cant stop - bit help? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-16-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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cant stop - bit help?

Hey everyone. I currently have a really lovely quarterxdraft horse in training to be a lower level dressage horse from a western roper. I adore him but his mouth was ruined as a youngster and now its impossible to stop him without enormous amounts of strength. His owner only rides him in a 2 inch shanked snaffle but he will not accept any kind of contact with that bit (she still only rides him western). He has a huge mouth - 5.75 - and I need a bit with more stopping power then his current loose-ring, hollow mouth snaffle. Any suggestions? I have light hands whenever possible but since he is in training I am still working on getting him to respond to seat and leg vs mouth contact.

Sorry if that doesnt make a lot of sense. Just started rambling
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-16-2012, 10:48 AM
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I would do groundwork training to encourage a more responsive stop before jumping to a bigger bit. Any horse can run through any bit, specially a draft cross, that's why you should TRAIN a horse rather than just use physical pressure to try and out-muscle them if you would. Get him on a lunge line, get a solid "WOAH" so that he slams on his breaks and backs a step before trying it in the saddle, get that "WOAH" to become habit for him.

For those emergencies where you NEED to stop NOW (which you should avoid, as you do not want to set yourself up to fail), I'd learn how to use a one-rein stop or learn how to get him to turn and give to the yields. A horse has to follow where their shoulder goes, so learn to move that for emergencies.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-16-2012, 12:12 PM
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I agree with the training, but, there are some, and my draft cross was one of them, who just get strong, especially cross country. He got really heavy on the forehand, and I, at the time, did not have the experience, patience or truly the deisre to really take the time to change it. SO, we used a Waterford Gag. There is also a snaffle type version with a Waterford mouthpiece......I know there are a lot of folks who hate this bit, but, whatever, Any bit is only as strong as the hands using it. Might be worth a try.

Why use a Waterford bit? - Horses for sale, Equestrian news - Horse & Hound

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-16-2012, 10:02 PM
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I had the same problem with my pony leo . You just have to restart with bit work. Ground work, ground work ground word ! It worked for leo. Rope halter/bridles help alot too when it comes to ring work :)
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