Holy big bits! - Page 6

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Holy big bits!

This is a discussion on Holy big bits! within the Horse Trainers forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    05-17-2013, 02:31 PM
First the name correction bit is not correct. These bits are not ment to correct anything. Once you have a horse ready to go into the bridle these are the type of bits you use. All mine end up in a Cathedral bits. They are great cueing bits. They run more into the area of a pre cue but then next step up would be a spade bit. Do not confuese a Cathedral with a spade as they are not the same bit. Each has it uses. As you go up you get more into the pre signle bits vs a contact signle bit.
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    05-17-2013, 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Les, thanks for letting us know! I was worried about her too.

Chick, love the pix . Love to see a good horse and cowboy doing their thing.

As for the whole "big bits" thing, most of them have their place (though there are some that I don't agree with using...ever...like tiny twisted wire with weighted rings or double twisted wire gags with long shanks and the like), but it all depends on the ability and needs of horse and rider. I can ride in a spade or a cathedral but I don't. Maybe it's just because I'm lazy, but I don't want to take the time to properly train a spade horse when most my horses handle almost as good in a simple curb bit. So, none of mine have ever been trained for the bigger bits.

I have an incredible amount of respect for those that take the time and have the ability to turn out a good bridle horse.

I see the OP's point though, it's not just the bits, but the person they are being sold by that causes me to cringe because I've seen how he uses them.
I agree smrobs and to add to your post, I am not what I would call a "purist". I have no problem hanging a hinged port or something else I have hanging handy with leather split reins. *gasp*
Some folks that are really hard core into it won't even use a half breed or snaffle. Gwen Turnbull-Weaver says and I quote:
Most other shanked bits are what are known as "leverage" bits. The standard curb, the Texas born grazing bits, the Buster Welches and the new flexing "broken ports" are but a few examples of the low port leverage bits of our modern day.
A leverage bit works predominantly off of pressure on the curb strap. This is supported by the fact that leverage bits typically have a low port and are often coupled with a chain curb strap to increase the intensity of the pressure when needed. Since it is the pulling or in some cases yanking on the reins that immediately engages the curb strap or chain pressure, a port of any size is of little importance.
The horse trained and ridden in a leverage bit is not taught to carry the bit or have any sensitivity to its shape or configuration. They most often just respond to the curb strap pressure. A riderís goal when using a leverage bit is to engage the curb strap as quickly as possible to achieve the expected results, that is to stop or at least slow down.
The vast majority of horse owners use leverage bits. The leverage bits are simple to understand; pull until they stop, and if that doesnít work, pull harder. For those who only want to dabble in horse ownership, those who do not want to completely submerge themselves in the unplumbed depths of horsemanship, the leverage bits are probably the best answer. They will require more effort and energy to operate but require less preparation, sensitivity and knowledge to learn."

I think this statement(especially the bolded part) is a huge assumption! Any bit can be mis-used whether it be a "leverage" or "signal" bit. For her to say as a whole horses are not to taught to pack a cathedral, A-frame or any other ported curb is rather ignorant and close minded. Yet brings it back around to who is hanging it in the horses mouth and the intention behind using the equipment.
    05-17-2013, 10:58 PM
Cowchick's description of how the horse holds the bit in his mouth and closes his mouth and zones out reminds me of how a baby takes a pacifier and just goes into the peace and pleasure zone.
    05-17-2013, 11:25 PM
Chick, that is so true. In spite of just using regular old curb bits, I prefer my horses to pick them up and carry them on their own instead of just letting the bridle keep them up and "packing" them.

Dobe even gets pissy if you don't let him carry his bit. If the bridle is even 1 hole too tight and he can't carry the bit where he wants it, he's very obvious about his feelings LOL.
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    05-18-2013, 10:14 AM
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
...It's not for everyone and I will never try to convince everyone that this is the only way to train horses...
More than one way to train a horse? THAT'S a radical thought in modern horsemanship! Odd thing is, from what I've read, there seems to be at least a dozen "only ways"...

Your quote from Gwen Turnbull-Weaver:
"The horse trained and ridden in a leverage bit is not taught to carry the bit or have any sensitivity to its shape or configuration. They most often just respond to the curb strap pressure. A rider’s goal when using a leverage bit is to engage the curb strap as quickly as possible to achieve the expected results, that is to stop or at least slow down."
Hmmmm....the only horse I've used a curb bit on is Mia. I grant she does NOT like having the curb strap engage. However, as I have it adjusted now, it takes about 60 deg of pull for the curb strap to tighten. That is ample warning, and she increasingly responds before the curb strap comes into play. Thinking about our last week of riding, there is only one time I think it might have engaged, and then it would have been from a flick of the wrist - so maybe a quarter second of engagement, and maybe not then - I didn't flick very hard. (Someone went by on a bicycle with a tiny two-stroke engine. It had a weird whiny noise and Mia jumped. I flicked my wrist, she stopped, and I scratched her neck until the bad thing went away).

I think the proof of a bit for a given horse is their behavior. Mia felt she had the option of ignoring a snaffle, and that led to nervousness and head tossing. She doesn't feel she can ignore the curb, so she accepts the idea that the rider is in control - and that calms her down. And that calms me down, and that calms her down...and so on. When a horse is interested and relaxed at the same time, how can anyone argue the bit is harsh? With Mia, a fat, O-ring French-link snaffle is a harsher bit than the curb, because she will fight the snaffle and relax in the curb.

I will never have the patience, skill or use for a spade bit. However, it is obvious some do, with impressive results from the horse. It seems to me the horse is the ultimate judge.
    05-18-2013, 01:08 PM
Tiny, I wish you hadn't printed what you did because now whenever I go down the menu, that's what I see. Lol
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    05-18-2013, 02:19 PM
Hi folks, I hardly ever come to this site but I wanted to expand on what has already been said about the spade.
For a spade bit to truly be a signal bit it has to have a loose cheek. The surface area of the spade allows the horse to carry the bit. When you signal through a rein, you are only operating within the range of play the loose cheek has. The horse feels the resulting rotation between the brace and cannon bar. The horse is trained to respond to that feel. At the point when you signal beyond the range of play in the cheek and you engage the port/spoon and curb, the bit is then functioning like any other leverage bit.
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    05-18-2013, 03:50 PM
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Tiny, I wish you hadn't printed what you did because now whenever I go down the menu, that's what I see. Lol
I know. It's awful! But, see, doesn't it look that way?


Can you explain what you mean by "loose cheek".

I am totally new to spade bits.
    05-18-2013, 04:20 PM
The cheek pieces will swivel, not solid.
    05-18-2013, 07:49 PM
Yes they have a slight amount of play in them
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