Leading yearlings with bits?

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Leading yearlings with bits?

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  • What bit for a yearling
  • Should i bit my yearling

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    12-24-2012, 03:18 AM
Green Broke
Leading yearlings with bits?

At work we take the yearlings for walks around the property and get them used to rearing bits.

Once they are used to the bits they are supposed to be walked with them everywhere. The other day a yearling got away from one of the girls at work when we were bringing them back in from the day yards. Albert (said yearling) pulled back fast and went running down the driveway. I eventually caught him talking to his mum through the fence.

We were told afterwards that the yearlings have to be taken everywhere with a bit. We had only used halters to take them out to the paddocks. Apparently Albert has done this a couple of times to this girl. He has done it once to me and I was using a bit with him, from my experience he runs backwards very suddenly and fast. It is impossible to hold onto unless you want to dragged along the ground.

Since I have become aware it is a forming habit and not just a one off I am sure to watch him closely when walking him. As soon as he plants his feet I make sure to move them where I want them before he gets the chance to think reverse.

Anyway my question being does everyone agree that yearlings have to be walked in bits?

My boss said they should so you have more chance of controlling a bad situation. I thought that any horse should be able to be handled in just a halter even a yearling. ??
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    12-24-2012, 03:34 AM
I'd use a rope halter. A bit is a bad situation. Even in a snaffle you can cause some damage to their soft mouths. Babys will be baby's. Get a rope halter and you make the horse spin. Technique is needed not bits.
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    12-24-2012, 05:30 AM
Green Broke
I agree I love rope halters but they only use nylon halters which I find to be absolutely useless.

These are racing thoroughbreds so they have to learn to walk with a bit as yearlings for sales. I prefer to use technique over force with the bit, a lot of people resort to solely using the bit though.

What boss says goes though, which I find frustrating as I feel he thinks he knows more about horses then he actually does.
    12-24-2012, 06:38 AM
Well, if your boss says to do it I guess you do it or loose your job. For me personally I think it is a mortal sin to lead a horse by the reins and a bit, but then I have never had anything to do with race horses.
LisaG likes this.
    12-24-2012, 06:41 AM
Green Broke
For sure, I was just curious on opinions and if I was wrong in my way of thinking.
    12-24-2012, 06:48 AM
Well I guess the context has a lot to do with it. If you work for a race horse breeder/trainer I guess he/she probably knows what they are doing and had good reason for wanting things done the way they are done; and if you are working for the person I guess you have to do as you are told even if you don’t like it. But from my point of view, training cattle horses with the aim of having them as soft in the mouth as I can get them, I wouldn’t lead them by a bit, but there’s probably a world of difference between what you want in a cow horse and what you want in a race horse, I wouldn’t know, never had anything to do with race horses.
But I guess what Im saying is no you are not wrong, if you are in the right context; however if you are leading horses around for a horse trainer, I suppose its his/her way or the highway.
Mochachino, LisaG and Herdof2 like this.
    12-24-2012, 07:03 AM
Green Broke
Yeah that's what I don't get I have led horses that are super light to lead and others you practically have to drag. So when your handling them on the ground I think its different for every different thoroughbred place.

I would love to work at some of the cattle horse places around here but they are hard to get a job at especially if your not super experienced. Most places around here deal with race horses, I was just happy this place gave me the chance to get experience when no one else would.

I'm not really into horse racing but I am currently learning from a woman who does natural horsemanship and is freaking awesome with horses. So hopefully once I learn enough I can get a a job somewhere better. But for now I will just stick with his way to keep the job.
Herdof2 likes this.
    12-24-2012, 08:30 AM
Green Broke
Leading a horse around that knows how to give to the pressure of the bit is one thing. But leading a young horse that hasn't been taught yet what that bit is for is just wrong, in my opinion. Yes they will learn but not as successfully or quickly.

Since that is the way they say you need to do it for your job, I guess you'll just have to do it that way.
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    12-24-2012, 08:46 AM
Green Broke
I do not agree with it either, though they are led by their halter as well not solely by the bit. I do think people could do a better job with their leading lessons before they add the bit to the equation though.

Nothing seems to happen until last minute though, then it is all a big rush to get them to where they need to be. I'm a dumb little stablehand who doesn't know any better though so no one listens to me.
    12-24-2012, 11:07 AM
Green Broke
My BO breeds a couple thoroughbred foals for the track every year. By weaning kids can lead them any where with a string around their neck. A few years ago we took some to a big sale. It seems like its the norm for most breeding stables to do as little work with them as possible, and what is done is done last minute. Most babies at the big yearling sales have very little work done before hand, almost no halter breaking, few are trained to give to preasure and most don't know how to trailer load.

The bit is nessesary as a band aid solution; Taking a very large(some thoroughbred yearlings are well over 15hh), sensitive, virtually untrained baby and expecting it to behave.

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