Bit/Mechanical Devices -rant- - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Bit/Mechanical Devices -rant-

Ok, so me and my mom's boyfriend are constantly disagreeing about our training methods/horse handling. I wish I had a place to keep the horses besides back at my mom's place, but I don't.

Last night was just one of the times when I was truly angered by the guy's ideas about training. One of the geldings I have out there is supposedly "half trained". The guy got some tack earlier yesterday and decided to tack up the horse just to see what he'd do. Ok, I guess there's no harm in that (it's not what I would do, but whatever). However, the bad part is when he brought the bit out. It was a very big, heavy, intense curb bit. I told him you don't start a horse in that sort of bit & I was trying to educate him about snaffles and all I got was the "I hate them broken bits, they're hard to shove into the horse's mouth!" and "Yeah but when that horse takes off you'll need to get his attention with this bit!".
-sigh-

This guy is the old cowboy type that "breaks" horses. Just a few of his methods:
-When the horse wakes up after being gelded, slap that saddle on him and ride the hair off him! He'll never buck you after that!
-Tie the horse's head up when you ride him, he can't buck with his head up!

I have tried explain to him the importance of groundwork to him, and that you may prevent a horse from bucking by tying his head up, but how're you going to get him soft & collected later on? I mean this guy is a nice guy, but his methods are wacked out. He's going to have to learn alot about riding if he's going to get on the horse I'm training for WP. And he is NOT going to be "breaking" and of my young ones. Period.

But anyway, I just think its crazy how many people go to mechanical devices to "fix" a problem. Like, how many cowboys do you see with tie downs on their horses, but their hands are at their shoulders, pulling the horse's head up? And there are millions of people who switch bits for the wrong reasons. I am by no means a "bits are cruel" horse person, but there are better ways to deal with a problem than getting a more harsh bit.

The end.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 03:34 PM
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Tell the man to leave his hands off your F***ing horses or you will break his face. He has NO business touching your animals. Does he own them? No. Does he own the property? I doubt it.

I know very few... ok no... working cowboys that resort to using tie downs and head positioning devices. IMHO they are just devices that are used to replace a lack of training.

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by draftrider View Post
IMHO they are just devices that are used to replace a lack of training.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 04:06 PM
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Wow, there is just no cure for stupid. Fortunately, you will never see a real working cowboy with a tie down on their horse. Not only do they not need them but in a ranch situation, they are extremely dangerous. Though most of the cowboys I know do use shanked curb bits on their horses, it is only after they are solid in the snaffle or bosal and work off of only mild rein pressure. It is people like that that give real cowboys a bad name.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 04:20 PM
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Wow - I feel horrible for the horses he gets his hands on :( that's sad.

I agree with draftrider, no bit fixes problems, but mutes them. Just like all gadgets and I definately think tie downs and martingales fall under that category.

I see too many throw stronger bits in their horses mouths, which is a travesty and a lack of education. Remember, there are too many Uneducated teaching the Uneducated creating Uneducated - far more than Educated teaching the Uneducated creating Educated.

I think that stronger bits have their place, as quick bandaid for that particular moment you are needing it - for example my little buddy is 12 and is just venturing out into the Eventing World after spending the majority of his time in the arena. His horse would get a little over rambunctious while out in large open fields and out on the CC course, so as a bandaid, I put my Happy Mouth 3 Ring Elevator Bit in his mouth to help my little buddy gain a bit more confidence when we hacked and when we were schooling CC.

Now that he's gotten into the groove of things, he knows how to ride his horses little excited burps, he no longer needs the bit - but it did its' job. It didn't train his horse anything, but it gave the little rider a bit more leverage to bring his horse back down under him when situations arose and it gave him that extra confidence to handle the situations when they did come about.

He now goes around in a Myler Full Cheek - but the bit had its' place.

All gadgets are made BY MAN FOR MAN - not for the horse. They teach the horse NOTHING, but they give the rider that extra boost of confidence..unfortunately, as I said Uneducated are teaching the Uneducated, leaving them to believe that these gadgets are actually training the horse, when in reality they are not. You take them away, the horse reverts to how it was before.

Another example, I use the same bit I mentioned above when I Fox Hunt. I can half halt till the moon turns blue, and I can use as much seat into legs into hands until the cows come home - but it goes in his one ear and out the other when we are in a very electric situation like Fox Hunting. So, to beable to control Nelson better, where I am safer, the hounds are safe and the riders infront and behind me are safe, I use my Happy Mouth, 3 Ring Elevator Bit.

Its just a quick fix for that particuclar moment. I know it isn't teaching him anything, but it is there to just bandaid the ride so that it goes smoother and keeps everyone around us happier.

I completely agree - bits don't train, gadgets don't train - they just mute the real problems.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 05:35 PM
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I agree with you wholeheartedly smrobs. There is no way I'd use a tiedown or any other type of head positioning device. They aren't safe out in the brush. Maybe in an arena or round pen where it is was carefully controlled, but not on a trail or chasing a cow.

There is nothing wrong with a curb bit in the right hands, on a horse used to using them and trained to use them. But the fact that this guy is even arguing with the OP over the use of her horse gets my hackles up. If she were abusing or misusing the horse, sure, say something. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut!

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I mean I have no beef against the real cowboys, I guess I should say the "redneck" way of training, not the "cowboy" way. LOL

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 11:13 PM
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A cowboy would do anything to make his horse comfortable and form a bond with him.

A wannabe rides the horse into the ground until they break a good horses spirit.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-02-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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^ Yeah!
The perfect way to describe him would be that he sees horses as "livestock".

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-03-2010, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Eliz View Post
Yeah, I mean I have no beef against the real cowboys, I guess I should say the "redneck" way of training, not the "cowboy" way. LOL
Hey, I'm married to a redneck, but he would never dream of breaking a horse that way. If he did, I would be his worst nightmare!

We "break" horses the "Okie" way. Slow, slow, slow...

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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