Introducing English tack to a WH and working with limited resources, but determined!

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Introducing English tack to a WH and working with limited resources, but determined!

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    01-16-2011, 11:11 AM
Introducing English tack to a WH and working with limited resources, but determined!

Alrighty, so I have a few questions about proper methods of introducing the English tack and riding to a green broke Western horse. I have a lot of land to work with but little in the way of schooling pens. :< I have a sort of round pen, but it is not on level ground, it is on a hill, Would this still work?

1) About her bit, when I bought her she came with her swivel curb bit. I am a little concerned that keeping her on this bit while riding her English with rein contact is not going to be good for her, or me. I have a very nice eggbutt dee snaffle bit with copper mouth that I think would work better for her with the greater contact. What do you think? What is a good way to acclimate her her to this type of bit and how it is used?

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    01-16-2011, 11:27 AM
I started my horses western. When I decided to go english I just put a english saddle on. And yes, you don't ride on contact with western curb. You want to switch to the snaffle (also "understanding" of the contact won't come in 1 ride, it took mine quite a while to learn).

P.S. BTW, it's either eggbutt or D, can't be both...
    01-16-2011, 11:33 AM
The trainer I had 'break' a horse was all western, but she taught the mare using a snaffle bit...said other bits came later in her training, if we wanted. The two more experienced western horses didn't blink an eye about a snaffle bit. Well, the mare did, but she hates all bits...although she'll accept a snaffle, just prefers (strongly) to be ridden without a bit.

They would need some work if I wanted to keep them on the bit, if that is OK terminology. I don't, so I haven't tried it much. But training them to accept some pressure on the bit shouldn't differ from any other horse learning it, unless someone made them bit-shy by combining harsh hands with a harsh bit.

The only difference I saw was switching saddles - English puts more pressure per square inch, but is less restrictive overall. My horses were a bit hesitant at first under an English saddle, but after about 10 minutes they broke into a trot and didn't want to quit. They swap back and forth now without concern.
    01-16-2011, 03:49 PM
I trained my QH mare who had always been tacked up Western to go with a dressage saddle and snaffle bit bridle. First thing I did was ground work by lunging her with the saddle and the snaffle bridle. At that time I didn't ask for any contact with the bit. I did a lot of the ground work before I ever considered getting on her. I also found a bit that helped a lot. It was a Baucher bit that had a small amount of poll pressure and still Dressage legal. After a while I lunged her with side reins slowly shortening the length of them to start asking her to be on the bit with contact. Time, patience and consistency paid off. She did far better than I with the different tack. I did eventually go back to my Western tack, but with the english training we both became better at going Western.
    01-17-2011, 01:31 AM
I had concerns about introducing western gear to my dressage horse and was told that mostly it doesn't matter to the horse, just the rider. The advice I was given was very helpful, so I hope it works vice versa. I kept my bridle and style the same while I got used to the new saddle and position. Once I felt comfortable in the saddle, then, I changed the bit and bridle. In my limited understanding of typical western bridles and bits, they seem much more sevier than the French link snaffle eggbutt bit my mare was used to. That general difference if why there's little slack in the reins of an english rider vs. that of western pleasue rider with a shank. (please feel free to correct any of my ignorances. I'm always learning more about every discipline I come across.) I was rightfully told to worry more about myself than my horse adjusting to the new tack. My mare will quietly go both ways now thanks to advice for me, not really my horse.
    01-17-2011, 11:27 AM
Well, this is what I did and it worked beautifully, mainly I'm sure because she is such a good girl, heh :) but all I did was lunge her with her new tack, I used the eggbutt dee snaffle -which yes, does exist because the packaging described it as such- with copper mouth piece and she responded much better to it than to the bit her previous owner gave me for her. I longed her for about 15 minutes and got on her, and she acted like she had been a hunt horse all of her life, it was wonderful! No problems at all and she loved the bit.
    01-17-2011, 03:25 PM
Could you, please, post the picture of "eggbutt dee snaffle" or give a reference to the sale site? I'm sorry, but I still going to argue there is no such a thing (and whoever put a description on it was wrong). Would love to see if I'm wrong and it exists.
    01-17-2011, 03:42 PM
Green Broke
I personally don't like working on hills unless I'm doing hill work, as in trotting up and walking down in straight lines and the like. If it has only a slight slope, it will be okay though. But only slight.

My horse had been ridden in Western all her life. When I got her, I clipped her rein into the snaffle spot, threw an English saddle on her, and rode a 17 mile competitive trail ride. She didn't know the difference, but it took a while to get use to pressure in her mouth. She still isn't keen on it, but is getting use to steady contact.
    01-17-2011, 03:54 PM
Green Broke
I agree with KV, I don't believe there is an eggbutt/dee. It is one of the two. There are eggbutt rings, and dee rings. Not a combination of the two.
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    01-18-2011, 01:21 AM
I looked up eggbutt dee ring snaffle, and sure enough saw a bit described as such, but it was indeed an eggbutt and not a Dee ring. (

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