Bit for?? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 35 Old 10-10-2010, 10:40 AM
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Just one other point Acire - many of us have or have had spirited horses (myself included) so can understand what it is like to ride,train and compete with one. My own background is eventing and I have always had OTTB's for it so believe me I can relate! It took time (some more than others) but my eventual bits were a thick eggbut snaffle for dressage and SJ and a slim full cheek snaffle for XC. Did I win the first time I took a horse out? Nope, it took a few goes to place but they always got better each time but it was well worth it in the long run having horses with simple snaffle mouths.

Personally I can't quite make the connection between 'spirited' and 'bit'. Sure they might jump around, pretend they are going to rear, crowhop, scoot off sideways etc but it isn't the bit that is going to change that behaviour, ever. Only time and training will. To an extent, a gag bit may help control these types of behaviour but it really is just a mask. The actual goal isn't to hide bad behaviour, it is to address it and change it. Of course you never want to lose the spirit of your horse, you just want to be able to channel it into a more productive use.

Another reason that you might want to consider using a snaffle if you are going to get into eventing: It is well worth being able to ride your horse in a snaffle in the dressage and SJ phases as many horses will be far more strong in the XC phase and sometimes a stronger bit is warranted as is a need for more instantaneous stopping/slowing power. Many people use a stronger bit in XC for this reason. If you already use a stronger bit for everyday use then there is little point to using one when it really counts as the horse has already learnt to disregard it.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #32 of 35 Old 10-10-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
Umm Snookeys - Anebel did post helpful advice first. It was the OP who got all ruffled when they didn't hear what they wanted to hear. The fact is, that no matter if the OP's horse 'listens' or not, a snaffle is the only legal bit in dressage. Anebel said that, politely and without any sarcasm.
That's not what I interpreted, but okay.

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #33 of 35 Old 10-10-2010, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snookeys View Post
That's not what I interpreted, but okay.
Me either.
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post #34 of 35 Old 10-10-2010, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snookeys View Post
That's not what I interpreted, but okay.
Thanks for the input.

What would you suggest the OP do?
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post #35 of 35 Old 10-10-2010, 10:29 PM
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And a great post about this issue from the "Will your horse respond to your bit?" thread which not only is a great read, but very pertinent to the subjects brought up in this thread (I mean, the original subject. We are still talking about bits, right???).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
I'm not going to get into the full on debate going on between you and others, but I will disagree with your feeling on how your hands effect, or don't effect the horse, and his behavior. Please don't take this like I'm trying to pick on you...this IS just MY observations, and experience.

I just got back from a Clinton Anderson clinic, and his main horse that was being schooled, is a horse that is always tense, tosses his head, jigs, etc...you name it, he does it. However, Guess what 'solved' his problems? Taking the pressure off his face/mouth. Most people use their hands to stop or otherwise slow a horse down. His owner admitted, that that is what she does...The horse's behavior was in his owners hands, literally. What the clinician did was simply work on bending the horse laterally, get him to move his feet willingly, and to stop when he sat down (or one reined him, if he didn't listen to his seat)...not once did he lean on the bit, or try to pull the horse to a stop...the horse calmed down, his head came down, he relaxed, and he stopped wanting to move forward everytime the rider asked him to stop...again, the horse's behavior was directly tied to the rider's hands.

So yes, a horse's behavior, whether good or bad, or anywhere inbetween can and often times will be related to how his handler handles his mouth/face (bitless).
I have had horses who respond better bitless, and others, like my current mare who seem to prefer her snaffle bits to pressure on her face (bitless). Does she respond bitless? Sure, but she's NOT as relaxed, so that is what makes the difference for me...and I broke her in bitless so it's not like I didn't have time to evaluate how she performed (rope halter, as per norm for me when breaking in a horse).

Everytime I step on a horse, whether it's one I'm training, or my own mare, keep a mental check on how my hands are handling the horse...ideally the only thing the reins should 'control' are the horse's head and neck; your seat and legs are what control his shoulder, ribcage, and hips...ultimately all forward, backward, sideways, etc, movement.
But the horse doesn't listen to the bit, so this couldn't be like the same issue or anything, right?
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