Different Bits for starting/restarting horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-19-2012, 09:53 PM
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I would think the leather would get soggy and feel pretty slimy in their mouth. But it also seems that over time it would tend to get very rough to the touch if left to dry between rides. Think about leather reins that get wet and dry and wet and dry again...very stiff and rough to the touch unless oiled every time they get wet.

Not sure though, just my thoughts.

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post #12 of 18 Old 12-20-2012, 01:22 AM
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I alway use a bit hobble w a snaffle. It helps in the "feel" of everything, in general. I agree w the poster ^, a plain single jointed snaffle is the best starting point. I ended up using a waterford w my mare. But, she still does best w a hackamore. Sometimes it takes a "few" to find "the one"....and sometimes "the one" is what you started with. It can run ya.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-20-2012, 02:00 AM
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When starting or restarting a horse we always go back to the basics....a plain O-Ring snaffle no matter what the horse has been in previously. You want your horse to respect that bit, and not have to bit up the horse to where down the road they don't have a mouth to work with.

It is all about quick release, and not just with bits but with everything you do. The quicker you release the pressure the faster they are going to catch on to what your asking because your release of pressure is a reward for the horse. If I want a horse to flex to the side...I hold some pressure until they give. As soon as I feel them give to the pressure I drop my rein and give them their face back. Pretty soon a stiff horse is giving to you when you touch the reins with your pinky. Same when stopping, backing, side passing, ground work, ect. It all comes down to release. The bit really has nothing to do with it but more control....the harsher the bit the more control and faster reaction your going to get, when you really should get that response from the simplest bit.

When my barrel horses are NOT running they are rode in snaffles and are super light.

Make sense? Sorry if it doesn't it is getting late and I have had a long day so not sure if my explaining is making sense to others.

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post #14 of 18 Old 12-20-2012, 06:30 AM
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Basically two bits that I use and have for years, an egg-butt with a thicker mouthpiece and a loose ring with a narrower mouthpiece. Both are true snaffles ie single joint. The loose ring is used on a horse with a shallow palate. I find a horse is often more willing to accept the loose ring.
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-22-2012, 03:04 PM
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I tried switching my horse from a curb bit to a plain O-ring snaffle and he HATED it... started trying to duck the bit, acting out, crow-hopping. Ok, ok I said and switched him back to the curb bit after giving his mouth a few days to rest and he was back to his old soft self immediately... I really want to switch to a snaffle but have been vetoed in that regard. :(

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post #16 of 18 Old 12-22-2012, 03:10 PM
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You need to train him to accept the bit....it is t going to happen in 1, 2, 5 rides jus like anything else it will take time.
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-22-2012, 06:48 PM
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I'd have rode it out if I'd felt it was a training issue... I think it's a pain issue though. He's got a wolf tooth that I noticed for the first time when trying to force the snaffle into his mouth (which I had to do after the first ride with it) and I think he's cutting his canines. Having to wrestle with my boy - who normally obligingly opens his mouth to take the bit - to get him bitted made me feel pretty rotten. :( He responded to the snaffle fine, a little heavier then I'd like but I was prepared to ease him back to almost no pressure like I did with the curb bit. Once I have his teeth addressed I'll try it again.

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post #18 of 18 Old 12-23-2012, 10:14 PM
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I start my horses with a simple ring snaffle (single jointed). After they understand simple commands like go and stop and single-reining, I go to a bosal for most of their training. Then I go to a regular curb (grazing) bit to finish things out. If the horse does well with a bosal, I sometimes just move to a softer bosal and just go with that. Just me, but I like a bosal. You can raise knots on their nose and lower jaws, though, if a bosal is over-used.

The first thing, though, is to get the horse to respond respectfully to commands with good ground training, before any work with a bit. Even an older, experienced horse can benefit from refresher course in ground training.
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