Bits: Schooling vs. Showing - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 06-11-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Bits: Schooling vs. Showing

Just out of curiosity, those of you who show- do you use the same bit to school as you do to compete? What DO you compete in?

I'm debating sticking Jackson's waterford on the bridle I use to compete and putting an old french link on his schooling bridle, so I don't have to switch them around every other weekend. Still mulling it over, I don't know if it's worth it considering he seems really comfortable in his waterford- it all depends on how lazy I am
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-12-2013, 02:29 AM
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I don't show regularly, but when I do show I always use the same bit the horse has been schooling with. I will run into a problem, however, when we go to a dressage show (or another event), as I am currently using a Waterford on my guy and I read that is an illegal bit for dressage. A situation like that would be the only reason I would switch bits just for a show.

My retired TB always used a French link snaffle for schooling and shows (hunters and eventually eventing).

I would stick to what the horse is comfortable in and what he goes best in.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-12-2013, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in no way against changing bits from showing to schooling, he goes well in both but I prefer the waterford for riding courses.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-12-2013, 05:11 AM
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In the UK there is a tradition of showing in a double bridle or Pelham (two reins), for novice classes you show in a snaffle.

For competing at jumping , xc etc. then what ever works well at home :)

Dressage levels have set rules for dressage legal bits, so I always school in one that is legal for a test.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-12-2013, 03:52 PM
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Depends on the horse and how they are at shows. I don't just stick to one bit all the time. I like to change my bits according to horse and situation. If they can go everywhere in a snaffle? Great. That's the goal. And most of my horses hack at home in a snaffle. But if not? I'll dig in my bit box. Most of the horses I keep the same, assuming that they go well in the bit in both environments. But, for example, I have a very strong very giant jumper who LOVES to compete. At home he goes great in a gentle Herm Sprenger. But when we get to shows he knows his job and gets really fired up, especially in a jump off, and I need some leverage to ride him well. So I usually show him in a gag or sometimes a pelham with some decently long shanks. It's been our system for a few years and it's worked well so I keep him on it.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-12-2013, 07:02 PM
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I always train in the same bit I show in. I figure a show would be a bad time to find out my horse doesn't like the "other" bit.
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You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-13-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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I'd love to put a double bridle or Pelham on my horse, I think it would be a useful skill for myself to have- but considering I've never ridden in one I'm not sure it would be fair to have both of us trying to adjust at once. They are very popular here as well, as I'm moving up I find an equal number of people ride in doubles as do those in snaffles, even at the bigger levels.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-13-2013, 09:57 PM
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Now, keep in mind that this is not coming from an English rider, but whenever my Dad was showing, he would always ride the horse in one bit unless he needed something different for a "tune-up", which didn't happen often. He would normally tune up minor things in the same bit as he showed them in.

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 #9 of 13 Old 06-13-2013, 10:04 PM
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For Western, I school, ride & show in the same bit, a Robards pinchless reiner, for English, I school in a snaffle with a halfmoon mouth, for showing I use a kimberwicke with the halfmoon as well. I sometimes trailride with the kimberwicke.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-13-2013, 10:06 PM
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I school everything in a double-jointed snaffle (french link or oval piece), show English & Dressage in the same bit. For Western show I use a basic low-port curb and switch into it the day before we show just as a reminder!
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