bitting help with my fizzy mare
 
 

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bitting help with my fizzy mare

This is a discussion on bitting help with my fizzy mare within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How to control a fizzy mare
  • Which bit is best for a strong fizzy horse

 
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    10-27-2009, 03:45 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation bitting help with my fizzy mare

Hey guys, really wanted some advice with choosing a good bit for my mare, as im finding it tough to have control whilst still be kind to her little mouth.
She's currently ridden in a three ring gag and ridden in the snaffle ring for schooling and the second ring for jumping and hacking.
She is a welsh cob, around 15hh and really stocky and with a really thick neck and can really put her head down and take control especially whilst out hacking. Despite this, she does have a soft mouth and is really sensitive to the bit in the school which makes me feel terrible when I have to take a firm hold and sometimes a tug when out hacking.
She is just an extremely excitable, fizzy pony and don't think a stronger bit will particualry make her less strong but don't know if her current bit is the most suited to her!
I heard thicker bits are kinder to the mouth and hers is quite thin, but do different thicknesses suit different horses?
Any help/advice would be soo greatly appreciated!!
Thanks guys
     
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    10-28-2009, 01:04 PM
  #2
Started
First off, you need to know that it's not about the bit. She needs to be taken back to basics, ground work and riding, to fix the holes in her foundation. A different bit will not solve the problems. Personally I wouldn't be riding her out on hacks until things get better. I'd also take that gag out of her mouth and put her in a double jointed snaffle...that gag bit is harsh.
     
    10-28-2009, 01:29 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I would borrow bits and try them before buying. Go with the gentlest bit you can, a fat french link. If that doesn't work, go a little thinner. Don't automatically go to a harsher bit, if things aren't working for you. She may be already fighting a bit that is hurting her. Dutch, or three ring, gags are tough, if on the bottom ring and thin is even tougher. Do you ever ride with the reins on the main top ring?
     
    10-28-2009, 01:48 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
I would borrow bits and try them before buying. Go with the gentlest bit you can, a fat french link. If that doesn't work, go a little thinner. Don't automatically go to a harsher bit, if things aren't working for you. She may be already fighting a bit that is hurting her. Dutch, or three ring, gags are tough, if on the bottom ring and thin is even tougher. Do you ever ride with the reins on the main top ring?
She said in her post that she schools on the snaffle ring and that it's only hacking that she has it with any leverage action.

If you are already schooling on the snaffle and you find it is working well then I would recommend purchasing two bits - one for schooling in the arena and another for hacking. Find a snaffle that she really likes - personally I find that a lot of horses really like the double jointed snaffles (like the Sprenger KK, but you can get a cheaper version). My horse actually prefers a thinner bit, so you're going to have to find what works for her. This will be a great bit to school her in and get her foundation/training firmed up.
For hacking - I do understand that a lot of horses can get quite riled up out in the big world. Yes you do need to fix her training to an extent - but a more substantial bit is going to help you get your point across especially because the mare has a sensitive mouth. What I would suggest is getting away from a crude leverage bit, like a gag or kimberwicke, and instead purchase a bit with a solid mouth piece, port, shank and attachments for two reins. You should be able to find a suitable pelham that allows you to ride on snaffle action most of the time, but gives you a curb rein option when you need it.
A more pony-club style solution is to grab some baler twine and tie one end to the saddle and the other to the bit so if she does pull down, she wont be able to and soon she will learn that she can't root against you with her neck while out hacking. It's also called a grazing rein I think?? You just have to make sure you don't have it tied too tight so her neck is restricted in normal motion and it can't be too loose or it wont work.

Good luck!
     
    10-29-2009, 05:59 AM
  #5
Foal
Thank you so much guys for your advice, will really take it all on board!
I definitely know bits arent the answer, and that it is deeper rooted; everyone I have asked for advice with the bitting who know my mare have said that its just her personality and she's not strong just fizzy so a stronger bit woulod not be beneficial. This, and just my general thought made me question the use of my gag, I know its a harsh bit on the second ring, though I would never dream of riding her with it on the thrid ring, and have not tried it on the top ring (dont know what this does, does it offer the least pressure ie is the gentlest action on her mouth?)
I definitely am going to invest in a thicker jointed snaffle to ride her in the school for a good while before starting jumping and eventually hacking her out in it when I have more control as I definitely don't want to have to rely on harsh bits and would be the happiest in a snaffle!
Thank you guys so much, don't know what i'd do without eveyones advice on this forum! :)
     
    10-31-2009, 12:17 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Actually, the Dutch gag is not that bad on the second ring. I have used if on a couple of horses for XC that way. I would prefer that over any curb type bit. If you put snaps on a pair of hacking reins, you can move the reins to the main (top) ring, That way, you will now have a simple snaffle. If she acts up again, move the rein back down. A very versatile set-up.

A pelham with hands not trained to the subtle feel of two reins (curb/snaffle interactions) could cause more trouble than cure.
     
    10-31-2009, 12:36 PM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
I would prefer that over any curb type bit. If you put snaps on a pair of hacking reins, you can move the reins to the main (top) ring, That way, you will now have a simple snaffle. If she acts up again, move the rein back down. A very versatile set-up.
I don't agree that using pain/increased pressure is the answer to her "acting up". Pressure may be a good answer if she were on the ground, but what would you do if you got a little bird-brained and someone started yanking you around by your ears? Not like it probably, and it would just make the situation worse. If she acts up in a snaffle, obviously there's a hole somewhere. A horse that can't jump even just for fun, or hack around in a snaffle needs a refresher course of some kind.
     

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