Best bit while training? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Best bit while training?

What bit should I use on my 2 year-old paint mare that I will be training for western pleasure.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:20 PM
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for the first 3months when i was training my horse i use him in a full cheek snaffle but now that he has more exerience with what he is doing i have moved him up in a curb bit with a copper roller on it an he seems to be doing good with that for western pleasure so far :)

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post #3 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:26 PM
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Usually WP mounts are trained (&shown) first in the hackamore (up to 5 years, I believe?), then a snaffle (can't remember the age limit on this, I think it's to 6??), then the "finished" horse gets put on a curb.
I'm mostly an english rider, and when I competed western, it was on my mare that was too old (by that I mean 7 or 8 ) to compete in a snaffle or hackamore. I just remember my trainer saying something along these lines.
My trainer started her show gelding off in a halter, and now he has a very soft mouth... it may just be him (quite possibly) or the fact that he was started with a halter.. I'm not sure :P


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post #4 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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I have already used my mare in a bit so she's already used to the bit and she seems to ignore the bit I have her on (O-ring snaffle with rubber padding) and she responds to the bit perfectly well when I do ground work with her with the bit but whenever I am on her she doesn't respond as well as when I'm doing ground work with her. Thank you for the advice.

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post #5 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:44 PM
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Yea, I think dressageIt might be referring to a bosal. A lot of westerm pleasure horses are broken with these. Many people think it's the only way to start them right. Either way, it is a good thing to consider.

My horse was started with a snaffle and moved up to a shank bit when he turned 6. I usually use bits with copper in them.

Bosal:

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post #6 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 02:57 PM
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Thanks, tim, yes I meant to say to use a bosal.


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post #7 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 04:30 PM
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A trainer at my barn always starts with a snaffle, that way you can touch there mouths without hurting them to much....pretty much she moves to a harsher bit when she no longer touches there mouths. This trainer at my barn has a 12,000 dollar horse she rides (would be more but has navicular.) and this horse does not like bits at all...if there is ANY pressure at all on the reins the horse goes into a bucking fit. What I am saying by this is the horse is not bad just has opinions, lol. And That riding with snaffles is fair and Okay. Am I making any point....I don't think so.....so um...use a snaffle until you don't really need to even use a bit......
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 04:55 PM
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You cannot show in a bosal or hackamore that I know of.

I would also suggest a snaffle bit.

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post #9 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 05:47 PM
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Hey there... i train my horses for Dressage and eventing, and i have little knowledge in western Pleasure... although in my years of expirence of breaking and handling horses, i find a french link, for young horses is most suitable. I use to break my horses in around 20months, and the only bit in their mouth was a french link, till 4years old, where then i would compete on them, and i would increase the bit level to a ordinary egg butt snaffle. I dont believe in harsh bits... esp with younger horses. You should always start with the softest and work up... instead of doing the oppisite... it dont work that way...

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post #10 of 29 Old 01-13-2008, 05:51 PM
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I believe you can show (in WP, I think?) in a bosal up to 5 or 6 years old.. please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong... like I've said, I am just going on something I heard a few (or more) years ago.

Now, personally, I like to start a horse in a french link. It is even softer than a snaffle, with all the benefits, such as: it won't pinch the horse's tongue, it doesn't use a cracker-jack action, and you still get the horse used to having a bit in their mouth.


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