Bit question...??

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Bit question...??

This is a discussion on Bit question...?? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Curb bit head set
  • Overuse of twisted wire bit

LinkBack Thread Tools
    03-22-2011, 11:55 AM
Bit question...??

I bought my horse off of a local trainer and boarded him there. Things went south between me and that trainer so last weekend I moved my horse to a friend of mines house that I pen with. It works out great for me because they go to practices/shows all the time and they have room for me in their trailer. Really nice people. Brand new indoor arena….its awesome.

The guy that owns this place is a trainer as well. Last night when I was riding he asked me why I ride my horse in the bit I have him in. Currently I have him in a short shanked medium port bit. He is super soft in the bit and listens to it well. This is the same bit that my old trainer rode him in. When we are at shows I put him in a twisted wire snaffle since penning can get a little rammy…I would never ride him in a big bit penning. I do dry work at home in a snaffle some times but he just isn’t as responsive to it. He will give to pressure softly but as soon as I give him any release he sticks his nose back up in the air…hence the reason why I ride him in the bit when im at home.

I know riding him in the bit at home just avoids the whole issue of trying to get him more broke in the face with a snaffle. So I need tips on how to get him soft with the snaffle. This new trainer told me to just straight up quit riding him in the bit….is this a good idea?
Sponsored Links
    03-22-2011, 01:51 PM
First, the twisted wire snaffle is MUCH harsher that your med port bit (from the description you gave). I'd drop that snaffle all together - it's a nasty bit that works on pain, not pressure and communication.

Next, why not work with the trainer at the barn you are at now to get your horse more responsive? Is there a reason you can't pen in your regular bit (assuming your horse likes it and is soft in it)? I used to pen in a regular low port curb. Nothing fancy just your basic bit. My horse liked it better than the snaffle when we penned (we'd barrel race in a simple snaffle).

Just remember bit does not = brakes. Bit = your telephone line of communication to your horse. If the bit you use is based on pain, just think how much the horse is going to want to continue that conversation! (and that's where evasiveness begins...) good luck and congrats on the new barn it sounds nice!
    03-22-2011, 02:01 PM
I have much less problem with the curb bit than I do the twisted snaffle. I ride all mine in a short shank ported curb and we get along great, even when I put them back into the snaffle. However, if you are using a twisted bit during a high energy sport like penning, then you are likely being a bit harder with your hands than you would just riding at home. One of the reasons why it is so important to never overuse a twisted bit (use it maybe a few days on a horse that disrespects the bit then go back to a smooth). Once they get accustomed to that twisted mouth, the smooth mouth means nothing to them.

Go back to basics in a smooth snaffle, work on constant pressure and release. It won't be an overnight fix. When he sticks his nose back up in the air, apply pressure again until he puts his head where you want it and gives. When he does, don't give him a full release (throw the reins away and make them really loose). Move your hands just enough so that he does get a release from pressure but if he decides to pick his nose up again, leave them short enough so that he would run back into pressure.

Geez, I am so horrible at explaining things like that. Let me see if I can find a video showing what I am talking about. It's basically riding him as if you are a pair of side reins. Put the release at a certain headset point and keep it there. You might have better luck if you work with the trainer that you have on hand.

Here is a video that shows the basic idea though they use equipment instead of just the rider doing it. Teach him that release comes at a certain headset and keep it consistent. With time, he will learn to keep his head more correct and will give and tuck the instant you apply any pressure to the bit.
    03-22-2011, 02:39 PM
Isnt that what's called a Chambon?
    03-22-2011, 02:47 PM
I honestly have no idea, I've never used anything like it.
    03-22-2011, 03:18 PM
When you pen, are you neck reining or two handing?
    03-22-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm not sure I like it. It may just be a personal thing, but I don't like the idea of pulling a horse's head down via the side reins between his legs. A rider's hands are up above the horse's withers and should have no connection to the horse's chest. The idea is not to pull a horse's head down, but to lift up and ask the horse to give. Roundness comes from the haunches engaging more than anything else... if you just pull their head down it makes them heavy on their forehand and their haunches just drag along behind like an after thought.
    03-22-2011, 03:34 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
When you pen, are you neck reining or two handing?
2 hands
    03-22-2011, 04:12 PM
That's true Eolith, but that was the closest example I could find of what I was trying to explain . I have never used that set-up and probably never will, but it does take very good timing and good hands to be able to do it effectively while riding.
    03-22-2011, 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by NicoleS11    
2 hands
If you are two handed, then you do not want the curb at all. First - if there is no break in the bit, it is VERY harsh to two hand, second if you were to ever show AQHA, it is illegal to show two handed in a curb when penning and sorting.

I train with a softer bit and move up to a bit with a bit more 'ompf' when we compete. In training or conditioning there is time to go back and redo. When you are working cattle against a clock, there are no "do overs"!

I would use a regular snaffle for the at home work, curb is good for trail, and the twisted wire for cattle work - if the horse needs the extra bit of attention grabber.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Double thread: Riding question and mental question Tymer English Riding 16 11-09-2010 06:28 PM
Question on MTG Gidget Horse Grooming 9 10-28-2010 03:45 AM
height question--someone please answer this question. Gidget Horse Breeds 8 09-21-2010 08:53 PM
New here- have a question Altivosalsa Horse Talk 9 12-17-2009 11:53 PM
Just a question.... justsambam08 Horse Tack and Equipment 4 12-14-2009 10:06 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:25 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0