needing bit advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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needing bit advice

I have an 18 year old Quarter Horse that I have been riding with a twisted wire snaffle bit since I started riding her 16 years ago. Due to a combination of moving off to college and starting a career, as well as not living near my horse, she hasn't been ridden regularly over say the last 5-6 years. My boyfriend and I recently bought a house and a little bit of land, which is allowing me to be able to start riding again on a regular basis. (Boy did I miss it!) My horse seems to not be responding as well as she used to to the twisted wire snaffle bit that I'm currently riding her in. Back in the day, I did do some showing at the local & 4-H levels, ran barrels and poles a little. At this point in time, I'm not going to get back into that, just be doing some trail riding and going to some field trials with my boyfriend. Since I'm not savy to which bit I should look for, I thought I would ask if anyone had any advice out there which one I should choose. Or at least steer me in a general direction. I don't think that it needs to be a real severe bit, just something different than a snaffle. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 12:35 PM
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Well.. what exactly is she doing [or not doing] with the twisted wire?
Maybe not being ridden as much has made her mouth a little sensitive and the bit has become to harsh?
try her in a loose ring french link... the ones with the bean in the center.
like this:

it's not a normal snaffle, and french links are nicer on their mouths. and, since you don't intend on doing and hardcore riding, i think you could downgrade her to make her more comfortable. But again, let us know exactly what she does with the twisted wire. that way we can tell if she needs a nicer bit or a stronger bit.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that is helpful information.

She tends to toss her head when pulling her up to a stop. Which (and maybe I'm wrong here) makes me want to believe that she needs a gentler (?) bit. (??) Or, maybe she is just being a brat because it's been such a long time since she has been ridden regularly. But, when loping (say through a field) she seems to not want to pay much attention to it when trying to get her to stop. Almost as if she is "running through" the bit. Which makes me think that she needs a harsher bit. (??)

When I started riding her, I started her in the twisted wire snaffle. It worked well, so I continued to ride her in that. I'm thinking maybe she is getting grumpy or sassy or picky in her "golden years". She is still a great mount and has tons of energy.....I just need to figure out if she needs a different bit and suggestions for a new one so that our rides are pleasant for both of us. :)
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 04:20 PM
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Getting a harsher bit is never the answer. It would usually have to do with a training issue.

If she hasn't been ridden in a long while, she'll need a refresher course. Treat her (for a while) as a young horse that has to learn all the cues. She will pick up on everything extremely fast because she's done it before.

You could try a french link snaffle and see how she does. since it is double jointed it doesn't have the nutcracker effect, which could be why she's tossing her head. Though i don't know how the twisted wire bit is.

My mare used to toss her head and run through the bit, until i changed her bit to a double jointed bit. Now she doesn't toss her head and she listens.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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I'll have to get a french link snaffle and see how she does with that.

I've been doing some "basic" training with her to get her back into shape and also serves as a good refresher course for her. (And for me too!) Gets us both back into the swing of things. :)

Thanks for the help! I'll let you know how she does with the new bit.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-19-2008, 06:39 PM
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Re: needing bit advice

Originally Posted by countrygirl
I don't think that it needs to be a real severe bit, just something different than a snaffle.
A twisted wire snaffle is VERY severe. When was the last time she had her teeth floated? That could be a good deal of your problem - as well as that bit.

I would get her checked out before bridling her again and I might try a regular snaffle - or as appylover suggested, a french link snaffle.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 08-21-2008, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like I really need to get rid of my current bit! I'm sure that she does need her teeth floated, as it has been a while since that has been done. I have a call in to the vet to come do that.

I know I have a regular snaffle laying around to just find it. I'll see if that works better before going out to buy a new one.

I appreciate all of the advice. Thanks so much!!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-21-2008, 11:23 AM
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I would say she is just being a horse and being a bit stubborn. I mean, if you weren't exercising frequently for 5-6 years, wouldn't you protest a bit if you were going back into an exercising routine? I would, lol. I say start with a very soft bit (snaffle of some sort) and start training from scratch almost - like a refresher course. I definitely don't think that a harsher bit is the answer. In fact, I think on top of being stubborn, this bit may be too harsh for her.
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