The Wonder Bit???
Ok, so, I have a 6 year old Tennessee Walking Horse (Spirit) that I ride western with. He was in a Tom Thumb bit until about 4 months ago and we both absolutely hated it. So we switched to an Eggbutt Snaffle bit. It's like riding with nothing. Right now, my trainer and I are working on disengaging him since he is a bit downhill. She told me that snaffle bits are not good for neckreining (probably should have looked that up before I bought it, right? :-P) and that when we're done with what we're doing (idk where we're going with/after disengaging) that she wants to switch him to a Wonder Bit.
So can someone tell me what a Wonder Bit is? I've been looking it up online and it sounds really harsh (but keeping in mind that a bit is only as harsh as the hands you use it with). People say that it's only for experienced professionals (which I obviously am not :D)and novices should not use it. Is this true???
Now, think about this: by the very nature of neck reining, the idea is to not touch the bit at all, right?
In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with using a snaffle while neckreining - maybe someone with more experience western wants to disprove my theory...
What problems are you having?
It's just that the Eggbutt Snaffle is absolutely nothing. No stopping power whatso ever. Then again I don't want to fix the problem by switching to a harsher bit, cause that doesn't really fix anything . . . I'm just very confused on what to do . . .
There was just a thread about wonder bits im sure you could find if you searched for it.
You can neck rein just fine in a snaffle...you can neck rein in a halter but a curb will give you a little extra to work with as they are bits made to be used while neck reining. For an inexperienced horse and inexperienced rider (?), a snaffle can be fine.
I ride in a wonderbit, and I like it mostly because my horse likes it...but they are a gag bit and thus...have the potential to be very harsh.
He just kinda won't stop or slow down in the Eggbutt Snaffle. Well . . . he will, it just takes a lot of effort and a lot of pulling back and a lot of resisting and a lot of almost running into things.
Personally, it sounds like Spirit has to go back to basics and learn what the bit is FOR. It doesn't matter what you put in his mouth if he doesn't understand that pressure means to slow. The hardest mouthed horse can be turned around to respect an eggbutt snaffle just fine...just takes time, consistancy, and dedication.
Also, I have to agree with others that it shouldn't matter what bit your using to neckrein because the purpose is to direct by putting pressure on their NECK, not the mouth. Could be a snaffle, curb, tom thumb, hackamore, halter...gets the same result if the horse is properly trained to neckrein.
My riding partner rides in one with he TWH. I keep meaning to say something and offer to loan her a normal curb bit but never got around to it.
This is a link to the bit and read what they say about it
The "Wonder" Bit
This is taken from that link
Lee Ziegler (website), starts us off with an explanation: A wonder bit is a modified gag -- as such it has very limited application in good horsemanship or riding. With this bit, any pressure on the reins causes the mouthpiece to rise in the mouth, pulling on the corners of the lips -- a very sensitive area -- and the poll, as well as putting pressure on the jaw from the curb chain. The only really legitimate use of such a contraption is to raise the head of a horse that tends to get behind the bit -- and then only to be used for a short time until the horse learns other habits and can be put in a bit that actually has some useful training function.
You're not really going to be stopping with the bit... neck reining with a curb bit is meant to be on a loose rein and your stopping power should come from your seat anyway.
I'm kinda thinking you need to go back to the basics. I wouldn't change bits as it would just be masking the problem. Have you ever ridden him in a halter? Do you do softening exercises with him?
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