Either/Or?
   

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Either/Or?

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  • Low port curb for ottb

 
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    02-03-2010, 07:52 PM
  #1
Banned
Either/Or?

Alright, so I am still having doubts as to using a bit in Ices mouth. Although the French Link I bought him a month or so ago seems to sit well in his mouth much better, as in he doesn't play with it/try to push it out as much, there's still a 50/50 chance on any given day that I will actually get it in his mouth. He knows the "head down" cue but as soon as he sees or hears a bit, I can see on his face he gets ready for a fight.

He doesn't just accept the headstall going over his head to put the bit in (he throws his nose up and knocks it out of my hands), so I have to take it apart at the cheek piece and come at him from the side. It was working well for awhile, and then he figured out my game, so now he sits there and leans into my hand yawning until he's pushed it out of my hand. I've tried carrying a crop to correct the yawning/stretching he does, but he doesn't pay any mind to the crop, he just goes on with his business. Once the bit is actually in his mouth, I find that he is much heavier on the forehand and harder to stop and turn.

I have a hackamore that I rode him in for a few months, and I honestly think he does beautifully in it. He's very light and comes off the forehand, and he pays much more attention to my seat and legs than in a bit. But, he's not exactly a "finished" horse by any stretch of the imagination, and as he has proved, when he wants to ignore the hackamore he can....but he comes back from it easily.

He is a 12 year old OTTB, and I do plan on talking to my trainer about the pro's and cons of each and what she feels he'd go better in, but I just wanted a little bit more advice on the matter from all of you.
     
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    02-03-2010, 10:07 PM
  #2
Started
Do you ride every time you bit him? Maybe it's Ice's way of avoiding work to refuse to bridle with the bit; easier for him to clamp shut for the bit than to pull away from the hack. Have you tried bridling him, praising him with whatever works for him, and then taking the bridle off? It might throw him for enough of a loop that something might shake into place. Random thought.

Anyway, if you don't plan on showing and he works well in the hack, I'd stay with it. If it ain't broke... It might take some fiddling with the mouthpiece as well, he could be one of those really picky horses. Maybe try a Billy Allen mouth snaffle?
     
    02-03-2010, 10:14 PM
  #3
Trained
If he goes great in the hack, then stick with it!
     
    02-03-2010, 10:17 PM
  #4
Banned
I don't ride every time I bit him, but we do usually work, which he does LOVE doing. He has fabulous work ethic. I have tried just putting it on and then taking it off a few times (out of neccesity, it was dark but I didn't want to leave without getting the bit in his mouth) and it doesn't seem to affect him one way or the other. However, no bit doesn't mean no work....I regularly free lunge him, and have hopped on him in a halter before (because he wouldn't take the bit! Lol)

I think whether or not he takes the bit is largely dependant on his mood. The other day he was very sweet and calm and responsive, and he took the bit just fine. Then today he was a little bit more on edge, and he was an absolute brat to work with.

I previously had him in a snaffle that he abhorred, is the billy allen similar to the way a snaffle works (without the nut cracker affect obviously, I'm thinking along the lines of tongue pressure)?

My only concern is I've had NUMEROUS people tell me to get him in a bit since he is farfarfar away from being finished and he's bolted twice on me in the hack. (once I brought him back down fairly well, the second I lost my reins, so I ditched. But I'm sure I could have brought him back down from that as well.)
     
    02-03-2010, 10:37 PM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsambam08    
I previously had him in a snaffle that he abhorred, is the billy allen similar to the way a snaffle works (without the nut cracker affect obviously, I'm thinking along the lines of tongue pressure)?

My only concern is I've had NUMEROUS people tell me to get him in a bit since he is farfarfar away from being finished and he's bolted twice on me in the hack. (once I brought him back down fairly well, the second I lost my reins, so I ditched. But I'm sure I could have brought him back down from that as well.)
From what I see Billy Allens I've seen have a bit more curve to the mouth than most other snaffles, that lets the bit lay with the contour of the tongue and bars to some extent, even more so than the french links. I've heard good things about them, and want to try one on Scout sometime to see if there's a difference in him, coming from a single joint eggbutt.

Do you have anything against trying a curb or other leverage bit? My sister has a QH gelding who is really heavy in a snaffle, and grunts and grinds his teeth the whole time he wears one. Just hates it; throws death stares right and left. She normally rides him in a low-port Kimberwicke, and he goes like a gem and stops on a dime in that. Western she uses a low port curb with a copper roller set in the port. Maybe some tongue relief is just what Ice is after, and a leverage bit will suit him better.

As far as control goes, a hack can be just as strong as a bit, depending on the style. If you feel comfortable that he will stop off of it in a pinch, so be it.
     
    02-03-2010, 10:43 PM
  #6
Started
Do a lot of approach and retreat with the bridle. The real issue still needs to be solved....maybe he needs more tounge relief in a bit? Perhaps it's sitting too high in his mouth? Do you ride differently while in the bit (more tense, harder hands, etc?)?
     
    02-03-2010, 10:45 PM
  #7
Banned
I was actually considering finding a low ported curb for him before I was turned on to the french link. I think that would really throw him for a loop, since he tries to push the bit out, probably to get some tongue relief! The one thing I did not like about the hack is that it was a little loose on the sides (he has a TB teacup nose) so the shanks kind of turn in on themselves. Normally this isn't a problem though, since he does neck rein/work off my leg decently well. But, I don't even like the thought of putting him in a rope hackamore.

I don't think I ride any differently with a bit than with a hack. I might be more inclined to ask for a turn with a direct rein, but I don't yank on his mouth by any stretch of the imagination. The bit sits well in his mouth, theres only one wrinkle. He does have a small mouth though, but I don't think that's the problem since he is quieter with the french link than with the snaffle. Tongue relief is probably the culprit.
     
    02-03-2010, 10:55 PM
  #8
Started
From previous threads you have posted about Ice, he sounds like a pretty sensitive guy. I would hesitate to put a leverage bit in his mouth at this point. You can find snaffles (like Myler, or knock-offs) that offer tongue relief. That's the way I'd go if I were in your position. Do you know anyone who has a Myler Level 2 or 3 snaffle you could try on him?
     
    02-03-2010, 11:02 PM
  #9
Banned
I can check around my barn, but I don't think so off the top of my head. Looking at bits on tack sites, I was starting to think the same thing....if he happened to need a little bit reminder with the neck reining, there would be a small chance he might flip out with a ported bit in his mouth. I know one of the advanced jumper girls uses a pelham, but that's ported :(

He also has the most awkward bit size to buy for 4 3/4".
     

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