What Bit? - Page 2

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What Bit?

This is a discussion on What Bit? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Softest bit to break a youngster

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    07-26-2009, 07:05 PM
Green Broke
I start all of my horses (no matter how long they have been under saddle) in a french link snaffle (KK Ultra) because most of the young horses I have been on have very soft mouths... and this is the softest bit you can put in. My 7 year old STILL goes in it for dressage... and sometimes jumping
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    07-26-2009, 07:19 PM
I start mine out in just a rubber snaffle, which I think is the nicest thing. I start them out in that with lunging, ground driving, and even riding. Then, I move up to a french link or something of the sort.
    07-26-2009, 08:43 PM
I also use a french link snaffle. I don't like traditional snaffles now that these are available. On a "green bean" there's no need for that nutcracker effect...he just started! Lol I use a snaffle because I have direct contact with his mouth. When they're fresh out of the field, they have NO idea what you're asking them to do. The mechanics of a snaffle are VERY simple - easy for you to communicate a simple message, easy for him to understand. (the way a leverage bit works isn't simple in the least). Plus, it's impossible to teach lateral flexion in a leverage bit - to teach it to a horse you have to pull on the rein on the same side you want him to turn to. You can't "one-rein" a shanked bit and get the same result...because a shanked bit wasn't designed for one rein use. If you pull on the side you want him to turn to, the bit is telling him to turn the opposite way!!
    07-26-2009, 08:53 PM
Language confuses me a little. Is a leverae bit a shank bit with no curb/chin chain or strap?
    07-26-2009, 08:57 PM
Green Broke
^ Curbs use curb chains. Hence the name ;)
    07-26-2009, 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by FehrGroundRanch    
Agree with ever word...I just want to know why some people start their horses in shank bits.
I think it a lot of time it comes down to Marketing. Google "Tom Thumb" and look at the search results. Every TT I've ever seen has been labelled "SNAFFLE". People go online and Google "how to train a horse" or they casually ask what kindd of bit to use and they get "snaffle" as a response. So, they mosey on down to the tack shop and look at all the tags that say "snaffle" on the shelf...Argentine snaffle, western snaffle, the Kimberwick snaffle, square snaffle...and they see that every single bit that has a break in the mouthpiece is called a "snaffle". They pick out the one that's either the cheapest, the one they've seen the most, the one that looks the harshest (cuz you know you gotta break that horse like they do in the movies), or in most cases they pick out one that says "training bit"..like how the TT says it on the tag. They go home, put it on the horse, rein it like a snaffle, and then spend the rest of their lives wondering why the horse doesn't listen to a dang thing they ask. Either that or they sell the "stupid horse".

Here's a REALLY good one. Go to Google Images and type in "training bit". Look what shows up on the first page.

I have never been in any tack shop that didn't have broken-mouth curbs and gags grossly mislabelled "snaffle". By it's very definition, a "snaffle" cannot have shanks. (btw, just to make sure...all those bits I mentioned are curbs)
    07-26-2009, 09:17 PM
Green Broke
^^ BRAVO!! Well said. So true. Very common. The sad truth.
    07-26-2009, 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by Zab    
Language confuses me a little. Is a leverae bit a shank bit with no curb/chin chain or strap?
Any bit that has shanks that do not slide up and down is a leverage bit...ie Curb. If it has shanks and they do move up and down, it's a gag. Curbs are leverage bits. If you don't have a chain, you have no leverage and your bit isn't doing anything. A snaffle, by definition of operation, has no shanks.
    07-26-2009, 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by sunny06    
^^ BRAVO!! Well said. So true. Very common. The sad truth.
I can understand jack-of-all trades retailers like TSC not really knowing or caring about the difference and making that mistake, but I find it particularly irritating and disappointing when I see them mislabelled in shops and websites who are exclusively sell equestrian tack and should know better.
    07-26-2009, 09:35 PM
Green Broke
Yep. I laugh at the ATT being labled as a 'Training snaffle'. HA!

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