From snaffle to shanked
I have searched around the forum to see if this topic is already here and I couldnt find one so I apologize if this info is already here somewhere.
My daughter wants ride our horse Western (walk/trot) in 4H shows next summer so I need to switch bits for her to show.
We have been riding him in a full cheek snaffle and he has been doing fine , but she cannot ride him with this bit in the shows.
He is getting the hang of neck reining just with the snaffle, walking he does really well, trotting about half but we are still working on this.
Also we have been working on getting his trot slower (more like a western horse jog) I realize that he may never be a Western Pleasure horse but I would like to see his head come down more too.
Any suggestions on easy bit for him to transition too for the 4H shows?
I had a similar issue this past year for 4h. But, I ended up dropping the Western showing and just went with English (only because I ran out of time to train XD). As I switched from a Dr.Bristol english bit, to a low/medium port shank. Lets just say my mare was confused! That's why I dropped out of the idea, ran out of time to get her used to it. I watched some of the western classes at the fair and I could have sworn people were using Tom Thumbs. Now, when I rode my mare (well, I leased her..) western, I used a TT. She understood it. The only reason I didn't use it as a showing option, is because I thought we had to use port bits. Guess not.
I think you could use a TT. Unless the rule books says you can't, I say go for it. They never checked out our bits, except for Gymkhana.
Well, I thought of that but I heard some not great things about TT so I dont know....I have looked over the rule book and I didnt notice if they were mentioned but I did read that you had to ride one handed and no snaffles for horses over 5...
She wants to ride western....if we can get him working well with it over the winter than by the time shows start up he should be pretty good.
thanks for the input : )
Right. TT are supposed to be ridden one handed (though I cheat sometimes and use two hands when trianing). Tom Thumbs are only "bad" if they are in rough hands. For showing, I think that it may be a good choice for your daughter and her horse. Never hurts to try! :)
yes, that is true...I believe that I have a TT somewhere around here I could try it and see .....it may work, never know.
I just found the thread on tom thumbs in the forum I was searching for one but didnt see it until now, I will go to that thread and read more.....hopefully find out some more info thanks
I don't really like shanked bits with broken mouths (of any kind) because if you pick up one rein like you have to while training neck reining, then the signals get confusing to the horse. When my green horses start to pick up the basic idea of neck reining, then I transition them to a bit exactly like this. I don't know if this type would be acceptable or flashy enough for the show ring but there are ton's of solid mouth bits with swivel shanks that are prettier than this one. Swivel shanks are a MUST for teaching neck reining.
The port is high enough for tongue relief but low enough that there is minimal palate interference. Plus, it allows me to pick up one rein without confusing the horse. Switching from a snaffle to a shanked does cause some initial confusion regardless because the pressure is all different and can be so much stronger. BTW, the shorter the shanks are, the softer the bit will be. I personally like 6' shanks but they are a little hard to find.
I would suggest a mild, short shanked curb such as the Myler Flat Shank
Toklat - Horse Tack - Saddle Pads - Horse Riding Apparel - Myler Bits - Bits
Dont' let the shanks be fixed or have a fixed mouthpiece because this is such a big transition from a snaffle. Also, using a "S" shanked bit will be milder than a straight shank, if you like the look of them. They take longer to engage than does a straight shank, and thus will be an easier transition!
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the info , I will check around and see if I can find something like this bit
Are you able to show in this bit? Would I need another bit after this bit if I used it for the shows?
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