Where to find a rope bit/how to make one? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 01-25-2013, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Smile Where to find a rope bit/how to make one?

I'm working on getting my QH mare who just turned 3 years old softened up to a bit to start 4-H this spring/summer, but she severely dislikes the metal snaffle I've been working with.

I recently heard of some people using bits made of heavy-duty rope (like yacht braid) so it would be much more comfortable in a horse's mouth, but just as effective, and it just seemed like the perfect solution for my mare:)

I know that for 4-H I'll have to get her into a metal bit eventually, but I figure this is a good way to get her comfortable with being led by the mouth so a metal bar in her mouth won't be such a shock

I've searched all over and I can't find one in any of my local tack stores (I live out West, so shortage of tack stores is not the problem, LOL) or even online (Including EBAY!!)

So I figure I could just make one (that way it would be custom fit to her mouth anyway)

I've made a lot of tack for my horses before (rope halters, bareback pads, reins, long reins, saddle pads, lead ropes, even horse blankets!) for convenience for both my horses (and saved money, LOL) (and never had a single problem.)

So I know how to test homemade tack and make sure it's safe, and how to use metal clamps and such that you find on lead ropes, and this sounds comparatively easy to make

So mainly what I want to know is if any one else has ever made one before, or might know where to get one for a good price :) Or even if you might have one to post a picture of to give me a bit of an idea how to make it

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Let me know what you think
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-25-2013, 06:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
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I have never heard of someone using a rope bit. I can't see how that would be comfortable at all. Have you tried a rubber bit or a happy mouth?
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-25-2013, 06:38 PM
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We've always just used a lead rope. I've never seen an actual rope bit that attached to a headstall.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-26-2013, 04:14 AM
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No idea, but it is an interesting notion! I'll keep an eye on this thread! :)

If I were to go about it, I would use thin (nylon? Polyester? Not cotton, it rots too easily with humidity) cord and braid it several times back and fort between two snaffle rings until the thickness is right ( too thin a braid would hurt her mouth as badly as any other thin bit). It' easier to splice neatly a braid of many strands of thin cord than smoothly secure a thicker rope.



My worry would be how do you keep such a thing clean and wholesome. You'd have to wash it very thoroughly quite often...
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-26-2013, 10:34 AM
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Not going to lie, i've never heard of rope bits. But as someone else said, why not just do a rubber bit? Or even a leather covered snaffle?




BB ~ 2014 Trakehner Bratty Mare ~ 1993 CSHA Em ~ 2007 Standardbred

Last edited by NBEventer; 01-26-2013 at 10:36 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-26-2013, 10:45 AM
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There are leather bits.... Same idea - possibly more "tasty". Haha

I think they're actually not too hard to find. If I remember correctly, I think someone was even selling one on HF not that long ago. Perhaps it's still for sale!

ETA- with a rope bit, I would be worried about dye leach-age. Some of the rope I've worked with has been quite heavily dyed initially but wash it once and "bye, bye, dye!"

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Last edited by Wallaby; 01-26-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-26-2013, 06:48 PM
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I've used them some on just babies to get them used to having something in their mouth, but I've never ground driven a horse with one. Don't use nylon. It will burn the corners of the mouth. Use cotton if your stuck on rope. And the larger the diameter the gentler. Leather would probably be your best bet though if you are going to ground drive. Leather has a lot more feel. And will be easier to make.

~Started young horses in Bosca te Ador, unto the two rein the old Spanish spade, brought them along with two hands that were gentle. Some fine reining horses as ever were made~
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-26-2013, 08:17 PM
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If you are using an eggbutt with a fairly thick mouthpiece, it may be too thick for her. The mouthpiece of a loose ring snaffle may be better, or a D ring. Put the bridle on her, minus the reins, and leave her in her stall and allow her to eat, drink for an hour or so and keep an eye on her. You may have to do this for a week until she accepts it. She will do the same with a rope or anything else you put in her mouth.
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