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MichaelaHLee 03-15-2012 02:20 PM

Bit for 1st level dressage?
Hi all,

I'm hoping for some opinions on bits for my oldenburg/tb mare. She is 15 and we've been competing in the 1.1 and 1.15 m jumpers for the past few seasons. She's been a jumper her whole life, we've schooled dressage of course, but now I'm looking to do some eventing this season to change it up!
I usually jump her in a 3 ring french link -- she often needs a bit of leverage as she loves to jump and can get strong around a course. I'll alternate that with a waterford every once in a while.
On the flat I ride her in a kk ultra french link loose ring. She's quite good in it most of the time, but has a tendency to lean on my hands if she gets the chance ;) Any ideas of something different to try for the dressage arena? I'm going to be riding 1st level, so nothing with leverage...

jumanji321 03-15-2012 06:58 PM

Here are dressage legal bits according to USEF.

SaddleOnline 03-16-2012 02:25 PM

Hey there,

I have had really good results using a narrow french boucher, for 1st and 2nd level dressage on a converted Jumper that liked to hang :) Anything loose ring he just played with too much, he was much happier and lighter in the bridle with the boucher.

Good Luck in your search :D

DressageDreamer 03-16-2012 02:35 PM

I like a french link snaffle and so does my horse :-) It is also legal to use at shows.

MichaelaHLee 03-16-2012 04:26 PM

Thanks guys! I was reading a bit about a boucher and I'm glad to get some feedback on it. I think I may try it next. Thank you :)

Allison Finch 03-16-2012 09:10 PM

I like baucher bits and, you can get it with a french link. However, if the reason you are trading bits is because the horse is leaning on your hands, this is not a bitting issue.

MichaelaHLee 03-17-2012 12:55 PM

I have to disagree, I believe it is a bitting issue. Why do riders choose a certain bit or pieced of tack? Because the right piece of equipment, combined with the right aids is the key to a happy horse and a good ride.

My mare is very responsive to my leg, seat and hands. I wouldn't say she is "leaning" on my hands, but she has a tendency to get heavy in the kk loose ring. I can definitely get the ride I want in a plain snaffle, but I figure if I can find a bit that she is a bit more responsive to, it would be a great situation for both of us.

She is a big mare (and a big moving mare!) and going with a light forehand and working off her haunches isn't her natural process. It's always an ongoing process ... :)

~*~anebel~*~ 03-17-2012 01:18 PM


Originally Posted by allison finch (Post 1411514)
i like baucher bits and, you can get it with a french link. However, if the reason you are trading bits is because the horse is leaning on your hands, this is not a bitting issue.

qft :)

cooperandsandy717 03-17-2012 01:22 PM

i use a boucher french link on my horse for dressage because I event as well. He was leaning on my hands when I used the D ring on him and now he does awesome with the boucher! I would definetly try it. I highly reccommend it!

Allison Finch 03-17-2012 02:31 PM


Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ (Post 1412195)
qft :)

HUH? Sorry, don't understand.

If your horse is leaning on your hand or getting heavy, it is because he is heavy on the forehand and he is using YOU for his balance. A horse CANNOT be light and lean on your hands at the same time. He will never be able to engage his haunch while this is going on. He needs to be driven forward, while working on lightening the forehand.

You never want to lighten a horse with a harsher bit, IMO. You will only teach him to be afraid of moving forward into the bridle and carry himself for fear of the bit's "bite". But that is my opinion.

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