Will your horse respond to your bit? - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 647 Old 08-18-2010, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.W. Ohio
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My horses will respond to any bit I put in their mouth or no bit at all.

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post #52 of 647 Old 08-18-2010, 06:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Originally Posted by Scoutrider View Post
I see the exact same thing, MM. One gal, also in 4-H, very consistently places first or second in every speed event that a given show offers. Her horse is lightning fast, loves to run, and knows the patterns. She doesn't use a whip, quirt, or over/under. Almost every year she buys a bigger bit, and her dad must stand at the in-gate and yell at the horse to stop as he runs home to keep him from crashing it. He's dented several gates in local show rings, and they've received warnings from rodeos to deal with the problem or not come back next year. Once the horse is moving, his brakes are gone. I do believe that her current bit is like a cross between a wonder bit and a mechanical hack with a twisted mouth, ridden two handed. Not sure where you go up to from there... Horse's mouth is perpetually wide open, and would be sky high if not for the tie-down.

I don't game much, at least not competitively. I'm no daredevil and have no desire to become one. My sister does about every discipline out there except for "D" Dressage and saddle seat, and generally places well when she does run poles or barrels purely because of the pleasure miles that her horse has under him. Even though his actual times are a bit slower, they ribbon because they left the course intact.

So many people think gaming is all about speed; true, trained brakes and steering take a surprisingly distant backburner for a sport that is all about precision and control.
So true. We won the flag race at a TROT. We were there to have fun, and having a drive to keep my horse sane and happy as opposed to win ironically landed us in the winner's circle - multiple times. The QH were beating us for speed, but what is speed when your horse won't bring you within ten feet of the flag or just knocks the poles over?

It was also ridiculous how many gapped mouths I saw, and the sad part being a lot of the horses there were reiners. They all had massive bits on and virtually no control to be had. I expect it from the gamers but the reiners disappointed me - gaming should be something you do on a FINISHED reiner, not something you throw your green 3 year old at and expect him to understand your precise cues at high speed with a mouthful of metal.
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I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #53 of 647 Old 08-19-2010, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Originally Posted by BarrelracingArabian View Post
i agree, but i have a question.
i am riding an arabian gelding whom has been thrown around on mega huge bits until i started riding him again and put him in a tom thumb, he is super resposive to this he flexes at the poll, stops, backs, has great turns and i can do all that with minimal pressure but im afraid to go down to a snaffle do you think he would have an issue with it. He has had history with running away with riders but i have had the problem yet.
If he is responding nicely to the cues you give now but you would like to try him in a simple snaffle, then go for it. Just make sure that you do the first few rides in a nice controlled area like a roundpen or arena were he cannot run completely away with you (if he decides to even try). You are no doubt familiar with the one rein stop so you wouldn't lose control of him anyway. The only way to really know is just to give it a shot and see what happens.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #54 of 647 Old 08-20-2010, 12:05 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
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smrobs-alright :] thanks for the advice just thought i would ask

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #55 of 647 Old 08-20-2010, 12:39 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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Originally Posted by draftrider View Post
Thanks Smrobs!!!

I have a big pile of bits and bridles, probably 30 different kinds of bits. I only use one- a full cheek snaffle with a copper mouth. In fact I love it so much I bought another so that a friend and I can go riding together.
Hahaha...I AM the same way! I have tons of bits, and I find myself using one French Link Full cheek snaffle, a D-Ring, and an O Ring...Lol! My mare seems to like the D the best so far. I toss a snaffle in any horse I train or retrain, and especially out in AZ where I was last year, people seemed to think I was nuts, or some kind of goddess because I could ride in such a simple bit...

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #56 of 647 Old 08-20-2010, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Solway MN
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Originally Posted by corinowalk View Post
That sounds like a wonderful combo draftrider...where did you get it?
Local feed store. I think it is a Weaver bit. I will check and see exactly what it is tomorrow. =)

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #57 of 647 Old 08-22-2010, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Utah
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
I'd be happy with this frame. He is not built to tuck his nose in and he felt good here.
ANY horse can break at the poll. The horse in this picture is still hollow in the back and could benefit from more work on collection. The hind leg is not reaching as far underneath as it could be if his back was more rounded.

To get softness in a horse you can't always use softness. To develop responsiveness you have to have to give a full release at the right time regardless of the amount of pressure applied. "Soft" hands not coupled with a complete and well timed release will result in a horse that gets tired of being nagged and ignores the rider just as much as if the rider used too much force.

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post #58 of 647 Old 09-07-2010, 05:17 AM
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Okay, so...question from a riding newbie. What would be the best way to train myself to be more soft in the hands? I've been working on it as best I can, and it's gotten much better (from me not being able to control the horse at all and him taking off at a gallop to me keeping him at a trot in the arena) but I feel I'm missing something. Or maybe I'm just being impatient and it takes more time :) The horse has been great and VERY patient with me, because he's a schoolie and is by no means green, but I wish there was more I could do to make my hands gentler. Any suggestions? (Sorry, I don't mean to take over the thread, but I thought others might benefit from this as well.)

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
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post #59 of 647 Old 09-07-2010, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Not a problem at all. It takes time to develop that feel so you know exactly how much pressure you have on the bit and if it is too much or not enough. Quiet hands are the most important thing, make sure you aren't bumping the horse in the mouth, keep your shoulders and elbows fluid so that when you feel the pressure building in your fingertips, you can immediately reach out to loosen the pressure. I don't know how everyone else holds their reins, but I have found that it is easier for me to be soft when I have my reins closer to my fingertips, just about right on that middle joint of your fingers, and have them in kind-of a firm but relaxed grip rather than have my hand in a fist around them. Other than that, just stay aware of everything the reins are doing in your hands and the horse is doing with his head. Focus on trying to use as little force as necessary on the reins to get the response and use escalating pressure. Tons and tons of practice and keeping it always in the back of your mind are the best way. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have someone there like an instructor or a very knowledgeable person to correct you when you tighten up and don't realize it.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #60 of 647 Old 09-08-2010, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South Africa
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Cool, thank you :)

I do have an instructor once a week, but I ride on my own the rest of the time, so keeping these things in mind will help. I think the main thing I need to work on is releasing quicker after he does what I want him to; sometimes I'm a little slow.

*hands thread back* (:

"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom." Helen Thompson
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