Searching for the right bit! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-08-2013, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Searching for the right bit!

So I ride this horse, his name is Pie. He's a 14.3hh something. Right now we ride him in a happy mouth shaped mullen kimberwick.

Happy Mouth Shaped Mullen Kimberwick - Kimberwickes from SmartPak Equine

My problem is, is that I don't believe this is the right bit for him. He bends a lot at the poll and doesn't respond well to the bit, as in he doesn't really have good brakes. He doesn't act mean or anything, a perfect gentleman when putting on the bit, but still he doesn't respond well or at all.

I personally think instead of bitting him up we should go to to a softer bit. I talked with my trainer about this and she said she thought it was a good idea and said maybe a slow twist or a double twisted wire.

I am open to hearing what people think, so if you think bitting him up may be a good idea I am all ears, but I am hoping to get some others insight on just what type of bit may be good for him.

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-08-2013, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Your trainer knows your horse better than you can explain your horse to us. Still, IMHO, your horse needs to be trained to "Whoa." THIS is a serious problem and stronger or milder bits won't fix it.
If you get a chance to watch any of the tv trainers who dabble in the "Mustang Challenges", you will see that they train a good "whoa" in one session on a green-as-grass horse. Your horse doesn't believe that he HAS to stop. You need to teach him "whoa" EVERY TIME YOU LEAD HIM. I have done this with my DH's horse--the big head, left. I am 5'4" tall. His horse is 16'3hh, which means his withers are 5'6", therefore, 2 inches higher than I am tall, a BIG, >1,400 lb. animal. He gets stalled at night during the winter and I lead him to turnout. I was determined that this horse would NOT run over me...EVER. So, whenever I lead him ANYWHERE, we halt, back, "walk on", "around"--I have taught him the English and I cue with my body and the lead. Even when it's icy and he's been inside his stall for a week, he never rushes and runs over me on the way out. He is getting so good at this that I am anxious to show him off bc it reminds me of what I see on some of Clinton Anderson's programs where the trainer and horse move together. It didn't take me a lot of skill, just daily work.
Teach your horse excellent leading manners, teach "whoa" when you lead, then you can translate that to under saddle. It becomes a habit.
BTW, the slow twist and double twisted wire bits are more severe. Did you mean to say that your trainer disagrees with you?

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-08-2013, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Utah, USA
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I didn't read much of this, so excuse me if you already said something about this.

But as a general rule, I do not think that a bit will fix any of your problems. Work on his training, rather than his equipment.

Plus, this horse is not yours and since he is simply a schooling horse, you don't (and shouldn't) have a say on what bit he wears or doesn't wear.

Best of luck!
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-08-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
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I am leasing him, so I kind of do...but not really. And I didn't know that a slow twist was a harsher bit than what he had. But, I will be working on his training (thank you for that advice, as stupid as it sounds I hadn't even thought of it) and also I think he may benifit from a change of equiptment because of how he bends at the crestish part of his neck (what I am trying to say is he looks like a giraff) and my trainer said that the bit he has can cause that....? either way thanks for the advice.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-08-2013, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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A lot of horses are not going to respond to an extremely soft bit. Maybe they would if they were just starting out; but you are usually working with horses that have been ridden by different people with different riding styles. If the horse won't stop, a softer bit is unlikely to help.

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