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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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        09-17-2010, 01:18 AM
      #71
    Green Broke
    That's not true for all horses Bitless. I have my boy in a bitless for the majority of the time. However, not all horses will work well without a bit. Don't make a claim that everyone that uses a bit is 'yanking on their mouth' because that isn't the case.
         
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        09-17-2010, 01:41 AM
      #72
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Solon    
    That's not true for all horses Bitless. I have my boy in a bitless for the majority of the time. However, not all horses will work well without a bit. Don't make a claim that everyone that uses a bit is 'yanking on their mouth' because that isn't the case.
    That was a bad choice of words. I was referring to the first post talking about "heavy hands" and how that's important to consider when you're picking a bit. But when you say not all horses, do you mean on the first try, or after a while of work. I just want to understand others' points of view.
         
        09-17-2010, 01:51 AM
      #73
    Green Broke
    Not all horses after a while of work. Some horses just flat out prefer a bit. And I am all for bitless, but if my horse wanted a bit all the time, that is what he would get.
         
        09-17-2010, 02:09 AM
      #74
    Showing
    The only problem is that bitless isn't a cure for bad hands, only education and practice can change that. A horse is just as uncomfortable with someone yanking on his nose as he is with someone yanking on his mouth.
         
        09-17-2010, 01:42 PM
      #75
    Trained
    Hackamores can be extremely rough on a horse if the rider has hard hands. As Solon and Smrobs said too, not all horses like bitless options. It really depends on what kind of pressure your horse prefers. Some really dislike pressure on their face, others on their tongue, others on the poll.

    Any good owner will take the time to figure out what works for their horse and not rely on some dogma be it bitless, snaffle, or curb.
         
        09-17-2010, 01:59 PM
      #76
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes    
    Hackamores can be extremely rough on a horse if the rider has hard hands. As Solon and Smrobs said too, not all horses like bitless options. It really depends on what kind of pressure your horse prefers. Some really dislike pressure on their face, others on their tongue, others on the poll.

    Any good owner will take the time to figure out what works for their horse and not rely on some dogma be it bitless, snaffle, or curb.
    Well said! I've used a french link snaffle with my green mare for over a year now, and we CANNOT get her to stop hanging on it...even when you ask and then release, she follows your release down and hangs...she will quite literally pull you out of the tack! Even my trainer, who is well respected and has YEARS of experience training people AND horses, was having trouble with her in a snaffle. We tried a figure 8 bridle before going to another bit, and my horse HATED it!! Threw her head around, made a fuss and ran around more on the forehand than ever. I was feeling pretty defeated because all of my friends used figure 8's and they did wonders for their horses.

    So my trainer wanted to give a curb bit a try...we used a double jointed, same thing as the french link, but it was a tom thumb pelham. IT WAS AMAZING! At first, she started to do her same old hanging, but with the use of the curb, she basically "corrected herself" into stopping it. After a few minutes, it became evident that she really liked the bit...she was licking and chewing and a little foamy, she stopped hanging and started to transition back onto her rear, and I got on after my trainer worked her and OH MAN it felt like I was riding a different mare!!! She was light in my hands, balanced, and she seemed HAPPIER!

    That continues to be my experience with her, and my trainer plans to put her back into a french link snaffle again in the future, once we can get her to understand her "job" and that she should be back on her rear and not on the forehand pulling the rider out of the seat. It's been a wonderful tool for us and one that my horse has really been happy with, so I definitely agree that it's all about what your horse prefers and goes well in...not all curb bits are "evil" and not every horse is happy in a snaffle bit.
         
        09-17-2010, 02:01 PM
      #77
    Green Broke
    That said, I definitely think you should consult a trained professional before switching to any of the "more severe" bits...in the wrong hands, those can certainly cause more harm than good.
         
        09-17-2010, 03:16 PM
      #78
    dee
    Started
    I'm really not trying to hijack this thread, but I do have a couple of bit questions.

    On my old mare, Sugar, I used a "racing snaffle," which was basically a regular snaffle bit that had largish rubber covers over the bit - but it was still jointed. Some of my friends that had been riding and training horses for years were a little concerned at first that it was not enough bit for her, as she could be pretty stubborn at times. However, if I used any other bit, she was an impossible witch - head tossing, bucking - you name it, she did it. Same thing with a hackamore, so a racing snaffle it was. However, I was told she "carried" the bit, and I was lucky she didn't run off with me.

    What did they mean by "carrying the bit?" In all honesty, I'm a terrible rider, and learned the hard way to stay off her mouth. It did teach me to have softish hands, and even though I rode in the racing snaffle, I rode with a loose rein, and Sugar neckreined very well. Almost too well, sometimes it seemed that if I just thought about a change in direction, she did it - almost like she had power steering...

    Dancer is shaping up to be just like Sugar was - at least so far. However, she seems to go well in a hackamore - but we haven't really ridden her enough to tell. I don't want to go with a harsh bit - a snaffle is fine with me. But is/was that racing snaffle a harsh bit? I sure wish I could find that bit again. I found my old one, but after nearly 20 years, so had the rats...
         
        09-17-2010, 04:17 PM
      #79
    Showing
    Was it something similar to this?
    Flexi Racing Dee Snaffle Bit, Flexi Racing Bits and Dee Snaffle Bit

    If so, then no it wasn't a harsh bit. From looking at what is sold on the net as racing snaffles, they all seem to be fairly mild with large diameter mouths. I believe that is probably because racehorses are trained to push into the bit for balance (or something LOL) and a bigger diameter is nicer on their mouth. However, the bigger diameter can also lose some of the more subtle cues and since it is a milder bit, makes it more likely that the horse would be able to ignore it. Most times, a horse that carries the bit kinda braces their tongue against the bit so that it doesn't really effect the bars of the mouth (vaqueros spend years teaching a horse to carry the spade bit in just that manner) but on a horse that isn't taught to be responsive in this state finds it easy to use this to render the bit ineffective. I actually prefer a horse that will carry the bit instead of just pack it because they are more aware of the smaller movements of my hands.
         
        09-17-2010, 04:26 PM
      #80
    dee
    Started
    No, that's not like the one I had. It was an "O" ring and had REALLY large rubber covers on the bit. Nearly as thick as my thumb.

    Sugar was very responsive to riding cues. She would change gaits depending on where you held the reins, the higher you lifted them, the faster she went. (Needless to say, I spent most of my riding time with my hand resting on the saddle horn as we moped along. Bad riding habit, but oh well, I wasn't showing or anything.) Drop the reins and she stopped dead. It was really odd the way she was. The only time I had a problem with her blowing through the bit, she was just in a really bad mood. She would respond to the one rein stop, but that was back before I had heard it called that. I was just told to pull the inside rein when she misbehaved like that, so she would circle around.
         

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