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Snaffle bits.....ugh!

This is a discussion on Snaffle bits.....ugh! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        09-19-2012, 12:32 AM
      #21
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
    One example of how ot every horse can be reschooled in a snaffle is because they have no nerve endings left in their mouths because of prior careers ie. Racehorses (it's well non that these horses are 'on the bit' most of the time, and I know because I used to ride trackwork). Now I'm not generalizing about all ex racers, but it is common knowledge that dead mouths is something that does happen from consistent pressure in the mouth....
    If no nerve endings exist, a harsher bit wouldn't work either.

    I've yet to come across a horse I couldn't bring down to a snaffle to reschool. This included horses from various pasts with various problems, and various levels of training.

    The bit doesn't make the horse. The aids in general move and direct the horse when applied appropriately and together, with proper timing.

    I have seen some extremely rank horses retrained and ridden on the aids in a snaffle because the rider did not depend on the bit itself for entire control. They did not block the energy with the bit. They redirected the energy using the aids (in their entirety) as communication and guidence.
         
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        09-19-2012, 12:33 AM
      #22
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Copperhead    
    I think the answer to your question was on the first page of this thread, you just chose to ignore it.
    Please enlighten me Copperhead by quoting the answer.....perhaps it was what you thought the answer was.....I have not ignored......I am trying to see if there is really any relevant established reasoning for the snaffle bit to be held in such esteem when I see so many people struggling with a heavy headed jerk of a horse and not achieving a darn thing because they are told that a snaffle is the best........for example, I have seen someone sell a good good horse because the darned thing spooked out on a trail ride and the lady couldn't pull it up....she was riding in a big fat eggbutt snaffle......people should not be made to feel that they are hurting their horse or that they are bad riders because they cannot work their horse in a snaffle...is that not reasonable?
         
        09-19-2012, 12:36 AM
      #23
    Trained
    Trailhorserider, as I said earlier, I know NOTHING of Western. But in English, the snaffle is the predominate bit as we ride on a contact. No riding in plain curbs here until you get to a double bridle, which incorporates a curb with a snaffle - however most contact is taken on the snaffle even while using a double bridle, with the occasional touch of a curb.

    Muppet, again the English vs Western comes up - a snaffle might be a colt starting bit if your aim is Western riding with no contact. I can see why a curb is then used, but in English, particularly my discpline of Dressage, we ride on a contact with aims of collection - different type of collection to the Western 'collection'. The contact will gradually lesson, as most aids come from the seat, and the contact is simply there to contain the front end of the horse when generating a huge amount of energy in the hind end.

    I have never advised a Western rider to go back to a snaffle - purely because I don't know how that training system works. So I chose to keep my nose out of subjects I do not fully understand.
    In English threads however, 9 time outs of 10 I will recommend to stick with the snaffle, and get some lessons. As JDI said earlier, a rider good enough to use a harsher bit, is not going to come onto a forum to ask 'permission' to use it because their horse's training has progressed to that point.
    Most of the threads here are asking about horse problems, that really have nothing to do with the bit, but the OP is asking if a bit change would be appropriate. Then of course, they are going to get a 'stick with a snaffle' response.
    Speed Racer likes this.
         
        09-19-2012, 12:39 AM
      #24
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    trailhorserider, as I said earlier, I know NOTHING of Western. But in English, the snaffle is the predominate bit as we ride on a contact. No riding in plain curbs here until you get to a double bridle, which incorporates a curb with a snaffle - however most contact is taken on the snaffle even while using a double bridle, with the occasional touch of a curb.

    Muppet, again the English vs Western comes up - a snaffle might be a colt starting bit if your aim is Western riding with no contact. I can see why a curb is then used, but in English, particularly my discpline of Dressage, we ride on a contact with aims of collection - different type of collection to the Western 'collection'. The contact will gradually lesson, as most aids come from the seat, and the contact is simply there to contain the front end of the horse when generating a huge amount of energy in the hind end.

    I have never advised a Western rider to go back to a snaffle - purely because I don't know how that training system works. So I chose to keep my nose out of subjects I do not fully understand.
    In English threads however, 9 time outs of 10 I will recommend to stick with the snaffle, and get some lessons. As JDI said earlier, a rider good enough to use a harsher bit, is not going to come onto a forum to ask 'permission' to use it because their horse's training has progressed to that point.
    Most of the threads here are asking about horse problems, that really have nothing to do with the bit, but the OP is asking if a bit change would be appropriate. Then of course, they are going to get a 'stick with a snaffle' response.
    Posts like these have a ton of knowledge in them regarding the OP's questions. Enough so that I would consider them answers.
         
        09-19-2012, 12:40 AM
      #25
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Copperhead    
    If no nerve endings exist, a harsher bit wouldn't work either.

    I've yet to come across a horse I couldn't bring down to a snaffle to reschool. This included horses from various pasts with various problems, and various levels of training.

    The bit doesn't make the horse. The aids in general move and direct the horse when applied appropriately and together, with proper timing.

    I have seen some extremely rank horses retrained and ridden on the aids in a snaffle because the rider did not depend on the bit itself for entire control. They did not block the energy with the bit. They redirected the energy using the aids (in their entirety) as communication and guidence.
    Yup, I get it, I get it.......I'm actually finding it hard to write down what I'm trying to say without going off into a freaking novel!
    I'm not getting 'personal' and trying to attack someone's skill here, I'm just seeing a lot of people being scolded for using something other than a snaffle, which I think is well.....just narrow thinking and people jump to conclusions and assume the person is not skilled enough to switch........do you think this comes out of true concern for the horses well-being? Or is there some lingering negativity surrounding bits of the more 'wicked' variety?
         
        09-19-2012, 12:45 AM
      #26
    Showing
    Why ride with a snaffle?

    For ENGLISH riders: We ride on contact. That means that the horse is accepting our hand and is reaching INTO that contact, so we feel anywhere from 2-5lbs of pressure in our hands, which the horse feels against their lips. Snaffles offer a 1:1 pressure ratio, so for every pound we feel in our hands, the horse feels the exact same pressure on their mouths.
    If you add leverage or purchase to a bit, you are changing the pressure ratio, so for every pound of pressure that we feel, the horse feels a multiple of that pressure. Generally, more pressure is less comfortable to the horse, thus discouraging them from seeking contact. What you commonly see as a result is a horse coming behind the vertical to avoid the pressure while maintaining the "head down" position.

    Western riding is a totally different ballgame. No constant contact.
    Kayty and Speed Racer like this.
         
        09-19-2012, 12:45 AM
      #27
    Green Broke
    The English vs. Western thing is a good point. I just sort of responded to the post from my own point of view.....western. Maybe most of the "pro snaffle" folks ride English. I got the impression from the OP that perhaps they ride western as well, simply because their train of thought is like mine. But I certainly don't know that.

    Do you ride English or Western Muppetgirl?
         
        09-19-2012, 12:50 AM
      #28
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    trailhorserider, as I said earlier, I know NOTHING of Western. But in English, the snaffle is the predominate bit as we ride on a contact. No riding in plain curbs here until you get to a double bridle, which incorporates a curb with a snaffle - however most contact is taken on the snaffle even while using a double bridle, with the occasional touch of a curb.

    Muppet, again the English vs Western comes up - a snaffle might be a colt starting bit if your aim is Western riding with no contact. I can see why a curb is then used, but in English, particularly my discpline of Dressage, we ride on a contact with aims of collection - different type of collection to the Western 'collection'. The contact will gradually lesson, as most aids come from the seat, and the contact is simply there to contain the front end of the horse when generating a huge amount of energy in the hind end.

    I have never advised a Western rider to go back to a snaffle - purely because I don't know how that training system works. So I chose to keep my nose out of subjects I do not fully understand.
    In English threads however, 9 time outs of 10 I will recommend to stick with the snaffle, and get some lessons. As JDI said earlier, a rider good enough to use a harsher bit, is not going to come onto a forum to ask 'permission' to use it because their horse's training has progressed to that point.
    Most of the threads here are asking about horse problems, that really have nothing to do with the bit, but the OP is asking if a bit change would be appropriate. Then of course, they are going to get a 'stick with a snaffle' response.
    Ok Katie....good points. Actually I did come on here asking about a cathedral bit (gasp!) my new horse uses one every now and again and I was completely intimidated by the darn thing and was a little embarrassed to question my trainer (even though I've ridden in some pretty funky correction bits before) so I came on here to perhaps get some reassurance/advice. After some research and gathering many many opinions, and being laughed at by fellow reiners and cow horse people I figured perhaps I was just underestimating my riding (always have, always feel like I'm miles behind everyone else) and over thinking the whole thing......I have good hands and only pick up when I need too, but it's just a pick up, no contact longer than a few seconds to make a correction......So from my standpoint, some people do come on here and ask, and they are good people, not children who need spanking!
         
        09-19-2012, 12:52 AM
      #29
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
    Why ride with a snaffle?

    For ENGLISH riders: We ride on contact. That means that the horse is accepting our hand and is reaching INTO that contact, so we feel anywhere from 2-5lbs of pressure in our hands, which the horse feels against their lips. Snaffles offer a 1:1 pressure ratio, so for every pound we feel in our hands, the horse feels the exact same pressure on their mouths.
    If you add leverage or purchase to a bit, you are changing the pressure ratio, so for every pound of pressure that we feel, the horse feels a multiple of that pressure. Generally, more pressure is less comfortable to the horse, thus discouraging them from seeking contact. What you commonly see as a result is a horse coming behind the vertical to avoid the pressure while maintaining the "head down " position.
    Western riding is a totally different ballgame. No constant contact.
    Thanks, that's good info.......
         
        09-19-2012, 12:54 AM
      #30
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Copperhead    
    If no nerve endings exist, a harsher bit wouldn't work either.

    I've yet to come across a horse I couldn't bring down to a snaffle to reschool. This included horses from various pasts with various problems, and various levels of training.

    The bit doesn't make the horse. The aids in general move and direct the horse when applied appropriately and together, with proper timing.

    I have seen some extremely rank horses retrained and ridden on the aids in a snaffle because the rider did not depend on the bit itself for entire control. They did not block the energy with the bit. They redirected the energy using the aids (in their entirety) as communication and guidence.
    I was actually being sarcastic about the nerve endings....if a horse has been numbed in a snaffle, why would you reschool him in a snaffle? Why not choose a bit that works in different areas of his mouth?
         

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