Awesome post guys =) I always thought that a reg snaffle was the way to go. My trainer drummed it into me to keep my hands soft soft soft! Had many many training sessions where the reins were dropped and I had to "command the horse with my legs, back and seat. If only all lessons required that i'm sure there would be more riders with a softer touch.
It's not so much that they are these horrible, terrible, cruel bits or anything; they just have a flawed design. For a horse and rider that is very good at neck reining, rides on loose reins, and has super soft hands, I'm sure they can get along very well with a TT. However, I just don't understand why anyone would want to use one when there are much better bit options out there. I have tried one and I absolutely hated the feel that it gave me (or lack thereof) in the horse's mouth.
As opposed to typing out the whole explanation, I will just post this link. It may have been posted at some point during this thread but I can't remember. Trouble with Tom Thumb
When I got my horse she was ridden in a snaffle. She did fine in it apart from trying to evade it from time to time. Then someone suggested I try her in dutch gag. Stupid mistake on my part!! I have to have the reins on the third ring now =/ She has become so strong because of the bit. I tried her on the first ring one day and she totally ran away from me =/ I now know she was fine in the snaffle. She was not strong at all! Is there anyway I can get her into a snaffle again without her taking off the whole time? She had a single jointed snaffle and now she has a french link dutch gag. How can I tell which she finds more comfotable? French link, single jointed, double jointed etc. She is a TB...What does every other TB owners use for their horses?
I am thinking if I find the right mouth piece she will like the bit more because she has hated all I have tried so far.
Well I have a tb/warmblood so I know there general temperment. My horse is 6 and CRAZY, green, and really hard and takes off a lot. Out cross country my trainer had me in a WATERFORD Dutch Gag lol. It was on the bottom or the middle hole. I switched trainers and my new trainer put her in a loose ring french link (Herm Sprenger KK ultra) and she got used to having that bit in. Its not always the bit though but the hands. Horses that normally have to go ot stronger bits tend to have riders that really on there hands to much and hang on them which makes them insensitive to the bit. When I had my dutch gag on my horse I barely used it and that might be where you went wrong. I tend to think of putting stronger bits on the horse and only using the bit when the horse is out of control. To use a strong but you must have a very independent seat and not be hard on the reins. You might think that's impossible with your horse but I promise you my horse is probably worse (i have heard by a few trainers she is one of the hardest horses they have seen.. ) Even with the new bit she listens because I barely use it. There really is not way to wean her off. I guess you can work on putting the reins on the 2nd hole and then snaffle ring and try not ot really so much with your hands. Once she starts listening then transfer back over to the regular bit! Hope this helps :)
Thankyou some one needed to say that I agreed with everything but i'm still not very experienced along the lines of retraining horses and I have this mare and the hardest bit i've ridden her in is a very this snaffle but as soon as I tryed I new it was making the problem worse,
So I stopped using it so now I use a sweet iron eggbutt snaffle or a french link for jumping but they are both softbits the problem is.
When I bought her I was still young but I had been riding for 3 years so I had some idea what I was doing,The prevous owner had dumbed her onto the agistment owner who said to me that he used a twisted bit with long shanks and she still has scar tissue from that I.e he was cruel.
So I expected a lot of time and work to get her to trust me it took two years but her mouth (entire body) was still incredibly hard (she bolted a lot and had general trouble with understanding the messages I was trying to put across so I trained her to halter and road my other horses when I went to comps etc that using a bit were required I did not give up though,
So I started natural horseman ship and doing dressage to calm her down and form a good communication between us.
But she does still bolt and tightening her neck muscles when I try to turn her even in a halter or bozal. I've worked on flexing her as well, she has had a saddle fitted correctly her teeth done and back checked there is not physical reason.
She is a Brumby so I get that she loves to run buti would just like some help to fix it or even help me understand it so I can ask people or just work on it my self I just want to help her. Sorry about the spelling and grammar i'm working on it.
[QUOTE=wild_spot;720988]^ a snaffle is ANY bit without any leverage,
That is Not 100% true, there are snaffle bits (like the Baucher or "B" Ring Bit) that works on leverage and the polls, but stills has the softness and suppleness of an normal snaffle. You can also get the mouth pieces in in different styles as well...
And than you can also get "D" rings with hooks inside the rings pices for the check and riens (Kinda like a Uxeter Kimberwick) to have yet again slight poll and leverage action... 'D' Ring With Hooks
Out of these two bits the Baucher is classified as a TRUE Snaffle bit according to Dressage Canada Rules and Regulations and the "D" ring - showen above is not classified as a true snaffle - according yet agian to Dressage Canada - because this bit tends to have more of a "Softer and not as harsh action" than a Uxeter Kimberwick (if there is suck as thing)...
I would Like to note that these two bits are not your starting or average bits for training or starting a young horse, because of the level of leverage they can produce. But if used right in the properly trained hands and rider can be an excellent transitional tool/bit to used when introducing poll action or slight curb action to your horse.
Now a True Snaffle, is based on the check piece styles:
Offset 'D' - Traditionally more of a western snaffle, but is also used in English
Than Based on the Style of the Mouth Piece:
Straight Bar Mouth Piece
One of the more common mouth piece - depeneding on your deiscilpine of choice - has a nut cracker affect in the wrong hands
Double Jointed or three piece mouth piece
I don't know if a life saver piece would be classified in this area of the snaffle. It is more of a western mouth piece and I have never seen in used in the english world... :S... please correct me if Im wrong, but thisw is what I have been taught and told all through my riding career, and is also the rules and regulations from Dressage Canada.
Smrobs... I totally agree with you on this!!! Its kinda scary how many trianers, riders, coachs, etc. would rather bit than ride and wonder why the horse is all over the place on the flat and (even more scary) over fences!!! I knew of one coach in the circuit that put a double twisted full check in a short stirrups pony because the child could not control it! Instead of training the young rider properly they "bitted", SCARY!!!
I have another firend who moved up to the 1.20m class last summer. She was riding her mare in a Happy mouth Jointed 'D' ring, the mare went well in it and the rider always was in control... but at one show we went to, she had an coach come up to her and handed her a pelham, and told her "At this level of riding we don't used baby bits, we use real bits..." I than was quick to say... "Than what does that make Ian Miller who rode Big Ben in a Loose ring snaffle during his carrer with him?" She did not repsonsed at all to me, she just walked away with the bit... I should also mention that this coach walked out with her students still riding in a Jill Henselwood Clinic last year. Because Jill told her "Top Student" to ride her horse in a plain snaffle at home for training, not in a crub...
Its almost like when you get to a certain point in your riding and show career, snaffle bits are baby bits and should not be used. Which in turn results in too many ill trained riders/coaches/trainers using the bit in the wrong way in the wrong hands... that's my opinion and I have seen it so much in the Hunter/Jumper - because that what I started my riding career in, now Im doing classical dressage - pro snaffle :) - world here in Canada... its scary adn dangerous how many riders/trainer/coaches can't use a bit in the proper way... its just wrong, dangerous and scary to see what they are doing to the horses!!!
LEARN TO RIDE PROPERLY AND WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG GO BACK TO BASICS BY TAKING AWAY ALLL ARTIFICAL AIDS AND GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE!!!
^^to me, the most ridiculous part of what that trainer did wasn't to suggest a pelham, it was that she was SHOVING it down your friend's throat!!! I absolutely HATE when people do that...she does NOT know that horse, doesn't know the horse's training, doesn't know what the horse likes and does not like, and has no business telling you what to use.
Are there horses out there who need a little more than just a snaffle though, or that may even prefer something different? Sure are. Can a lot of horses just be ridden in a snaffle their whole lives? Sure can. It's all on an individual basis though, I wish more people would figure that out.