Switching Bits vs. Training Issues. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-09-2009, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Switching Bits vs. Training Issues.

I decided to put this here because I feel it is more of a training issue than really needing to switch bits.

My horse likes to get strong and strung out, especially while riding in fields and such. My trainer, though she does teach a lot of correct techniques, suggested switching to a Kimberwick while in the field. As of now, he is in a JP french link loose ring.

From the information I have gathered on my own over the years, it is much more important to address this issue with further training rather than switching bits to correct a "problem".
Also, I don't really like Kimberwicks.

What would you suggest training-wise to help with this? He does know how to do one-rein stops.

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-09-2009, 04:51 PM
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What I would do is spiral him down when he gets too strong. Bring him into a circle and keep making that circle smaller. He has to slow up to handle the smaller circles.

Do you ride him in the field infrequently? He is probably just anticipating an oportunity to be let loose and go.

I would say that a Kimberwicke is not a bad harsh bit. It's just got curb action that, when he's excited, he will feel and respond to more than he does just the tongue pressure of the french link. As long as you have good hands, the Kimberwicke will give you that little bit extra control you need him to respond to in order for him to give, collect and round.

He knows how to round so you aren't going to a bigger bit to "teach" that.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-09-2009, 05:03 PM
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I agree. If your using the bit to help the horse know what you need it's fine. Make sure that your not doing just enough with the bit that you teach the horse to ignore it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-09-2009, 06:10 PM
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I agree with you, this is not a bit issue, so keep riding in your JP bit :)

Just to further what has already been said, the more impulsive the horse is, the smaller the circle.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-10-2009, 12:33 PM
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Personally, I think certain leverage bits in good hands can be very good in training the horse. Yes, it is a training issue, but if the horse learns that he can just be strong when he is outside then it becomes a habit for him, and habits are hard to break.
I would not use a kimberwicke. They are very crude bits designed for a 4 year old on a pony. The only action you get when you pull is leverage. I would use a pelham with two reins, or if you have to one of those bubble bits with two reins. The chain on the pelham does serve a purpose though.
Make sure both you and he understand the use of the bit before taking it into the field and then use it if you have to. If he goes along great with it in then awesome! Eventually you will be able to switch back into your snaffle outside and hopefully he will not continue developing the bad habit.

Good luck!
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