bit question

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bit question

This is a discussion on bit question within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-08-2008, 07:05 PM
bit question

Ok, so right now im using an eggbutt snaffle on my horse. He's great in it when it comes to dressage he listens to me really well. But he's not like that when it comes to jumping. He gets a little excited when we start jumping and he starts getting distracted and I have to do a lot of circles to make him pay attention. But I was wondering if it would be a good idea to get a stronger bit just for jumping. Not a severe bit just something a little stronger. And if so, what bit?
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    09-08-2008, 07:09 PM
Green Broke
I've always heard the saying, stronger bits shouldn't take the place of better training.

Maybe find out different ways to keep him under control before going to a stronger bit?
    09-08-2008, 07:39 PM
I agree with Solon.
Try to see why he's not responding as well. Are you doing something different? Could you possibly be hanging on to his mouth too much?
    09-09-2008, 12:45 AM
I can keep him under control but id just like to have more control. He's still really green so he doesnt know how to listen to me and focus on the jumps at the same time. Im just thinking that with a stronger bit he'll learn to listen more.
Or maybe I just need to learn some listening excercises to do with him. I don't know.
    09-09-2008, 10:08 AM
Green Broke
If he's really green, then I would suggest baby steps to build him up so that he knows how to jump. I find that with a lot of green/young horses, they get fresh or avoid work because they don't have the muscle or know how to do it.

A stronger bit would fix the problem temporarily, but once he starts running through that one, you'll have to go stronger and stronger.
    09-10-2008, 09:48 AM
Especially if he's green, training is definitely the answer. Take things very slowly & easily, focussing on & reinforcing him relaxing & concentrating, rather than just going over the jumps. Also teaching him to do everything on line first, before attempting it mounted.

It's also possible that a different saddle, different position of the rider or something else could be causing discomfort that makes him more 'excitable' in this setting. Be sure to eliminate any physical causes.

When talking about the 'strength' or 'severity' of a bit, you're talking pain. If you need to use a bit 'strongly' you are attempting to control the horse through pain, with whatever bit. 'A little stronger' means the ability to create more pain. Other problems aside, if you're aiming to produce a happy partnership with the horse, that's not going to be a productive approach.

A single jointed snaffle can be quite severe, having the ability to act like a nutcracker on the tongue while gouging the roof of the mouth. This could become a problem with a horse that isn't trained well enough to only use the bit gently for communication rather than control. Perhaps this bit is creating or aggrevating the problems in this setting, while being fine in dressage where he's less impulsive. I would suggest training him first in a halter or a 'gentler' bit such as a double jointed or rubber one.
    09-10-2008, 11:19 AM
Green Broke
That's your answer right there. He's green. So he shouldn't be upped in bit strength without good foundation training to make sure he doesn't even need it. Try not to rush him. Patience is always a key thing for green horses.

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