Another bit question

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Another bit question

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    07-13-2012, 12:08 AM
Another bit question

Here it is another question about bits. When I bought Sunny my 7 year old QH mare I asked what kind of bit they were using on her. They told me a wonder bit. They said they used it on most of their horses. After researching I knew I didn't want to use this. I had a D ring snaffle and I have been using that on her. She seems to like it. I don't. My last horse I rode in a low port curb bit but I sold her bit and bridle to the people who got her. The D ring snaffle I got when I bought a a bunch of used tack. Anyway I have a problem riding two handed. My friend noticed that l lot of the time I have the reins to tight or they are uneven. Can anyone recommend a bit that would be easy on my mares mouth but I could ride single handed? By the way she works pretty well off my leg. This is the most recent picture of her.
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    07-13-2012, 12:30 AM
Are you looking for a western bit or an english bit? You can neck rein in any bit, you shouldn't direct rein in curb bits. You can neck rein in your snaffle. If you plan on direct reining (two hands) do not use a curb, these signals aren't clear.

Now first things first, by yourself a set of rainbow reins, they're super pretty and will remind you to keep your reins even and you can see when you're holding too tight. These are a good investment until you have the 'feel' for where to hold your reins.

Now, if you want a softer bit for your horse here are some options.
If you ever plan on direct reining I suggest using a french or a ball snaffle, these have 2 joints which reduces the nutcracker effect when you have hard hands. Do not use a double jointed one that has a thin flat piece in the middle, those little flat pieces are pressure points. My favorite double jointed snaffle is a a myler (picture below) it has tongue relief, and individually rotating sides. This produces very clear signals for your horse. It only effects the side of the mouth you apply pressure too. I also suggest a full cheek if you horse doesn't have a habit of rubbing their head on you or other things to get caught on. Full cheeks with bit keepers help hold the bit in the correct position in the horse's mouth, encouraging them to hold their head correctly, as well as preventing the bit from being pulled through the horse's mouth if you have hard hands.

Now if you plan on only ever neck reining, not direct reining, and still want a mild bit I suggest a Sweetwater curb bit like the picture below. This bit has a curb strap, thus has some leverage, but because of the short shanks and the well sized purchases this bit has very mild leverage. The purchase it the part from the mouthpiece of the bit up to where the headstall attaches, the shanks are from the mouthpiece down to where the reins attach. The longer the purchase and the shorter the shanks, the milder the bit. A bit with long shanks but with a long purchase is still a mild bit. Also, because the bit is made with a mullen mouth it provides tongue relief without the possible pinch of a port. This bit is as soft as they come, for a well mannered responsive horse who neck reins. Do not direct rein in this, pulling one rein will engage both sides of the bit causing the horse to stop or become confused.

I recommend using as soft a bit as possible until you develop softer hands. But really you should get yourself a set of rainbow reins (I love them!). If you can I also suggest getting an educated friend or a trainer help you work on your own rein handling skills.

Good luck I hope this was informative!
Scoutrider likes this.
    07-13-2012, 06:02 PM
Thank you very informative. I will look up rainbow reins. I just plan to trail ride altough sometimes I do ride in a round pen to practice on my skills. I used to ride once or twice a week now I'm lucky if I get to ride once or twice a month.
    07-13-2012, 07:20 PM
If your horse is really good and reliable with neck reining and can aslo move off leg and seat cues, you could probably use a hackamore. I would consult a trainer (or at least someone more experienced than I) before you make a solid decision on this. This is what I did with my old mare, I rode in a bosal and thick cotton reins, and all we did was trail ride, and it worked fine:)
    07-13-2012, 07:26 PM
She's a pretty girl.

There's some more information that we need before we can really recommend a good bit.

Does she neck rein?
**If not, then don't even look at any bits with shanks.
Do you know how to teach her to neck rein if you want to?
**That will be a better idea because she'll need to neck rein in order to be ridden in a bit that is designed for one handed riding.

There are quite a few bits that I could suggest that would be nice, mild "starter" type curb bits, but that is dependent entirely on whether or not she can neck rein.

Either way, you can neck rein in a snaffle, they just aren't really designed for it.
    07-13-2012, 08:26 PM
I had a lovely post all written out for you but... then it disappeared so... your horse is supposed to be neck reining. He ought to be able to do it in any bit, or even in just a halter. You can use one or two hands with any bit you like. Stay with snaffles for now. Curbs deaden and punish the horse unless you know what you're doing because all corrects feels the same in a curb versus the different directions and corrections you can make in a snaffle bit.
Go for a full cheek or baucher bit if you want.
    07-13-2012, 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by rascalboy    
Curbs deaden and punish the horse unless you know what you're doing because all corrects feels the same in a curb versus the different directions and corrections you can make in a snaffle bit.
Actually, this isn't correct. Curbs have a lot more nuance and "feel" than a snaffle bit does, that's why it's considered a more advanced piece of equipment. That's why the finishing work on almost any good horse is done in a curb bit, because they can feel and react to much smaller and clearer cues.

Also, curbs don't deaden or punish a horse any more than a typical snaffle bit does. It all depends on the hands holding the reins.
boots and TexanFreedom like this.
    07-14-2012, 10:18 PM
Sunny neck reins and also works well off my leg. I just don't like to ride 2 handed. I didn't know I could ride with one hand in a snaffle. I guess I'll keep her in the snaffle for now. I'm not showing her so I don't have to move her up to a curb bit.I 'll try riding one handed in the snaffle.
    07-14-2012, 10:51 PM
Try neck reining in the snaffle, if all goes well you're perfect, but honestly if you're neck reining anyway I'd use that sweetwater bit I posted about earlier - it's far gentler than any broken mouth piece bit (IMO). It will also have clearer signals for a neck reining horse, being designed for that and all.
    07-14-2012, 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by luv2ride    
Sunny neck reins and also works well off my leg. I just don't like to ride 2 handed. I didn't know I could ride with one hand in a snaffle. I guess I'll keep her in the snaffle for now. I'm not showing her so I don't have to move her up to a curb bit.I 'll try riding one handed in the snaffle.
Give it a shot in the snaffle bit but if you aren't getting the feel that you like, here are some really nice, mild curb bit options. These styles, due to the mouths on them and the shank length/angle, are just about as mild a bit as you'll find that still has leverage.

I've not tried either of these 2, but I really like the looks of them
The shanks on this one give a bit of added "flashy" factor instead of just being simple and undecorated.
239091- Partrade Cowboy Collection Short Slotted Futurity Bit

And the rest of these, I either have the exact bit or one very similar and they work well on every horse I've used them on.
Skyseternalangel likes this.

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