Yet another bit question!
 
 

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Yet another bit question!

This is a discussion on Yet another bit question! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Molly powell money maker smooth bit
  • How should the Moly Powell Money Maker bit fit the horse

 
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    01-09-2011, 03:33 AM
  #1
Weanling
Yet another bit question!

Ok. I've been doing a lot of reading and have decided which bit would be best for "me" (for me to use on Chili and yes, I know the bit is for her, not for me!).

BUT.

I still need help.

How do I know what SIZE bit to use? The previous owner said she used a 5.5" bit with a 2" shank but all the bits I keep finding (that even remotely look like the one she used) don't give the shank size or are only 5", not 5.5". For the record, I've yet to find the particular bit she used, so am going off memory!!! She said: Junior Cow Horse Bit - Kelly bits. ???

Here is a photo of one that is similar:

Junior Cow Horse Smooth Snaffle Gag Bit: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com

Also, if I go with a Snaffle instead of a Cow Horse - how do I know what size rings/cheek to get? I'm thick skinned, so if I am saying any of the terminology incorrectly - please feel free to (nicely!) tell me otherwise! (and isn't a Cowhorse a Snaffle????)

Here is another bit that looked similar and was the right size - I think.

Reinsman 366 Molly Powell Money Maker - Walker's Farm, Home & Tack


I'm still looking... Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
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    01-10-2011, 12:26 AM
  #2
Yearling
The most common size for a bit, I've found anyways, seems to be 5", as it fits the 'average' horse. You can measure your horse using a piece of string through her mouth. Just google how to do it.
A junior cow horse bit is NOT a snaffle. A snaffle is a bit that has no leverage, meaning no shanks. If you pull back on a snaffle using one pound od pressure, one pound of pressure is what the horse will feel. A snaffle can have a solid mouthpiece as well, that doesn't make a difference.
That being said, many people in western disciplines refer to any bit with a broken mouthpiece to be a snaffle, though this is incorrect.
Since you are new to owning, and I'm assuming a somewhat new rider, I suggest that you use a snaffle. Lots of horses prefer a french link bit (Google Image Result for http://www.thehorseboxsaddlery.co.uk/lg_images/French_link_Eggbutt_Snaffle.jpg) because the centerjoint doesn't have a nutcracker effect, and consequently doesn't hit their palate when pressure is applied to the reins.
If you are dead-set on using a leverage bit, I suggest one like this (Google Image Result for http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/SweetIronCurb.jpg), which has a medium, wide port and shanks that move independatly of the mouthpiece in case you need to do an emergency one rein stop.

I hope I helped, and best of luck!
     
    01-10-2011, 12:27 AM
  #3
Yearling
Sorry to double post- for a snaffle I suggest one just like the one I posted, eggbutt rings and all.
     
    01-10-2011, 01:00 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
ASpin is right on!! What kind of horse is this, if I might asK/? Just curious. My appy uses a 5 (average, ) but my friend's appy uses a 5.5 (not so common).
     
    01-10-2011, 12:05 PM
  #5
Weanling
Update**

Quote:
Originally Posted by aspin231    
The most common size for a bit, I've found anyways, seems to be 5", as it fits the 'average' horse. You can measure your horse using a piece of string through her mouth. Just google how to do it.
A junior cow horse bit is NOT a snaffle. A snaffle is a bit that has no leverage, meaning no shanks. If you pull back on a snaffle using one pound od pressure, one pound of pressure is what the horse will feel. A snaffle can have a solid mouthpiece as well, that doesn't make a difference.
That being said, many people in western disciplines refer to any bit with a broken mouthpiece to be a snaffle, though this is incorrect.
Since you are new to owning, and I'm assuming a somewhat new rider, I suggest that you use a snaffle. Lots of horses prefer a french link bit (Google Image Result for http://www.thehorseboxsaddlery.co.uk/lg_images/French_link_Eggbutt_Snaffle.jpg) because the centerjoint doesn't have a nutcracker effect, and consequently doesn't hit their palate when pressure is applied to the reins.
If you are dead-set on using a leverage bit, I suggest one like this (Google Image Result for http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/SweetIronCurb.jpg), which has a medium, wide port and shanks that move independatly of the mouthpiece in case you need to do an emergency one rein stop.

I hope I helped, and best of luck!
I'm not deadset on ANY bit!!!! I'm still learning!

However.

I bought a Wonder Bit yesterday morning and when I got home, tried it out. She responded SO MUCH BETTER but was more... antsy? She hopped a lot and tossed her head more. I need to measure her mouth bc the prev owner used a 5.5" and this one is a 5" - but it looks like it fits. Here are a few pics of the one I bought.








I wonder if the rings are too big???
     
    01-10-2011, 12:45 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
I feel like I've read before that she doesn't know how to neck rein and that you're teaching her?
If that was you, you really need to get a bit without shanks to at least get the neck reining basics down.

If you're trying to direct rein in that bit, that could certainly explain the antsy-ness and the "hopping" since she's trying to tell you that she's confused by the signals you're sending her.

Forgive me if that wasn't you. :)
     
    01-10-2011, 12:48 PM
  #7
Weanling
Wallaby - Yes, that was me (and her). I am getting so much conflicting information! I've heard using shanks is a must for neck reining and now that I should not use shanks. ???
     
    01-10-2011, 12:58 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chele11    
Wallaby - Yes, that was me (and her). I am getting so much conflicting information! I've heard using shanks is a must for neck reining and now that I should not use shanks. ???
To teach neck reining, you want to have her in a snaffle (ie, no shanks). You don't want shanks to teach neck reining because in the process of teaching, you're probably going to need to direct rein her quite a bit while giving the neck reining cues and you don't want to direct rein in a shanked bit.

However, once she's consistently neck reining 85-90% of the time, you can move her up to a shanked bit.
But, you never really need to put her in a shanked bit to neck rein, no matter what you may have heard. I taught my mare to neck rein in a snaffle, now we actually ride bitless and she neck reins just fine.

If you're showing western, and she's over 5 or 6, you will probably need to her to be in a shanked bit and neck reining, but other than that, there really isn't any pressing need for the average horse to be in a shanked bit.

The thing with shanked bits and neck reining is that when you're neck reining, you have loose reins and you never actually contact the horse's mouth, you just move the reins. Therefore, to feel the tiniest moves in the reins, a shanked bit can be helpful because it magnifies everything you do to the reins, times the length of the shank, inside the horse's mouth. Neck reining in a snaffle is a little different since even though you're still just moving the reins quietly, the horse is responding more to the reins on her neck than to pressure in her mouth from the bit.
So, some people who have "deader" horses might benefit from having a shanked bit since their horse needs a little more oomph to tell him/her to stop or what have you (which is a different issue all together since I'm a believer in training for the horse you want and taking the time to teach those "deader" horses to be sensitive, but whatevs) but the majority of horses will do fine neck reining in a snaffle.

Basically (maybe this will make it easier to understand, I totally understand how confusing it is!) neckreining=/=shanked bits, but shanked bits=neckreining. Snaffles (no shanks)=direct + neck reining.

Does that make sense? Hopefully someone who can explain it better will come along. :)
     
    01-10-2011, 01:49 PM
  #9
Weanling
LOL

I get it! Now.... which kind of snaffle to get?
     
    01-10-2011, 02:19 PM
  #10
Super Moderator
Chele,

You horse might have hopped around and tossed her head for one of these reasons:
The curb strap pressure, either too tight or she is not used to it?
Is she used to a gag type bit ? The wonder bit is a gag type bit. As the ring rolls with the pull on the shank, it causes the bit to move higher up the ring and thus higher in the horse's mouth.

Bit folks, correct me if I am wrong. I only use snaffles, so this is just what I have read about gags.
     

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