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Will your horse respond to your bit?

This is a discussion on Will your horse respond to your bit? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        09-24-2010, 09:41 PM
      #151
    Showing
    LOL, for someone that actually has some savvy, getting one rideable is like 75% determination. No doubt you already have the skill (so long as there are no vicious monsters ).
         
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        09-24-2010, 09:49 PM
      #152
    Trained
    Thanks. I'm thinking I MAY pick up a project next summer. As long as Lily goes well this winter. Soda's taught (or re-taught) me a lot already and I have a feeling that she'll continue that education.

    I've also thought about doing some tune ups this spring on the trail horses in the area. A lot of people up here don't ride at all in the winter. I'm sure you can imagine what the horses are like after spending 6 months sitting in the paddocks not being handled.

    We'll see what happens, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I really want to do with my life in the last couple of months. When I was a kid it was always horses, but I had it ground into my head that I'd never be able to make it work. But horses are what truly gives me pleasure, it's the biggest passion in my life, so maybe I should just say screw it and go for it. I'm not getting in younger!

    No monsters for me at this point, I'm smart enough to know what I can handle.
         
        09-27-2010, 05:11 PM
      #153
    Foal
    Amen! I remember my grandpa sitting me in the garden and teaching me about soft hands by having me pull weeds. First contact then a gentle pull would get the root but a jerk or yank just got the top and then I had to dig out the root.
    Back2Horseback likes this.
         
        09-27-2010, 05:23 PM
      #154
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
    Sorry if I'm hammering on this point too much, but it's a pet peeve of mine how someone (not specifically you Bitless) can be so adamant that one way is the "one true path." Especially with something as individual as a horse's preference. *steps off pedastal*
    I fully agree with this; My mare for example can be ridden in a rope halter, but hates dr. Cook style bitless...she will ride in a western hackemore, but hates one with shanks. She just doesn't require all that extra "leverage", and she makes it known by flipping her nose a tad when even the slightest pressure is given. She moves out fine with any type of snaffle bit, however...d-ring, o-ring, french link, etc.

    However, that said I did try her in a mild curb this morning, and she did SO much better with it, than she did the times I tried it on her before, so perhaps her being in the learning phases, has something to do with her not liking the other things mentioned.

    I DO also think that when a horse's training is complete, one should be able to swap bits out if he needs to, and the horse should respond well to it. As we all know that our control doesn't come from the bit anyway, at least not in "full", so why should it matter what style bit we choose once he's trained anyway? However, I do realize there are sometimes the exceptions to the rule, too.
         
        09-28-2010, 10:37 AM
      #155
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    Yes, a french link, dogbone, or even a myler type mouth would also be very nice mild options. However, it depends on what your horse prefers and the shape of their mouth. Some horses really hate tongue pressure and respond better in either a standard or a ported snaffle. Others have a low palate and prefer the more streamlined shape of the former types.

    The most important thing about a snaffle is it has a 1:1 ratio. That means for every pound you exert on the reins, the horse feels a pound in his mouth. It is impossible to find anything milder than that. Plus the thing that makes it so simple is that it works on just the mouth. It is easier to communicate to a horse that is just learning. Once you add a shank, not only is it working on the mouth, but it is pressuring the curb and the poll too. That makes for more complicated signals and easier confusion.
    I agree with everything you've said. Recently I came under fire at a riding club meeting for riding my 10 year old QH gelding in a plain "O" ring snaffle bit. This gal is a "trainer", so therefor knows everything. She said if my horse wanted to, that he could run off with me. I reminded her that no bit can guarentee a horse to stop- that training does that, and hanging a bigger/heavier bit in a horse's face doesn't do anything but sweep the issue under the rug. That shut her up. :)
         
        10-02-2010, 05:15 PM
      #156
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lencoo12    
    I agree with everything you've said. Recently I came under fire at a riding club meeting for riding my 10 year old QH gelding in a plain "O" ring snaffle bit. This gal is a "trainer", so therefor knows everything. She said if my horse wanted to, that he could run off with me. I reminded her that no bit can guarentee a horse to stop- that training does that, and hanging a bigger/heavier bit in a horse's face doesn't do anything but sweep the issue under the rug. That shut her up. :)
    Oh trainers...I once had a trainer that told me the sweetest Thoroughbred anyone had ever met was "dangerous" because she was a young thoroughbred, but he bought me (I was NINE at the time) an injured stallion cutting horse as a "riding pony". I LOVE the horse, but the trainer was completely off his rocker. Nonsequator, sorry...haha
         
        10-09-2010, 01:58 AM
      #157
    Foal
    Hello,
    My personal opinion on this subject...I don't agree with bits at all, but if a person feels the need to ride with a bit I believe the most simple snaffle bit would be the best choice. I disagree with bits because I feel as though horses should respond to their trainer not to the pain on their mouth. However, I am not with every single horse and cannot say whether or not every individual horse needs a bit. I would not ride with a bit because I personally feel that any horse can be transferred to be ridden without a bit and I would prefer not too use a bit as a form of persuading a horse to do what I want it to do. I want my horse to respond to me because my horse thinks its a good idea for him/her to do it and I want my horse to trust me and want to do what I am asking him/her to do. Just my personal opinion.
         
        10-09-2010, 11:29 AM
      #158
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EmilyRosie    
    Hello,
    My personal opinion on this subject...I don't agree with bits at all, but if a person feels the need to ride with a bit I believe the most simple snaffle bit would be the best choice. I disagree with bits because I feel as though horses should respond to their trainer not to the pain on their mouth. However, I am not with every single horse and cannot say whether or not every individual horse needs a bit. I would not ride with a bit because I personally feel that any horse can be transferred to be ridden without a bit and I would prefer not too use a bit as a form of persuading a horse to do what I want it to do. I want my horse to respond to me because my horse thinks its a good idea for him/her to do it and I want my horse to trust me and want to do what I am asking him/her to do. Just my personal opinion.

    This here shows a lack of understanding of what a bit is and what they do. A bit properly used does not cause pain. It does not MAKE a horse do anything. It is simply a way to refine a cue. Just like Spurs are used to refine the cue from the leg. The seat is again a cue.

    It has nothing to do with a horse trusting your or liking your or anything. It is about giving the least visible cue possible and getting the exact response asked for.

    Also I do not care if my horse thinks it is a good idea to follow my cue or not. I ask b/c that is what I NEED them to do. I know things they do not know. I do not want the horse to think they have a choice in where we go and what we do.
         
        10-09-2010, 03:24 PM
      #159
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
    This here shows a lack of understanding of what a bit is and what they do. A bit properly used does not cause pain. It does not MAKE a horse do anything. It is simply a way to refine a cue. Just like Spurs are used to refine the cue from the leg. The seat is again a cue.

    It has nothing to do with a horse trusting your or liking your or anything. It is about giving the least visible cue possible and getting the exact response asked for.

    Also I do not care if my horse thinks it is a good idea to follow my cue or not. I ask b/c that is what I NEED them to do. I know things they do not know. I do not want the horse to think they have a choice in where we go and what we do.
    I am sure not saying all a bit does is cause pain so I think you didn't gather my point, but I think we have such very very very different views on this subject that we would never agree on it. I don't believe there is such a thing is a bad horse. Yes horses misbehave sometimes, but we should listen to them. For instance, if I get on my pony and it seems that she is grumpy, but the days before that she has been fine then I will get off because just like humans, horses have off days too. I want my pony to want to do what I am asking him or her to do. If a rider is depending on the metal piece inserted in the horses mouth to get their horse to do what they want..I would say the rider needs more practice, but in case you didn't notice I also wrote " However, I am not with every single horse and cannot say whether or not every individual horse needs a bit. " So obviously that shows that I am not saying that every single horse needs to be ridden without a bit. I would not ride with a bit because like I said its extremely important to me that my horse thinks its a good idea and it would be fun and good for them to do what I am asking. If a bit is "just a way to refine a cue." Maybe you should check that your horse won't listen to the cue before finding a way to reassure it. I am not saying a horse has a choice I am saying that if a horse doesn't want to do something I personally find a different way to do it and make the horse feel comfortable instead of just pushing it on. Obviously horses can misbehave and its usually pretty easy to tell if they are nervous about something or just being lazy or misbehaving. Like I said just my personal opinion.


         
        10-09-2010, 03:50 PM
      #160
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EmilyRosie    
    I am sure not saying all a bit does is cause pain so I think you didn't gather my point, but I think we have such very very very different views on this subject that we would never agree on it.

    You are correct we will never agree b/c I do not look at bits as a way to make a horse do something. I look at a bit the same way I look at spurs and my seat. They are tools in which to cue a horse. They are not a way to MAKE a horse do something.

    I don't believe there is such a thing is a bad horse.

    Sure there are just like there are bad people bad anything. They have a mind of their own and some of them are just bad and love being bad.

    Yes horses misbehave sometimes, but we should listen to them. For instance, if I get on my pony and it seems that she is grumpy, but the days before that she has been fine then I will get off because just like humans, horses have off days too.

    If all it is is that they are grumpy they will work. I do not have a choice to not work when I get grumpy. If they are hurt or something that is different. If they are just grumpy and do not want to work that is when they will work. They do not have a choice that is their job. When I go to a show they need to know they have to work. All my horses earn their keep. They love having a job it makes them happy and once they start working and get warmed up even the grumpy ones come around very well b/c they know their job and love doing it.


    I want my pony to want to do what I am asking him or her to do. If a rider is depending on the metal piece inserted in the horses mouth to get their horse to do what they want..I would say the rider needs more practice,


    Again you do not fully under stand what a bit is and what it does. "A Piece of mettle" as you call it does not make a horse do anything. Again it is no different then me using my seat and legs to cue my horse. It is one more way of communicating. If it had anything to do with rider practice then why do Olympic riders and riders with close to $4 Million in earnings put bits in their horses mouth. It is not b/c they need the bit. They do it b/c it is one more way to communicate with a horse.

    But in case you didn't notice I also wrote " However, I am not with every single horse and cannot say whether or not every individual horse needs a bit. "

    Again is has nothing to do with NEEDING a bit. I can run a reining pattern with my horses with out a bit but I can do it better and more precise with a bit. It is simply anouther way to communicate. Like I do not need a cell phone. I have a land line at home. I do not need e mail I send a letter snail mail. However these things give me anouther way to communicate with people.

    So obviously that shows that I am not saying that every single horse needs to be ridden without a bit. I would not ride with a bit because like I said its extremely important to me that my horse thinks its a good idea and it would be fun and good for them to do what I am asking. If a bit is "just a way to refine a cue." Maybe you should check that your horse won't listen to the cue before finding a way to reassure it.

    Again this just shows you do not under stand what a bit does and why it is used. I can get my horses to work with out a bit. With out anything on their head. That does not make they better or me better. It makes them well trained. Go out and take your horse take off everything off their head. Run them full out and ask them to stop. When I say stop I mean stop now. Not is 3-4 stride or when they get to the fence. I mean stop now. I can do it. Yet I choice to use a bit. Not b/c I need the bit but b/c it is again anouther way of communication. When I ride I might move my hand a few inch to cue a horse. So the bit never really hits their mouth. The pressure that is put on them is less then a few oz. It is about soft quiet hands and a responsive well trained horse.


    I am not saying a horse has a choice I am saying that if a horse doesn't want to do something I personally find a different way to do it and make the horse feel comfortable instead of just pushing it on. Obviously horses can misbehave and its usually pretty easy to tell if they are nervous about something or just being lazy or misbehaving. Like I said just my personal opinion.
    Again you are assuming that by putting a bit in my horses mouth that I am pushing them or making them uncomfortable. My horses do what they do b/c they are bred to do it and they love it. If they did not you would not get the level of performance that my horses work at. You can not make a horse perform you can only give cues to that performance. This is why reiners slide when other horses can not. This is why cutters get down in the dirt to cut a cow and other do not. You can not train this. This is bred into them and they love it. They do it b/c it is what they are bred to do and love doing. All I do is put a cue to it so they do it when I ask. Part of the cue is a bit.
         

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