Originally Posted by herdbound
Idk...I just can get my horse to do anything I need to do in that snaffle. Between the bit and the legs she knows what I want. I have extremely soft hands and I really naturally just stay out of their mouths. When I got my mare she had always been ridden with the big shanked western pleasure style bit and I threw it to the side and started her on the snaffle. At first we had some problems...she kinda acted like it was a joke...but I didn't stop trying it. Eventually she got it. I really don't have to stop her to much with my hands...just shift my weight back in the saddle. I turn her alot with my legs too...thats just my style of riding though. I try to let her mouth alone as much as possible...I ride with my whole body. BUT I am aware not every horse is like my mare...and I am so thankful to have that mare cause she is just a good dang horse.
When I go to horse shows and I see people all up in the horses mouth I HATE it especially when it is a TT which in my area is so dang common everyone seems to use it and no one even tries to use it properly :(
I do understand your point of view too, of course. I ride my horses in snaffles until showtime, and I even put my older guys in hackamores when I'm just riding for fun. I ride at a show barn that has one trainer and I always see her tossing corrections into these girl's horse's mouths and they're so surprised when their horse is listening so sharply (because most of them are so heavy handed the horse starts desperately looking for release). It's really sad. Some of them ride in corrections 24/7. I ride my horses in an offset D-Ring to keep them sharp and soft to my hand, and then ride them in a curb for a week before a show. After the show I go back to a D-Ring. Good riding is definitely all seat and leg with minimal rein cue.
At this same barn, the trainer has tom thumbs on all of her school horses. I hate it. Early beginners and daycamp kids are so jerky and clingy with their hands and double that with a TT and it's a sad situation. :\ I sold my old 17 year old gelding to her to use as a school horse and I made her sign a contract that she'd only use snaffles and hackamores on him. He's very soft mouthed and would throw a kid into the ground with a TT, even though he is one of the most patient horses I've ever known.