bitting up- yay or nay, advice and support please. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-20-2011, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
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Angry bitting up- yay or nay, advice and support please.

I have a 14 year old TB(off the track for many years). I haven't been riding her much since I had a fall off her, but she has been being worked regularly. When I ride her I just worked on W/T and I never have much problem with stopping and slowing down. The one time I did have a problem was when I ended up falling off her(there were a lot of factors that made her more excited). Now I've been having a friend of mine come ride her, she used to event and hasn't ridden since she helped me train Bella last year and before that hadn't ridden in 3 years. She came up on sunday(I have videos here ) and then again today. She's been working on jumping with her and she insists that she needs a harsher bit because she pulls on her hands and doesn't want to stop, she wants me to use a corkscrew(hell no!) My barn owner/instructor agrees that she needs a different bit also, right now I ride her in a loose ring oval mouth(I think that's what it's called, it's a double jointed snaffle). I think she does really well with it, and I think she likes it also. I let me trainer use her kimberwick low port curb with a chain a few rides and she kept ducking behind the bit and throwing her hear around. I was not happy with the results at all so now I'm very hesitant to change it again because on the flat she is pretty good with her normal bit. I'm feeling pressured into changing her bit even tho I really don't want to. Does anyone have any moral support or suggestions, or maybe even another mild bit that I can try that may give a bit more control but I definitely don't want to use anything like a twist or corkscrew, I hate those things! Also at the moment we don't show but in the future I may like to do a dressage show.

ETA:We used a running martingale today and she said it didn't make a difference, although to me it looked like she was being better.

Last edited by Rachel1786; 09-20-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-20-2011, 09:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Australia, Queensland
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I'd say go on your gut instinct on this one. You know the horse, they dont. Not to mention she is, of course, your horse so its your choice. I dont know anything about bits but I just wanted to say go with your gut, and if you feel shes ok with just what she has now, and maybe the martingale as well, explain it to both the others and ask if they would be okay to just try that first before doing anything big about buying one of those other bits. Dont let them pressure you into anything, people tried to pressure me out of buying a 16hh because I have rods in my back and they dont think I have the power to control him, but I honestly am not regretting buying him. So dont let them pressure you into something you dont want to do. Thats what I'd honestly do, but again its your choice and I don't know much. Hope it all works out and would love to hear an update of what happens :) xxxxx
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-21-2011, 03:14 PM
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I think you're right in wanting to keep her in the snaffle. Needing more "stopping power" is not a valid reason to go with a harsher bit. If the horse is running through the bit, the horse needs more training to learn what is being asked of her and shouldn't be doing work that gets her overly excited until she does. Lots of stops and backing up should help.

A lot of horses get rushy over jumps, so if that's where she's having problems, the issue is more likely one of getting her to relax more. Maybe step back and go to smaller jumps or stop jumping altogether until she stops reliably on command and then slowly build back up again.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-21-2011, 10:13 PM
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Try a gag (or 3-ring elevator) with a double rein. On the elevator, you have even try putting a curb on it and using it like a two-reined Wonder Bit, if she works well like that. Definitely avoid the corkscrew at all costs.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-22-2011, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I agree with Veona and Tayz.

I do not think you should change your bits. The snaffle you have right now is fine. I would just get her stopping power trained up to the point where you don't even have to pick up your reins, THEN bit her up if she needs it. If we all bitted up for stopping power, you would see a lot of green horses with chokes and gags and horrendous pieces of metal in their mouths.

The WSRB (Whoa-Sit-Reins-Back) excerize is good. It teaches softness to your cues. Say Whoa. Sit back. Grab with your hands. Back her butt up immediately.

If she stops on whoa, do not go any farther. If she stops when you sit, don't touch her mouth. But if you have to use your hands, back her up like you hate her.

This is the brake excersize I use on every horse and it has yet to fail me. But you really have to get after her for not stopping.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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