Bit question from a non-western rider ;)
 
 

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Bit question from a non-western rider ;)

This is a discussion on Bit question from a non-western rider ;) within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Western riding for women
  • Is a thicker or thinner bit more severe and why?

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  • 6 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By DrumRunner

 
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    02-22-2012, 05:22 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Bit question from a non-western rider ;)

As you all know.. I am not a western rider by any margin. I cooled down a QH once if that counts??!! In jeans?!

Okay, in all seriousness. We have a few western riders, and my trainers breed QH, paints and appys.

But the bits all look so THIN.

I was always brought up with the thinner the bit, the more severe it is. Baby horse- thicker bit. As your horse gets older, thin it down as they have less room in their mouths.

You ride with a different contact to an english rider (I think?!) but is there a reason as to why you have thinner bits... is it to do with the contact, or the conformation of the horse's mouth?

Also, I have never ridden with double reins, or a curb bit before.. but sometimes I see some bits.. think they're called shank, or curb, or something (sorry!) and they look like a slat of metal, not round, with a roller bit in the middle.. THAT looks bizzare!

Apologies for the noobishness of my post- just wanting to learn about them as the German's on my yard can't explain WHY they have the bits in their horse's mouths. So I thought I'd ask you guys instead.

Thanks!
     
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    02-23-2012, 12:29 AM
  #2
Trained
Thinner, as in mouthpieces? Doesn't seen thinner to me, sorry, just that it has leverage as in a curb bit.
     
    02-23-2012, 12:51 AM
  #3
Showing
There are thinner options, but those options do exist in both disciplines. The thinnest mouth that I have ever used (and likely will ever use) was a 3/8 inch diameter. It is only slightly smaller than my regular snaffle bit. BUT, I don't ride on contact either so the potential harshness hardly ever comes into play.

Where an English rider is expected to keep contact with the horse's mouth, which I am sure you are accustomed to seeing so I won't bother with a picture.

A western rider who knows how to ride well and is riding a good horse will ride with a fairly significant amount of slack in their reins, no matter the gait, like this


Even when cueing for a turn, the bit should not be effected.


Here, especially, you can see the bend in her body even though the reins are still slack


As for the curb bit you are describing with the flat metal looking thing with a roller, are you talking about a spade bit?


If that is what you're asking about, then that is an exceptionally advanced piece of equipment. It sometimes takes a horseman half a lifetime to learn to use one properly and each proper "bridle horse" takes years to train and prepare them to carry and respond to such a bit.
     
    02-23-2012, 12:55 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Ehh that spade makes me cringe..Mine would dump me for sure..

Everything smrobs posted was dead on correct..The only thing I have to add is barrel racers and other western gamers use one solid rein and we have tighter rein. It's not constant contact with the horse's mouth, just tight enough that I don't have to deal with a lot of rein when running where you only turn with one hand around the barrel..
Casey02 likes this.
     
    02-23-2012, 01:08 AM
  #5
Trained
With smrobs too. As usual. Lol
     
    02-23-2012, 01:58 AM
  #6
Trained
That spade is not thin, there's a whole whack of metal in that mouthpiece.
     
    02-23-2012, 02:54 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Thanks for the replies guys- and smrobs for being so detailed!!

Hmm, perhaps I AM confused then... like I said, I know nothing, and there aren't many western riders out here, but the ones I've seen typically have thinner mouthpieces than say an english bit... I think that spade bit is similair to the one I was talking about..yowies, I can't imagine putting that in Duffy's mouth.. but different contacts ;) I'm just sticking my tongue out (dunno why?!) and trying to figure how far back that would sit on a horses tongue!

I might give up on dressage and start western aha!

Thanks again guys.
     
    02-23-2012, 03:07 AM
  #8
Trained
And that is why the spade bit takes for-evah to learn how to use and years to teach a horse about it :)
     

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