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Which bit should I choose?
My horse is a 9 yr. old OTTB who is very green over fences and rushes and runs out when nervious but is very good on the flat if a bit stiff.
Currently on the Flat we use this:
or (on second ring)
I am looking into getting one of these for the flat to help soften her through the mouth:
Any ideas on a bit for over fences or should I just stick with what I have? I wish I didn't have to use such harsh bits but she is still learning and hopefully as she gains confidence she will come back to me easier.
Thanks for in advance for any advice.
Oh and I guess I should add that I have very soft hands.
You can stick whatever bit you want in the horse's mouth, but it's only ever really a band-aid fix... to get realy results you ahve to put time and training on the horse. If she's rushy and fast when it comes to jumping, then make jumping boring and repetitive. DO lots of circles, lots of jump, stop, back up, turn, jump, stop, back up, turn, etc etc.
Yes. yes we are doing this and we have a wonderful knowledgable trainer helping us.
I am looking for people's opinions on these bits and bits thzt they think would be good for us.
If the bits are working I say stay with them.
As for the flat I'd highly recommend a sweet iron bit with copper inlays. They are hard to come by, but the are awesome for softening up a horse's mouth. That's what I use on my TB and he loves it.
Corey the answer is in your hands and seat, not the bit. I would stop trying to train her with different bits and step back to her training on the flats. If she is getting nervous over jumps then you are rushing her training. Some horses take right to it and others need confidence and time.
Putting a more severe bit in her mouth will only teach her fear not confidence. I like the first bit you are using - if you want a little more control, try a running martingale.
BTW, what does your trainer say? That should part of what you are paying him/her for.
My trainer says these are fine, I am just interested in other peoples opinions out of curosity.
She is not scared of jumping but she is very green and has learned some bad habits, she is still learning and often doesn't know what to do with herself while jumping and rushes to compensate.
I know that a bit will not fix anything but I want to have the best for her and that includes finding the best bit that will help communicate with her.
Bitting can not be used as a quick fix but it is very important! i struggled for ages in a eggbutt snaffle but then i changed to a fulmered snaffle and immediatly i have more control!
If you wanna know how professional British Eventers choose their bits visit horsehero.co.uk (then search for bitting video) it has video's of top riders training and caring for their horses as well as fabulous advice and blogs!
just my opinion, but if the horse is rushing, she sounds a bit nervous and lacking confidence. I would stay at very easy low jumps, cavaletti, etc., and take as much time as she needs to relax. My old TB mare was also nervous about stuff, it varied from one day to another. Some days she could be 'challenged', and other days she needed do very routine, easy work to calm her.
I also went through about 20 bits trying to find the 'right' one. The 'improvement' would only last a few days or weeks, and we'd be having troubles again. It's all in the training, your seat, legs, and hands. After awhile, the more I changed bits the worse she got. She actually went the best in a old full cheek plain snaffle, and in a noseband with no bit at all.
I would actually suggest you to go to a loose ring snaffle. If you think a plain snaffle isn't enough then it's a training issue you need to deal with. It's always the rider's first response to a training issue, to over bit a horse. To me that isn't taking care of the problem at hand.
Try some new riding exercises, get him to halt or stop before or right after a fence. Keep changing things around to keep his attention on you as he won't what you want next. Also a change in his diet might be a good problem solver if you find he is to hot under saddle. Lunging him might be something to add prior to getting on. What about saddle fitting, or your aids? those things might also be affecting why he reacts under saddle the way he does.
Food for thought :)
Avoid the pessoa bit (if that's the right name, translating from swedish here :P the one with a lot of rings..) unless you know exactly HOW it works and if that's the effect you want it to have. That bit is just pulled up against the horses molars and pulls at the neck at the same time. Mostly confusing I'd say.. it also moves around a lot in the mouth thanks to all the leaded parts.
Except from that one, use any bit that fits you and your horse. But don't use them as a quick fix. Learn how they work and what signals they give, and then try to figure what signals you want to give your horse when you ride. How should the bit affect your horse..
If you need longer sides (in lack of better word..like a curb..?) on the bit to be able to control and stop the horse, you might have to cange your riding. If you want longer sides to let the horse work better in a lower, more forward frame, then it's that's what you should have.
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