Good bits for a mouthy 2yo? - Page 4

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Good bits for a mouthy 2yo?

This is a discussion on Good bits for a mouthy 2yo? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    10-25-2012, 11:39 AM
Thanks Elana, but its nylon i'd have to get a phillips head screwdriver and heat it red hot then do it, I had to with dog collars ;)
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    10-25-2012, 03:22 PM
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bowers    
No i'm not riding him, the most I might do is just sit on him, I will stop that now that I see it may cause more harm than good. My mom told me(she's raised and trained her own horses) to start riding him at 3, so I have been gradually introducing him tack and equipment. I don't even plan on riding him until he is 4 or 5. I just started really riding my mare, whom just turned 5 at the beginning of this month, and that's only once a week. I"m happy to let them take their time and grow and become healthy and fit enough to take a rider. I wouldn't be sending them out to be trained until they are mature enough mentally and physically. Sorry if you got he wrong view here, but I was thinking if he never lost his 'mouthy' behavior, what good bits there are I should try.
For holy cow I have a friend who has a 3yo trotting the barrel pattern already and takes him out on late evening rides 3/4 days a week, and the trainer is there everyday. I couldn't believe it.
I do appreciate the article you posted, that is some very useful and needed knowledge there. Thank you!
Glad to hear this -- smart girl! Always a good idea to have a horse's teeth checked before starting bitting. The way we do the babies is to get a very soft, flexible, rubber, mullen mouth snaffle (no joint in the middle) like this one: Centaur Metalab Soft Rubber Mullen Mouth D-Ring Bit. These bits are absolutely useless for riding; their sole purpose is to get the baby used to having a bit in his mouth. The soft rubber INVITES chewing and mouthing, which is absolutely normal behavior for a baby first experiencing the bit. Once they quiet down because it's just not a new thing anymore, we move on to a jointed snaffle, usually a D-ring because the straight sides against the horse's face help when you are teaching them to turn (the bit won't slide through the mouth like an O-ring tends to).

The bits I personally prefer are the KK Sprenger Ultra bits. They have two joints and a softly rounded lozenge in the middle (not a flat piece like a French link, which can be harsh on the tongue). The double jointed bits seem to be accepted more easily by a majority of horses -- there are always exceptions who prefer a single joint, but I'd say about 95% of the horses I've worked with prefer the double jointed bits. These bits put less pressure on the sensitive (and easily damaged) bars of the jaw, and more on the strong, flexible tongue. They allow great subtlety of communication, as the sides are more independent of one another. They also do not have the "nutcracker" effect of popping up and hitting the horse in the palate -- a real problem for many horses and the cause of much head-tossing and mouth-gaping.

I recently asked Dr. Hilary Clayton (top researcher of all things related to riding!) at MSU whether she thought the single jointed bits or double jointed bits were more comfortable for the horse, and it was her opinion that the double jointed bits were more comfortable based on their function and the physiology of the mouth.

The KK Sprenger bits are pricey, no doubt about that. But they are totally worth it, in my experience. The craftsmanship is amazing -- there are no gaps to pinch in the swivel parts at the corners of the mouth, and the metals used are gorgeous and hold up extremely well. Leave it to the Germans to do something so precise and high quality!

You will find many opinions on this topic, but experienced trainers will all tell you that you definitely do NOT go to any kind of leverage bit (curb or otherwise) on a baby. The horse has to be trained to understand and accept the bit first before you can move on to leverage bits, if you desire to do so. That's why you see the young horse classes called "snaffle bit futurities". All those horses are too young to be ridden, but at least they have them in snaffles!

I hope this is helpful for you.

Susan K
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    10-25-2012, 07:05 PM
Thank you Susan! This is great to know, I really appreciate it.
    10-25-2012, 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bowers    
I have started randomly swinging my arms around, and kicking and stomping my feet. He has learned to stop and look and see what this crazy person is about to do and if he should make a run for it, or stand and watch LOL
yeah well, at worst, this training technique will keep them(& anyone else watching) entertained!
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    10-28-2012, 11:56 AM
Believe it or not everyone, I went out and did a lesson on backing and yeilding and some ground tying. He actually got the idea of staying out of my space and watching out for what i'm about to do. He picked up quick, I even went out to feed them the next morning, he came up for a few scratches and then left me alone to do my work. I was proud of him, he didn't even try to nip/bite. YAY!! I will still continue working with him on his manners. ;)
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    10-28-2012, 11:50 PM
I only read a few posts, but I was always taught to NEVER hit a horse in the face. Always on the neck or somewhere else that is not their face or nose, It makes them very faceshy. We had a horse on our farm who had a biting issue, and his owner always hit him on the mouth or face, and anytime anyone came up to pet him on the face or give him a treat, he would get his head as far away from you as possible. I'm not saying that anyone is wrong, but this is the result that has happened from hitting the face
    10-29-2012, 11:15 PM
I was proud of him, he didn't even try to nip/bite. YAY!! I will still continue working with him on his manners. ;)
Hey, don't forget to be proud of yourself too - you're the one who's teaching him & obviously getting more effective!

I was always taught to NEVER hit a horse in the face. Always on the neck or somewhere else that is not their face or nose, It makes them very faceshy.
Hi Skipper, yes, a common belief that I don't personally hold. I think that punishment generally - any kind, anywhere - is something that is commonly done badly & inappropriately, because people don't appreciate the importance of timing, understand how the animal learns, people are often very inconsistent. Therefore it's probably way more often than not, misunderstood by the animal. Therefore, they tend to get either 'shy' or desensitised to it, wherever it happens - eg somebody that inexplicably hits them in the face, or waves a whip at their behind.

I think understanding the principles behind behavioural training & punishment is what helps us know how to be more effective - & fair - with it. Timing is one of those vital principles & with virtually no margin for error - horses need instant feedback - and it's always best if it can be set up that *they* inflict the punishment on themselves rather than *you* do it *to* them. Consistency is another vital principle. So you need to decide the specifics which you will & won't accept and stick to them. Eg. If you are going to allow the horse to do something sometimes, it's not generally reasonable to punish it for the same thing at other times. So the consequence of *him* getting too close to your waving arms was that *he* got *himself* bumped in the nose, is likely to be understood for what it is and the horse will only learn to be 'shy' to getting in your space when not invited.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    10-29-2012, 11:36 PM
Despite my belief of riding two yearolds, have you tried using a flash nose band?
    10-30-2012, 03:23 PM
Originally Posted by smguidotti    
Despite my belief of riding two yearolds, have you tried using a flash nose band?
No, I don't ride him, i've just set on him a couple times. And I just want him to get used to wearing one, I won't be riding him until he's about 4yrs old.

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