A new bit a big difference
Ok so to star off I Know that a bit is not the answer to a horse you are having a problem with so let me explain. I bought Sunny over a year ago. She was perfect when I rode her despite the fact is was a real windy day. I asked when I bought her what type of bit was used on her and I was told a wonder bit. After research I knew I wasn't usung that. I used what I had on hand which was a gentle egg butt snaffle. I had problems right off. She wouldn't fles. Wouldn't turn put her head up in the air continually. Wouldn't stay off the horses butt in front of her even though she was kicked while trail riding and on and on. Anyway one of the ladies I ride with asked what bit I was using. She said i should try something else. She rode Sunny (much better rider than I) and had some of the same problems but not quite as much. She brought me a shanked bit, she has a large variety since she show equitation, pleasure and trail. She said it was a step up from what I was using that it worked by putting pressure on the poll then the mouth and to release pressure as soon as my horse responded to the command.
I used it for the first time today and couldn't believe how much a difference it made. She backed off the horse in front of me she kept her head in a lower more relaxed position she was even neck reining and working off my leg better. No raising her head up and trying to get away from the bit.
I'm going to ride her a few more times in this bit and if she continues to work this way i will buy one for her. Sorry this is so long but I'm really excited. This is the first time I wasn't fighting her most of the time I was riding.
How nice to find something that works, have you got a picture of the bit she lent you?
Be careful. She may be just ducking behind the bit and that is a huge problem. A shanked bit is a leverage bit and you have some pretty powerful weaponry in your hands.
Good luck. Hope this is the right bit for your horse and you.
Hope it works out. I've switched to using a shanked bit with Mia. The two bits with poll pressure that I've used with her are a gag bit (elevator bit) and her current curb bit. She seems to find the poll pressure much more intuitive that a snaffle. She also seems to respond better neck reining with one.
I think the mildest bit is one your horse understands and responds to well - assuming you have light hands. If someone balances using the reins, then they shouldn't be allowed ANY bit!
I found using this bit I could ride on a loose rein. Only had to check and release her if she got to close to the horse in front of her. After the ride I asked her to flex both ways, rode her in circled her bothe ways and asked her to back. She did all of this with ease. Before I had to pull her head around to get her to circle and she would only go to the right. She still doesn't like going to the left but we will work on it.
Sometimes a bit IS the solution. It just depends if the bit was the problem too.
For example, my horse will rush about, toss his head, try to pull the reins through your hands and travel with his nose up in the air if you try to ride him in a single jointed snaffle. Put him in something double jointed or (I suspect) solid mouthed, and viola- problem solved. He drops his head, relaxes and starts listening. Shanked bits magnify signals from the rider, so they certainly can be harsh, but without seeing the two different bits, it is hard to say that the bit 'harshness' is really the difference here.
Should you ever decide to put her back in a snaffle, try the iron mouth loose ring. An egg butt is often too thick for the horse's mouth. People are of the misconception it's a gentle bit. It might be if a horse's tongue wasn't so thick. When a horse carries a bit his tongue moves and a thick mouthpiece takes up too much space.
Eggbutts (and any cheekpiece, really) can have a thick or thin mouthpiece, it just depends on the specific make and model you're looking at.
Is this curb bit jointed in the middle? you say your are getting her to flex to each side. By lifting that rein? this would only really work if the curb bit had a jointed mouthpiece, since if it is solid, by lifting one rein, you move the entire bit, not just the side you want the horse to flex toward.
good to hear that it's working so well for you and allowing you to ride with soft reins and clear signals. That is always desireable.
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