bits, the more I read the more unsure I am - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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bits, the more I read the more unsure I am

So I'm looking at bits, right now I'm using an O ring snaffle on my 3 year old but my husband says its really an English style bit is that true? If so should I be using something else? Also when she's ready should I upgrade to a different bit? I like the looks of the French link snaffles but I'm thinking those are also for English? Any tips, thoughts, or advice?

My husband uses curb bits mostly (which I'm not fond of) seems like everyone around here who does western uses curbs or Tom thumbs YUCK. I'm really light handed but it still makes me uncomfortable to think about using even on a well trained horse
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:17 PM
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No no no, snaffles are for both disciplines.

Curb bits are primarily western only as they don't do well with direct rein (which is what English riders use.)

If she works in an O ring snaffle then she works in an O-ring snaffle.

Now if you want to graduate her to a low port curb to work on refining her cues, then do it. It's all about what works for your horse.

Some bits have different purposes than others. It depends on what you want to do with your horse. I don't know enough about western riding to give you any more, but I do know snaffles are the basic bits. And some horses are happy staying in them.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:19 PM
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I ride cattle working horses. And all mine work in plain ol snaffles.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:19 PM
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Many riders of many disciplines use a plain O ring snaffle. It's neither Wester, nor english...it's just a really good all around bit that is gentle and in MY opinion would be the goal to get any pleasure horse to work well in. If your horse works well in it, you have a good stop, reinback, and other cues, why change it?

Also, beware of changing to a curb or any other bit with shanks. They communicate differently to a horse and it can take a horse a while to change to it. Sort of like us changing from English to Spanish. Some things may be similar, but there are enough cues that will be something your horse has never felt before (such as poll pressure) and it may leave your horse confused for a while and possibly frustrated with trying to figure out what you want.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ok that's what I was thinking, she doesn't neck rein yet either so there's still direct reining. We'll figure neck reining out eventually but I'm not sure I'll want a curb even then
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 10:26 PM
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Yeah then she's in the bit that works best for her :)

Just so you know, french links and oval links (3 joint bits) work mainly off of the tongue with some pressure on the bars and don't have the "nut cracker" action that regular snaffles do (since you asked.)

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Ok that's what I was thinking, she doesn't neck rein yet either so there's still direct reining. We'll figure neck reining out eventually but I'm not sure I'll want a curb even then
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-13-2012, 12:53 AM
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The loose ring is most definitely a western bit, that is the most common "starter" bit on western trained horses.

If you like it and she likes it and she rides how you want her to ride, then I see absolutely no reason to change it.

If you ever do decide to move her up into a curb, she'll need to neck rein first and be really soft and supple to the snaffle.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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