Do I need a new bit?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need a new bit??

I'm kinda beginning to wonder if my girl Lacy needs a new different bit. According to her previous owner she's only ever been ridden in a single jointed snaffle and she does go pretty well in one. But she doesn't really give to it at all and if I try to hold her back at all she starts freaking out and backing up like something's hurting her. She got her teeth floated at the beginning of the summer so it shouldn't be a teeth problem.

I'm thinking about maybe switching to a french link snaffle since it has 2 joints and it is probably thinner that the bit she has now which I think is a bit thick (she has a typical small Arabian mouth).

What do you think?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 07:51 PM
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If the bit is the problem, then switching to a french link (or even a waterford for horses who enjoy that kind of pressure) will help.

However, if your horse doesn't know how to give to the bit, then you are going to have the same problem you do now.

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post #3 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'm really just trying to find her something she's comfortable in since she's 20 and basically all the riding she's going to be doing for the rest of her life is playing around and for fun.
My hope is that she really does know how to give to the bit since she is 20, she should know these things, right? And that the bit she's in now just isn't working for her enough for her to actually give to it...
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 08:50 PM
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Try a myler comfort snaffle. My morgan hated the single jointed snaffles, liked the dr. Bristol ok, but really likes the comfort snaffle.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 09:32 PM
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Just because she's old doesn't mean she was taught to give. ;) A horse should do it in any bit; if they don't like the bit then usually the response is faster, NOT resistance. This is because the horse wants to get rid of the stimulus as soon as possible.

From what you are describing of her actions, it sounds like she does not know how to give (She starts freaking out and backing up... not signs of a horse 'broke' to the bit!). It's not something terribly hard to teach.

However, bits with three joints (Not Dr. Bristols, but french links) tend to be comfortable IF the horse dislikes pallat pressure, and likes lip, tongue and gum pressure. The waterford, again, is another bit that has a lot of bite (because it has several joints), but used softly can be extremely comfortable in a horse who likes tongue, gum, and lip pressure. It starts to get confusing when you look at your options. ;)

If I were you, I would look for a french link, and then start training her to give to the bit. I don't think the bit will solve any problems, but the french links tend to be kinder, which will help her learn.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-18-2009, 10:54 PM
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A thin three piece might just do the trick. Dressage Extensions has a nice selection. I'd go with this one:
Dressage Extensions Product Detail

Or, some Arabs prefer a mullen type mouth. Like one of these.
Flat Ring Mullen Mouth Eggbutt Bit | My Breyer Horses
Myler Comfort Mouth Mullen Barrel Egg Butt Bit by Toklat
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 12:43 AM
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maybe try a mullen mouth or maybe a hackamore, my old arab used to go ok in a single jointed bit but he got more sensitive with age and needed somthing softer.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 04:23 AM
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Id go Mullen mouth or hackamore.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 09:44 AM
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I have to say a french link should be great - at least to try out to start, since she doesn't seem to like the simple snaffle. My jumper has a low soft palate and any single jointed bit causes him severe pain, so he can only go in a three piece or mullen mouthpiece, and it's a great comfort to him. French links are very mild, so I'd start there. Sometimes with bitting, it's just trial and error, so good luck!

And like someone else said, age does not = proper training, so she may not know how to give to the bit, however a bit she likes better at the very least should be met with noticeably less resistance than you see now.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I will definitely look into those other bit ideas if a french-link doesn't work. =)

That's funny to think that she might not know about giving to the bit at all since she knows so many other random less helpful things, like side-passing and some really random, I guess dressage, movements... And she neck reins. Haha

Thanks again!
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