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-   -   Which bit for my OTTB? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/bit-my-ottb-74032/)

txhorsejumper 12-25-2010 03:27 PM

Which bit for my OTTB?
 
I have a 6 yr old 17.1 hh OTTB gelding. I have had him for almost a year and am planning on training him for jumpers. He collects himself well for the most part but he is still really forward and does not regulate his speed especially at the canter. He tends to throw his head down and speed up. It seems he is just off balance because I canter and trot him in circles and especially going clock-wise he drops his inside shoulder and falls in and speeds up. He will come back down after he regains his balance. He has taken off once and that didn't end well for either of us. Anyway the bit I am using now is a western tom thumb with a copper roller over the one break. I know this bit is a controversial bit but it was a trial to see what he would do... he loves it! I am just looking to find one that would do the trick but obviously an english style bit. I have tried him in a full cheek snaffle.... that is when he took off out of control and locked his jaw and neck. I also have put him in a mullen mouth pelham and a straight bar pelham which he seemed to respond to somewhat but was not as relaxed as in the tom thumb. When I bought him his previous owner was using a waterford because he took off with him at the canter as well but he never ended up cantering him after that anyway. I have used the waterford on him as well but I'm not sure if that is going to help either of us but I'm not sure about that purpose of that bit. He seems to not like a straight mouth piece but also not a single joint. I was thinking a french link pelham or even a kimberwick with a french link. I have seen a boucher??? if thats how you spell it but I'm not sure what they are for. I don't know if I want to put him in something like a D-ring I want to have the extra stop if needed.
Also any tips for training an OTTB and helping with balance and regulating speed would be great. :) thanks

OffTheTrack 12-25-2010 03:51 PM

Truly not an expert by any means (not even close nor can I pretend) but I am not sure changing bits is the issue. Not being balanced, rushing etc..might indicate a training issue. My OTTB rushes at the canter also because she is unbalanced and not using herself correctly yet..which is why she is working with a dressage trainer..someone who can help her find that balance. Putting a harsher bit in never seems to work...to me it seems to just make things worse. A bit is not what stops the horse per se...training does. I would fear that harsher bits could make things worse or create other issues due to avoidance.

Issue sounds like a training one to me...not a need for a harsher bit.

txhorsejumper 12-25-2010 03:55 PM

We are working with two trainers they like him in the tom thumb and pelham, I understand he has training issues we are working through but I am just trying to find a bit he like and accepts like the tom thumb but an english riding bit

OffTheTrack 12-25-2010 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by txhorsejumper (Post 863993)
We are working with two trainers they like him in the tom thumb and pelham, I understand he has training issues we are working through but I am just trying to find a bit he like and accepts like the tom thumb but an english riding bit


Got me about the bit...I ride mine in a french link snaffle and havent really used much else. Wish you luck in figuring it all out...he is a lovely boy (saw your pics on another thread)..and gotta love those OTTBs.:D

txhorsejumper 12-25-2010 04:17 PM

Thx yea I really love him he's sweet

equiniphile 12-25-2010 04:41 PM

I like bouchers for working with OTTBs because they encourage young horses to come into the bit and collect up, which is great for them to learn early on. Your problem, though, is not in equipment--it's in the horse's training. Nothing but time can train balance and form into a horse.

I advice against a curb bit, it will make it that much harder to transition to a snaffle bit when it comes time. Kimberwickes, tom thumbs....they're not what you want to use in an English horse because of the reliance your horse will have upon the curb action. Your goal is to be able to ride this horse in a simple jointed snaffle, or similar. I would put him in a boucher or an eggbutt/Dee ring and work with him there.

My trainer, when she got Molly back (she trained her off the track, sold her to people who messed her up, sold her to someone else who quickly got scared of her and sold her to me....I found her off track trainer and had her retrain her) is very experienced, since Molly had begun bolting as a result of bad riding by her second off-track owner, she put her in a Pelham so she could retrain her. After a few weeks, the pelham was gone and she was over the worst, so she was able to go back to work with her in a boucher. If done wrong, though, a Pelham can do more harm than good.

A trainer would help you out a lot with this, especially if you're new to OTTB's. Are there any reputable English trainers in your area you guys could take lessons from?

txhorsejumper 12-25-2010 06:12 PM

I am taking lessons from a guy a few times a month and also my friend is helping and she has trained a few OTTBs. This is my first at retraining one. Thx for the info. The trainer likes the tom thumb but he is more of a western trainer and works mostly with problem horses. I am looking around for other trainers that have experience with OTTBs and a jump trainer too.

maura 12-25-2010 06:36 PM

I have used a french link with a copper roller extensively, they are my favorite bits for lots of reasons. For an OTTB, the tend to be effective because the copper roller encourages them to mouth the bit, and the french link joints are in a different place in the horse's mouth than a standard snaffle which makes it harder for the horse to brace.

OTTBs that are really confirmed in the habit of traveling inverted (which yours sounds like) need a very different training regimen. With most young horses, you can challenge their balance with transitions, hillwork, etc., and encourage then to find better balance by using themselves differently. With a confirmed OTTB, they can balance just fine inverted, braced on the bit, and shoulder popping to the inside, and ordinary attempts to encourage to move differently fail because they're perfectly comfortable and secure they way they are.

For these tough OTTB reclaims, the only think that I found that worked was dressage-style flatwork in the mildest bit possible and really working on getting them off the inside leg and onto the outside rein.

If your horse doesn't consistently accept the bit; it really doesn't matter *what* bit they're not accepting.

MIEventer 12-25-2010 06:49 PM

Quote:

I like bouchers for working with OTTBs because they encourage young horses to come into the bit and collect up,

If you use gadgets, such as these Bouchers, to achieve some false sense of "collection" - how do you know they are using themselves properly? What is it that you are doing in the saddle, to ensure your horse is developing the correct muscles to beable to carry themselves properly, and to ensure that your horse is using themselves properly?

Quote:

For these tough OTTB reclaims, the only think that I found that worked was dressage-style flatwork in the mildest bit possible and really working on getting them off the inside leg and onto the outside rein.

If your horse doesn't consistently accept the bit; it really doesn't matter *what* bit they're not accepting.

Exactly.

txhorsejumper 12-25-2010 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 864109)
I have used a french link with a copper roller extensively, they are my favorite bits for lots of reasons. For an OTTB, the tend to be effective because the copper roller encourages them to mouth the bit, and the french link joints are in a different place in the horse's mouth than a standard snaffle which makes it harder for the horse to brace.

OTTBs that are really confirmed in the habit of traveling inverted (which yours sounds like) need a very different training regimen. With most young horses, you can challenge their balance with transitions, hillwork, etc., and encourage then to find better balance by using themselves differently. With a confirmed OTTB, they can balance just fine inverted, braced on the bit, and shoulder popping to the inside, and ordinary attempts to encourage to move differently fail because they're perfectly comfortable and secure they way they are.

For these tough OTTB reclaims, the only think that I found that worked was dressage-style flatwork in the mildest bit possible and really working on getting them off the inside leg and onto the outside rein.

If your horse doesn't consistently accept the bit; it really doesn't matter *what* bit they're not accepting.

Thanx a lot for that. He has no idea what leg pressure is he just thinks it means faster lol. We are working on moving off leg pressure and he's getting the idea and he is starting to be able to do a shoulder in and out so he's a fast learner and very willing. I like the french link with copper roller idea I think he would respond well to it. So you think a D-ring or should i do a leverage bit? I just want to be able to stop him if he takes off and attempts to jump out of the arena again. Eeek. He does just fine in a round pen tho...completely controlled.


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