Snaffle bits.....ugh! - Page 4
 
 

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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
  • Snaffle bit insult
  • Snaffle bit becoming unresponsive

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    09-19-2012, 12:55 AM
  #31
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
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?
I think you may be missing a point that was already explained.

In the hands of that woman who's horse spooked in a snaffle, a harsher bit would be very painful. Why? Because she, herself, doesn't know how to use a bit.

Lets go to target practice. I'm using bullets with no spread, and I'm firing at a tiny target, very far away. I keep missing and missing and missing. So instead of improving my technique, I switch to an elephant gun, make the target bigger so I can hit it easier, and bring it closer.

That's the best comparison I can make right now. Its usually NOT the horse's problem, its the rider missing their mark and then using bigger stuff to hit their mark without actually working on improving themselves.

Typically, an educated rider who has soft hands and only uses a bigger bit for refinement of their aids doesn't come to an online forum, asking what bit they should use because their horse is misbehaving. These are heavy handed people who don't have the knowledge or experience to get their horses moving well in a softer bit. That is why we refer people back to the snaffle to retrain. Usually not to retrain the horse, but to retrain the human.
     
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    09-19-2012, 12:56 AM
  #32
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
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?
Grew up English......matured western
Sorry, no insult English folk.....My sense of humor is a little sarcastic
     
    09-19-2012, 01:01 AM
  #33
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
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?
I think its a little bit of both. People don't like to see a horse in pain. So if there is a nicer way of going about it, we prefer to see it. If there is a way to get that horse to move correctly off of minimum pressure, we want to see that too. Because less pressure equals less pain.

I think the issue here is the fact that we are unable to show people online. We can only express with words when this topic needs to be expressed through action.
     
    09-19-2012, 01:02 AM
  #34
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
Thanks, that's good info.......
.... does that answer your question? Your next post would indicate that it didn't.

Quote:
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?
There are many, many different types of snaffles. A french link will affect a horse's mouth differently than a single joint. An oval link will act differently than a french link. A Myler/Billy Allen bit works completely differently and independently. The list goes on, and on, and on. With double jointed bits, for instance, you can have anything from a "berry" link (short, round middle piece) to a Dr. Bristol (long, angled middle piece) and everything in between.
Then you have a range of choices for cheek pieces, from a full cheek (with lots of lateral contact) to a loose ring (no lateral contact). There are literally hundreds or thousands of combinations that you can choose from.
You can usually find some sort of combination that a horse likes and responds positively to, the rest is... *gasp* training. No bit is going to replace proper training, though many think that it can...... sigh.


****************

Again, it comes back to CONTACT. You WANT a horse to accept and SEEK contact. A harsh bit will discourage this and the result is usually the horse evading in some way, usually by going behind the vertical/sucking back.

...I don't know how to make this any clearer.

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    09-19-2012, 01:05 AM
  #35
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperhead    
I think you may be missing a point that was already explained.

In the hands of that woman who's horse spooked in a snaffle, a harsher bit would be very painful. Why? Because she, herself, doesn't know how to use a bit.

Lets go to target practice. I'm using bullets with no spread, and I'm firing at a tiny target, very far away. I keep missing and missing and missing. So instead of improving my technique, I switch to an elephant gun, make the target bigger so I can hit it easier, and bring it closer.

That's the best comparison I can make right now. Its usually NOT the horse's problem, its the rider missing their mark and then using bigger stuff to hit their mark without actually working on improving themselves.

Typically, an educated rider who has soft hands and only uses a bigger bit for refinement of their aids doesn't come to an online forum, asking what bit they should use because their horse is misbehaving. These are heavy handed people who don't have the knowledge or experience to get their horses moving well in a softer bit. That is why we refer people back to the snaffle to retrain. Usually not to retrain the horse, but to retrain the human.
Ok, another good point. Wow, everyone must have their keyboards on fire....
     
    09-19-2012, 01:13 AM
  #36
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
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?
Why wouldn't you reschool him to be responsive to the snaffle again?

Again, you are missing the point. The control doesn't come from the bit. It comes from theleg, seat and weight aids and drives it into the bit to direct the energy.

Your stops? They come from seat and leg.

Your turns? They come from seat and leg.

The bit is there to help communicate these things. If the horse does not respond through seat and leg, you lift up on a rein and drop it the second the horse responds. You do not typically drive, steer or stop with the bit.
The orders come through your seat, leg, and rein LAST.

You do not control a car with only the steering wheel. You have the ignition, the gears, the gear shift, the power steering, the excellerator and the break. You have timing and perspective. Anyone who controls a car through the steering wheel only is going to crash. Period. You don't change out steering wheels. You go back to Driver's Ed to better your driving.

Being unresponsive to a snaffle means the horse isn't reacting properly to the aids, or the aids aren't being used properly, if the aids are even used at all.
     
    09-19-2012, 01:13 AM
  #37
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
.... does that answer your question? Your next post would indicate that it didn't.



There are many, many different types of snaffles. A french link will affect a horse's mouth differently than a single joint. An oval link will act differently than a french link. A Myler/Billy Allen bit works completely differently and independently. The list goes on, and on, and on. With double jointed bits, for instance, you can have anything from a "berry" link (short, round middle piece) to a Dr. Bristol (long, angled middle piece) and everything in between.
Then you have a range of choices for cheek pieces, from a full cheek (with lots of lateral contact) to a loose ring (no lateral contact). There are literally hundreds or thousands of combinations that you can choose from.
You can usually find some sort of combination that a horse likes and responds positively to, the rest is... *gasp* training. No bit is going to replace proper training, though many think that it can...... sigh.


****************

Again, it comes back to CONTACT. You WANT a horse to accept and SEEK contact. A harsh bit will discourage this and the result is usually the horse evading in some way, usually by going behind the vertical/sucking back.

...I don't know how to make this any clearer.

Oh no, I understand you, you just don't understand me. I understand contact, I've been there, and no, there is no such thing as a harsh bit, only harsh hands. My horse doesn't suck back, nor is he behind the vertical, in fact a lot of the people I ride with don't have these issues either, BECAUSE they have soft hands and they don't need to be on the horses face all day.....this is my point! People are judged for not doing what others THINK they should do....there Is more than one way to skin a cat.....
     
    09-19-2012, 01:16 AM
  #38
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperhead    
Why wouldn't you reschool him to be responsive to the snaffle again?

Again, you are missing the point. The CONTROL doesn't come from the BIT. It comes from the LEG, SEAT, WEIGHT AIDS and drives it into the BIT to direct the energy.

Your stops? They come from seat and leg.

Your turns? They come from seat and leg.

The bit is there to help communicate these things. If the horse does not respond through seat and leg, you lift up on a rein and drop it the second the horse responds. You do not typically drive, steer or stop with the bit.
The orders come through your seat, leg, and rein LAST.

You do not control a car with only the steering wheel. You have the ignition, the gears, the gear shift, the power steering, the excellerator and the break. You have timing and perspective. Anyone who controls a car through the steering wheel only is going to crash. Period. You don't change out steering wheels. You go back to Driver's Ed to better your driving.

Being unresponsive to a snaffle means the horse isn't reacting properly to the aids, or the aids aren't being used properly, if the aids are even used at all.
Ok, I understand this, I don't need to be schooled on this.....why is this not the info that is given to the poor girl who comes on here and wants to use a 'gasp' harsher bit? She isn't given all this info, she is slapped and made to feel like crap for asking a question......
     
    09-19-2012, 01:20 AM
  #39
Banned
Ok, end of discussion.....Copper you make some good points and examples.....I like that you try not to be the know-it-all, makes it much easier to communicate on a thread and have an enlightening discussion......
     
    09-19-2012, 01:22 AM
  #40
Showing
There are harsh bits. A proper spade bit will put pressure on a horse's palate if their head isn't held vertical. I've ridden with one before - again, I'm not a complete snaffle queen. However, that horse I rode in the spade with rode off leg and seat aids only. I didn't even touch the reins.
A twisted wire bit is going to exert specific pressure points even when just attached to the headstall, unless adjusted too loosely. Those pressure points become magnified when the rider picks up the reins. I've ridden in this bit too in the past and it will never be used by me again; I greatly dislike wire bits. There is no sense in telling a horse to accept contact against a bit that is designed to back a horse off it with pain. The offset double twisted wire bit is a thing of torture.
Western is different from English. Period. You can get away with much harsher bits because you are not asking the horse to be on contact 90% of the ride.
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