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- - A "bit" of advice. (http://www.horseforum.com/western-riding/bit-advice-317362/)
A "bit" of advice.
I need a bit of bit help. :oops:
I have a little roan horse I purchased that my trainer and I have been retraining. I like my trainer a lot, but I would like a little bit of outside opinions on this matter because no one knows everything (including my trainer).
Oh I work with a trainer but shes just kinda giving me once a week from the ground lessons. Ive trained problem horses and started 2 year olds under this trainer for years a few years back.
My goal is to train this horse for reining. We may never actually compete but its my goal.
I purchased the horse knowing he needed a complete overhaul. He was ridden in a tie down, and did not give to any pressure at all; in fact he just leaned on it.
He rode head sky high, 100 miles an hour, go go go.
We now have his walking and trotting around, backing pretty darn soft, and he gives to the bit standing still and a little bit at the walk and trot.
He gives laterally very well at the stand still.
But hes just not 'getting it'. I ride him in a smooth dee ring sweet iron/copper bit now. Hes come a long way already however with his poor past training his is having a hard time 'getting it'.
My trainer brought this bit to try him in today:
It did seem to help him out and he did work better in it. I was just wondering what others might suggest? Or is this really a good humane bit to use?
I have this bit from a previous horse and I haven't tried him in it, I think it might be too big of a step up... what do you think? My previous horse loved this bit but honestly he was much softer and further along.
Western SS Med Arch Roller Hinged Futurity Bit - Horse.com
I think my trainer feels like he needs something a bit more uncomfortable to pull on to make it much clearer what we want. We feel like he gets the idea of giving, but with years of doing it wrong he is having a tough time giving up his old habits. My trainer has been taking her time, making it easy peasy to give to the pressure (shes been very generous), and is the type that would keep a horse in a snaffle forever if it works.
Since he always is very forward and has a good motor we have been working in the walk and job/trot. If that makes any difference.
He is already always "Can we lope yet, how about now, now? how about now?" haha. He isnt nuts, or bad, but will pop up into the lope anytime if you let him or apply to much leg. It kinda stinks because his lope is WAY more comfortable than his trot.
How long has he not been "getting" it? It sounds like he has made a lot of progress, you might just be on the precipice of getting a breakthrough and are getting impatient. Personally, that bit is way too complicated. Shank pressure + broken mouth pressure really is just too many signals at once. Could you try a slow twist snaffle at the very most and take the shanks out of the equation? Honestly, sounds like he just needs more time and to keep going how you are going.
I got him about 4 months ago. He has made AMAZING progress. Now when you walk him around on a loose rein he is relaxed and level. I'm very proud of him.
I think another issue is his poor attitude. He has seen the vet, dentist, and chiro. He is good to go, we just think his past experience has made him resent learning. He swishes his tail often and sometimes he is very p!ssy about giving, like he gives then yanks his face back over and over. I know he was sold through a sale in OK and in KY and I bought him here in PA soooo.....
Its been getting much much better.And I stress to her I dont care, it takes as long as it takes, whatever.... Im very laid back.
My trainer comes once a week and rides him and once to watch me ride him, I didn't mention wanting to switch bits and neither did she, but today she showed up with that one.
For whatever reason she is very anti twist anything. :?
I toooo thought it seemed complicated and every reference I saw through google made it seem like a barrel racing bit.
I like my trainer, but Im not afraid to hurt her feelings and suggest something else. Thus why I came here.
With every generation things change. Ideas change. We learn. Some people get that, others dont and they just keep doing things how they have been for years. I'm not like that. I like to learn and get ideas and experiment a bit.
He's not ready for that bit.
That is a LOT of gag action + a broken mouthpiece and of course it being a curb. He doesn't have the basics down yet, he's still resisting giving, slapping on a bigger bit isn't going to fix it. As far as the two bits shown, the second is much much more mild. I use a version with a bit shorter shanks as many horses first curb bit.
I'd actually move DOWN, on resistant horses I ride them in a rope halter until they're butter soft before I ever ride in a bit. I do this because all of my groundwork is already done in a halter so they get it, riding in it is a easy transition.
If he's really still having some trouble in his current bit you can play around with different cheek pieces and mouthpieces of a snaffle. Some horses like some play to a bit and like a loose ring, others want more stability such as a Dd ring and others want no movement at all and prefer a baucher. Lots of horses don't like a single joint so you can try a french link, others don't like that much tongue pressure. I wouldn't go to a twist either, again he's not broke enough. However if you are going to go the twisted route go for a full twist, they're more mild than a slow twist. Slow twists have edges that can really dig in.
I'm just going to bring a different idea to the conversation. Typically, I am one to say:Go back to a snaffle if your horse isn't soft. But.... It isn't always the case for every horse.
My horse Red had similar problems. He had always been ridden in a twisted wire snaffle and a tie down, until I purchased him. He didn't know what "slow down" meant. I put him into a smooth basic snaffle and ditched the tie down and rode, rode, rode!! I made some progress with him but not where I wanted to be.
I took him to a reining trainer and the first bit she put him in was a high port shanked bob Avila correction bit. Wow! What a difference!! He made leaps and bounds of improvements. A couple weeks in she switched bits again and he improved more.
I only ride him in the correction bit every now and then as a tune up. But it always helps to refresh that softness.
The picture of the bit you posted, I don't think, is all that bad. The gag will give your horse an opportunity to respond before it engages fully. And the lifesaver mouthpiece lets you cue each direct rein independently of the other.
Your bit you posted, I wouldn't try that yet.
So just throwing that out there that sometimes it doesn't hurt to switch up the bit. It worked for my horse.
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If I were taking a colt from A-Z I wouldn't have even posted this.
However this horse has been given bad advice and been ridden incorrectly for I assume the past 4 years (he is 6 and I am assuming he was broke at 2).
Does he respond to a snaffle: YES
Am I getting the results I want in a smaffle after 4 months: really really close, but no.
This horse is safe, my trainer said today lots of people would just take him down the trail as is and he would be ok. HOWEVER I'm looking for more than that and she knows that.
But keep the advice coming. I'm all open ears over here!
I should mention I asked my trainer if she wanted me to purchase her bit for my horse and she suggested waiting, she would ride him in it a few more times and if he likes it he likes it, if not we will go back to the snaffle or try another bit.
Its not like my trainer is like YOU MUST DO THIS AND THATS THE END OF IT! lol
Have you tried bitting him up and lungeung him like that? I had a thoroughbred that was really bad about yanking, he'd give to the bit and then as soon as I released pressure he'd yank so hard I felt like he'd pull my arm right out of the socket. I'd bit him up with just a plain snaffle and lunged him like that every day before I rode and it made a HUGE difference.
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