Quick bit/training question..

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Quick bit/training question..

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    09-09-2010, 02:57 PM
Quick bit/training question..

A few more days of lunging for Vinnie then I'm going to start working with him under saddle. He was trained, foundered as a 5 or 6 year old, and has 3 years without being ridden. I don't know what kind of bit was used, but in the picture it's shanked and I *think* it's a curb.

So, I'm planning on having him in a snaffle the first few days of riding as I get a feel for him. Then, maybe in a week or so (depending) I want to start working our way towards collection & outline (so, lateral flexion, leg yeilds, ect.).

The question is: Should I keep him in a snaffle for however long it takes to get him decently pushed into his face, then switch him to an unbroken bit (we cannot show in a broken bit at his age)? Or should I get a feel for him then switch to a curb or something and get him collected on that?

I was thinking to just finish him out on a snaffle, then switch but I usually don't switch bits around too much so I don't know how much it will take to get him going good on the curb (or whatever I use) after he's good on the snaffle...

Let me know :)
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    09-09-2010, 03:16 PM
I, personally, would take him as far as feels right in the snaffle. Give him some time, until it feels right, then try him in the curb. The good thing is that after you move him up in the curb, if he doesn't feel just right, you can put him back in the snaffle.
    09-09-2010, 04:08 PM
I agree. If you get him solid where you want him in the snaffle then the switch to the curb should be easy. Once he's on the curb you shouldn't really have to touch his face at all unless making minor adjustments as I'm assuming your riding some sort of western discipline? So get him going exactly how you want him when you show in the snaffle, then switch to the curb let him get used to it and away you will go. If you put a solid foundation on him with the snaffle and get him moving off your other aids the switch to the curb from the snaffle should be quick and easy.
    09-09-2010, 04:23 PM
So he is 8 or 9 now?

When was the last time his teeth were checked?
    09-09-2010, 04:35 PM
He's 9. His teeth were check two weeks ago, and they were good so I didn't have to get anything done to them.

Nittany & Smrobs: Okay that sounds like it'd be fine. I'm not in a hurry or anything, I have all the time in the world to get him correct. And yes, we're showing in WP.
    09-09-2010, 04:56 PM
Out of curiosity. Is he an arab? He looks it in the pic in your avatar (if that is him). Also, if until now you've only been lunging him and not riding then you're going to have to really slow down your plans with him. In one week back under saddle you will probably be lucky to start regulating pace. He is going to have to relearn how to carry weight and use himself under saddle again. So stick to big circles, lots of walking and a little trotting. If you can, post the trot and try to stay off his back/out of his way as much as possible while he figures things out again. Then start asking him to speed up/slow down within gaits and also learn to maintain the pace that you set on his own. Then start asking for some lateral stuff after he can easily maintain pace, change pace and carry himself correctly under saddle. If you need help with specific exercises or a good "Back-to-Work" program let me know and I can help you with specifics. It will take months to get him fit and legged back up after all that time off, not just a few weeks though.
    09-09-2010, 05:04 PM
All the colts I have are always started in the snaffle and are kept there until they are closed to finished. They show in Snaffle classes and then we get a few months of off season. During that time, we put the curb in and just let them figure it out. I've never had one pitch a fit over it yet, and they do pretty much the same in the Curb bit and the snaffle bit.
    09-09-2010, 08:37 PM
Yes he is a straight egyptian. I'm sure it will take more than a week now that you mention it, idk why I said a week? I don't really have a time frame in mind (like I said I have all the time in the world) and we'll learn at his pace & condition level.

I'm hoping he'll pick a lot of his former-training back up, as he was shown at 3 y/o. I'll be patient though, thanks :)

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