Running Martingale & Switching Bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Running Martingale & Switching Bit

So the project horse I am working with can be a bit troublesome when it comes to trotting and cantering. Pressure on the reins when trotting or cantering causes him to toss his head up and I'm thinking its because of the bit. I am very light with him through the reins but if I need him to slow down, I apply pressure on the reins and he tosses his head up. The bit fits fine but I think I'm going to change it.

The bit he is in now is a Tom Thumb Bit, which I am not a big fan of.


So I want to switch him to an Egg-Butt Snaffle.


I'm hoping this'll be easier for him since it's very simple.

After making sure everything fits properly and he still tosses his head, I was thinking about trying a running martingale.


What do you think? His owner said that before he had used it on him and he responded really well to it. I'm only worried that what if he tries to buck and puts his head down? Will I be able to get his head up??

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 04:05 PM
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It is very unusual to hear about an english horse ridden in a western bit. I agree with you, though, about it being an awful bit for a horse.

The first thing I would check would be his teeth. Head throwing is a sign of discomfort and it could be the way the bit is hitting his teeth. However, with a Tom Thumb I'm not surprised with his behavior.

After you've checked his mouth, I like the idea of the eggbutt snaffle. I'm a firm believer that if a horse is properly trained, a simple snaffle is all they need until you go on to advanced training.

Personally I like a snaffle with a Billy Allen mouth piece.

When you go to stop him, try using your seat and legs more. I would not move him to a running martingale for now especially if you need that for control. It is much better to back up in his training and work him at a walk and trot only until he is ready to move up.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 05:47 PM
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A bit change sounds like an excellent idea. As for the martingale, it would be helpful as well, but I don't know about the bucking thing ...

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11



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post #4 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 07:45 PM
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what about a french link snaffle???
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses
It is very unusual to hear about an english horse ridden in a western bit.
He is ridden western, not english. Sorry if you misunderstood!

Thanks iridehorses and Jubilee Rose for your suggestions!
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
what about a french link snaffle???
I am a huge fan of french-link snaffles but he had this snaffle in his barn, so I thought I'd use that because I don't have a french-link of my own to use on him.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiJumper
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
what about a french link snaffle???
I am a huge fan of french-link snaffles but he had this snaffle in his barn, so I thought I'd use that because I don't have a french-link of my own to use on him.
well, if that doesn't work then i would try the french-link... i think the running martingale should help... normally with it horses just give after awhile, but it isn't always right away... sometimes it takes 5-6 rides
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiJumper
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlkarel2010
what about a french link snaffle???
I am a huge fan of french-link snaffles but he had this snaffle in his barn, so I thought I'd use that because I don't have a french-link of my own to use on him.
well, if that doesn't work then i would try the french-link... i think the running martingale should help... normally with it horses just give after awhile, but it isn't always right away... sometimes it takes 5-6 rides
Thanks! I tried him in the running martingale today, and it was interesting. He really worked well with it at the canter!! Yay! And when he did try to buck, he could barely do it! I don't know if it was the martingale or what. I wasn't able to change the bit b/c I didn't have screwdriver to change the chicago screws on it, so I had to use him in the tom thumb bit again. But I brought the bridle and bit home so I could change it.

But I made sure to release him a lot, too, so he'd get the idea that its good to have your head down and flexed.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-04-2008, 09:07 PM
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oh, other ways to keep him from bucking (you said he was western, i think...) keep his halter and lead on under the bridle and tie the lead to the horn so he can't get his head low enough to buck... get some roping reins or single rein and put it over the saddle horn so if he bogs his head he'll run into the bit
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-05-2008, 09:39 AM
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The running martingale will probably be very good for that type of horse. longe him with it on and see how he does. then put the snaffle on with the martingale on the longe line and see how he does. If you want a martingale that does not connect to the bit use a standing martingale. it connects to the nose band and the girth it works well with my head strong Arabian.

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