Iíve been meaning to post this topic for a while, now.
Iím looking for a new bit for my three year old gelding. Right now heís in a... well, it was originally a Pelham, but my neighbor cut the shanks off and turned it into a straight snaffle with very, very little leverage (or no leverage, really... since the way itís Ďmadeí).
Hereís a pic... I donít have any of the bit out of his mouth, but itís straight and about the same thickness all the way through (about as thick as the thickest part of my pinkie finger) and it has a small port.
Anyway, since his bit is a Ďmadeí bit, I wouldnít be able to use it for anything except trail riding, and since Iím wanting to eventually get him into barrels for my 12 year old cousin... well, you see my dilemma. I started my gelding in a loose ring jointed snaffle, but I quickly found out that he HATES jointed bits... He started shaking his head and stuff. Once I switched him to the Ďstraightí snaffle (for lack of better words) he became quiet and willing.
Plus, Iíd like to get him working in a bit that I can actually buy... because right now, if his bit ever comes up missing or breaks or something... well, Iím Ďup the creek without a paddleí. Iíve retired the snaffle on him and he started his head shaking and fighting it... I think that he doesnít like the joint... Iíve tried a mechanical hackamore on him (thatís what my mare rides in), and Iíve put him in a grazing bit (he hated it, plus I didnít want to really ride him much in it considering it has longer shanks and I donít want him to get hard mouthed).
I need some sort of straight bit, maybe with a slight port, since his current bit has a small port and he likes it (I guess it relieves the pressure off his tongue or something). I was thinking about a Kimberwick, but Iím not sure... Iíd like to get him used to a short, shanked bit... and Iíd like to keep him in something that gives a teeny bit of leverage, and it seems like a Kimberwick does that. The idea of a gag bit has also came to mind because it gives him time to think before it cues him, but I canít seem to find any with really short shanks.
Iíll admit, Iím not ďbit savvyĒ. Not at all... so I need help!