not safe

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not safe

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  • Horses
  • Need more stopping power than a snaffle

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    04-23-2011, 02:17 PM
Green Broke
not safe

So I'm all about safety(for the most part) when riding. Anyways I have come across some issues again. First one is I think I might need a new bit as I have a Dee ring great for shows but not for trails! She roots and then pulls down and it hurts my hands sooo bad. I have whipped her and kicked her trying to get her head up and it doesn't work..I have to lean forward,gather rein and pull up and back....a few minutes pass and I'm doing the same thing...can anyone recommend a bit that might be a better match for me? I know she does great in a medium shank,high port you think that mightbe something I need?

Also,Gidget saw some black and white cows while my hubby and I were trail riding. Cows didn't mind Buttercup but when they saw gidget they came running up to see her(maybe they were thinking 'our long lost sister' since she is black and white ) ...we were on the road...I had no time to do anything.We did a haunch turn and took off.I steered her over and slowed her down and got her to walk again but I don't want that happening! I got lucky that there were no cars around and that I stayed on as I wasn't prepared for what was going to happen.

Another thing horse is soooooo competitive! My husband and I were loping back and forth in the pasture and well Buttercup was coming up and Gidget decided that wasn't going to happen so within a second we were galloping...again,this bit I have doesn't seem to help as I was trying to hold her back and slow her down....well I couldn't get her slowed down and I thought we were going to smash inside of this little hill..nope,we ran straight up it and then stopped ...I looked around to make sure no one saw as it was embarassing buuuut they saw...Obviously you can see I didn't have control over her yesterday and it was scary...I need help as I want to enjoy riding and not take off like a bolt of lightning!...any ideas and advice? Please no crude/rude comments. I haven't had this happen since when I first got her so it's disappointing.
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    04-23-2011, 04:57 PM
Green Broke
I know most everyone on this forum will probably disagree, but I would put in a bit with a little leverage, especially if you know she does well in it because you've tried it before. Even a short shanked curb will give you wayyy more control than a snaffle.

I kind of think you should go with what works best for you and your horse. Why have a horse that can pull the reins out of your hands if you can switch bits and have power steering? Especially for western/ trail riders. All you are doing with the snaffle is teaching her that she can root and pull. I think a lot of the people that think snaffles are the ONLY way ride, ride with a lot of contact. I agree if a person rides with a lot of contact, they should go with a milder bit. I ride western with very little contact. I like the finesse I get with a curb.
    04-23-2011, 05:13 PM
Sounds to me like she is "over" the direct tongue pressure she gets from the snaffle. In my opinion, the snaffle has its place and purpose, but it is a "kindergarten" bit. As your horse's skills become more refined, it allows you to move into a bit that offers indirect reining and sublter cues. The ported bit offers much more tongue relief while working on other pressure points - poll, chin groove, and bars. She is telling you the snaffle is uncomfortable by rooting and yanking the reins from your hands. If she goes well in a ported curb then I say use it.
    04-23-2011, 05:17 PM
Any bit you use can still alow for these things to happen horses can and will run threw a bit when they are spoked or excited. A shanked bit alows you to have the lose rain and less delay time till you reackt. Which in my opion is the quieker you fix a small problem it saves you from a big problem. If you have friends with diffrent types of bits ask if you can try them out. Try several and ride two or three times in each bit. Till you find something that makes you and your horse happy.
    04-23-2011, 06:23 PM
Green Broke
*sighs* I understand where other posters are coming from, but unfortunately this is a training issue and not a bit issue. The horse will continue to do these things in every bit you put her in, because she WILL simply become harder mouthed as you increase your bit severity.

I know it's tough and frustrating, I've been there myself where my filly will obey my snaffle perfectly in the arena but on the trail trying to stop her from a lope is difficult. It's because I have not trained her properly yet. You can't "stop" a horse in a snaffle, it doesn't work that way, they have to learn a series of cues from your body position to your legs to your hands to LEARN how to whoa. If they don't know this, then expecting them to learn it in a stronger bit is a pipe dream. You may be able to wrestle them more and command more power, but eventually they'll just toughen up or start a new set of problems.

I really think a curb is a very bad idea with a horse that doesn't seem able to go on a loose rein without pig rooting, bolting or refusing to slow/stop. Inflicting pain as a means to an end is NOT the answer. If she CAN go quietly and calmly in a curb without you riding her mouth, then yes, it is a possibility but it doesn't sound like that's the case.
    04-23-2011, 07:38 PM
Green Broke
Thanks everyone for your 2 cents..i appeciate it =D It has been icky weather today so didn't ride. I did however get my new JMW seatsaver in today =D

Gidget has been trained mostly in a curb..this I do know. She was a western horse when I got her. Did lots of gaming and such. Gidget does do well in a snaffle but that's if we are in an arena. She does great in a curb.I can loose rein her and if she tries to drop her head to eat grass I lightly tug and she puts her head back where it's suppose to be which is always nice. I wish I could ride her bitless buuuuuut there is no way..not right now.

Gidget does stop when I tell her to 'hoa but yesterday she was got waaaay to into it.I understand if she thought the evil beast cows ran towards her I might be scared too and run but her going into a full on gallop...i don't like that when I don't ask for it.

I honestly don't think curb bits are pad.I wouldn't get a long shank one if I did.It would be a medium/short shank with a high port.
    04-23-2011, 07:41 PM
Gidget it's not that MM thinks that curbs are bad, because they aren't. What she is saying is that moving up to a stronger bit without addressing the underlying issues won't cure the problem, it will only delay it. It's like having a really bad tooth ache, but treating it with pain killer instead of going to the dentist. The ache is still there, it's just masked by the pain killer. Stop using the pain killer, and the problem will come back, and ignore it long enough and it will get worse.
    04-23-2011, 07:50 PM
Green Broke
I understand what MM is saying but I'm letting her know how Gidget reacts to a curb bit. I'm not riding Gidget and short reining her with constant contact with a curb :)
    04-23-2011, 08:56 PM
Green Broke
I feel you.
My buckskin came from a dude string. She can be pretty hard mouth, probably from all those people yanking on her. I've tried her in a D ring snaffle but she will pull right through it. I get the best results with a junior reining bit which has a small shank.
    04-23-2011, 09:14 PM
Green Broke
Jr. Reining bit?..i will have to look that one up :)

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