The Right Bit
first, just some background info. when i first brought Shea home i was working with him in a loose-ring sweet iron snaffle, which he seemed to like fine, but my (well, Shea's) masseure (sp?), whose husband is a dentist, pointed out that the rings were pulling into his mouth when i turned him because he can be a bit resistant when asking for lateral flexion. and i don't like the nutcracker action or the fact that it can pinch their tongue.
so i have since borrowed this bit from some friends:
New Horse Bits - The Ultimate Bit for Controlling Horses
which i like b/c of the mullen mouth = no nutcracker action, its a sweet iron, and it has the bars alongside the lower jaw which gives direct pressure and stops the bit from sliding through his mouth.
however, even though he works well in it, i think he would do better in another bit, plus its not mine and i have to give it back, lol!
So... what bit should i get?
So far the bit i like the best is a Full cheek french link snaffle:
Korsteel French Link Full Cheek Snaffle - 5 - eBay Tack-English, Equestrian, Outdoor Sports, Sporting Goods. (end time 07-Nov-08 14:59:25 AEDST)
Also looked at this:
Korsteel Flexi Mullen Mouth Full Cheek Snaffle -5-Purp - eBay Tack-English, Equestrian, Outdoor Sports, Sporting Goods. (end time 13-Nov-08 11:21:44 AEDST)
STRAIGHT BAR EGG BUTT SNAFFLE - eBay Bridles, Equipment, Horse Riding, Sport. (end time 09-Nov-08 20:00:00 AEDST)
but i'm open to suggestions. i like french-links or mullens b/c they don't have the nutcracker action, and i want something that's not going to slide through his mouth.
So any ideas?
The second from the bottom seems like it could work, but maybe in metal instead of plastic? (the plastic can get chewed on and get nasty edges that cut the mouth) Or if you can find something with those sides with a straight mouthpiece?
I think your best bet is the full cheek with a french link. This is the exact bit that I'm going out and buying for my english lessons. I really like 3 piece bits alot and my horse is very happy in them. You probably won't get the lateral flexion with a straightbar unless you have a well trained horse and many horses have been known to become dead in the mouth with straight bars. This is why the straightbars in western are reserved for very finished horses and even then people will often switch into a snaffle of some sort w/broken mouthpiece to help with flexion. The full cheek fleximullen might end up being a little thick and though it sounds like a gentle bit, it might be too thick to be comfortable.
I like a simple french link loose ring, d-ring, or eggbutt. It's a nice mild bit that doesn't have any crackerjack action on the tongue and jaw (like with a snaffle) and doesn't interfere with the palete (like a snaffle.)
I have no idea what kind of contraption the first bit is, I would steer clear though.
Zab - I ride in a Happy Mouth French Link bit, that's the one with the hard plastic. It's wonderful. As with any bit, if it gets damaged you DO have to replace it, and yes, plastic does get damaged a little easier than metal, but there are advantages to plastic over metal.
found another bit :D it a french link d-ring:
Three piece French Link Snaffle Racing Dee Horse Bit - eBay (item 220305955729 end time Nov-10-08 09:07:37 PST)
the only thing is the bars look quite fat which Shea doesn't like, but it could just look like that coz it narrows so suddenly in the centre?
anyways, was reading some other bit threads and heard some people say that when ridden in full cheek snaffles their horses would lean on the cheek pieces. would a d-ring be better then, if i wanted to avoid this?
Red Hawk, imo the ideal bit for a snaffle has a Billy Allen mouth piece. It gives a lot of independent movement to either side of the bit without effecting the other side and the barrel in the center prevents any nutcracker action.
I found one here that is also made of sweet iron which I find is favored by every horse I've owned or trained. The particular bit is about 1/3 of the way down the page and is called a Billy Allen Sweet Snaffle Billy Allen Bits
To prevent a snaffle from being pulled through a horse's mouth, many riders use a leather chin strap. It has no effect other then the prevention.
I liked that Billy Allen Dee Snaffle a lot (havn't seen it before). In fact it's even cheaper than what I'm using currently (eggbutt french link with copper). However I still don't see much of difference action-wise between it and french link...
Kitten, the French Link can bend all the way back but the Billy Allen can only bend about 1/2". The bars of the mouth pieces going into the center barrel have stops built in and can only bend about 1/4" on each side but can swivel.
Iride, sorry :oops: i should have mentioned that i ride english not western, so shank bits aren't really what i'm looking for, plus i don't think Shea has ever been ridden in one, and would probably flip if i put one in his mouth.
however would you say that this myler bit
would be better than the french link d-ring posted above?
Redhawk, the particular bit I was pointing to has no shanks. It is a "D" ring snaffle and used for English or Western. It just happens to be on a page full of Western style bits but it's about 1/2 down the page. Sorry for the confusion!
Myler also makes bits with a similar mouthpiece in stainless but give no credit to the fact that it is a Billy Allen design - at quite a bit more money. Either of the ones that you link to are great.
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