Bit question from a non-western rider ;)

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding

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

Like Tree7Likes
  • 6 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By DrumRunner

LinkBack Thread Tools
    02-22-2012, 05:22 AM
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.

Sponsored Links
    02-23-2012, 12:29 AM
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
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
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
With smrobs too. As usual. Lol
    02-23-2012, 01:58 AM
That spade is not thin, there's a whole whack of metal in that mouthpiece.
    02-23-2012, 02:54 AM
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
And that is why the spade bit takes for-evah to learn how to use and years to teach a horse about it :)

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apparently We Have A Western Rider Now They Call Me Pete Western Pleasure 38 05-21-2011 06:45 PM
Critique western rider KateS Horse Riding Critique 26 03-01-2011 09:52 AM
New Rider Hat Question Tinytoez Horse Tack and Equipment 20 06-28-2010 11:34 AM
HELP! (English-western horse and rider) Angel5000 Jumping 20 03-31-2010 08:48 PM
Help! Western rider going English for a day equiniphile English Riding 22 03-02-2010 08:54 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0