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Bits are painful!

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  • How to tell a least severe bits for horses
  • Bit and bridle unnecessary painful

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    01-12-2014, 07:52 AM
  #21
Trained
And to some horses, bit less is cruel. I had one that would not MOVE in a bit less bridle he was so afraid of it.

This is all so silly….really. As has been said-anything can be cruel. Shoot, there are horses who don't like to be groomed. Next thing you know some animal rights person will post a video of a squirmy ticklish horse being groomed and say a curry is cruel. It all depends on the horse, person involved and their observation of that individual horses reaction to things, whether it is the brush on their flanks, bit in their mouth, saddle on their back…….Pay attention to your animal it its reactions.
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    01-12-2014, 08:49 AM
  #22
Foal
The actual subject is actually bits being painful. It is painful for them, therefore having bits, a horse suffers the pain. I can't see bit less bridles being cruel, they aren't hurting anyone, a horse has to learn that it won't hurt them.

Does that horse wear halters?
If so, why isn't he scared of them? Technically bit less bridles and halters are the same.
     
    01-12-2014, 10:06 AM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberly    
A bit cannot be well, harmful on purpose. (most anyways.)
In some ways it is like saying that bits hurt horses like guns kill people.
But the matter of truth is, people kill people.
In other words, it depends on what kind of hands you have. If you have hard hands, any bit you use, even the most softest its will be hard. If you have soft hands, then even the most harmful-causing bits will be soft. Usually.

But anything can be painful or wrong in the wrong hands.
Guns kill people.
Spoons make people fat.
Pencils misspell words.
And bits hurt horses.

While I agree with this and the rest of you who say that it's a rider who hurts the horse, and not the tack, I would like to point out, that certain tack is much more prone to hurting a horse than others.

Yeah, guns don't kill people. People do. Guns can't fire by themselves, and that's a fact. However, this doesn't mean you should hand a gun to a kid who doesn't understand how the gun works or how to be safe with it. It is very easy to kill people with a gun, even unintentionally, so caution must be exercised when using and handling one, so only those who have been properly taught and are of sound mind should be able to shoot one.

It's kind of an extreme analogy, but bits work the same way. I will try to choose the tack and bit that is most comfortable for my horse and least likely to cause her discomfort or pain, so I reduce the risk of unintentionally hurting her. A horse in pain will not perform at their peak and can even become dangerous. I am a relatively experienced rider, and I have soft hands. I can ride nearly any horse in any bit without much of an issue as far as pissing the horse off or causing injury to the mouth, and I may even find that some different, and potentially harsh bits are effective tools for me and a specific riding goal, but I would not put a long-shanked curb or a twisted wire in the hands of a beginner, because if a rider does pull hard on the bit, certain kinds of bits are less likely to hurt the horse or cause the horse severe discomfort.

If all I want to do is shoot cans off a wall, I could use a rifle, or I could use a water gun. In the hands of a somewhat experienced shooter, either option would work safely, but by choosing to use the water gun instead of the rifle, you greatly reduce your risk of hurting someone, especially in the hands of a beginner. This is why I always recommend the mildest option to get the job done.

With that said, I would like to critique the video by pointing out that bitless is not always the kindest method or the most preferred by the horse. A rider must apply pressure somewhere to communicate to their horse and bitless bridles work because they apply pressure. The pressure is just not applied inside the mouth. It is instead applied to the bridge of the nose, or the poll, depending on the type of bitless bridle and these are also extremely sensitive areas on the horse's head. Some horses much prefer pressure applied to a well-fitted bit, over pressure applied to a thin strap over their nose. Your job, as a rider, is to find what works best for you and your horse, as not all horses have the same conformation inside the mouth and not all horses have the same preferences for where pressure is applied.

My own horse goes well in a single jointed snaffle with a curved mouth piece. She does not toss her head around, open her mouth or put her tongue over the bit. She eagerly accepts the bit while tacking up. Horses that are unhappy with their rider's choice of bit will try to tell their rider in one way or another. It is true that a rider does not always listen to their horse, and that is a sad reality, but many riders do listen to their horses and have chosen a bit or bitless bridle that their horse is comfortable with. Whatever has been chosen, bit or no bit, curb or snaffle, as long as the rider remains safely in control and the horse is not showing signs of discomfort, there is nothing wrong with that choice.
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    01-12-2014, 11:34 AM
  #24
Trained
If someone I haven't seen ride wants to ride one of our horses, their first ride will be on Trooper (our most reliable horse) using a sidepull halter in an arena. If they cannot ride with slack in the reins, they won't ride with a bit. My 3 horses work best with a bit, but also with a rider who doesn't use the bit without a reason.

It isn't wrong to ride with contact, but it is wrong to let someone who doesn't know how to ride to try to ride with contact. The rider is an important part of the equation in choosing tack.
Sharpie, 2BigReds and KigerQueen like this.
     
    01-12-2014, 11:44 AM
  #25
Green Broke
Just like the shoes discussion, this isn't a 'one size fits all' situation. A rider should chose the bit based on the horse, the discipline they are doing, and their honest riding level. Even the most simple snaffle could be harsh in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

I ride my gelding in a gag, something that not everyone likes. But it works well for us and we both like it.
KigerQueen likes this.
     
    01-12-2014, 12:25 PM
  #26
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltsrhott    
so only those who have been properly taught and are of sound mind should be able to shoot one.

I would not put a long-shanked curb or a twisted wire in the hands of a beginner, because if a rider does pull hard on the bit, certain kinds of bits are less likely to hurt the horse or cause the horse severe discomfort.
I completely agree with you. I wouldn't let the beginner ride my horse in a bit at all - if the horse still listens well in a halter/hackamore.
And if that beginner decides to pull and yank on his mouth and not listen to my direction, he won't be riding my horses at all even.

But I agree with you.
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    01-12-2014, 12:55 PM
  #27
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSnowyStorm    
The actual subject is actually bits being painful. It is painful for them, therefore having bits, a horse suffers the pain. I can't see bit less bridles being cruel, they aren't hurting anyone, a horse has to learn that it won't hurt them.

Does that horse wear halters?
If so, why isn't he scared of them? Technically bit less bridles and halters are the same.
Not the same, if you're using a Dr Cook or Nurtural or whatever. IMO they have more potential to cause pain than a snaffle. They use a cross under system and unless you're riding on a loose rein, that pulley system is engaged. The weird rubber on the nosepiece to keep it from sliding around seems to aggravate horses too.
I rode an old horse of mine in one once and he hated it. Went berserk. With a bit? Calm and quiet as could be.
     
    01-12-2014, 07:35 PM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSnowyStorm    
The actual subject is actually bits being painful. It is painful for them, therefore having bits, a horse suffers the pain. I can't see bit less bridles being cruel, they aren't hurting anyone, a horse has to learn that it won't hurt them.

Does that horse wear halters?
If so, why isn't he scared of them? Technically bit less bridles and halters are the same.
You obviously have never tried a bit less bridle or you would know that they are not the same. AT ALL. So, not meaning to be rude, but I seriously question the level of your expertise.
2BigReds and EliRose like this.
     
    01-13-2014, 01:38 AM
  #29
Foal
I have also got a bit less bridle and it is actually like a halter but designed with reins. I have never heard of 'Dr Cook'. I'm from Australia, are they in America?

(The bit less bridle isn't just a halter with reins)
     
    01-13-2014, 10:45 AM
  #30
Trained
There are a number of 'bitless bridles', ranging from a sidepull to a "Dr Cook" (probably the best known) to mechanical hackamores.

Dr Cook:



The Bitless Bridle by Dr. Robert Cook, FRCVS, Ph.D., a humane alternative to the bit

Sidepull:



Hackamore:



I don't believe they are any kinder than a snaffle, unless the rider is a total newbie who wants to balance on the reins. Nor are they worse. Just different.
     

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