Using Too Many Bits? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 33 Old 10-11-2011, 11:57 PM
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I have to agree with everyone who says it's okay to use many different bits. Quite honestly, I see no problem with a horse being acclimated to work in different bits. As long as you aren't rotating extremely harsh bits (which the OP is not) then it's no big deal. My trainer has me switch bits every 2 weeks during my lessons so that I can get used to working with different bits. We are mostly using snaffles, but I have used a pelham, too. I find that it helps me to remain quiet and calm with my hands as well as learn how to use different bits and what bit works best for my horse.

My horse and I aren't using "stronger bits", actually they are all about the same level of "harshness", which isn't very harsh. It keeps my horse paying attention to me because I've learned that, with him, he needs a change of something every now and then to keep him paying attention.

In any case, the OP is using different bits for different ways of riding. It's like how if you ran barrels and did dressage with your horse you'd use 2 different bits.
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post #22 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 12:06 AM
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OK let me clear something up, I understand that there are different bits for different disciplines. That's all fine and dandy for horses that go english/western or whatever.

But I Strongly disagree with putting a stronger bit in a horses mouth to "CORRECT" problems, which obviously are there because the horse is lacking in some area of training.

If your horse respected you and was truely soft and supple then he/she would go nicely and softly in whatever bit you put in it's mouth.

Ever seen someone ride without a bridle at all, Do you wonder how they got there...
By taking the time to learn how to ride and convey their requests to the horse the right way.

Obviously you don't have to agree with me, and most of you don't but I was just stating my opinion.
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post #23 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckcherry View Post
OK let me clear something up, I understand that there are different bits for different disciplines. That's all fine and dandy for horses that go english/western or whatever.

But I Strongly disagree with putting a stronger bit in a horses mouth to "CORRECT" problems, which obviously are there because the horse is lacking in some area of training.
But you're the only one on this thread talking about that. No one else has suggested such a thing.

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If your horse respected you and was truely soft and supple then he/she would go nicely and softly in whatever bit you put in it's mouth.
Er, I would quibble with this, as horses are allowed to have preferences, but whatever.

Quote:
Ever seen someone ride without a bridle at all, Do you wonder how they got there...
By taking the time to learn how to ride and convey their requests to the horse the right way.
Well, sure. I can and occasionally do ride on of my mares bridleless--but I also spend a fair amount of time riding her in a long shank Myler curb. Does that mean there are holes in her training that I'm trying to cover up?
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post #24 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 12:24 AM
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I think that you think the OP is saying she is using the bits to correct the horse, but I think she is saying she just changes them out to do different things. I think we can all agree switching to harsher bits is not an answer to a lack of training, but I don't believe the OP was asking about harsher bits to correct problems.. I think this is a simple misunderstanding that should be resolved... right... about... now. Lol.
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post #25 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 12:26 AM
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I'm moving on now... :)
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post #26 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 12:42 AM
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Buck, I agree with you that no one should be using a harsher bit to correct a training problem, but I don't see that this is what the OP is doing.
None of the bits she is using are harsh, and they are used for a purpose.



OP I guess this answers your original question, that opinions differ. If your horse is happy and you are happy, don't worry about it.
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post #27 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 08:54 AM
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Buck, I see where you are coming from. If the OP said something like "My horse is running away with me so I put a twisted wire bit on him", I might say there is a training issue there. I did not see that here in the OP. I use different bits on horses for different reasons. It all depends on the horse.

Yes, I have evented and jumped horses in a nice fat snaffle and been fine with it. But, to say every horse should be able to go XC in a nice fat snaffle is not realistic. I, sometimes, need a bit more there. I assure you no "holes" in the training, simply a strong, extremely fit horse who is enthusiastic about his job.

Each bit the OP mentioned has a distinct purpose.

Double bridle is appropriate for the saddleseat classes. The double is an extremely versatile system that allows very subtle useage. In good hands it is wonderful...in bad hands it can be horrible.

Pelham bits are appropriate for the hunter ring. I would say this rider is well versed with riding with double reins and knows how to use this bit. It good hands it is a great bit, in bad hands it can be horrible.

Argentine "snaffle" is never going to be one of my favorite bits as my record will show. It is, however, an appropriate bit for the trail classes and such. It good hands it can be an OK bit, in bad hands it can be horrible (see a pattern here?).

This OP is riding many different styles and has picked appropriate bits for each. Are you saying they should ride the trail classes in a double?
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post #28 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 10:07 AM
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Pretty much any bit can be bad in the wrong hands. Sometimes it's a little worse or a little better, but the fact is that in the right hands and under the right circumstances, most bits can be a fantastic tool for achieving levels of refinement we might not otherwise be able to.

The BO where I ride uses Kimberwickes on her lesson horses. Kids as young as 10 and just beginning are using them *shudder*. I guess she wants to be sure the horse is going to stop no matter what. I really don't like the Kimberwicke though, because the pelham allows me to be that much more refined.
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post #29 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 11:46 AM
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Im not uneducated I know what the bits are used for.
If you switch out bits because you ride different disciplines I understand that.
But if I needed a stronger bit for whatever reason yes I would take a step back and look st my training and see what needs to be tweaked. I think that the fact is that riders and trainers are becoming lazy and just like to look for a quick fix and instead of trying to correct the issue they are covering it up with a stronger bit

But everyone has different views on what a properly trained horse means

Last edited by Buckcherry; 10-12-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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post #30 of 33 Old 10-12-2011, 02:40 PM
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OP, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using different bits for different disciplines or at different times. I have quite a few bits that I often switch up on my horses just because it gives them a different feel and I consider it a part of their training to readily accept a new bit when they have to wear one. The change in bit can also let them know that something else is expected of them, just like your guy with the double bridle. He knows that means that he's going into the show ring and he needs to be flashy. When it's the snaffle, he knows that it's relaxing time and he can just go along like an old trail horse. So long as all the bits are being used correctly, then there will be no problems at all with using them all on one horse.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/

Last edited by kitten_Val; 10-12-2011 at 03:57 PM.
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