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Thundersmyboy 08-19-2013 11:19 PM

What kind of barrel racing bit works?
I have a new horse, that was not worked with very often, and when he was, he was only trail ridden. I would like to try to get him into barrel racing, and think he would be good at it, once he gets the point. The problem is that he is not very good with the bit. I'm trying to find a good bit to work with him in, and was wondering what kind of bit I should use, I've already tried a wonder bit, tom thumb bit, curb bit, snaffle, hackamore, as well as a reining bit that they said they used on him. I've been looking at combination bits to see if he would respond to that, but was wondering what would work better. I really would enjoy the help! Thank you.

BreakableRider 08-19-2013 11:25 PM

A bit isn't going to fix your problem :wink:

Essentially he is green and needs more work before you even think about barrels.

You need to go back to a nice basic snaffle and figure out what he likes; full cheek, baucher, d ring, eggbutt or loose ring. Then you need to see if he likes a thick or thin mouthpiece and also if he prefers single or double jointed.

Some horses are easy because they aren't picky, others are frustrating because they are very picky. But for now he needs a nice solid foundation.

One important thing to check is his teeth. If his mouth hurts it doesn't matter what you stick in his mouth.

Other horses just don't ever perform their best in a bit so you can also look into a side pull.

QHriderKE 08-19-2013 11:26 PM

Ride consistently in a snaffle and ride for softness. Switchong bits waiting for a miracle cure all bit will never work out. Its the training that makes the horse work in the bit.

Find a nice loose ring or d rind sniffle (he might prefer and french link or dogbone mouth) and ride consistently and slow in it, and teach him how to respond to it by doing a lot of softening exercises and bending.

I'm sure someone else will elaborate as I'm on my phone...

SorrelHorse 08-19-2013 11:28 PM

You'll find most of us barrel racers here will recommend training before a bit.

But for now, I recommend a Jr. Cowhorse. Short shank, copper rollers, smooth.

If he doesn't go in a bit try a Little S Hackamore.

Ride light. Train him off the pattern a lot. If you can, get someone to help you.

QHriderKE 08-19-2013 11:46 PM

I feel like... us barrel racers need a rhyme like the "beer before liquor" one.

Pattern before training its your life you'll be hating. Training before pattern and you'll have the perfect turn.

But I suck at such things soooooo I can't get the second part lol

SorrelHorse 08-20-2013 12:03 AM

Cowhorse and Six bits and hackamores too
It's always best to have a few
Drills or schooling or running your race
Always have a different bit to keep up the pace.
We like running fast and we like burning tracks
But if you don't go slow, you'll be on your a** :lol:

Thundersmyboy 08-20-2013 09:46 AM

I know I have to work with him before I start patterning him, I have another horse that I trained from a baby. But this guy just does not like the snaffle bit and doesn't want to listen to it. I have been working on basic work, and always ride with a light hand, but he just only likes to do things when he decides he wants to do it, and I can't afford to send him into training.

QHriderKE 08-20-2013 10:39 AM

You need to tell him you are the boss. Start on the ground I'd there are issues there.
When he goes "nope. Not doing that." You have to get him to do it. Ask repeatedly (don't get mad and rough) until he decides to do it. Then praise him by letting him just stand and chill out or walk nicely. I always like to ask for the problem thing twice before calling it quits, just so they know for sure that is what you wanted. And I think it sticks better that way too.

Thundersmyboy 08-20-2013 11:45 AM

Well, he's just the perfect gentleman on the ground, but I round pen him before we ride every time, just to make sure he knows who's boss. Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to do that next time I take him out!

beau159 08-20-2013 12:07 PM

If you *think* that your horse respects you on the ground, but yet he refuses to do what you ask while you are riding, then you actually have NOT taught him who is boss.

Whenever you are around your horse (not just "round penning" him) you are showing him how he can handle you. Does he get into your personal space, uninvited? Does he lead you, versus you lead him? Can you lead or send him anywhere, or does he go only where he wants to? Does he willingly pick up all 4 feet? Does he drop his head for you when you ask? Can you move any part of his body from the ground? If you have a problem with ANY of these things, then your horse is the boss -- not you.

Also, it makes a difference what you do when you "round pen" him. Do you just make him go in circles, at the speed he chooses? Or do you fill it with numerous direction changes, stopping, backing, speed changes, etc and making him listen to your body language?

It just doesn't make sense that he would be perfect on the ground, and not perfect when riding, so there's got to be some holes in his ground training and respect training somewhere.

Also, you did not answer: Have his teeth been examined by a trained equine dentist? If not, he may have a mouth issue that causes him pain with the bit.

Even if you can't afford to all-out send him to a trainer, how about taking a couple of lessons on him? It certainly never hurts to have a trained professional watch how you ride. Everyone can always improve on something.

How about posting a video for us? It's hard to "guess" what might be wrong just through words, since timing is so very critical when getting a horse soft in the mouth.

As far as barrels go, which you did say already, but you need to have this horse's body 100% broke before introducing barrels, and be able to control every piece of his body at every speed. Check out the barrel sticky for more info.

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