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EllaEnchanted 03-09-2010 11:35 AM

So I witnessed a debat on facebook recently about bits and what is harsher on the horses mouth. Ive always ridden in snaffles. ( fot the most part) With a single 'hinge'? Ive been told the softest bit is a double hinged snaffle. I hope everyone knows what I mean when I say hinge, I mean where they connect. I read that with one it pinches the tongue and can cut the mouth. Other opions were that straight bits are less harsh. Ill be starting a 2 y.o this summer lightly and I want to keep his mouth nice and soft and be easy on him. I ride an arab whos very green in a loose ring snaffle and hes very light and responsive. Im wondering what a good bit might be? Or even just what your opinions are on harsh and soft bits. You can never have too much information and insight :)

Jessabel 03-09-2010 12:15 PM

The most important element is the rider. It's not the bit, it's the skill and knowledge of the rider's hands. Even a simple snaffle can turn into a torture device in the hands of a thoughtless rider.

As far as greenies go, I would start out with a jointed snaffle. I've never had experience with them pinching or cutting a horse's mouth. I don't like the mullen mouth snaffles because the side rings can slip sideways into the horse's mouth. A French or oval link would be good. I use a single jointed copper eggbutt on my youngster and it works pretty well for him. You might have to experiment and see which bit the horse prefers.

kevinshorses 03-09-2010 01:30 PM

Ride the horse in whatever snaffle you have. The most important part of training a horse is timing your releases. If you give the release at the right time then your horse will learn quickly and require less and less of a cue from the bit anyway. I have never pulled on a horses mouth hard enough to cut the tongue and I would imagine that anybody that did would still be heavy handed even with the magical french link.

EllaEnchanted 03-09-2010 04:36 PM

Jointed! Thats the word I was looking for! I heard that double jointed are the best. I know that riders with heavy hands can do some serious damage. I had a percheron with the softest mouth and after my friend had ridden her a handful of times she would fight the bit even when I gave her loose rein. Ive always been told to release when the horse gives you its face and its worked pretty well so far. I wouldnt say I have heavy hands. Especially when riding greenies or my arab boy. Hes super sensitive. Anyways as for snaffles I have I believe, a full cheek, a loose ring, an eggbutt, and a d-ring. For non snaffles I have a straight loose ring, and a pelham Ive only used once or twice. I also have some funky western bit I couldnt tell you in a million years what its called. Its got shanks about 5 inches, and a roller?

wild_spot 03-09-2010 05:38 PM

Full cheeks, D rings and FM/fulmer btis are great for starting greenies as they give a 'push' on the opposite side of the face when you ask for a turn - helping them get the concept of following the bit.

I use double jointed snaffles, just my personal preferance. I have my show horse in a loose ring lozenge type double jointed snaffle, and my freenie in a loose ring myler level 1 comfort snaffle (Basically a double jointed snaffle but doesn't collapse as much, plus has independant side movement).

EllaEnchanted 03-09-2010 07:18 PM

Sounds like an 80 dollar bit ha ha. I agree with the full cheek thing definetly. I think thats what I started my QH and my percheron in.

wild_spot 03-09-2010 08:08 PM

Yup, Mylers are pricey, but they are also quality, and I do love them. I picked this one up second hand for $75 - Around here they go for $100 - $150. You guys get them much cheaper :]

heyycutter 03-09-2010 09:10 PM

i use a double jointed oval mouth (forget the exact name of the bit) bit for cutter and a full cheek snaffle for midnight. i think both are just fine, but i prefer double jointed bits

EllaEnchanted 03-09-2010 11:25 PM

Yea it was double jointed that everyone was saying was better. That and french link. But I guess it really does all lie in the riders hands. I watched a girl once punish her horse for spooking by see sawing the bit hard in the horses mouth, he bled. It was just an average o-ring snaffle.

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