ready for a new bit?
Hello I have a gelding who just turned three in april. I started riding him this summer so he has been rode for about four months now. He has never bucked or nothing he is very easy going turns good backs good pretty well does everything you ask of him. Here lately when I have been riding him when I ask him to Whoa (i make sure to say whoa everytime I want him to stop) he does not stop like I would like him to. Im not looking for him to do a sliding stop, but he likes to kind of ignore the bit when I ask him and just pretty well if were loping he will break down to a trot and then eventually stop. If were trotting he just continues to slow down until he stops. I started him in a o ring side pull then put him in a o ring smooth mouth piece it is a thin mouth piece. I just feel like he is ready for something new maybe with a little more Hello i said whoa or a little more bite. I have read all kinds of sites about bits but never really seem to get a good answer. He is half registered his daddy is whata bold dash which goes back to dash for perks and his mom is not registered. Im hoping to use him for barrel racing, but dont want to rush him. So we mainly work on trotting loping circles roll backs collection and picking his leads up. So anyhelp I could get would be greatly appreciated.
This isn't a bit problem. It's a training problem. You aren't asking him for the "whoa" correctly. It's a multi-step process. First, you stop driving the horse forward. Then, you sit down deeply in the saddle. Then, you say "whoa." Then, if the horse has not yet stopped, you lift up your reins and pull back. As soon as the horse responds, you put slack back in the reins. If your horse tries to move off, back him or make him stand still and wait.
Pressure and release, and timing, are everything. Horses learn by subtle changes in posture and position, and by the shifting of your weight. Pulling harder on the reins, or putting a harsher bit in, is not going to teach your horse to have a better stop. It will work temporarily, and then he will learn to plow through that, too.
I'm not familiar with American bits yet, but in my opinion a bit is an aid to training not a fix-all solution.
If your horse is not stopping correctly then he needs more training, not a new bit.
You also need to look at variables that may change his behaviour, such as do his teeth need looked at, is his tack still fitting ok, is he overdue for a back checkup, is his feed meeting his nutritional and exercise needs, etc.
thanks for the replies....i try to make sure i make myself sit when i want him to whoa...my friend that rides with me said to put him in a correction bit with long shanks and draw reins???. i do not want him to rely on things like tie downs and other things like that...He does mind good when I ask him to whoa and he does stop he dont try to just take off and keep going he will stop and stand there as long as I like him to. I made sure to make a big deal out of him standing while being mounted and while being rode .... there is times Ill be riding him and ask him to stand for awhile. i dont want crazy hyper horses dont get me wrong i love the spirit and all but i really want a horse that minds me and does what i ask..is there any exercise i can do with him to help get him to whoa better?
Practice, practice, practice. Perhaps have a trainer evaluate you and your horse to see whether he's being resistant or if you just need to work on your timing and cues.
Your friend's advice is absolutely terrible, but it is a great way to wreck a horse, so if you want one that will either a) duck behind a bit and avoid contact, b) ignore any bit and run off, or c) rear up and fall over backward with you, go that route.
that is definitely a negative and im glad to hear that ...i for sure will not listen to her advice lol...i really really didnt want to put that bit in him but i didnt know where else to go...but i definitely will not be putting that bit in his mouth,,THANK YOU..you do not know how happy that made me to hear that...so do you think i should keep riding him the o ring? use any props? thank you so very much you just saved me and my horse i cant thank you enough..i could kiss you rite now lol and i dont even know you i really really appreciate it...
You can play with different snaffles and different milder bits, to see if you find one he prefers, but I still think the majority of it is going to be riding, plain and simple. And I don't think it's a factor in your issue, but if you haven't had a vet check his teeth to see if they need to be floated, it's sure worth doing. And spring for a single lesson / evaluation session with a reputable, competent trainer to see if you're on the right track. Can you post a video of you riding?
When I first rode Thunder, he never wanted to stop. I simply kept applying the cues that Bubba13 up there posted (sit-whoa-pick up reins). He would shake his head a little, and stop after about 5 steps. My trainer said it was as if he just couldn't figure out his balance to stop with the weight of a rider.
So I made him stop a few more times. The next day, he threw his head less, stopped in fewer steps. And less the next day. And now, he slows to a stop and will stop in about 1-2 steps. Still not a pristine stop, but he's not going to be a show horse (training to be a trail horse; he was raised with the company I work for) so a "stop on the dime" isn't necessary. I started this boy in a full cheek snaffle, as suggested by a few trainers in my area.
I would definitely get a trainer out there. A friend of mine did the same thing, and found out it was simply a timing issue with her filly. She now has a well-rounded, loving filly compared to the wild nut she had before because she made a phone call and $50 for an hour of help from a certified, experienced trainer.
2. Does your friend ever ride her horse without tearing its face off? Because it sounds like that's what he/she is trying to get you to do to yours.
Draw reins are intended to teach a horse headset and collection, not to stop. Bits won't solve your problem either. In my opinion, pressure on the bit, particularly in western disciplines, should be a last resort. Give your horse every chance to respond to your other cues first. As has been stated above, a stronger bit will work...for now. Eventually you'll just end up with a hard mouthed horse who ignores any bit you shove in his mouth.
I only moved my horse up from a snaffle because he's too old to use them legally in competition and I eventually want to compete with him. I still expect him to be able to do everything he can do in his current bit in his smooth mouth snaffle, and he does. If he didn't, he wouldn't be educated enough to graduate to a shanked bit.
Now, to teach your horse to stop, make sure you're really sitting deep in the seat and exaggerate the change in position at first so it's obvious to him, make sure you say "woah" with authority, and THEN if he doesn't stop pull back on the reins, but don't jab him in the mouth. Once he stops, make him back a few steps, then go on when YOU decide to. Most horses will take the first two cues over a bigger bit any day. ;)
Good luck and don't give up! If all else fails, even occasional help from a trainer can be extremely beneficial.
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