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Natbos 02-18-2012 08:43 PM

bit suggestions?
we got a old mare. but the problem is i'm not sure what bit we should use on her. she has a bad habit of comping and mouthing and pulling on the bit.we got her last aug. and since then we started in a curb but she direct reins and does not neck rein at all. so we put her back in a o ring snaffle which she did ok in for awhile but then she started pulling on it pretty good so i switched her to a full cheek snaffle but she's still pulling pretty hard on the bit and she has a pretty slow reaction time to the bit also. any suggestions on what bit i should try....i have a tom thumb lying around but i'v read mixed reviews on those

daughters currently training her for 4-h speed events and also pleasure she is 22 was a brood mare and race horse for most her life so her training is pretty basic.

jumanji321 02-19-2012 12:24 AM

I'm thinking she was okay with the snaffle at first, but was getting pulled on too much and now she is pulling back because she was getting pulled on. That's just a guess though as I have no idea how she is being ridden. I honestly don't know what to recommend though.

waresbear 02-19-2012 12:27 AM

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Before you can move on after the snaffle to a stronger bit, her mouth needs to be trained, which it sounds like it isn't. The horse & the rider need some instruction, then you can move on from there. If I suggest a different bit, it is going to be stronger, then after that, you will need a stronger one, & so on. This is not where you want to end up.

smrobs 02-19-2012 12:41 AM

It sounds to me like the mare needs some training. Like Ware said, going to a stronger bit just to get control without correcting the base problem that is causing her to act up will only make her worse in the long run.

Also, have you had her teeth floated? Being the age that she is, it really should be checked at least 2 times per year and floated as necessary.

trailhorserider 02-19-2012 01:06 AM

No to disagree with anyone, but you know, I've never found the "once you go to something stronger you can never go back" thing to be true in my experience.

As a matter of fact, I will often ride in a curb but then when fooling around or if the horse has been ridden a lot I will often ride them in a snaffle now and then. What I find tends to happen is that the rider/horse are not understanding/communicating to begin with. And then after you've ridden them a bunch and really gotten to know them, you can ride them in most anything. That's been my (albeit limited) experience. It's kind of like once you get your communication down, the kind of bit becomes almost irrelevant.

Of course I guess that also kind of proves the "training" argument, doesn't it? But anyway, if someone isn't heavy handed, I don't see why you can't switch back and forth between a snaffle and a curb or experiment with whatever bits you may have on hand to see how the horse does in them.

Everyone on here hates tom thumbs, but I've actually had good luck with them. But to each their own I guess.

I would rather ride in a curb and not have to pull on the horse than ride in a snaffle and have constant heavy contact. I'm not so sure it isn't kinder to ride in a stronger bit and let the horse have some release than to ride in a snaffle if you have to be lugging them around.

waresbear 02-19-2012 01:20 AM

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Of course you can go to curb & back to a snaffle & so on, on a trained mouth. I can ride in whatever bit I want, even a spade if I so choose, because my horse's mouth is trained and so are my hands. I ride in a curb for showing, I have to. I ride in a snaffle at home, I sometimes ride in a kimberwick in english classes, just depends on the finesse I want. On a young horse, I would not do that, on a horse that has not given properly to the bridle, I would not do that, it's only basics, then on from there. On every horse I've owned, I've ridden snaffle, curb, you name it, once they are broke (broke, meaning resistance is broken, eg - they give to pressure).

smrobs 02-19-2012 01:27 AM

Exactly. The problem with upping the bit for more control is that people don't address the underlying cause first. I am all for an experienced horseman using a twisted bit or a harsher curb to re-mouth a horse that came to them ruined or a person swapping out bits on a nice, broke horse....but to bit up a horse because you no longer have control in the snaffle without first finding out why you no longer have control in the snaffle will just cause more problems.

Natbos 02-19-2012 01:33 AM

i know she needs some training like i said she seems to know only basics, no leg ques or body positioning, no flexing, just turn, go forward, not even how to back in a bit. voice ques she good on. but shes always pulled/and mouthed on the bit since we got her so i had her teeth floated hoping it would help but it didn't seem to at all. even at a stand she'll put her mouth straight tords the ground and pull and comp.I was wondering if this could be a learned behavior from her racing days. the lady we got her from only took her out a few time said she just rode in a halter and lead with other horses for her to tag along with then put out to pasture, she spent a brief week with a friend of mine while we put up her pen, that put her in a curb and a rolling curb which she like to play with but I'v always thought those bit are for horses that neck rein since they apply pressure across the mouth. I'v been teaching my daughter to ride on her and so i thought it best to put her in a light bit and hopefully soften her mouth and also in case my daughter was heavy handed which she hasn't been till lately as the mares gotten harder which i am trying to correct my daughter on. I'm hoping this summer i can work on her more myself right now where just fitting in rides between the storms, snow and mud.
what about a double jointed snaffle? i'v never used them but still a mild bit.

waresbear 02-19-2012 01:37 AM

384 Attachment(s)
You could try a french link, she might like that, it's not any stronger, just a different pressure in the mouth.

Natbos 02-19-2012 02:03 AM

i dont want to use a curb its been my experience and learning that curb are to be used on neck reining horses especially if they are solid. on all my horses i'v only ever used single joint snaffles and one pieces curbs and yes trailhorserider i have also used tom thumbs back in the day and had succes but it was also on a young well trained horse too. so i'm kinda leaning against on putting one on this mare.

SMROBS:"I am all for an experienced horseman using a twisted bit or a harsher curb to re-mouth a horse that came to them ruined"

this is contradicting, isn't this what you would call a "ruined" "hard mouthed" horse..

"but to bit up a horse because you no longer have control in the snaffle without first finding out why you no longer have control in the snaffle will just cause more problems."

I never said she was out of control in a snaffle i said she pulls and mouths the bit. if she was out of control i would not put my 4 yr old on her in a snaffle, or any other bit for that matter.
I am not asking for a harsh bit to "correct" the problem. I Was just thinking she may like a diffrent kind of snaffle better that may help ease her mouthing and pulling.

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