Chain Bits.....

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Chain Bits.....

This is a discussion on Chain Bits..... within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    05-08-2011, 01:32 PM
Chain Bits.....

Ok so don't rip on me for this....

My little sister recently got her first horse. A TB X race horse. They have been trying to figure out what bit to use on him. They say he tosses his head a lot and this is why they are/where experimenting. I told them to try my curb, a snaffle, and a hackamore before anything else.
This morning I found out that they have him in a chain bit and they say he has stopped throwing his head and chews a little.
My understanding is that chewing is a good thing, it means the horse is comfortable with the bit. This is really blowing my mind, I can't decide if he stopped throwing his head becouse he is afraid of hurting himself on the new bit or if he acctually likes it. As far as I can tell they may have tried the snaffle or curb but not the hackamore. Chains can pinch and granted my parents and sis are still learning about horses but I am just trying to wrap my mind around this chain bit... what is it used for and WHY!? My dad said the tag said it's a roping bit...... please help me understand WHY you would use a bit like this?
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    05-08-2011, 03:04 PM
Actually, there are a lot of horses that do prefer a chain bit. They are flexible, and the horse can get it where he likes it.
Any bit can be harsh or severe. It's all in the hands that hold the reins.

Give it a try!
boots likes this.
    05-08-2011, 03:36 PM
I actually really like chain bits. They have a lot there if you need it, but they lay really nicely in the horses mouth. My horse likes chain bits, they can actually be pretty soft since there are tons of pressure points.
    05-08-2011, 07:11 PM
I have a mare that really likes the chain bit simply because it IS flexible, like Zimalia said.
    05-08-2011, 07:24 PM
Are chain bits for all around riding I.e english and western or western riding only?
    05-08-2011, 09:48 PM
You can get chain bits for english [a snaffle not a curb], but they don't seem to be that common, at least around here - I have one though it was hard to find !
    05-08-2011, 10:29 PM
First, any bit that is based on pain is not one i'd ever want to use. Bits are NOT brakes, they are about communication.

That said sounds like 1) this horse needs his teeth done and 2) needs to be retrained to ACCEPT the bit starting with a simple snaffle either mullen, single jointed smooth mouth, or double jointed with a french link or bean (yes even for western). Once the horse has had his teeth properly done and then learns to accept the bit as a means for communication and not pain/brakes, the horse will start to relax and be more responsive.

My guess is the horse is chewing out of discomfort and not throwing his head bc of the severity of the bit. I can put a broken segunda on a head tosser that has teeth issues and if the horse is smart enough he will stop throwing his head. So what does that mean? It means I fixed the symptom - head tossing - and never addressed the issue - needing teeth done for example. It's like buting a horse to make him sound. Did you really sound up the horse? No you just masked the pain.

There is no shortcut to a solid foundation for training and acceptance of the aids, and i've never found a horse that prefers an actual chain bit to a softer one that is based on communication and acceptance of the aids.
Remali, GreySorrel and jaydee like this.
    05-09-2011, 09:05 AM
^^have you ever used a chain bit ?
    05-09-2011, 12:21 PM
I will not put any bit in my horse's mouth that works on pain rather than communication.

I used a double twisted wire once because the horse was very hard mouthed and I wanted to see if he had nerve damage so I longed him in it. He proceeded to lean just like in a snaffle and we were able to confirm he had nerve damage from the severity of the bits he was ridden in on the track.

I have had horses ridden in front of me in a chain bit and switched them to a much more milder bit and immediately got better results.

I do not believe in training through pain. I believe in training and riding through understanding, respect, and communication. I make sure that all my horses - even the ones that go xc in a pelham or gag (yes I do believe in stronger bits) - can flat in a simple snaffle, be it a mullen, single jointed, or double jointed. I also do NOT EVER believe in any bit that causes pain in the mouth and will ONLY use smooth mouthed bits. The harshest mouthpiece I will ever use is a slow twist and that is rare (like once in YEARS). Even my very strong 1800lb clyde cross goes in a bean link snaffle.

Any horse that ever comes to me in any wire or chain bit is immediately put in a much more mild bit and retrained from the basics on up to accept rather than run from the bit. I've yet to find a horse (and i've gotten many through the rescue here that i've worked with that have all kinds of issues) that have ever preferred a chain or wire bit to a simple snaffle. I've found chain and wire (and any bits that work on pain) are a quick fix and coverup for improper training. And i've been riding for over 3 decades....
GreySorrel likes this.
    05-09-2011, 12:56 PM
Green Broke
Diffrent bits work for different horses.

I would never think of useing a bit like the one below on my horse, or recomand it to anyone, but some of the best trained horses in the world ride in such bits.

A "big" bit is not allways a bad thing. It has been repeated so many times that I shouldn't have to say it, but some people still don't understand.

It isn't the bit, but the hands that use it.
bsms, boots, PSNapier and 1 others like this.

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