Training- which bit? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Training- which bit?

Hi all. I am currently starting my 2 yr old Morgan gelding Banjo. We have done several months of lunging with a halter and he's ready for the next step. He has now worn a lunging surcingle half a dozen times, with no issues and I recently got a used bridle with an egg-butt snaffle. Tried it on him but it didn't fit- the bridle was too big and the bit too wide. He took the bit beautifully, though, and I just held it in place for several minutes to see his reaction- he acted bored! So off to the local tack store and got a smaller bridle and bit- this one is a D-ring snaffle, which I have never used. It is slightly thinner than the egg-butt I tried on him first, but not overly thin. I have always trained my young horses in egg-butts in the past, and do not have a lot of experience with other bits. Is there a reason not to start him in the D-ring? Is it harsher in some way? I just want to make sure I am doing everything right with him- he is my first horse in several years and I am starting from scratch with equipment, etc.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 12:09 PM
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A D-ring snaffle is the same as an O-ring snaffle. I prefer to start my horse in an O-ring just because it is bigger and the horse can learn how to work off of it. I'd start out with a smooth snaffle and go from there. Sometimes the D-ring snaffle is a bit thicker and has little wedges to tie your reigns to so they stay in one spot. But honestly, there is no difference in starting your horse in a D-ring or an O-ring. Doesn't matter what is on the side of their cheek, but what is in their mouth.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 12:32 PM
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I prefer an o-ring snaffle because I've found its easier for a horse to pick up my cues when they are first started and the o-ring gives a more concentrated area of pressure. What your trying to accomplish is teaching your horse to move away from the pressure of the bit. (Pulling on the left rein puts pressure on the right side of his mouth and vice versa). Any smooth mouthed snaffle will work, whether it is an eggbut, d-ring, offset d-ring, full cheek or o-ring will work, it may just take a little longer for the horse to "get it".

Here is a tip for using any type of snaffle, use a curb strap or a piece of twin to keep the bit from being pulled through the horses mouth. As you start asking your horse for more of a response, he may open his mouth to avoid the pressure and the bit can actually slide threw! Picture added to help show you what I'm talking about. http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/wp-...ckle-strap.jpg
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 12:50 PM
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You really shouldn't have a problem with the D-ring sliding through the mouth unless the D's are very small. That is more of an issue with the o-ring due to its shape. I prefer to start my youngsters in a D-ring since there is less chance of pinching that can come from the movement of an O-ring.

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 12:57 PM
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I have a youngster myself and we have started him in a D-ring. He is doing extremely well and we have yet to have any issues. The D-ring should be perfect! Good luck!
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abbyshamrock View Post
A D-ring snaffle is the same as an O-ring snaffle. I prefer to start my horse in an O-ring just because it is bigger and the horse can learn how to work off of it. I'd start out with a smooth snaffle and go from there. Sometimes the D-ring snaffle is a bit thicker and has little wedges to tie your reigns to so they stay in one spot. But honestly, there is no difference in starting your horse in a D-ring or an O-ring. Doesn't matter what is on the side of their cheek, but what is in their mouth.
What are you talking about?

D-ring:


O-ring:


Quite different in their cheek action, really.

That said, either is a fine colt-starting bit. I prefer the O, myself, but other worry about pinching or pulling through the mouth, or just like the lateral pressure given by the D. There isn't a whole lot of difference between a D and an eggbutt, anyway. I will say that a lot of people also prefer a French link or mullen mouthpiece to a regular single-joint, as well.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
What are you talking about?

D-ring:


O-ring:


Quite different in their cheek action, really.

That said, either is a fine colt-starting bit. I prefer the O, myself, but other worry about pinching or pulling through the mouth, or just like the lateral pressure given by the D. There isn't a whole lot of difference between a D and an eggbutt, anyway. I will say that a lot of people also prefer a French link or mullen mouthpiece to a regular single-joint, as well.

Lol Sorry, no they are much different. But in what she is trying to accomplish, it wont affect the horse one way or another. Like I've said, they aren't going to care so much about what's on the outside as much as they are going to care about what's in their mouth.

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! This one has big enough D's I doubt it will slide through his mouth and it doesn't look like it will pinch anywhere- I just wasn't sure if the D's somehow increased the leverage or something. I'll try it in the next few days and see how it goes. He's a very easy, patient guy so I'm not terribly worried.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 10:07 PM
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There's no leverage in any snaffle. ;)
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-11-2011, 11:08 PM
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I heard or read somewhere, I can't remember where, that a good horseman (or woman!) should be able to adapt and use any equipment effectively because what we're really trying to develop is our feel. Mike Bridges said that any horse can be started in a spade bit if you have good enough hands. Bill Dorrance said in his book that it "takes an artist to get results with severe equipment". He was advising against using a stud chain, in that instance, but I found it interesting that he didn't outright say that it couldn't be done with feel. I personally have ridden horses in snaffles, hackamores, sidepulls and halters.

I tend to believe that it's not the tool that gets the job done but the hands that wield it.

Open question: What's the difference in the action between the O and D ring snaffles? That's something I'd like to know!
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