the bit.

I was going to suggest either a french link snaffle or a mullen mouth snaffle for bits and a sidepull for bitless. There is something about that pee-wee bit that just really turns me off to it. I am not sure if it is because it's so thin or what but I just don't like the look of it .

That multibridle just looks like his version of a bridle/flash noseband combination that wouldn't do much to alleviate the issue with the low palate other than maybe strap her mouth closed. Lots of people use those hackamores like what you posted but I just don't like how they feel, they are very limiting when it comes to lateral control.
     
    09-19-2010, 05:03 PM
  #3
Foal
Thanks for the advice. I did have her teeth done, should have mentioned that. She used to pull her head up when I was trying to bridle her, but since the vet floated her teeh she is accepting the bit. She is 6 years old and had never had her teeth done, so I had them done right away.

I thought the same about the peewee bit being so thin, but any other bit, including a french snaffle is just too big in her mouth. I have not found a thin mullen mouth yet either, but maybe just a regular mullen snaffle would have worked. Anyway, we'll see what she thinks when I get this one on Wednesday.

Also, the multibridle has straps that put pressure on different areas, so you can have control. I'll post an update when I've tried it.
     
    09-19-2010, 05:35 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
I have a pee wee bit. It is neither a problem (being thin) nor a miracle worker, as the website suggests. If we lived closer, I would let you try it.
Another thing can be that the caveson or a flashi (is you are using one) can apply pressure on the side of the jaw at exactly the place where the chewing molars are and thus pinch the cheek between the teeth and the caveson. This would be the case if a horse had teeth that flair outward or if you crank her mouth shut , squeezing her tongue and fat bit inside a very small space. Some folks use a dropped noseband or figure eight for this purpose.
     
    09-20-2010, 03:09 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdellin    
Thanks for the advice. I did have her teeth done, should have mentioned that. She used to pull her head up when I was trying to bridle her, but since the vet floated her teeh she is accepting the bit. She is 6 years old and had never had her teeth done, so I had them done right away.

I thought the same about the peewee bit being so thin, but any other bit, including a french snaffle is just too big in her mouth. I have not found a thin mullen mouth yet either, but maybe just a regular mullen snaffle would have worked. Anyway, we'll see what she thinks when I get this one on Wednesday.

Also, the multibridle has straps that put pressure on different areas, so you can have control. I'll post an update when I've tried it.
The multibridle is designed to take pressure off of certain points. Like certain nerves in the face, and rides higher on the nose.

http://www.prlog.org/10685350-rambo-...ultibridle.jpg (I don't know if you have seen this picture before or not).

My mom just got one for her horse. Who has always had issues with bits, even when his teeth have been recently floated. Absolutely hates metal bits, and even still has issues in a happy mouth bit. But he seems to like the multibridle.
     
    09-20-2010, 06:25 AM
  #6
Weanling
Please let us know how she responds. I always like to learn about different options.

In the picture of the multibridle, is something missing? Where do the reins attach, or does that just replace a nose-band?
     
    09-20-2010, 07:40 AM
  #7
Green Broke
You might want to get a second opinion on her teeth. If she has wolf teeth, have them pulled. My mare had a wolf tooth at 6yrs old that one vet never even mentioned. Once we had it yanked, she was much better at the bridle.

For a low pallated horse, you need a thin three-piece bit, like a french link or dog bone bit. They lay flatter in the mouth.

Bitless bridles are great. I use them on my mare for trail riding and lessons. However, if you're planning on showing or want to further your training with her to involve collection and self carraige, a bit will required. (required for showing and bits work better for collection and self carraige IME).
     
    09-20-2010, 09:39 AM
  #8
Green Broke
We use a bitless sidepull on Stiffler, Amarea's old horse (Tracie's horse now.) He has a very low, soft palate. He was originally being ridden in a Doc Bristol french link and reacted to it with quite a lot of pain. I found, for Stiffler's case, ANY jointed bit caused him a good deal of discomfort and he rode with his head in the air even when there was nothing but the weight of the reins on the bit. I never found a mullen mouth I liked while we were looking, though I would think this would be something he could respond well to, and riding him bitless became the habit, since he responds fine with it. Just wanted to share our experience, french links are often the "go-to" bit for mouth troubles, but it didn't work out well at all for our low-palated horse.

ETA: We also use a bitless sidepull on my mare Freyja (we initially used it on Stiffler before ordering his own to see how he responded) however in Freyja's case it is used due to a metal allergy.
     
    09-20-2010, 07:25 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2horses    
Please let us know how she responds. I always like to learn about different options.

In the picture of the multibridle, is something missing? Where do the reins attach, or does that just replace a nose-band?
http://s7d5.scene7.com/is/image/Eque...195?$oldimage$

This shows one of the way the reins can be attached as a bitless bridle.
     
    09-20-2010, 07:37 PM
  #10
Foal
Thanks guys, I have seen those pics and I do like the idea of removing the pressure from key points on the face. I will definitely let you all know how she responds. Again, the other thing I like about the multibridle is that you can attach a bit if you want, so we'll see how that goes when I try the pee wee bit.

Bella does not have canines or wolf teeth. I talked to the vet about that when he was here. So that's a good thing, she is six, though. Maybe they are there but haven't come up yet???

The last link above shows the reins attached to the short strap that runs under the chin. There is also a longer strap that can run over the pole and cross under the chin, soming through those same holes high on the nose and connecting to the reins.

I sure do appreciate all the advice and discussion on this. I'm leaning a lot.
     

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