What Bit Should I use? - The Horse Forum

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  • 1 Post By PintoTess
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-19-2012, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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What Bit Should I use?

I recently bought a 2 and a half year old mare. I have only trained horses that were started never thought about starting my own but the opportunity came and I felt ready. She was starved her first few months of age and the girl that saved her wanted to find her a good home. I love this mare the two weeks I've had her. I can lunge her, saddle her, bathe her, she follows me everywhere. I feel as though she is really sensitive in the face and I want an light bit in lack of better terms. I plan on eventually gaming her but until then I want to start her off super soft. Any recommendations? Brands would really help! Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-19-2012, 05:12 PM
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Just a plain snaffle!! Some horses are started in a sweet-iron snaffle. Mine was started in a snaffle with copper rollers in it. But deffinately, just a plain old snaffle. It is the safest in my opinoion. Some could even use a rubber bit. I've heard good things about them as well.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-19-2012, 05:15 PM
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I would start with a good rawhide bosal, that is me. I don't want them to begin with a bit. Now that said, I don't trail ride with a bosal, some do and more power to them. Before a hoses get's in the trailer to go somewhare that they will be ridden the are fully used to a snaffle. I like large d ring snaffles, but I don't use any leverage bit while training. As they progress I will use a reining bit but only if they respond to very light pressure.. Just my 2/100ths of a dollar
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-19-2012, 05:18 PM
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I agree. A simple snaffle or french link will be fine. Some like the fat rubber mouth bits, but I have never used them so I can't say. Stay away from anything with shanks, Dr. Bristol's (which look like french links, so pay attention!), and anything with a twist. Generally I dislike rollers and keys as they are distracting. Sweet iron seems to work better to me than copper or plain mouth bits.

My all time favourite is my loose ring sweet iron snaffle. Hard to beat it on any horse.

ETA: Though I love longshot's response and prefer bosals, they should be used by experienced hands only. A young horse can easily misunderstand if they aren't used properly, just like traditional hackamores and the like. I advise working with a professional.
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Last edited by RunSlideStop; 06-19-2012 at 05:20 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-19-2012, 05:29 PM
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-22-2012, 03:28 AM
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Hi,

Of course she's got a sensitive face - they all have, particularly their mouth, even the ones who have learned to or reacted by bracing against pressure.

I agree with longshot - I don't like to put a bit in a horse's mouth until they(& their rider) are skilled & softly responsive at yielding to pressure & being ridden in a halter/bosal/other form of bitless bridle.

I wouldn't be doing much in the way of lunging or riding of a 2.5yo anyway & would wait a couple of years until they're more mature.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-22-2012, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PintoTess View Post
Just a plain snaffle!! Some horses are started in a sweet-iron snaffle. Mine was started in a snaffle with copper rollers in it. But deffinately, just a plain old snaffle. It is the safest in my opinoion. Some could even use a rubber bit. I've heard good things about them as well.
I agree. And make sure the bit has copper. It has a good taste and it is just a little extra for a young horse.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-22-2012, 10:08 AM
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The thinner the bit, the more sensitive. The thicker, the more mild.

HOWEVER, the palate of the horse (size of their mouth, how low or high the roof of their mouth is) is dependent on what thickness to bit to get.

French link or 3 jointed bits work off of tongue pressure. Regular snaffles work off of bar pressure and tongue pressure.

MY horse prefers a french link. He used to be in a snaffle.

The type of ring is important too. Loose ring has nothing for the horse to brace against, but can pinch (hence bit guards) or slide through their mouth. Eggbutt, half cheek, full cheek, and dee all give LATERAL pressure. Some more than others. This is like a hand pushing on one side of their face to help them with steering. Some like this aid and later transfer them to a loose ring so they don't brace.

It's up to you. Personally I think starting with a halter and rope, then progressing up to a side pull, and finally a bit would work really well.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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