Bits Bits Bits!!!
Ok so I'm doing a paper for my trainer on bits, there severity, pressure points, etc. I've started out my research on snaffles, curbs, gags, and hackamores (even though they technically don't have a bit.)
I would like to get as much information and opinion out of people here as possible. I found that a lot of people really don't know the differences, and the severities of their bits and the damages they can cause.
Every time I see a horse acting up and throwing their head it is usually do to the fact that their bits are really hurting them. As I saw in another post, a big factor on top of the bits, is floating their teeth. I recently had the opportunity to see that procedure and ask questions. It is an amazing thing to see and a really important thing to have done, not only for your horses happiness, but yours as well.
Anyway enough of me talking I would like to hear what others think.... :?:
Mm...I'm not sure exactly what you are asking. I use a snaffle, which is a 1:1 ratio. Never saw the need for anything else.
I am just learning myself. I have been riding all my life pretty much and when I did own my own horse, I had no idea there was even a difference in bits or that they did much more then sit in the horses mouth for you to pull on. Yeah, not to smart.
Anyway I just want to get the idea out there and see what people have to say. And as you said you have always used a snaffle, I've learned also that bits tend to be mistaken as snaffles all the time! As I see you know, snaffles can only be snaffles if they have a 1:1 pressure ounce ratio. Most people and tack shops call every bit with a broken mouthpiece a snaffle. And although snaffles are non-leverage bits they can also be just as severe as curb bits if they have a wire or twisted metal.
Please if I say anything that anyone disagrees on feel free to give your opinion thats what this thread is made for.
I ride in a Myler low port comfort snaffle
Mine does not have the hooks like this one does.
It doesn't have a single joint, so it has no nutcracker action.
I like that it's shaped to the horse's mouth as well.
It also has copper inlay to help a horse salivate more.. therefore being more relaxed.
I'm not sure on the ratio though.
I did do quite a big of research before i purchased this for my mare and i have to say it was a good investment.
It's the leverage bits that riders need to know about concerning ratios. Excluding the mouth piece there are basically two components to the leverage bit. They are the Purchase and the Shank. (Both pieces together make up the Cheek).
The Purchase is the piece above the mouth that the bridle and curb strap (or chain) are attached to and the Shank is below - which the reins are attached to.
If the Purchase is 2" long and the Shank is 6" long then the ratio is said to be 1::3 - which is fairly mild. When the Purchase is 2" and the Shank is 8" then the ratio is said to be 1::4 which is on the more severe side. Now think how fast that changes if the Purchase is only 1" but the Shank stays the same - now you could be talking about a ratio of 1::8!
The ratio, say 1::3, means that for every 1 oz of pressure you apply by pulling back the reins, it's effect is multiplied by 3. What compounds this is how tight you make the curb chain. If you have it very tight then the extra force takes place sooner then if the chain is looser.
That is a very simple and fast explanation. Hope it helps.
Wow...I just learned more from that 1 post than I have in 4 months of looking for better bits.
iridehorses, thank you so much for explaining that to everyone! I know I should have but you did it far better then I could. I'm still learning. But I have been told before what you said and it is so fascinating! I loved the examples!
As for Dumas'_Grrrl: it is an awesome science once again. And I encourage everyone, including myself, to learn more about the equipment and tools you use to communicate with your horses.
A lot of times you can be sending your horses mixed messages. For example, adding martingales to hold your horses head down when you have a bit that is telling your horse to hole its head up. Saw this one yesterday and it wasn't pretty. The horse was out of control. But I dont blame him!!
Also very severe bits tend to be used on horses when they are throwing there head and acting up. When in fact the bit could be the very reason they are doing so. Be sure to see what other physical problems (such as floating teeth) there can be before going to a more severe bit.
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