Is my bit to blame? What am I doing wrong? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Is my bit to blame? What am I doing wrong?

Charlie is ridden in a kimberwicke with a chain. When we ride, if he wants to go to the fence (idk why he likes the corner) and when I try and use my legs to get him away from the fence, nothing and if I try to turn him with reins, even less. Is he just ignoring the bit and curb chain? Should I get him a snaffle? When he is in a halter his head is very sensitive and the slightest move will make him turn but the bridle being on almost makes his head less sensitive. Should I buy a snaffle to try? Have you ever gone through this?
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 02:52 PM
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You ride a horse forward to the bit, so the bit shouldn't make any difference. Your horse does not have impulsion and doesn't respect your leg. You should work him from the ground so that he knows when you ask he must obediently respond to your command.
Never used a kimberwicke but I know that it's a hybred snaffle/short curb. If you could pull the curb chain or try riding with a snaffle that would probably help.
Think of you leg like you do your gas pedal on a car. The car won't move if you don't push on the gas pedal and you can control the speed with the gas pedal.
Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 02:52 PM
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I think you may have a few things going on.

1. He should be responding forward/backward/sideways to your legs. If he's not, I think you should go back to some basic exercises in your handling/training/riding to make him understand about moving away from pressure.

2. What is he doing when you try to use the reins? Is his head moving with you and he's running forward with a crooked neck? Is he locking and you can't get any control of him? Back to basics again, teaching him to give to the bit. Nothing wrong with changing to a regular snaffle or french link and giving it a try if you think you can do so safely.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-06-2014, 03:07 PM
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Well, it's probably not just your bit that's the problem. It certainly wouldn't hurt to go to a snaffle. Kimberwickes are more complicated bits that should be reserved for more advanced horses and riders. It gives cues through direct pressure on the reins, and the rotation of the bit gives signals through the curb chain as well as poll pressure. This can be confusing to a green horse. Your horse may respond better in a snaffle due to the simplicity of a snaffle alone.

You also have to keep in mind that rein aids are different to the horse than halter cues. Just because a horse is responsive to a halter, does not mean they will be responsive in a bridle. It just feels different to them and they have to learn to respond to a bridle separately. Your horse may just need further training. If you are uncertain of how to work through it on your own, then perhaps a few lessons are in order.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-08-2014, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
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This is better placed in the training section - it is not the bit that is the problem, it's the training.
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