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Need advice on which bit to use

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  • Kimberwick ported bit advice
  • How to use the myler kimberwick

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    12-23-2011, 01:48 PM
  #11
Cat
Green Broke
I use a kimberwicke on my haflinger. I use the low port mouth since my boy doesn't like jointed bits. This is what mine looks like:



I really like how he does in it and I've played around with a regular D-ring snaffle, a pelham, hackmore, bosal, etc and I find for my horse he does best in this bit for the trail riding we do. My boy is good on a loose rein probably 98% of the time but occasionally he gets hard headed and needs a reminder. This bit is just enough curb action that I need to bring him back in hand.

However - before I ever had him in this bit we had the basics down. I restarted the basics because I was having problems with bolting. I didn't take him out on the trails for a while as we worked on ground work and getting light and responsive under saddle. We even got to a point where we could do W/T, turns, whoa and back all without a bridle on. Not necessarily something I would recommend if you don't have a fenced in area to ride, but it gives an idea of the extent of the work and the focus on seat cues.
     
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    12-23-2011, 04:23 PM
  #12
Green Broke
I would be careful with a Kimberwick, when not used properly they can cause more problems than they fix. For one, most people try to use it with only 1 set of reins, this is WRONG. A Kimberwick is designed to use 2 sets of reins. One controls the mouth and the other the curb. If you do not know how to ride with 2 sets of reins I would NOT use a Kimberwick.

There is a lot of good bitting information Bit Information (Snaffle and English-Type Bits) That tells about the different actions of the different parts of bits, etc. Yes I know it says english, but a Kimberwick is primarily an english bit and if you are going to use one, you should read up on it's proper use and what it is for.
     
    12-23-2011, 05:17 PM
  #13
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
I would be careful with a Kimberwick, when not used properly they can cause more problems than they fix. For one, most people try to use it with only 1 set of reins, this is WRONG. A Kimberwick is designed to use 2 sets of reins. One controls the mouth and the other the curb. If you do not know how to ride with 2 sets of reins I would NOT use a Kimberwick.
No, a Kimberwick should only be used with one set of reins. It has no snaffle action on either setting--you can only control whether you want a tiny amount of leverage or a moderate amount of leverage. It is not a Pelham, which is traditionally used with two reins or roundings.
     
    12-23-2011, 05:27 PM
  #14
Cat
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
I would be careful with a Kimberwick, when not used properly they can cause more problems than they fix. For one, most people try to use it with only 1 set of reins, this is WRONG. A Kimberwick is designed to use 2 sets of reins. One controls the mouth and the other the curb. If you do not know how to ride with 2 sets of reins I would NOT use a Kimberwick.

There is a lot of good bitting information Bit Information (Snaffle and English-Type Bits) That tells about the different actions of the different parts of bits, etc. Yes I know it says english, but a Kimberwick is primarily an english bit and if you are going to use one, you should read up on it's proper use and what it is for.
A kimberwicke in essences the english version of a very short-shanked curb. In fact - if you are talking about a regular kimberwicke there aren't even "slots" but just a big D ring and you can control the amount of curb action by the placement of your hands. Only the uxeter kimberwicke (the type I use) has slots but they are only intended for one set of reins at a time.
     
    12-23-2011, 05:49 PM
  #15
Started
I was going to say it doesn't seem very practical to use two reins on a kimberwicke since there is no snaffle action.
     
    12-23-2011, 05:59 PM
  #16
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
First off, I agree it's a training problem. It sounds like you may need to go back to basic basics and fill in a lot of holes. I don't normally suggest changing bits, but in this case I would definitely change out of the Tom Thumb (yes I'm another Tom Thumb hater) and go to a snaffle and just start off again from scratch. The Tom Thumb will MAGNIFY your mistakes and because you admittedly have work to do, there will be plenty of them. A nice Eggbut or even a lozenge or french link type snaffle will be a lot less harsh and make your horse a little more willing. Remember, you stop with your seat, not your bit.

I also suggest you get a trainer to help you. Let them know that you recognize that you and your horse have a lot of holes and need to go back to basics. Have patience, this may take a while as there is no quick fix for what is going on.

YES it is a training problem. Respectfully no to the trainer.

I don't know if you noticed, but in my first post I mentioned I have had him outside a total of 3 times, and those habits only show up outside. Inside the fence, I can ride that horse bareback with a rope halter and a lead line, using neck reining, my seat,and my legs, even close to the fence he is an angel.

I definitely already went back to basics. This horse had terrible ground manners. Before I started what I am doing now, I taught him bending, yielding hind, back, and verbal cues, and respecting space. Along with retraining him to take a bit, and to stand when tied, pick up his feet, lunge, and lead calmly. He used to pull through a lead, bite, threaten to kick, and was just in general a jerk. I'm proud of where he is now, and I don't think I can go any more basic. I do ride him inside, but honestly he does so well, I wanted him challenged. I continue to go back and forth between inside and outside. Plus he really does go out well, its just coming back that I have problems with.

Holes. Yes. Absolutely he has holes. I have had him for about 8 months, and I am now finally to the point where I am certain he is ready for saddle work. He does definitely need work under saddle. Someone screwed him up big time. However, his progress on the ground is phenomenal, and I can lead that horse anywhere. I can ride him in the fence no problems. Arena, no problem.

I know how to fix his vices, I just need time and patience. I believe I do have the know how to fix them, as I have worked with these horses before. But I also know the bit is not helping me fix them, it is hindering me. I will look into all the bits that have been mentioned, as they may be just what I need to properly train him to stop with the shenanigans. I am NOT looking for a quick fix, or a fix all, I just want a better communication device. The ONLY reason I used the tomb thumb is because it was used on him before, and it was my best guess as to what he would respond to. However, I think we have moved beyond that, and I need a new bit.

Thank you everyone for your input. May I stress again: I know its a training problem!!
     
    12-23-2011, 06:01 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Ah, I was always told by my trainer growing up that I had to use it with two reins (mine was the snaffle kind). Maybe it was a quirk of my trainer, but your explanations (especially for the non snaffle type) make more sense. I stand corrected :)
     
    12-23-2011, 06:04 PM
  #18
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
I am not familiar with a Kimberwick. I wouldn't worry about any kind of leverage bit at this point(I am assuming it's a leverage bit because of the curb chain) He needs to learn to follow your pull and listen to your seat and legs. And the easiest way is with a regular snaffle in my opinion. If he is a little hard mouthed I might soften him with a twisted wire for a day then go back to a smooth. I don't make a habit of riding with a harsher constantly, pretty soon you have nowhere else to go.

Your in a tough spot...In my opinion it is always hard to fix someone else's mistakes on a horse than it is to start new..like on a colt. I think that is why I like starting colts, if a hole or mistake comes up than I know its my fault because I am the only one training him! LOL...no blame game there
I have worked with problem horses before, and you are absolutely right! I would much rather train a colt from birth, however, that was not possible. And this little guy stole my heart

I am considering a straight D ring snaffle. I rarely use direct contact (unless I am asking for a one rein stop), as I prefer neck reining, and seat and leg.

Natisha - I am thinking of something like that. I am going for softness here. I do not want a hard mouthed horse, but that's definitely what he can be sometimes. Thanks!
     
    12-23-2011, 06:47 PM
  #19
Showing
My horse used to be strong and do a lot of those things mentioned in your list. Except he wouldn't canter, he'd trot like an out of control maniac and/or gallop.

I just made sure that I kept sneaking ground work on trail rides (find a nice open spot and hop off and work with him) and I'd do a lot of transitions.

I agree on switching your bit.. my horse was an absolute monster in his old bit (I'll have to ask the prev-owner what it was..) but all I know if that he had no respect for it and I think it didn't fit him right.

But yeah, well done on getting him lovely as a prince in the arena. Just keep doing what you're doing outside of the arena, and make sure when you DO trail ride, make the path as interesting as possible. What I mean is if you are on a straight path, weave it, do a circle, serpentines. Not all the time, but it'll help keep his mind in the NOW rather than running off with you.

Also use the horse's ultimate goal: food! Bring a halter or whatnot with you when you go outside and reward him by letting him munch on some grass or leaves from trees.

The most important thing to remember is that no matter how scary or annoying, you have to keep your cool. Any kind of reaction from their antics and they'll carry on.

Best of luck :)
     
    12-23-2011, 07:47 PM
  #20
Banned
If you decide to go the route of a curb after all, I'd recommend a Myler of some sort.
     

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