Thoughts on bit choice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on bit choice?

I've owned my horse (Ezhno) for around four months ago. When we bought him he hadn't been in consistent work and any training he had was walk/steering oriented, since he used to be a trail horse. We've pretty much started from the ground up with him and he's been doing very well! His walk/trot/canter are almost at the point I'd consider them show worthy, plus we're schooling jumps around 18".

Originally we started Ezhno out in a loose ring snaffle (single joint, very basic). He goes well in it, but I've noticed that after our rides the corners of his mouth are kind of pink/itchy, so I'm worried that it might be pinching a little bit... anyways, here are my questions:

  1. Does my loose ring snaffle look like it's the right size? I originally bought a 5", but I quickly switched him to a 5.5". The 5.5" looks like it fits to me, but if it fits it wouldn't be pinching, right? (See picture below.)
  2. Are bit guards disapproved of in the hunter ring? I'm pretty sure they're legal, but that doesn't mean they're what's "in style" right now (and the hunter crowd can be picky, lol). On the other hand, I'm really only competing in schooling shows...
  3. What's the closest comparable bit to a loose ring snaffle? Should I try an eggbutt? A D-ring?
  4. If he was your horse would you get bit guards or a new bit entirely?
Thanks for any advice/opinions you can give me!



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post #2 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 02:34 AM
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the bit sure looks high in his mouth. could you drop it a hole? does he need a flash nose band?

the bit does kind of look narrow, but maybe after you drop it a notch, it will look less tight.
the old thing of 'two wrinkles' is wrong. only have the bit pulled up to form ANY wrinkle if by allowing it to hang with NO wrinkles it is low enough to bang against the canine teeth .

I would do some work with him with the bit dropped, one or two notches , NO wrinkles, no nose band and just working on allowing him to kind of feel and hold the bit where he wants. see if this can work for, or against you. some horses won't ever steady, other heave a sigh of relief and stop trying to escape a bit that is jammed up into their mouth.
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post #3 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 05:12 AM
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Switch to an eggbut?
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post #4 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
Switch to an eggbut?
I would certainly try an eggbutt, too.
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post #5 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 05:55 AM
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I know you did not ask but if you are "schooling" with a aim of the hunter show ring then you might want to school in a caveson, a plain caveson.
What you have on his head is illegal to use in the hunter ring.
I would also go with a eggbutt bit.
The smaller the surface area that touches the side of the mouth the least amount of "direction" and "assistance" it gives in control.
So I was taught.... loose ring, eggbutt, d-ring then full-cheek in how much "assistance" your bit aides you, with full-cheek the most..

Good luck....cute horse!!
...

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post #6 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 07:26 AM
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Is it pinching, or is he reacting to the metal?

Can get sleeved loose rings that have the sliding ring junction covered. Are legal afaik. Eggbutts are 'out' style wise. Bit guards are a no.
As as said, figure 8 nosebands are illegal.
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post #7 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 08:59 AM
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If you are doing hunters(true hunter under saddle), I recommend you go to a D-ring and regular caveson. A figure-8 is fine for jumpers but not for hunters. Please consult your USEF rule book. All non-conventional bits and nose bands can be penalized.

You will see most horses in either a D ring, maybe a pelham or kimberwick but they are both very out of style unless the horse really needs them for control. And then you will still be penalized.
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post #8 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 09:01 AM
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Loose rings can often pinch, and I often lubricate them with Vaseline to prevent it. They often need to be sized up a 1/4-1/2" depending on how thick the horses lips are. They also can allow the most noise to come through a riders hands.
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post #9 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
the bit sure looks high in his mouth. could you drop it a hole?
Trial and error on that one (though I do think the bit might be skewed/exaggerating the wrinkles in the pic I provided, will attach another below—also, I love to show off his cute face, lol). We started with it low in his mouth when I originally got him and it's been adjusted gradually by my trainer (who had him in part time training for a month and does the occasional tune up ride on him). I could probably drop it a hole or two and he'd be fine, that's a good idea! Might try that today. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
I know you did not ask but if you are "schooling" with a aim of the hunter show ring then you might want to school in a caveson, a plain caveson. What you have on his head is illegal to use in the hunter ring.
I've got a plain caveson in my tack locker that I break out for showing. The figure 8 is a temporary thing (well, hopefully temporary) that we're testing out. He's got a habit of sticking his tongue out while we're working—not in a huge "avoiding the bit" sort of way (we've had a couple of days where it was the "avoiding the bit" sort of way and it felt completely different than his normal silliness), he's just a really tonguey horse. He sticks his tongue out all the time, even when he's standing in the cross ties (no bridle) or after he's had a good drink (water EVERYWHERE). We're hoping the figure 8 will discourage the habit (it's not set super tight, just tight enough to make it inconvenient for him to waggle his cute tongue about).

Opinions on this gladly accepted, the figure 8 has only reduced his tongueness, not completely gotten rid of it. (and if I'm being honest, I think his tongue is sort of cute, if not desirable in the show ring)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Is it pinching, or is he reacting to the metal? ... Bit guards are a no.
Pretty sure pinching. Not a huge amount (he looks fine after a short ride), but after an hour or so (like on lesson days) there's a slight pinkness. And no matter what it's always itchy, he likes it when I rub his face after every ride. Thanks for the definitive answer on bit guards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dehda01 View Post
If you are doing hunters(true hunter under saddle), I recommend you go to a D-ring and regular caveson.
Kind of, I'm doing hunters but only at local schooling shows (not enough money or skill for the real stuff, lol), so it's not a huge deal. See, I've been going back and forth between trying an eggbutt or a D-ring because I like that the eggbutt is closest to the loose ring, but the D-ring is more "in style"... I'm trying to figure what "features" the D-ring will take away—like what if he doesn't like the structure it provides? GAH. The only way to know is to test it out, but I'm trying to avoid owning 8,000 bits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dehda01 View Post
Loose rings can often pinch. ... They often need to be sized up a 1/4-1/2" depending on how thick the horses lips are.
So I have a 5.5" loose ring (which I think is sized correctly for him, for a loose ring). If I buy an eggbutt or a D-ring, what size should I buy? 5"?

More pics featuring the notorious 5.5" loose ring and his doof tongue (plus wonky post schooling show winter sun lighting):

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post #10 of 43 Old 01-10-2017, 04:46 PM
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it could be a allergic reaction or it does seems a bit too high up (maybe even a combo of the two), but regardless I would lose the nose band IMO
I would lower it a bit and see if it helps. also check his tongue as well for a metal reaction maybe.
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