New Bit for Hot Gelding?
I need to get a new bit for my gelding who is an arabian x rocky mountain. He has always gotten strong while jumping. A few years back I had him in a single jointed kimberwick and he was so amazing. But after getting a HJ who made me use and o-ring, single jointed snaffle instead, he began rushing jumps worse and worse. The last time I conditioned him at what was supposed to be a canter, turned into an out of control gallop. I applied so many half halts and alot of little pulls every stride, which only made a slight difference until I stopped, where he would speed right back up. He is great at dressage in the o-ring, but jumping is a different story. I am not looking for a quick fix but I want to have something in my hands in case he does turn off his brakes.
Has anyone ever used this bit?
Myler Low Port Comfort Snaffle Horse Bit MB 04 | Dover Saddlery
Just to get my facts straight, you were made to switch from a kimerwick to a loose ring snaffle?? That's a pretty big switch. The loose ring component alone of the snaffle might be your problem. A lot of horse hate how those slide around in their mouth and pinch their lips. At the very least, I would switch to an egg butt version of whatever bit you choose over a loose ring. I don't recommend D-rings for your problem since that style tends to give something for the horse to brace against. I'm also not a big fan of single jointed snaffles. They can have a nutcracker effect in the mouth which most horses also hate. Something with a french link or middle lozenge piece seems to be accepted by most horses.
As for the bit you're looking at, I can't get the link to open so I cannot comment. If your horse has a fat tongue, he very well might be more comfy in a low port pit which would provide some tongue relief. Any bit is going to give you more control than a loose ring single joint snaffle, so anything will be better than what you're using now.
Myler Low Port Eggbutt Level 2 Bit with Hooks, 89-30045 - Quality Tack at Outlet Prices - VTO Saddlery
Is it this one? I think this might work very nicely. Not harsh, is a quieter bit since it is egg butt ends, horses love to play with the roller piece and it has tongue relief.
My old trainer told me to use the o-ring for dressage. He is content with all bits, and the o-ring works fine for him in ring work, I just need something with a little "pop" for jumping. The bit I linked has a similar port as the one you pictured, except it has starps below and above the nose. I guess it puts more pressure on the poll and nose.
Here a link to a screenshot of the bit I am looking at:
There is one with another ring at the bottom for another leverage option.
Unfortunately, quick fixes are exactly that- quick. For lasting change, it seems like he needs some re-schooling somewhere in his foundation. Is getting back to some basics an option? I agree with the person earlier that stated that going from a kimberwicke to an o-ring was a big change- seems like the kibmerwicke was already used as a bit of a crutch and could have covered up some deficiencies in his training. Just my two cents :)
Yes, you would have to use that o ring for dressage, but for jumping is there any reason you can't go back to that kimberwicke?
The Myler combo you posted is an excellent bit IMO. It'll give you the added nose pressure as well as the little bit of gag, which will give him "warning" and allow him the option to respond to the poll and lip pressure before it fully engages with the leverage. The mouthpiece is very nice as well. Not nearly the same action however as the comfort snaffle posted.
I do disagree however with Puck about everything giving you more control than a loose ring single joint snaffle. Single joints are harsher than something with a lozenge, so it will take less, but I do agree that some horses do not like the nutcracker action of the mouthpiece. As well as that, when you pick up on a single jointed snaffle, as it pinches the tongue it will also press up on the palate. If he has a shallow palate, he won't like that at all and probably won't like ports either. Even with that though, a single jointed kimberwicke will do the same thing.
The comfort snaffle Puck posted as well is a wonderful, wonderful bit that I use often but you won't get any extra out of it than you have with the single jointed loose ring, unless he's running away with you because he hates the feeling of it...Which I highly doubt if he is fine with it in dressage.
I consider jumping horses on the same lines as the barrel horses I ride. It's something that is going to give them an adrenaline rush, and they will get stronger. A snaffle is not a fix-all, ride-in-all bit for horses like this. I always bit up to ride my barrel horses. You can ride light with more bit and have the extra if you need it, but if your horse is strong in a snaffle you'll have more yanking and pulling to do if you get into trouble and need to keep yourself safe. And trust me - Some horses will NOT listen to one when they learn how easy it is to pull through you, and there's nothing you can physically do to stop them sometimes.
Some other options, besides the myler combo and the kimberwicke:
Draw gag, I would not suggest this bit if your horse gets heavy on the forehand. Otherwise, it's great, and I use one often as well. That's just the image, you'll have to buy the cheekpieces and bit seperately I think.
Nunn Finer Rope Gag Cheeks | Dover Saddlery
Either of these Ovation Elevator bits are excellent as well. The one with more rings gives you more leverage.
Ovation Elite Center Oval 2-Ring Elevator Bit | Dover Saddlery
Ovation Elite Center Oval 3-Ring Elevator Bit | Dover Saddlery
I hate hate hate the kimberwick. I used it for eq clases in 4h, when I had him trained to go slow and be exact with transitions. Also, I believe he was still somewhat "babying" me since I was still learning. At a certain point when I got braver over bigger jumps he switched into rushing and not caring. I actually did a huntseat class last year with him in the kimberwick, where he was out of control. After that class I switched to the Oring and he automatically started responded. He gets too dependent on the chain on the kimberwick, and I ruined his mouth quite badly when I had very heavy hands. Long story short, I would take my anger out through my hands which created nervousness, his being scared and sometimes rearing. I have fixed my problem for the most part but I still rarely get heavy on my hands, jerking, where I automatically release everything and get him to do good laps, and stop so I don't reverse his training furer.
I am reschooling him over poles now and lots and lots of circles/figure eights/serpentines for balancing. It's been almost 3 years since I transitioned bits.
As I responded to the other person, with the kimberwick he ignores it even more. He became dependent on the chain, and I would teetertotter it to set his head and control his speed. He doesn't listen any other way on it.
Also, I really don't like the looks of the elevator bits. I see way too many hot xc horses in them, when he really doesn't need that much. He has gotten a hard mouth before from me, and I don't want the chance of doing that again. (Read my other response)
Also, I used to run him barrels for my school eq team where I would use a twisted wire bit with 1/4" gag, which I barely touched and he listened. (i only use it for the shoulder lift)
I really like the combination bit I posted. I am looking for sites to rent it just to try it. I really hope I find something soon, my first 3day event is in 2 months
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