Help! Bit issues for a sensitive horse/ horse that leans! - Page 2

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Help! Bit issues for a sensitive horse/ horse that leans!

This is a discussion on Help! Bit issues for a sensitive horse/ horse that leans! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    09-03-2012, 07:55 PM
Originally Posted by Gemma    
Hi Kitten_Val,

By "high" cheek, I mean "full" cheek. He doesn't like the 'nut-cracker' action of a single jointed bit which is why he is ridden in the french link. He does lean on the bit which is why I was wondering if it may be of use to use a waterford a couple of times a week and use his usual bit for the other times. I was wondering if that would encourage him to stop leaning rather than totally switch to a waterford and then find, when he goes back to his usual bit, he takes advantage of it and leans again?

Thank you for your help!
From my exeperience the loose rings don't let my paint to lean/lock on bit because of the movement. With that being said my qh refused to go in loose rings exactly for the same reason: she was very annoyed by the movement.

I never tried waterford so can't really comment on it. However when I tried to go back from loose rings to eggbutt after riding in loose rings for while (just to see if the "leaning" part went away) my paint started to lean again.

Could you, may be, borrow the loose rings french link or waterford from a friend/other borders to give it a try with you horse before spending some money?
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    09-03-2012, 11:27 PM
Gemma -
I know exactly what you that sense, each horse is a "one person horse" because no matter how good of a rider your friend is, everyone trains differently and this might confuse your horse.
Every horse will test its rider sometimes, and the key is to be consistent and tell him that it's not worth his while. I'm glad you've been using the contact method and it's working!
I think you can embed pics on this forum - you could try a website like tinypic and copy and paste the code. If not, no worries :)
Good luck with him!
    09-04-2012, 05:18 AM
Hi Kitten_Val,

I do know someone who has one that I may be able to try, if it is the right size. I will also ask my instructor as to what he thinks.

Thank you for your help
    09-04-2012, 05:30 AM
Hi Juliane,

I'll definitely keep working with him and see how he progresses. Hopefully consistent contact and work will do the trick. I'm about to take him back to uni with me, so will be changing yards and potentially getting a new instructor. Perhaps a new point of view may be able to shed some light on a solution?

I have added a few photos of him, in his stable, on my profile. At least, I think I have. Stopped putting anymore up as I'm not sure I was doing it correctly. I'll try and get some photo's of him doing some work. He is quite a fine horse and has slightly unusual markings. He has quite the character and constantly pulls faces at other people. Kind of nice to see him do that to other people as he appears to be grumpy, but is nice to me! Haha

Thank you very much for your help!
    09-04-2012, 08:34 AM
Originally Posted by Gemma    
I do know someone who has one that I may be able to try, if it is the right size. I will also ask my instructor as to what he thinks.
Good luck! Let us know how it works out for you!
    09-04-2012, 01:50 PM
Sounds like you are taking the right steps to fixing it! I would suggest a loose ring french link snaffle, as he wont be able to lean on that as easily. I would also vote against using the waterford if you are planning on showing, since it would be frustrating to have great work with it, and then not be able to use it in the show ring since it isn't legal.

Good Luck!
    09-04-2012, 02:45 PM
My horse developed the habit of leaning on the bit when he had a cough- I felt bad not letting out the rein when he tried to stretch his neck down to cough, but giving him the rein taught him that he could just lean on me, even after the cough was gone. My trainer recommended riding in a Dr. Bristol (looks very similar to the French link, but has the center link rotated so that the edge, not the flat side, lays against the horse's tongue) to break the habit. I only rode in it during one lesson and saw a big improvement. It's definitely not something you should ride in all the time, but great to have in your tack box to use when it's needed.

A loose ring discourages a horse grabbing the bit, but they can still lean on it if determined to do so. So, switching to a loose ring probably won't fix the problem in itself, but might keep it from coming back if you can fix it first.
    09-04-2012, 03:31 PM
Thank you, saddle on line. I am currently using a loose ring, french link snaffle so, hopefully, with some more time he will be stronger and not feel the need to lean on my hands. To be fair, he was even better than yesterday, today so perhaps it got worse as a result of having a few days hacking, a day off and a different rider. He doesn't usually get that many chilled out days, so was maybe taking advantage of the easier work level.
    09-04-2012, 03:34 PM
Hi Verona 1016,

I have read about the Dr Bristol bits. That may be a good option to use every now and again. Is it a harsh bit?
That is very good advise and will look into it. I'm about to take my horse back to uni with me, so am changing yards and needing to find a new instructor, so hopefully I can a fresh pair of eyes to look at how he's going or to have a sit on him and tell me what they are feeling.

Thanks again,
    09-05-2012, 12:32 PM
It is definitely stronger than a regular French link. Since you have the edge of the link against the tongue, if the horse is leaning, the edge will "bite" into the tongue a little, which is why it encourages the horse NOT to lean. It's not sharp on the edge, it just distributes the pressure over smaller area. It's definitely not something I'd recommend someone ride in all the time (because I believe you should always ride in the mildest bit possible), and not something I'd put in the hands of a green rider, but I think it's a good tool for correcting leaning issues.

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