Lately I've seen more TWH in wonder bits. I don't see the horses or rider needing it for control, just getting a nicer head set. Does anyone have comments to make about this? Is it really any worse than 6-7 inch shanks? I ride with 5 inch shanks not to control my horse, but to make my aids very light. Like a refinement. Would a wonder bit be worth a try? I'm just curious.
a wonder bit has two different options, top ring to be used as a snaffle and small bottom ring to be used as a leverage bit to help obtain headset.
If your satisfied with the bit you have then why even think about changing?
I personally use English snaffle bits such as D-ring, eggbutt, full cheek with different mouth pieces that works with certain horses.
The bit is primarily a device for communication, secondarily a device for control. Ideally, it's the communication that gives the control but not all situations are "ideal."
The more power you put in the bit the louder the human can "talk." Long shanks add power; textured mouthpieces add power; varying the action of the bit can add power. But it's fair to ask "why do you need all that power?" In theory if the horse is well trained you can speak in a normal tone of voice and and the horse will hear and obey. When you are reduced to "shouting" it's time to step back and see what you're actually doing.
If you want a good head set then you need to ensure that the hind end of the horse is well engaged. That's because head set comes from the leg, not the hand. Increasing the power of the hand to get a better headset is departing from the basic principles of equine biomechanics. It's certainly quicker and easier to use some sort of "elevator" bit than to engage the hind end but that doesn't make it a good long term solution.
Have someone video you riding in a normal fashion. Then review the video and ask, "do I like what I see?" If the answer is "yes" then you're not broke; don't fix anything. If the answer is "no" then evaluate your discrepancies and address them.
Be advised that this is not something that people with inflated egos ought to do. :wink: The lens does not lie nor does it care who you are or how much you paid for the horse or how many lessons you have (or have not) taken. It will show you what is and what is not.
Good luck in your program.
I know a guy who rode his horse in nothing but the Wonder Bit. . .simply because he liked the way his horse carried its head with that bit. Up high, with the nose tucked in. . .but the horse still didn't respect or respond to it. He couldn't even gait because he was so balled-up on himself all the time.
It created the "look" of a collected horse, but in truth that horse was so balled-up with energy and frustration that he would still occasionally "explode" when he found something to spook at.
A few years ago, the owner of that horse had a medical issue come up that required surgery, and he asked me to take his horse out on trail during the recovery period. He didn't care what bit or saddle I used, so I used my own, including a Robart's pinchless walking horse bit. Not saying that bit is the "magic button" for all horses, either, but it's what I had and I was curious to see how he'd go with the change.
The first part of our first ride was a little hairy, but after about a mile he settled down and was moving along relaxed and comfortable, at an easy gait. When my cell phone rang (something that normally would have triggered an "eruption" from the horse), he stopped and stood quietly on the trail while I took the call.
The owner of the horse later tried riding him with that bit. He said he "hated" it. I guess he just liked hauling on his horse's mouth the whole time. Whatever. . .his horse, his choice. I always felt bad for that horse after having been on him, though. He really did WANT to be a better horse. He was so relaxed and responsive on our rides.
I don't think the Wonder Bit in itself is a bad thing. . .it's a tool. If misused, it can create a disaster of a horse.
i used one, but now I look at them as nothing more than a delayed reaction tomb thumb bit. Which seems to be universally hated on this forum. If tomb thumbs are bad, what makes the wonder bit good ? Seems many feel a broken mouthpiece leverage bit isnt the way to go.
I guess you're all thinking the same as me. My horse goes fine in her bit. I guess I just wanted to see what people thought of them. I guess they do have a place in riding, but not for me.
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