Bit for western trail riding?
 
 

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Bit for western trail riding?

This is a discussion on Bit for western trail riding? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Western bit for trail riding
  • Best bits for trail riding

 
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    11-03-2012, 12:56 PM
  #1
hrh
Foal
Bit for western trail riding?

Okay, I have a twenty something gelding. We've had him for 7 years and always used a Tom Thumb on him. He plow reins but seems to have a hard mouth. He does not want to stop or turn. With me it didn't matter because he's very laid back and I am an experience rider. I hate to put something harsh on him, but I'm starting my husband on horses and the gelding needs to listen better. Any suggestions for a bit that's suitable for a beginner rider in a western headstall on an old horse?
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    11-03-2012, 01:00 PM
  #2
Banned
So you were direct reining in a tom thumb (A very unclear curb bit)?

No wonder he wasn't listening, that thing gives confusing signals and is in no way intended for plow or direct reining. Have you tried anything else?
     
    11-03-2012, 01:05 PM
  #3
hrh
Foal
Circle Y Chrome Plated Tom Thumb Bit 86-2284

This is what is on him. I just kept it on there because that's what my mom put on him. Sometimes he neck reins but most of the time he doesn't cooperate. Just asking for help on what to put on him.
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    11-03-2012, 01:11 PM
  #4
Banned
That's really an awful bit, IMO, specially for what you were trying to do.

Have you tried something like a full cheek snaffle? If you are directing reining then you shouldn't be in a curb, they simply are not made for that kind of contact. Curbs are for finished horses who know how to neck rein and respond to light cues.

I'd suggest maybe trying him in this bit.


It's a snaffle, so good for directing reining, and it has those pressure points for the side of the face to help enforce the cue if your horse wants to ignore it.

You may want to consider having a trainer, or experienced horsemen come in and help teach you and your old guy how to give and receive the proper riding cues. Just because it's trail riding, doesn't mean there is an excuse for poor training habits ;)
     
    11-03-2012, 01:22 PM
  #5
hrh
Foal
I came to this forum for advice and help not be told to get lessons and a brain.
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    11-03-2012, 01:29 PM
  #6
Showing
Hrh, Tianimalz is only trying to help you. I saw nothing condescending in her posts, just some good advice. A few lessons can be hugely beneficial for anyone--from backyard riders to international GP riders.

The fact of the matter is that the Tom Thumb is a very poorly designed bit, especially if you're direct reining in it. I suggest going back to a snaffle (a full cheek like Tia posted or an eggbutt) and working on lateral flexion, forehand/haunch turns, reinbacks, and transitions while encouraging him to soften to the bit and respect a mild snaffle.

I don't move a horse up to a curb of any sort until they have reached a certain level of training and can neck rein and respond to seat and leg cues effectively.
     
    11-03-2012, 01:29 PM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrh    
I came to this forum for advice and help not be told to get lessons and a brain.
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That is my advice to you, take from it what you will.

Advice:

1) Get lessons from someone who can help you and the horse. There is no excuse for a horse who can't follow simple cues, there is either a miscommunication going on between you too (no shame in that, but it doesn't change the fact not stopping or turning can be dangerous).

2) Switch the bit. Tom thumbs do not communicate clearly, curb bits are NOT for directing reining. Get him in a snaffle if you must direct rein (again, no shame), the full cheek I posted above could help out a lot.
     
    11-03-2012, 01:43 PM
  #8
Yearling
Agreeing here with Tia. Bits aren't meant to be solutions to training problems. Also, have you had the horse's teeth checked? At that age it's important to be sure that no teeth are causing the trouble with the bits.

Now, if all those things have been checklisted, this is a bit I like to use for an all-around bit. It's a really nifty little bit and a lot less nasty than an uneffective tom thumb.

But truly, all bits aside, a horse you've been riding for 7 years shouldn't still have that many woah and turn issues. I'd go back to some ground work and experiment with some better bits on the ground first and then appraise where you are from there.

     
    11-03-2012, 02:13 PM
  #9
hrh
Foal
He's maybe been rode 10 times in the past 3 years. He's been worked with by trainers when we first got him. He's just a stubborn old man who is lazy. I know that he was supposedly a barrel an parade horse effort we got him. He is trained as good as he's going to get. I was just looking for a suggestion for a god bit for him. Also I meant he seems to do better plow rein than neck reining.
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    11-03-2012, 02:17 PM
  #10
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrh    
He's maybe been rode 10 times in the past 3 years. He's been worked with by trainers when we first got him. He's just a stubborn old man who is lazy. I know that he was supposedly a barrel an parade horse effort we got him. He is trained as good as he's going to get. I was just looking for a suggestion for a god bit for him. Also I meant he seems to do better plow rein than neck reining.
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I'm sticking by what I said. Whether he has been trained in the past or not, either YOU are not communicating properly (thus needs lessons) or the horse is as you said lazy. My horse probably wouldn't neck rein either if I left her in the pasture most of the time.

Get a snaffle bit, freshen up his training, get lessons.

Just because he USED to be trained, doesn't mean he can stay in the curb bit 100% of the time if he is not responding to said training.

There have been a few lovely bit suggestions here, I'd advise to try them out and see if they help clear up the barrier between you two.
     

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