Barrel racing bits -HELP - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Barrel racing bits -HELP

Barrel racing bits -HELP
I am looking for a bit to help my mare lift better .. She tends to dive in ,dropping her shoulder . She has a light mouth , she works just fine in a regular snaffle , but there's just no llift to snaffles so I need something else when it comes to turning . . She's just learning , so Something mild & something that makes a good step-up bit from the snaffle . Thanks for the help !:)
Here's some I've been recommended ,please let me know what you think !

Http://www.horse.com/item/at-low-por...5in/SLT735563/

Http://www.horse.com/item/ss-3-piece...ing-bit/WBA28/

Http://www.horse.com/item/ss-sweet-i...5in/SLT650861/
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-04-2012, 08:50 PM
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Before switching bits....you need better training. If she is still learning the pattern she shouldn't be dropping her shoulder, if she is your doing something wrong.

Start doing counter arcs at the barrels if you feel her start dropping, then let her go around when she is up and shaped. She might also be anticipating the turn...if she is when you feel her drop counter arc her and take her to the next barrel don't let her work the barrel she wants to work to soon, she will figure out if she goes in correct she gets to work.

So lots of counter arcing and getting her to stay UP, do spirals and keep her shaped and UP. If she drops counter arc her and move her in the opposite direction do a couple counter arcs then go back to the barrel. She needs to learn to work correct.

She ALSO is not using her hindend if she is dropping her front shoulder...so make sure she is working off her hindend too.

So do lots of that and see how that goes before you go jumping into bits....first you need to fix the actual problem before trying to fix it with a bit.

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-04-2012, 10:21 PM
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exactly what the above poster said. A bit won't fix a training issue. If she's dropping her shoulder, you don't need lift from a bit, you need better training.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-04-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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I am not doing anything wrong , nor is using a mild bit with a little lift . She does it even just walking when I ask her to turn . She doesn't want to get up underneath herself and use her butt. Counter arcing doesn't help as it encourages them to drop the inside shoulder even more ??? She isn't anticipating it so that won't help . All she needs is extra help , ie something that is more obvious what Im asking of her . If used correctly lifter bits will also help her collect more helping her to use her hind end , thus eliminating the lifting issue . My horse has a VERY SOLID foundation , but can be stubborn . Using a slightly milder bit (i also have VERY light hands) will not hamper her trainer or progress , as Im only using it to encourage her , not cover anything up . If I was to be putting a harsh , chain type gag bit , I would understand your concern , but all Im doing is helping to communicate the message Im trying to send to her , which is elevate her shoulder and use her hind , not cover anything up . But thank you for the advice .
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-04-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Also , I work with a trainer who went to Nationals two years ago in highshool rodeo , and her mother who trains all the girls that have just went to state finals two weeks ago. They too recommend I find something with more lift , BUT NOT to cover up . Im not trying to throw something on her and 'problem fixed' , Im working with her , and need to find something that works for her too & makes it easier to understand
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 12:11 AM
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While I somewhat agree with the other posters, it is true that sometimes you do need lift from the bit to accentuate the cue you are giving from your seat/leg. I've ridden a couple of horses that would not lift from the leg or the snaffle but put them in a bit that offered a bit of a different feel and they would lift right up where they were supposed to be.

I like that first bit you posted, the ported bit with the barrel. I have one of those and my horses seem to like it.

I'm not a big fan of the other 2, though. IMHO, they have too much shank for a broken mouth bit.

Have you thought about trying a jr cowhorse bit. They just barely have a higher pressure ratio than a snaffle, but they have a whole different feel.
Jr Cow Horse Bit #349 Reinsman Inc (Supplies Tack - Bits - Working)

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 12:42 AM
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Do you know what counter arcing is? If your loping to the right and they drop that inside shoulder, when you counter arc them which shoulder are you picking up.....

And a bit is going to use its function....not fix the problem. You need to get her carrying herself properly....you just said she isn't using her body properly. A bit isn't going to get her doing that. Your using leverage to make your horse lift that shoulder instead of teaching them to correctly carry themselves.

This is what my mother does for a living....and has done it her entire life so I am sure she knows what she is doing or else we wouldn't have the horses we have. A bit, like I said isn't going to teach them....your just going to be using the bits leverage to pick them up instead of the horse picking itself up.

I would see if she has been on the pattern for a long while......but never in the training process would I ever think about upping the bit vs going back and fixing the actual problem.

If a horse is dropping in already.....there IS something missing in the foundation...or else the horse probably wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

So lots of Counter Arcs, Stopping and backing to get her using her hind end, and rollbacks......

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Please tell me .. , if a horse has such good training , why would you EVER change bits ? ....Because that's what you're telling me , what kind of bits do you use on your barrel horses ? I can guarantee its not a snaffle , and why is that ? WELL , because some horses work better in different bits and once they begin to progress , so does their mouth , in terms of running threw the bit in barrel horse , now isn't that right ?
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-05-2012, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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AND , I really am not going to worry about it because I know what works for my horse . As I got a bit , not one on the list , but one that gives a little lift without the bite , used it for about a week , got her on her hind end more (once she's fully conditioned and I can be riding more regularly she'll be golden !) , and lifting beautifully , without having to touch her at all really , I put her back in the snaffle for the past few rides and she hasn't been dropping her shoulder at all , all I have to do is keep my hand lifted properly and she's perfect . So I don't see any missing pieces to her foundation ...she's back in the snaffle and the problem is gone , NOT covered up . I really wouldnt put a harsher bit in her mouth if I didn't see fit . I didn't need to yank or pull or anything . I just did the same thing I did in the snaffle , but with that bit , it seemed to really click in her mind as after a few patterns she was already keeping herself up well .
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