Will your horse respond to your bit? - Page 17 - The Horse Forum
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post #161 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 03:59 PM
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Well said, Reiner.
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post #162 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nrhareiner View Post
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.
Well I disagree I feel that a bit does make horses uncomfortable and if you can get your horses to do what you want without a bit why would you use one? You do not need a bit to get your horse to do what you need and we just can't say that bits are not uncomfortable for horses. Now getting down to the beginning of all horses..horses were not created for us to ride. They were trained over years to be ridden. Horses still have their natural instincts. When I ride I want to as close to the horse as I can so I want to be at their element. When they are playing with their horse mates they don't have anything on them obviously, but I want to be as close as possible so I personally love bareback with a halter, but at lessons I ride with a saddle and bitless bridle because I can live with that. I do not want horses to be objectified and I hate when they are so to me we treat them like other beings...we ask them to do things like we ask each other too, for instance horses let us ride them and in return I believe that we should make it as comfortable as possible for them..Yes we feed them give them a home and so on, but we should still make them feel as good as possible. Not every single horse loves being ridden. And no I will never believe that there are bad horses. Horses just don't have bad in their nature. Saying I don't understand the purpose of a bit is not true at all I used to ride with a bit so I know the purpose. Also considering I have ridden with and without a bit I know the pros and cons of each one. My horse loves bitless so does every single other horse I have ever worked with ever. I believe that we will never ever agree on this still because we view the whole concept of riding and of horses so differently. If one way of communicating is ALREADY WORKING then why do you need to add another that could be debated as painful and uncomfortable? I am not saying riding is wrong by any means I am just saying that horses sole purpose on earth is not (and should not) be to be ridden. I disagree with bits and that will never change. I don't understand the logic behind "This communication is already working, but am going to add this just to make sure." Spurs are a whole different topic. Spurs do inflict pain. Jabbing something into a horses side is useless and the horse reacts to pain and listens to you because they are afraid of pain same with a bit. I want my horse to listen to me because he or she RESPECTS me not because they know I will inflict pain on them if they don't listen to me.
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post #163 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 05:57 PM
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Emily, your whole concept on these things is warped. Spurs don't equal jabbing. ETA: Take a look at a world level reining competition. Look at the rider's hands. How much do they
move? Almost never. Look at the sliding stops. The rider is all seat.

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post #164 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:03 PM
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Emily, you're whole concept on these things is warped. Spurs don't equal jabbing
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I wouldn't consider anybody's opinion warped because it is THEIR opinion and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Even though it may be "warped" to you it isn't to me. When I joined the forum I thought it was to have healthy debates, ask questions and share opinions, not to be antagonized for your opinion and saying that somebody's whole concept is warped is antagonizing.
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post #165 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:07 PM
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If you are grouping everyone into those stereotypes("If you use spurs you jab at your horse's sides," "If you use a bit you yank on your horse's mouth") then that IS warped.
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post #166 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:09 PM
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If you are grouping everyone into those stereotypes("If you use spurs you jab at your horse's sides," "If you use a bit you yank on your horse's mouth") then that IS warped.
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Actually like I have implied in other posts it is not for me my way or no way. I haven't stereotyped anybody. Stereotyping would be "This person listens to this kind of music so they must act like this." That is not AT ALL what I have said.
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post #167 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Bigger bits are used for refinement. That means that I can get my horse to do exactly what I want them to do in a halter, but when I have to move my hands 6 inches in a halter to achieve the same cue that I can get in a curb bit by moving my hand 1 or 2 inches. It's not about "use what works" because anything works. It's about "use what is the most subtle and gives the clearest cues". In a halter to do certain things, I have to apply a few ounces of pressure to the rein in order for the horse to understand exactly what I am asking. Compare that with being able to lift one rein by 2 inches, never contacting the bit to get the same reaction.

Think of it like this. You remember those can telephones that we all used to make as a child where you poke a hole in the bottom of a couple of tin cans and tie a string to them? Then you can talk to another person from one side of the room to the other? Remember how garbled and muted the voices were so that you could barely understand each other? That is the equivalent of a halter or soft bitless bridle.

Now think of how clear conversations are on your home phone, where you can barely whisper and the other person understands exactly what you are saying. That is the equivalent to a curb bit.

Yes, both of them work, but for finer cues and clearer communication, a curb bit is the best. Of course, that all depends on the bit being in the hands of a good rider.

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post #168 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by EmilyRosie View Post
Spurs are a whole different topic. Spurs do inflict pain. Jabbing something into a horses side is useless and the horse reacts to pain and listens to you because they are afraid of pain same with a bit.
This is an automatic stereotype. You are saying that if a person uses a bit or spurs they are inflicting pain upon their horse. That is very ignorant of the mechanics of bits and spurs. Do I use spurs? No. Do I use bits? I have been contemplating starting my filly bitless, read a few pages back. But I am aware of the mechanics of all three: bits, spurs, and bitless.
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post #169 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:31 PM
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Well I disagree I feel that a bit does make horses uncomfortable

If a bit is so uncomfortable then why do my horses eat a bit like they eat their treats?? Every single one of them love their bits. All I have to do is put the bit in front of their mouth and they open up and take the bit. My one mares sucks in so fast I need to watch my fingers.

and if you can get your horses to do what you want without a bit why would you use one?

For several reasons. One I can use less of a cue with a bit then I can with a bit-less bridle. You are still putting pressure on a horse with out a bit. It does not make them more comfortable. Chances are you are using more pressure with your bit-less bridle then I am with my bit.

Next they are required to show. If a horse with out a bit was some how better and better trained then why is there no discipline in which that is the end goal?

You do not need a bit to get your horse to do what you need and we just can't say that bits are not uncomfortable for horses.

Again bits are not more or less comfortable or unconformable then a bit-less bridle. Again I would bet that I use less pressure on my horse with a bit then you do with a bit-less bridle.

Again you assume that a bit is uncomfortable for a horse. I say a well fitted bit is no more uncomfortable then any bit-less bridle out there.
My horses love their bits. They eat them right up.


Now getting down to the beginning of all horses..horses were not created for us to ride. They were trained over years to be ridden. Horses still have their natural instincts. When I ride I want to as close to the horse as I can so I want to be at their element.

This thought is so flawed I am not even going to address it. It is like saying cows where not meant to be eaten.

When they are playing with their horse mates they don't have anything on them obviously, but I want to be as close as possible so I personally love bareback with a halter, but at lessons I ride with a saddle and bitless bridle because I can live with that.

Not sure why you seem to think that a bit-less bridle is some how superior to a well fitted bit. I can do as much damage to a horse with a bit-less bridle as I can a bit. Only difference is I would be doing the damage to their nose and the pole of their head instead of their mouth.

I do not want horses to be objectified and I hate when they are so to me we treat them like other beings...we ask them to do things like we ask each other too, for instance horses let us ride them and in return I believe that we should make it as comfortable as possible for them..

Again a well fitted saddle and bridle makes a horse quite comfortable. If not they would toss us off quite fast. Or better yet they would not come running when they see us with the bridle and saddle now would they. Try catching a horse who does not wish to be caught.


Yes we feed them give them a home and so on, but we should still make them feel as good as possible.

Yes with a well fitted saddle and bit/bridle. Then a good chiro good feed good hoof care and so on. Why do I do this for my horses. It makes them feel good and it improves their performance.

Not every single horse loves being ridden. And no I will never believe that there are bad horses. Horses just don't have bad in their nature.

Nasruller was a mean horse. He revealed in doing damage to his handlers as his get followed in his foot steps. There are quite a few others like this. Again just like bad people there are bad horses.





Saying I don't understand the purpose of a bit is not true at all I used to ride with a bit so I know the purpose. Also considering I have ridden with and without a bit I know the pros and cons of each one.

Just b/c you have used a bit does not mean you under stand how to use one.


My horse loves bitless so does every single other horse I have ever worked with ever.

Every horse I have ever owned and ridden love their bits. It has nothing to do with bits or no bits it has to do with your hands. Good hands can make the harshest bits soft and bad hands can make everything even a halter on a horse hurt.


I believe that we will never ever agree on this still because we view the whole concept of riding and of horses so differently. If one way of communicating is ALREADY WORKING then why do you need to add another that could be debated as painful and uncomfortable?


Again you are assuming that a bit makes a horse uncomfortable and causes pain. They do not. If they did a horse would not except the bit as well as they do. Horses that have been ridden by people with bad hands do tend to not take a bit as well.

As for only using one way to communicate. It would be like using only one work to tell a story. A horse has several sections. Head Shoulders mid section and hip. I want and do control every inch of my horse. I use my seat leg spurs reins and at times bit to control every inch of my horses. At times I use several of these aids at the same time to get a very specific cue that I need.

You seem to think that the only way to control a horse is a bit (head) I say I have 100 ways to control my horses movements. That is why I can get very precise cues and maneuvers.

I am not saying riding is wrong by any means I am just saying that horses sole purpose on earth is not (and should not) be to be ridden. I disagree with bits and that will never change.

That is fine. You do not have to change. However do not ask other to change either. You seem to think that bits are bad and that by using them people are bad and mean to their horses. That is not the case. We understand the need and use of a bit and why they work the way they do. Also again if riding bit-less was such a great thing would associations like NRHA where by definition of a reining horse is to be willingly guided aspire to showing a horse with out a bit?

I don't understand the logic behind "This communication is already working, but am going to add this just to make sure."


Again it comes down to controlling every inch of the horses body. Something you can not do with just your seat or leg or rein or bit.


Spurs are a whole different topic. Spurs do inflict pain. Jabbing something into a horses side is useless and the horse reacts to pain and listens to you because they are afraid of pain same with a bit.

Again you show you do not at all under stand what a bit or spurs are or how to use them. Can they cause pain? Sure if they are not used correctly. If they are used correctly they are an extension of your leg. When used properly they do not cause pain. They refine the cue. My horses are trained to the lightest cue. In a very precise spot. My heal is too big to hit that spot. So I use a spur. I use less then an once of pressure with my spur. That is less then a standard 1st class letter. I can run my horse full out in a large circle and move them over to hit the center of the circle. This is what you get from a spur. You would not get this with out one. At least not as fast and precise you you do with one. It would be too hard to hit that exact spot.

I want my horse to listen to me because he or she RESPECTS me not because they know I will inflict pain on them if they don't listen to me.
Again you are showing your lack of knowledge and information. I do not inflict pain on my horses to get them to work. Nor does any other good rider/trainer. If they where in pain I would not get the performance that I need to win the money my horses have won. It is even part of the rules. The look of the horse is to be willing a horse in pain will not look willing. Also have you ever shown a reiner? Been to an NRHA show? At the end of every single run. Every rider MUST drop bit to the judge. The judge WILL look at the bit at the horses mouth they will walk all the way around the horse they WILL pick up the stirrups and tail. IF there is even so much as a scratch on that horse you are DQed. So no there is no forcing a horse to do anything. Bits and spurs are extensions and a way to refine a cue.

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post #170 of 647 Old 10-09-2010, 06:44 PM
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Here is a nice example of what you get with a bit and spurs with a rider who knows and understands what they are how they are used. With out them this ride would not look like this. Look at how little the riders hands move. Look at how little this legs move to cue the horse. There is no pulling on the bit or jabbing with the spurs.


-I'm so busy... I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse.
-An Armed Man is a Citizen an unarmed man is a subject.
-Where ever free speech is stifled Tyranny will reign.
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