What kind of bit for Hunter/Jumper

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What kind of bit for Hunter/Jumper

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  • Good bits to use on jumpers
  • Hunter horse, chewing bit

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    09-13-2011, 07:26 PM
What kind of bit for Hunter/Jumper


I have been teaching my horse Chico to jump and I would like to know what bit is best for this. He is a 12 year old quarter horse/arabian mix and is only trained western. I currently ride him in a ported chain bit.

I tried to put him in a single hinged snaffle bit with a loose O ring, but he didn't seem to like it (threw his head around a lot), and he also was hard to slow down and stop with it.

He seems to be loving jumping, and I have been very careful to leave a lot of rein, but I don't think the type of bit I've been using for western is good for jumping. Plus I would like to teach him some English direct rein, and contact.

Would love any suggestions!!!
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    09-13-2011, 07:31 PM
I have a thread at the top of this section that may help you; I can link to it when I'm on my laptop :)
I would suggest a snaffle for sure as you're both learning, so you want a bit that isn't harsh in case you catch him at all.
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    09-13-2011, 07:36 PM
I did see your guide, I'm just not sure which bit would be appropriate for him given what he's used to, and this "new job" any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
    09-13-2011, 09:05 PM
I'd personally try a D-ring or Eggbutt french link. :)
    09-14-2011, 06:38 AM
From what I see D-ring is really big in h/j world around here. Although personally I like look and feel of the eggbutt more (it's used too quite a bit).
    09-14-2011, 06:46 AM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
I'd personally try a D-ring or Eggbutt french link. :)
I have to agree with this and JDI's reasoning behind it.

Hunters and jumpers are two different things. What bit you use in jumpers does not matter very much (whatever works best for the horse). Hunters is judged so the appearance of your bit does matter.
    09-14-2011, 07:19 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Hunters is judged so the appearance of your bit does matter.
What do you mean? How shiny the bit is? Or loose rings are considered to be ugly? I know D-ring is preferred, but I always though it's a "fashion" at the moment.
    09-14-2011, 07:30 AM
It means just what it says.

The appearance of the bit matters.

Traditional appearances.

If you go in the hunter ring with a big elevator bit you are not going to place well.

My point really is that hunter and jumper are not interchangeable things. What goes for one frequently does not go for the other.

Call it fashion if you like, it is what it is.
    09-14-2011, 07:46 AM
There's some rhyme and reason to it, just as there's rhyme and reason behind legal bits in dressage.

Because of the expectation of a hunter's manners and way of going, the preferred bit is a snaffle. Pelhams are allowed, but should be ridden with the curb rein loose, and an appropriate light, passive, huntery contact. And some horsepeople (including me) will be sceptical of a horse showing on the flat in a pelham, under the logic that if your horse needs that much bit to show in a flat class, he probably doesn't truly have hunter manners and way of going. Much more acceptable to show in the pelham over fences.

No elevator or leverage bit is allowed other than the pelham.

After that, fashion does come into play. The ginormous D-rings are a fad right now, because someone liked the look of them; however a full cheek or egg butt snaffle is still completely appropriate. You can ride in a loose ring; but it's just not as common as a D-ring or full cheek. Also, what makes a loose ring so good for dressage (the ability to move the bit in the horses mouth and encourage the horse to mouth and chew the bit) is not an advantage for a hunter, whose supposed to quietly accept passive contact without mouthing or chewing.

Now, to the OP's question - a horse that doesn't like a loose ring and tosses their head and fusses may do better in a double jointed snaffle like a french link or Dr. Bristol that conforms to the shape of their palate better. Since he's not fussy in a ported bit, I'm guessing that this is the case. The type of cheekpiece on the bit doesn't really matter at the momemt, you want to find a mouthpiece he's comfortable with and will accept contact with.

Good luck, and please post some photos of your progress.
    09-14-2011, 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
It means just what it says.

The appearance of the bit matters.

Traditional appearances.

If you go in the hunter ring with a big elevator bit you are not going to place well.
Very weird I have to say! I always thought the horse's movement is what is judged in hunters. But whatever I guess - I'm not going to show hunters anyway.

bits, bits harsh jumping horses, jumping

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