Help with western bit... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by horsea View Post
Oh. I don't plan to show him western at all, he's just going to be my trail buddy if that matters. All I need with him is something that will help me stop him. What would you suggest for our situation? Maybe even a bosal...? I'm not sure :(
Is your horse having trouble stopping? A new, stronger bit isn't going to fix a training issue.
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Oh no that's not what I mean at all! He is an amazing horse. He is EXTREMLY responsive to leg commands alone and I can push his neck to steer him bridle-less just around the arena. I pretty much want the most gentle western style bridle there is just in case I do have to use it (Say he were to spook or something).

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post #13 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 06:20 PM
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Oh, okay. I have an offset-D sweet iron snaffle for my gelding Scotch...we both really like it. It's pretty mild and doesn't pinch up his lips.
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think I am leaning towards a snaffle as well. :) I'm just not sure about western very well. I took a LONG break from it to focus more on English lol! It won't hurt him to neck rein though? I wouldn't think so at all but I'm not 100% sure so I figure I'd ask :)

"Don't turn you disabilities into a crutch, turn them into legs and run with them"
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 10:26 PM
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As far as curb bits go, what you have is one of the milder ones out there. A good rule of thumb is the longer the shanks are, the more severe the bit and if the mouthpiece is broken, it will always be harsher than a solid mouthpiece. A straight bar mouth is harsher than one with a medium port like yours has. For something milder, I don't think you can get much better than a french link snaffle. A bosal is a good bitless option but it can be incredibly harsh unless you know how to use it and it is pretty easy to wear sores on a horse's nose and jaw when used incorrectly.

I have been thinking about getting something like this for my older broke horses when we are just kinda fiddling around but a rope halter is much cheaper and works the same way LOL.
4 Plait Soft Rope Hackamore w/Flat Reins | NRS - National Roper Supply - Western Wear, tack, team ropes, horse tack, team roping ropes, bits...

I personally would steer away from mechanical hackamores as well. Not only to they have the potential to be pretty severe but they can be extremely confusing to the horse if you ever try to direct rein like for a one rein stop.
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post #16 of 24 Old 05-07-2010, 10:26 PM
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I ride in a snaffle with two hands everyday and only neck rein on occasion. Mine will neck rein in a snaffle, it's all about the leg. you'll be fine if that's the way you want to go.

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post #17 of 24 Old 05-08-2010, 12:39 AM
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Why do you want to fix what's not broken? If he performs well in that bit and you have decent hands and ride him on a loose rein then that bit is no more severe and probably less severe than any snaffle you could use. Bitless is not any kinder or softer it's just different. If you must change to feel superior to the evil curb bit users in the world then use a snaffle and stay away from a hackamore of any kind.

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post #18 of 24 Old 05-08-2010, 12:44 AM
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Agreed with kevinshorses. People somehow get this idea in their head that because a bit is considered "more harsh", it's somehow harming the horse just by sitting in his mouth. If he's used to going in this, why does it need to change? Putting him in a snaffle is going to change everything he knows, and you could end up with more problems if he starts getting hard mouthed from not stopping as well as he did when you only need a gentle twitch.

Just because a snaffle is considered more mild is no reason to "backpedal". Your horse has been well trained in a curb, as should all adult Western horses. I would MUCH rather ride a well trained curb horse then have to stay in a snaffle all my life. Regardless of how you hash it, it's a lot more tricky to ride on a loose rein unless your horse is perfectly trained to all commands using your seat. All you have to do is flicker a curb rein for a whoa, you have to actually gather up and apply a bit of pressure for a snaffle.

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post #19 of 24 Old 05-08-2010, 03:10 AM
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I think a french link is a good idea.
I like to use the softest bit I can. I like my horses to be as soft as possible, responding to light cues with gentle equipment. Lightness is very important to me.
If I have a western horse I make sure he can neck rein in a snaffle, preferably a french link. They respond to the pressure on the neck, not the bit. If I am teaching something new or if they are being difficult or getting confused, I can easily switch to two-handed and then go back to neck reining when things are settled.

Last edited by rocky pony; 05-08-2010 at 03:13 AM.
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-08-2010, 03:10 PM
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You could also try a bitless bridle... like the Nurtural Bitless Bridle (i really like them. Or a Dr. Cook Bitless bridle
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