Running Martingale & Switching Bit
So the project horse I am working with can be a bit troublesome when it comes to trotting and cantering. Pressure on the reins when trotting or cantering causes him to toss his head up and I'm thinking its because of the bit. I am very light with him through the reins but if I need him to slow down, I apply pressure on the reins and he tosses his head up. The bit fits fine but I think I'm going to change it.
The bit he is in now is a Tom Thumb Bit, which I am not a big fan of.
So I want to switch him to an Egg-Butt Snaffle.
I'm hoping this'll be easier for him since it's very simple.
After making sure everything fits properly and he still tosses his head, I was thinking about trying a running martingale.
What do you think? His owner said that before he had used it on him and he responded really well to it. I'm only worried that what if he tries to buck and puts his head down? Will I be able to get his head up??
It is very unusual to hear about an english horse ridden in a western bit. I agree with you, though, about it being an awful bit for a horse.
The first thing I would check would be his teeth. Head throwing is a sign of discomfort and it could be the way the bit is hitting his teeth. However, with a Tom Thumb I'm not surprised with his behavior.
After you've checked his mouth, I like the idea of the eggbutt snaffle. I'm a firm believer that if a horse is properly trained, a simple snaffle is all they need until you go on to advanced training.
Personally I like a snaffle with a Billy Allen mouth piece.
When you go to stop him, try using your seat and legs more. I would not move him to a running martingale for now especially if you need that for control. It is much better to back up in his training and work him at a walk and trot only until he is ready to move up.
A bit change sounds like an excellent idea. As for the martingale, it would be helpful as well, but I don't know about the bucking thing ...
what about a french link snaffle???
Thanks iridehorses and Jubilee Rose for your suggestions!
But I made sure to release him a lot, too, so he'd get the idea that its good to have your head down and flexed.
oh, other ways to keep him from bucking (you said he was western, i think...) keep his halter and lead on under the bridle and tie the lead to the horn so he can't get his head low enough to buck... get some roping reins or single rein and put it over the saddle horn so if he bogs his head he'll run into the bit
The running martingale will probably be very good for that type of horse. longe him with it on and see how he does. then put the snaffle on with the martingale on the longe line and see how he does. If you want a martingale that does not connect to the bit use a standing martingale. it connects to the nose band and the girth it works well with my head strong Arabian.
your not a rider until you've fallen off and tasted dirt- michele sult horse trainer
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