Bits or No bits
I know this might be a touchy one to go on, but I myself prefer riding a horse without a bit. Not saying I won't ride a horse with a bit in but my horse responds much better without a bit and is clearly much happier. I will go as far as to say bits are cruel for horses because they are. HOWEVER, I do still think less contact on a stronger bit rather than permanently pulling a horse on a short bit or bit less is better. My view is that horses shouldn't have metal is their moths and unless they have been made numb to the head collar, all horses are better off without a bit. I say this having ridden my horse for almost 2 years struggling for an outline and as soon as we go bitless she works much happier and easiest. Being part Arab she will always struggle with a lot of more back end powered moves, yet it even helps with them too.
Just thought I'd also say those who ride on the bit, the bone on the bottom jaw is sharp and can cut flesh. When you pull that bit it pushes the gums into that very sharp bone, no matter the type of bit. Furthermore, those who ride in double jointed bits, when you pull that bit the joint jabs the top of the jaw, usually causing them to open their moths or put their tongue over the bit too soften the blow. In response we put a flash on, closing their moths meaning they cannot avoid the pain. Out of all the bits the rubber straight bar snaffle is what I'd say it's the softest.
I myself have done all these things with my horse before looking into it, watching youtube videos and learning a lot about it. I was able to borrow a bitless bridle which puts pressure on the poll and nose. I succeed a lot more in a bitless bridle and I feel all houses would given the chance with someone that knows what they're doing and makes them respond. I wont go as far too say that those who ride in bits shouldn't ride because that's not true. I think anyone who labels themselves a horseman or woman shouldn't rely on pain and bits to control their horses.
Of cause there are exceptions for everything I say so I'm not meaning to attack people, just expressing how I feel. Again, another thing with horses when used properly, it can bring out a fantastic result but the same can be achieved without a painful bit.
Your beating a dead horse here. We had a topic EXACTLY like this one a week ago, got pretty heated too... grab yourself some popcorn and read up. Of you do a search you'll find dozens, if not a hundred, threads about this topic.
And any device is only as cruel as you make it. I've seen horses rubbed raw from bit less bridles and mouths with sores. It doesn't matter what it is... There's always going to be a donkeys rear out there abusing it!!
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Also, my horse can be ridden in anything from a hay string to a medium port with a 7" shank. Typically I ride her in a light dog bone with a 3" shank or her rope halter. So no, I certainly don't use pain to control my horse.
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If the bit is painful, the rider is wrong. But frankly, some of what you have heard is wrong.
The jawbone doesn't cut thru flesh. If it did, lots of horses would have bloody mouths. They also would be terrified of bits, and a great many are not even a little afraid of bits.
"those who ride in double jointed bits, when you pull that bit the joint jabs the top of the jaw"
You are the first person I've ever seen who claims a double jointed bit will poke the roof of the mouth. That claim is usually made about single jointed bits, and is largely incorrect. Studies done with X-rays so we can SEE what actually happens show the single jointed snaffle will sink more into the tongue that it goes up to the roof, so there is normally no contact. There could be exceptions of course, but the common claim that a single jointed snaffle pokes the roof of the mouth is largely wrong. A double jointed bit will put more pressure on the tongue, but many horses prefer them.
If you take my mare out on a trail with a bitless bridle, she may be fine. Or she may run off with you...and if she does, you won't stand a chance of stopping her. People didn't invent bits for the fun of putting metal in a horse's mouth. They simply work better than NOT doing it, for the large majority of horses and riders.
You spent 2 years trying to put your horse in "an outline", which is certainly worse than riding her in a bit. Maybe you should have tried some time like this - and notice the evil curb bit, cruel, cruel!:
But somehow, I doubt I'll change your mind...:?
Mia at the end of another painful ride, the bit cutting into her flesh:
And BTW - YouTube videos may not be the most reliable source of information.
Well, I ride my reining horse in a BIG SCARY CATHEDRAL PORT BIT WITH ROLLERS.
And, I never have to touch his face. If you show horses, you can't go bitless (most shows/classes that is, until you get into speed/sorting/jumping). The horses are trained to be SOFT so that way you aren't pulling on their faces..my horse is perfectly happy with me just not touching his reins/face at all because, I don't need to.
I have never had a horse have a bloody or even lightly bruised mouth unless they accidentally bit their tongue or something.
My barrel horses ride in 3 piece bits or what i would consider I double jointed bit, and they don't come any where close to anything you said. Even single jointed bits, like snaffles, don't do that, because their is a horse in the way, pull on both sides and it puts even pressure on the tongue, no pinching or poking.
All of my horses could be trail ridden with a rope halter if I wanted to. You can't SHOW like that though.
I mean, are you gonna tell me this horses bit is causing it's pain? Well trained horses with well trained riders don't have to rely on the bit hardly at all. It's a refinement of a cue, just like spurs; used improperly they can be painful, but properly used they do no harm.
My horse has never shoved his tongue over his double jointed bit. He's not a stupid animal. If he's in pain or doesn't like something, he lets me know. You know what makes him angry beyond reason? A bitless bridle.
Experiences with ONE horse are not enough to make blanket statements about ALL horses.
Also, a SINGLE jointed bit can sometimes cause pressure on the roof of the mouth, not a double jointed one.
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I ride with a bit. never once have I thought I am cruel. If Z wants to stop, or back up or turn when I ask him, he will have like zero bit pressure. it's his choice to respond to a whisper, or a shout. I work for the whisper, but am ready and able to shout if necessary.
How much pressure do I put on the bit? Whatever it takes...typically about a little finger's worth. But if she thinks she is in a race, it might be more like 20 lbs. Her choice. Not mine.
The kindest bit or bitless is based on what your horse will listen to. Trooper is a laid-back gelding. My daughter claims he has a 'stash of weed' hidden in the corral. Mia? She can get wound up over most anything. But both horses are more confident in a bit, because they understand more of what their rider wants when their rider uses a bit - and THAT gives them confidence. I've logged ample hours on both of them using a sidepull halter to know WHY I now ride them with a bit, and why Mia's bit is normally a curb bit.
I love this picture because it clearly shows the difference between their personalities (and their riders):
My mare tosses her head, and is slow to respond, and I end up yanking hard on her face when i use a sidpull od dr cook. My mare will go more happily in a tom thumb, than a snaffle or bittles. It depends on the horse. I have seen horses able to ride in mechanical hacks, while mine will flip over if you HARDLY tap the reins. Some cant stand bits, some prefer them. Depends on the rider, and depends on the horse.
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