what bit for my TWH
Wanting to change bits.Now we are not at the trainers barn anymore and on our own I want to change his bit.They have him in a double twisted wire and he hates it.I have good control of him and he stops with just voice commands so he is not needing a lot but I dont want to mess up his gait.what to start with?
The first question is "what do I want to do with the horse?" If you want to win blue ribbons then maybe you should do nothing. If quality of gait is your total concern then maybe you should do nothing. If all you want to mess around doing ring riding then you can probably step down quite a lot in bit power because if you have an issue you have a nearby fence. If you want to ride trails you have a more complex problem as you must have enough bit for effective communication (note, "communication" not "control") but not so much you beat the mouth up.
Last, and far from least, you have a "hard mouthed horse." Any horse ridden as you've described will be really de-sensitized to mouth pressure. It can take some time for that sensitization to return; and sometimes it never does.
This is a long answer, but there is no short "school" answer. As with so many things, the true answer is "it depends."
"you have a "hard mouthed horse." Any horse ridden as you've described will be really de-sensitized to mouth pressure. It can take some time for that sensitization to return; and sometimes it never does."
That may or may not be the case. Many, many horses are ridden with a double twisted wire. The double twisted wire is a mild bit. With many horses the double twisted wire is an excellent starter bit. I've seen a lot of horses where the double twisted wire was all they would tolerate. Any thing more severe and they'd resist it's use.
Unless he has been ridden with a severe amount of contact, he should have normal bit sensitivity. You will probably find, you'll need to use more bit pressure with almost any other bit you'll try. That doesn't mean you won't be able to reduce that pressure with some training, but in the beginning don't be surprised if you find more pressure needed.
It is very common for gaited horses to look for bit contact to gait. The amount of contact depends upon how they were trained. Very few are trained with no contact(loose rein)
Nothing at all wrong with trying some other bits. I'd suggest not using them for very long, unless you find the one that works. The Mylar comfort bit is a good one to try. Your problem with him not liking the current bit, could be related to a lack of room for his tongue. The comfort bit has relief for the tongue.
I would go with a plain curb with 6 inch or less shanks. Plain I mean, a Mylar, or low port. Voice command is a blessing. Keep it up and practice it. Also, work in an enclosed area with a loose rein if you can. If you correct, correct and release immediately after the response. Teach him how to go long and low. Do a lot of circles till he's bored to tears.
I don't understand why a trainer would not have taught him how to respond in an acceptable way. I was told and believe that TWH do look for some contact to keep a good balance. My transitions downward have always been a pulse with my hands and legs. Not a firm solid pull. Pull-release, etc, working your way down to stop moving your hands-release, or fingers and legs tighten and release.
Perhaps the reason the horses you know resisted anything other than a double twisted is because that's what they were used to and anything else didn't have enough power to make them listen.
OP, unfortunately, Guilherme is correct. Bitting a horse down can be a real challenge. I don't think you mentioned whether this is a snaffle bit or a curb bit that he's currently in. Which one he's in now will greatly influence the bit you need to try to bit him down a bit.
"I am very glad we live in different worlds, Bob. In my eyes and in my experience, a double twisted wire bit is extremely harsh (especially if it has shanks) and should never be used as a "starter bit". Around here, the only horses that I see ridden in a double twisted bit are the blown out gaming horses who have been "bitted up" to the point that they can't be ridden in a bit that doesn't inflict pain."
Perhaps the folks around here have gentle hands. Any bit in the wrong hands is severe. We've started a lot of horses with the double twisted wire. Especially those with very sensitive mouths. If they are very sensitive it is the bit of choice, if they are not very sensitive then the Mylar comfort bit.
Almost any bit, ONLY inflicts pain, if used incorrectly. Problems come from riders that have never learned how to use their hands. Most hard mouthed horses are taught to be that way by the rider, NOT the bit alone.
My issue with his bit is he is constantly messing with it like it is uncomfortable. I have no clue how to make that stop but to change it
A huge percentage of gaited horses "worry" their bit. I'm not sure why; but I've seen it in Walkers, Rackers, Fox Trotters, SSHs, and even Marchadors. Within reason it's a Good Thing because it keeps saliva flowing and this keeps the mouth moist and soft.
BUT, if the "mouthing" is because of a pain issue then it's a Bad Thing and needs to be addressed.
Contrary to the opinion of some, a double twisted wire bit is quite powerful and completely inappropriate to the either the young rider (in terms of experience) or to a green horse (who's just coming along). They are common in the "professional" Walker world. Of course, institutionalized cruelty is also common. So is the "daddydiditthataway" line of reasoning.
Again, we are back to "it depends" on whether or not you need to rethink your bit choice.
How have you asked for him to stop messing with the bit? Maybe he is messing with the bit because he has not been asked to do any differently.
Doesn't sound like he dislikes this bit. Sounds more like he needs to be taught not to mess with it. He might do the same thing with any bit you try.
Not that I'd recommend this bit for regular use, BUT, you might try a very high ported walking horse bit and don't fasten you reins to the shanks, but rather fasten them as close to the bit as possible. Some bits have a ring for this purpose. This will give you an indication of whether he is playing with it because he can, or it's the bit bothering him.
And be very careful, some horses will not tolerate this bit at all. Do some ground work with the bit before trying to ride him.
I sometimes really get amused at how we classify a bit because of it's name, and have probably never tried one. The verbage "double twisted wire" sounds harsh. But stop and think about how it is made and how it works. A double twisted wire is as close to a straight bit as you can get, but it has give. The horse's tongue is not forced into place. The joints on a double twisted wire bit are staggered to allow for movement, but not pinching. The wires are smooth so there is nothing sharp resting on the bars. It is much milder than any single( or double) jointed snaffle. The snaffle is a tongue masher, and normally makes for a hard mouthed horse. And remember severity is in the hands at the end of the reins. If you have never started a horse with one, don't knock it. It will work with almost any horse and do a much better job than any snaffle. If you say the professionals use it on hard mouthed horses, they could also use any bit for the same purpose if the hands get rough.
Guilherme, have you ever started a horse with a double twisted wire? If not, how can you have the opinion you expressed? My statement is from experience and actual use.
My Missouri Fox Trotter mare loves this bit:
http://www.horseforum.com/data:image...iAiIgIiIH/2Q==Myler HBT Shank #89-20335 Myler Bits (Supplies Tack - Bits - Working)
It's a Myler #33 mouthpiece with the short little HBT shank.
You can also get it with a longer shank:
Myler Flat Shank #89-11335 Myler Bits (Supplies Tack - Bits - Working)
I have both and have used both. She does great with both but she really doesn't need the longer shanks. She can get excitable coming home on trail rides (barn sour) and this gives me plenty of control while not agitating her.
I figure a bit is "perfect" if I have all the control I need while also not agitating the horses if I have to use a lot of contact (and she does take a lot of contact on the way home).
My Fox Trotter used to worry a lot with this (Myler comfort snaffle):
I don't know why except maybe it is the lack of tongue relief. A lot of people use this bit and love it for both gaited and non-gaited horses. A lot of the popular gaited bits (ie. Robart and Imus) are similar to this.
Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that out there. The Mylers can be expensive new but sometimes I find them on eBay in the $50 range. :-)
I don't think there is a thing wrong with changing bits around to find one your horse likes. I do that frequently actually. How do you know the bit you are using is the best if you never try anything else?
I am not from the world of TWH's. But I trail ride and have ridden a handful of gaited horses (and currently own one). I have never had trouble bitting down into almost any mild curb bit. The only thing I have had trouble bitting down into was a regular snaffle. I sort of hate them, lol! But I actually keep my eyes peeled constantly for mild-ish curb bits.
The Myler #33 has been my absolute favorite bit since I discovered it a couple years ago. I used it on my Mustang too. :lol:
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