Good bit for dressage horse trying out jumping

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding > Jumping

Good bit for dressage horse trying out jumping

This is a discussion on Good bit for dressage horse trying out jumping within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-10-2012, 10:46 PM
Good bit for dressage horse trying out jumping

I have a 16 yr old Holstiener cross, George who I have rode as a dressage horse since he was three years. Recently he seems completely over dressage work. He is harder to soften and just seems bored (I have to say that since he is a bit older and not as much of performer as he once was, I am too!)

Anyway, the other day some jumps were set up and my girlfriend gave me a little lesson over some cross rails. George seemed to love it. He fired right up and seemed to "lock in" on any jump in his path. I have free jumped him and been working over ground poles and he seems really receptive (he has zero past jumping experience). He is so smart that I can tell he is figuring out distance on his own with me just along for the ride (what a good boy).

My problem is I suspect he needs a bit that is a little harsher. I currently ride him in a french-link eggbutt snaffle, and sometimes in a double bridle if we are working on upper-level dressage work. He has always been a strong horse but I haven't wanted to use a harsher bit on a regular basis because I feel he will eventually just get too tough in the month. With lots of half halts and gentle sponging he usually comes around quickly in his dressage work and relaxes, but when he sees a jump it's like he just going for it and I can hardly pull him back. I've heard jumpers in my barn talk of "bracing" against his month but I hate that feeling. I'd like to have a bit more control but not feel like I am hanging on his mouth.

Yesterday after going over our small cross pole jump he locked in on the three footer next in line and it was all I could do to pull him into a circle to not go over that one (we are jumping like 1'6 right now and it's not always pretty so despite his motivation we were not ready to go for a jump that big yet)

Could anyone suggest a bit that is a step up but not too intense? Or maybe some tips in general (and yes, his flat work is certainly up to par, he is a third level dressage horse)

Sponsored Links
    12-10-2012, 11:03 PM
It sounds like you have an awesome horse! It's exciting that you want to learn to jump together!

If you're jumping small fences, you shouldn't have to go much harsher. Going into the jump your body really dictates how they go. Are you slouching at all when he "locks in"? How is your seat? When I was teaching my old tb to jump my body really decided how responsive she would be. If I was nice and deep in the saddle, with my shoulders back and hands down she would respond to a good, strong half halt perfectly, but if I was too relaxed or didn't seem tall and sturdy she would grab the bit and run. I used a french link loose ring snaffle just incase you're wondering.

At the level it sounds like you're going at you should have soft hands though. I would start off with a myler bit, the people I know who use them adore theirs. They're designed not to bruise the horse's palette or pinch too much. In my barn's school there are a few snaffles with a slow twist that help the stronger horses. For me I use a three ring elevator bit with a single joint. I don't think you'll need it unless you plan to go out do cross country or high jumper shows. It is nice though as it can be a lot of bit, but it is adjustable.

If you're not going near 3 foot I don't think you should really look into a new bit right away. Horses tend to rush into the fences when they're learning to jump. Try to keep a deep, stable seat and a tall and back upper body and just focus on riding the jumps and getting your horse used to it, if he hasn't calmed down or is getting worse in a couple months then get a stronger bit.

One thing my coach said to me when I was having a rough patch teachin my mare was "ride jumping the same as flat, it's just dressage with obstacles". It really resonated with me, I don't know if it'll help you much.

Good luck, let me know if I'm unclear at all!
    12-11-2012, 02:34 AM
Great suggestions! Thanks for the advise!
    12-11-2012, 07:46 AM
You're welcome! I can't wait to see how you two do :) Let me know if you need any exercises or more help.
    12-11-2012, 07:31 PM
Normally I would say a rushing horse is likely the result of a rider locking her elbows, but the dressage level you're riding at suggest you have soft hands. If this is just a matter of new horse to jumping trying to figure things out, maybe set up some grids with preset distances, so he can settle down and just work out his own feet. Something like ground pole > 9' to cross rail > 18" to vertical. Most horses find grids easier to jump than a single fence. They're a lot of fun too.
    12-20-2012, 07:43 AM
What I have found that works wonders is a two ring french link elevator bit. You could get a three ring and just put your reins on the second hole. As long as you have 'soft' hands you'll be fine and the french link is a very mild type of bit anyways since its fully collapsable. I ride my stallion in it and he responds really well.

But to start off with I would use a regular loose ring snaffle for a little and see how he is, and then work your way up from there. No need to use a stronger bit if not necessary.

begginer, bit, jumping

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good Dressage Horse? IquitosARG10 Dressage 12 10-11-2011 06:17 PM
Would you consider a Percheron X a good dressage horse? why or why not? Piaffe Horse Breeds 21 06-11-2010 05:43 PM
Is my horse good for jumping?? Xitania Horse Riding Critique 6 04-18-2010 04:56 AM
Jumping horse doing dressage. Vicizmax Horse Riding Critique 18 02-23-2010 08:05 PM
Good Jumping Horse? ChingazMyBoy Horse Riding Critique 12 04-20-2009 04:08 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0