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Will your horse respond to your bit?

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  • How to train horse to respond to bit
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    08-19-2011, 01:19 AM
  #491
Foal
Horse doesn't respond to bit

Hi,
First I'd like to thank you for sharing this very essential and valuable information. I'm fond of horse riding. I participated three times in horse racing. Last year in November I bought a horse. I tried to train it for racing but I found it was not properly responding to my bit. At last, I sold it out. I couldn't understand what the problem was. But your post is so helpful in this regard. Very thanks.
___________
Ryan H
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    09-23-2011, 03:48 PM
  #492
Started
I obviously didn't read all 50 pages of replies but what a great post! I ride my TB in a loose ring oval mouth and at times she gets heavy and runs through the bit so my BO and friend who used to event(she rides her for me at times) want me to change her bit, my friend wants to me use a corkscrew(hell no!) and barn owner had me try her low port kimberwick. The kimberwick she hated, she just kept getting behind it, I'll never use it again. I am how ever considering changing from a loose ring oval mouth to an eggbutt, same mild mouth piece but I have heard some horses will be heavy and run through a loose ring so it's worth a try.
     
    10-04-2011, 07:18 PM
  #493
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald    
I didn't read your whole post (sorry) I have a headache (because I got bucked off today) and at the moment I would like to shove barbed wire in my horses mouth... I don't mean that but im cranky and sore ATM..
That just made me remember... I remember reading this article about BARBED WIRE BITS!! It was some article about cruel bits.. Actually I think it was horse forum.. But a couple years ago... It said they are mainly used on mules but anyways... Poor mules!!
     
    10-05-2011, 04:52 PM
  #494
Green Broke
Yeah, mule bits are just nasty! So are cork screw bits :(

caseymyhorserocks likes this.
     
    10-05-2011, 05:31 PM
  #495
Showing
Yeah, I honestly don't understand why such horribly cruel bits are named "mule bits", especially considering that mules are actually smarter than horses and if you have to use a "mule bit" on one, that just proves that you shouldn't have a mule because they are smarter than you are.

We've had mules all my life (mostly as driving teams) and never used anything harsher than a loose ring snaffle on any of them.

Maybe I was wrong though. I mean, this guy looks completely out of control.....right?


     
    10-05-2011, 06:35 PM
  #496
Green Broke
Yeah! He looks CRAZYYY!!! Joking lol
     
    10-07-2011, 03:28 AM
  #497
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
If not, have you considered why?

Recently, I have seen an influx of threads asking advice about "what bit to put my horse in because I don't have control of him/her?" As opposed to retyping my opinion several times, I just decided to have a bit of a 'rant' thread.

First off, if your horse simply refuses to listen to the bit, then the problem isn't with the bit. The problem lies with what training (or lack thereof) and handling the horse is getting. The fact is that 99% of the time that a horse is ignoring the bit, slinging his head, nosing out, or any other action that most people associate as a "bit problem", it isn't the bit at all. It is a terrible thing to see that so many people are not being taught how to properly cue a horse with the bit. They almost always have solid contact and in order to stop or turn, they just pull harder. Those people have hard hands. HARD HANDS MAKE HARD HORSES.

agree with that, but once the mouth is hard is stays hard until the horse is remouthed

If the horse isn't as responsive as you like in the bit that you have, then work on him in the bit that you have. It is better to go back to a simple snaffle for schooling or corrective work though because it is one of the mildest bits that you can find. If a horse is responsive in a simple snaffle, then you can ride him in anything; however, if you ride him in a twisted wire gag for him to be responsive, then you would have no control in anything less. All the time we see it: a horse gets hard in the snaffle so they move him up to a twisted snaffle, then he gets hard in that so they move him up to a Tom Thumb bit (one of the most worthless bits ever made in my opinion), then he gets hard in that so they move him up to a solid mouth curb with longer shanks, then he gets hard in that so they move him up to a gag bit or a combination bit like those you see with a hard rope noseband and gag bit. Before you know it, the horse is being ridden in a 1/8 inch double twisted wire gag bit. Then 'what a miracle' the horse ends up hard to that too and at this point, they say "Well he is a stupid horse" or "He's stubborn" or "He gets excited". They never for one instant consider that every problem that horse has is rider error and by that point, the poor horse is usually beyond the point of no return.

Not many people are concerned with learning how to be soft with their hands and those that aren't will always blame the horse or the bit for every problem they have. You teach softness by being soft. You maintain softness by being soft. There are certain times, especially when handling a green horse, that being hard for an instant is required but it takes someone who understands horses and knows softness to know how much 'hard' is required and when it will be beneficial to the horse. Many riders should spend their lifetime riding with nothing more than a snaffle because they don't understand when, how, or why to use the bite that a curb bit has. Even fewer people have any business using a twisted wire bit for any reason. Those bits should be reserved for only the most experienced and talented horsemen to use on only the most outlaw horses and only for a few days to re-gain respect for the bit. They should never be used for everyday riding by your typical 'fun' rider, or even a competition rider.

Many horses that end up hard due to improper riding can be re-trained to be soft-ish, however, they will never be as soft as a horse that was taught from the beginning to be responsive to the slightest cues. If you are having trouble at the lope or gallop, then it isn't a sudden problem just because of the change of gait. The issues are there at the walk and trot, they are just more subtle. Any gaps in training at the slower gaits will reveal themselves at speed.

No horse that got the proper training or riding needs to be moved up from a snaffle. We, as riders, choose to move to a different bit because of our preferances or training goals. I choose to ride in a ported curb because I ride one handed on a loose rein and a ported curb is designed for that, a snaffle is not. However, I can still stick any of my horses in a snaffle bit and they respond the same way. If I rode all my horses on light contact and direct reined, would I still use the curb? Absolutely not because it isn't designed for that and it is too much bit for that type of riding. The more advanced bits are designed for finesse, not power.

Anyone who says their horse needs to be in this special bit is just kidding themselves. The horse needs that bit because his training and handling dictates that the rider needs that bit to communicate because their hands only know how to scream. They cannot understand the sublety of a whisper and as a result, their horse has learned to tune out all but the loudest of screams.

funny enough, my horse does need a certain bit, he can't have anything with a single join, he HAS to have a french link.

Are there horses out there that seem to be immune to the softness of the snaffle from day one? Of course, but those are very rare and that immunity is generally paired with an outlaw nature that is dangerous to handle anyway. If a horse can be trained to accept a rider, then they can be trained to be soft to a snaffle bit.

that's when the mouthing system isn't a good one. Remouthing helps but only with a good system.

Some horses misbehave in the bit due to a physical issue, whether it is a tooth problem or a nerve problem in their mouth or some other reason that carrying a bit would be painful. Some riders simply choose to ride bitless. Does that make them less knowledgeable or have a lower worth as a horseman than someone who rides in a bit? No. However, the bitless options out there are no different than the bit options. There are very mild choices like a simple halter or sidepull, there are more advanced options like the bosal, and then there are ridiculous options like those chain nosed mechanical hackamores. The same rules apply to those as they do to bits; stick with the mildest choice unless you need more finesse as the training level progresses.

To make a long story short, a bigger bit is designed to create finesse later in training, they are not meant to simply give a rider more power. A power struggle with a horse will always end up with the horse ruined and the rider frustrated and hateful.

Results come from what you put in their head,
not what you put on it.
i agree with most of what you write. The parts I commented on is what I believe.
The gap in the training or even the inadequate breaking in process. How example; Barney is a TB, he has raced, when he was being preped for racing he was taught to learn on the bit and run. He still does this now. Doesn't matter the bit but that's what he was taught.
I am getting him remouthed with an awesome system very soon, and the trainer (and horseman) is teaching me how to do this because I want to learn. This will retrain him to be light, to have lateral flextion and the almighty and most important (in my mind) emergency break - the one rein stop. I will now have those all important brakes! I will be saferon him.

I totally see where your come from. People rely too much on the next bit and don't just fix the mouth and training.
     
    10-07-2011, 05:23 PM
  #498
Showing
funny enough, my horse does need a certain bit, he can't have anything with a single join, he HAS to have a french link.

I guess I should have made myself clearer in that statement. I wasn't talking about a particular shape of a good bit that they are most comfortable with, like your guy. I was talking about those people who spout "But he loves that double twisted, long shanked, hackagag....and it's the only bit he has brakes in".


that's when the mouthing system isn't a good one. Remouthing helps but only with a good system.

Yes and no. Lots of the horses that end up hard went through poor training in the initial stages. However, you will occasionally find a horse that simply has no respect for any bit right from the start, no matter how much proper work you do with him, how soft or how hard you are, or how well timed your release is, he just isn't interested in learning how to give. BUT, like I said, that usually comes along with a general bad attitude that is difficult to train to do anything.
     
    10-07-2011, 09:50 PM
  #499
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
funny enough, my horse does need a certain bit, he can't have anything with a single join, he HAS to have a french link.

I guess I should have made myself clearer in that statement. I wasn't talking about a particular shape of a good bit that they are most comfortable with, like your guy. I was talking about those people who spout "But he loves that double twisted, long shanked, hackagag....and it's the only bit he has brakes in".


that's when the mouthing system isn't a good one. Remouthing helps but only with a good system.

Yes and no. Lots of the horses that end up hard went through poor training in the initial stages. However, you will occasionally find a horse that simply has no respect for any bit right from the start, no matter how much proper work you do with him, how soft or how hard you are, or how well timed your release is, he just isn't interested in learning how to give. BUT, like I said, that usually comes along with a general bad attitude that is difficult to train to do anything.
there are soooo many different systems out there, it's really hard to swift through all the sh*t ones to find a good one, that's for sure. Here in australia every race horse owner thnks he's a trainer. There are sooo many issues that arise from the racing industry here that it's no wonder people just go the bigger bit because it's the "easy route". Some are just not educated. They see th bit as a quick fix and while it works it's all good. There are sooo many non-horsey parents buying their beginner tennager a TB straight off the track that is ful off feed, waaaaayyy too fit and had no training other then racing. The saying is green+ green= black and blue. Then the parents don't understand that if you want a good horse you need to fork out the money to get that. But non-horsey parents don't understand that it takes alot of training to get a good horse. So the bit is the cheaper option.
I keep seeing this time after time. My truck mechanics daughter got a young TB but had a little retraining afterwards by someone that doesn't have the skill to do it right. They paid $1500 for this 8yo and he's just not right for her. I tried to talk her into leasing an educated horse to go have fun on and she almost did. She decided to keep the TB. I will be keeping an eye on her so that I can make sure that this horse isn't going to suffer from needing a bigger bit. Maybe i'll let her ride ozzie when he's better to show her how much nicer an educated horse is.
     
    10-08-2011, 07:40 PM
  #500
Foal
Hello. I'm new to this whole forum thing, so bear with me. :) I have a 7 year old TB and I've had him for about 3 years now. We started off riding with a simple loose ring snaffle then graduated to a full cheek copper mouth snaffle. He went well in it but started to get heavy so my trainer suggested we try a losse ring elevator. Now mind you, he has been trained well, and he was collecting and coming from behind well in the full cheek but he was getting so heavy and just pulling down. He wasn't resistant in any of the bits ever. So, he's been going well in the loose ring snaffle for almost a year now but I want to show him in the hunter ring and I believe that kind of bit is illegal to use. My trainer suggested a pelham or a boucher because she still wanted to have the slight amount of poll pressure. Well, I've tried both and I don't think he likes them. First I tried the pelham and I feel like he was very resistant so I went back to the loose ring elevator and he seemed 100% better, like he was before. So, I tried the boucher and he is so resistant to the contact with that. I've not sure if his mouth is too sensative? He seems like he doesn't want to come from behind and he tries to run into my hands or he gets heavy. I'm not sure if he could be off? My friend watched us the other day and she said he looks sound. When I long lone him he looks fine also, so I'm not sure what to do? Any advice? Go back to my original bit (loose ring elevator) or try a rubber mouth pelham? I want to transition him into something that I can show him in the hunter ring with. Any thoughts? Thanks!
     

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