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arrowsaway 02-02-2012 05:43 PM

I wasn't sure where to put this...
 
...as it falls under training, tack and equipment, and even gaited horses.
Anyway, I've read through the threads on bits, and even tried googling such things as "bits for beginners" and "what bit for my horse?" and I can honestly say... I'm still confused.

Right now I'm using a Wonderbits on both my western and english bridles for my TWH gelding. They were recommended to me by someone who knows FAR more about horses than I do, so I took that person's advice.
Among the many things I read while perusing the threads and google results was that Wonderbits are rough and only serve as a substitute for real training.

That got me thinking. If there's even the slightest chance that I could be hurting Smoke's mouth, I'd feel terrible. In addition to that, I really do want to communicate with my horse, not just yank him around by his face. What's more is I know he wouldn't protest, because he's just not like that. He's so quiet and gentle. I've been thinking back on our rides to see if perhaps he was sending me any signals that he was uncomfortable, but I can think of none.
I direct rein and would characterize myself as medium-handed. I have both a western and flat saddle that I use, and so far I've only done trail riding. I hope to do some local shows with him this spring and summer, just for fun...
Sorry, I digress. My question is: What bits would you recommend for a calm trail and possible show gelding, who is gaited, and whose rider is medium-handed? Why would you choose those? How do these bits effect his movement, and why do they function that way?

Okay, that's more than one question... Thanks in advance for any input!

trailhorserider 02-02-2012 09:42 PM

A lot of people really like Myler bits for gaited horses. I really want to try one but have yet to cough up the $90 or so dollars for one.

Actually, I do own a Myler comfort snaffle, which is really wonderful for a snaffle, but I like a little bit of a shank on my bits.

This is a very mild bit with a little bit of leverage, but not too much. This is what I would get if I had the cash:

Myler HBT Shank #89-20025 Myler Bits (Equine - Supplies Tack - Bits - Working)

These bits are really well made and high quality. I don't think anyone would be disappointed in the quality. And this particular bit is short shanked and very mild.

Lakotababii 02-03-2012 01:01 PM

Does your horse hold his gait well? Any pacing? How old is the gelding in question?

By medium handed, I assume you mean you are working on becoming soft handed and are a beginner? Yes? If no I am sorry but I'm trying! :wink:

Okay so why is that important? Well TWH that can consistently hold their gait without extra training can be put in just about any bit. Really, the most common thing I've heard is that the "headset" is better with a shanked bit. I think its baloney. I had a walker, calm, well broke, but only 5 years old. He kept his gait flawlessly. I rode him in a halter, bareback, some days, and he was still a gentlemen. I had a walking horse bit on him, which I regret (I was very young and green and did not know better) but I soon figured out that was way too harsh and worked him down to a hackamore, soft handed. He moved out great in that!

So for you, honestly it may be trial and error. DUMP the wonder bit. Those are NOT for beginners (Personally I don't think they are for anyone). Try a snaffle on him, such as a O or D ring. Plain and simple. Or, if you want something shanked (which you will have to work on your soft hands if you do) then you can go with what the above poster suggested or a similar type.

Personally, I do not believe that walkers need anything different than other horses when it comes to bits. Some will definitely disagree, but the gait and movement are in the training. The bit is simply the tool by which to communicate.

Sorry long winded. Here's the short. Get a soft bit (such as a D or O ring snaffle) and work on softening your hands. If your boy is already well behaved, then it may take some adjusting, but soon you will learn to communicate with soft cues, and your horse will no doubt thank you for it! :wink:

Corporal 02-03-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lakotababii (Post 1340013)
So for you, honestly it may be trial and error. DUMP the wonder bit. Those are NOT for beginners (Personally I don't think they are for anyone).

A Wonderbit is a gag bit. When I first came across them they were popular with cross-country riders to pull back their enthusiastic jumpers when on course. They didn't use a gag when in the Dressage ring, or when stadium jumping. Certainly NEVER a bit I'd recommend for a beginner bc a gag pulls the head down directly through holes in the bit, and that runs directly to your hands. It's a physics solution for good brakes.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lakotababii (Post 1340013)
Get a soft bit (such as a D or O ring snaffle) and work on softening your hands. If your boy is already well behaved, then it may take some adjusting, but soon you will learn to communicate with soft cues, and your horse will no doubt thank you for it! :wink:

Agreed. But, this is 2nd time I've read about an "O-ring snaffle". Are you referring to a "loose-ring snaffle"...or an "eggbutt snaffle," or a bit(part of bit & bradoon?
Honestly, I cannot find an O-ring snaffle in ANY of the catalogues that I buy from.

Lakotababii 02-03-2012 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corporal (Post 1340036)
A Wonderbit is a gag bit. When I first came across them they were popular with cross-country riders to pull back their enthusiastic jumpers when on course. They didn't use a gag when in the Dressage ring, or when stadium jumping. Certainly NEVER a bit I'd recommend for a beginner bc a gag pulls the head down directly through holes in the bit, and that runs directly to your hands. It's a physics solution for good brakes.

Agreed. But, this is 2nd time I've read about an "O-ring snaffle". Are you referring to a "loose-ring snaffle"...or an "eggbutt snaffle," or a bit(part of bit & bradoon?
Honestly, I cannot find an O-ring snaffle in ANY of the catalogues that I buy from.


When I say O-ring, I am referring to loose ring. Example EZ Control Loose O-Ring Bit
It is just another name for it where I come from. :wink:

EDIT: TOO FUNNY! You are located in East Central Illinois, which is not too far from me I am guessing. I am in Western Illinois.

Corporal 02-03-2012 02:11 PM

[QUOTE=Lakotababii;1340056]When I say O-ring, I am referring to loose ring. Example EZ Control Loose O-Ring Bit
It is just another name for it where I come from. :wink:
O I C--it's like a Dr. Bristol or French link loose ring snaffle. I just don't want to get left behind and not KNOW about new equipment. =D

Lakotababii 02-03-2012 02:15 PM

Yes but "O-ring" can also be just for a simple single jointed snaffle with loose rings. I think maybe its just a slang term? haha

Corporal 02-03-2012 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lakotababii (Post 1340102)
Yes but "O-ring" can also be just for a simple single jointed snaffle with loose rings. I think maybe its just a slang term? haha

Yep, I think you're right. ;D

Sunny 02-03-2012 02:18 PM

An O-ring snaffle is just a loose ring snaffle, no matter what type of joint or mouthpiece. :D
Posted via Mobile Device

Lakotababii 02-03-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunny (Post 1340106)
An O-ring snaffle is just a loose ring snaffle, no matter what type of joint or mouthpiece. :D
Posted via Mobile Device


Thank you! I just could not put that into words for some reason... It's been a LONG week! :lol:


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