Scared of my bit(s) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-16-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Scared of my bit(s)

Ok, here's the run down.....I'm a reining rider, not exactly green, kind of upper level novice.

Ok, just bought my horse of a very very reputable trainer, in fact I worked for this trainer sometime ago so I have an intimate knowledge of the training methods etc. this trainer has happy, healthy, extremely well cared for horses. This trainer is internationally known and has many many credentials.....

I tried this horse three times before deciding t buy him, he was very nice....however he uses a cathedral bit and a medium port correction bit. I like to think that I have soft hands, and I certainly am not a yanker or quick handed rider, kind of more a bumper with my hands. I understand the amount of control these bits have.....however I'm kind of scared of them, I know this horse is well schooled in them....the trainer said I would ride fine in them.....I'm just having doubts as I have read so many comments regarding this bits as severe and nasty......I really don't have to hang on to this horse, I ride like a reiner and always use my leg first and try to maintain a loose rein and only pick him up a bit when I have too......your opinions?
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-16-2012, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Just of note here....forgot to say this.....the horse doesn't seemed phased by these bits at all....I know he's been gradually trained into them and he has been shown as well......I just think I'm not confident using them even though they certainly help me a lot with my I just too's a seasoned horse who is extremely level headed.......I would just hate to switch him into a bit that I am confident in and have him develop bad habits.....I have heard that a horse can actually get harder in the mouth using softer bits as the rider has to be on his face a lot more.....???????????
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-16-2012, 08:54 PM
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Are you riding/taking lessons with a trainer? Will this horse remain at this trainers barn? When you tried this horse did you ride him in either bits under the trainers supervision?
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-16-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I've ridden him in these bits, and had no problem.... I will be at a barn with knowledgeable people and will maintain lessons......I guess it's just a new thing for me and Im self-doubting because so many people say horrible things about these bits.....your thoughts?
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-16-2012, 11:19 PM
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Generally speaking, a bit is only as good (or as bad) as the hands controlling it. Personally, so long as the bits are well made, then I have no problem with folks using long as they know how to use them.

The ranting that most people do about bits isn't really about the bits themselves, it's about how the bits are used. I commonly speak out against people using correction bits or cathedral bits or any of the more "advanced" bits because most people simply don't know how to use them correctly...and would therefore use them wrong and possibly injure the horse. For someone who does know the mechanics and intricacies of those bits, then I have zero problem with them being used.

If those bits are what the horse has been schooled in and what he's comfortable with, then that's likely what you should stick with. Just remember to be really soft and not quick with your hands and you'll get along fine. If you decide that you just don't want to use a bit like that, discuss it with your trainer. There are thousands of other bit styles out there that function similarly but without the added "umph" of the ones you're using now and one of them may work just as well or better and make you feel more comfortable.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-17-2012, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Smrobs......I feel a bit more confident....I know there is no way in this world that the trainer would have allowed me to use those bits if she thought my hands were heavy and hard......
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-17-2012, 09:35 AM
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Smrobs pretty much nailed what I was going to say :)

Shouldn't be an issue if you know how to use the bits or learning from your trainer. I wouldn't hesitate to express your concerns to your trainer and see what he thinks.

By the way, congrats on your new horse!

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post #8 of 24 Old 09-17-2012, 09:46 AM
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Smrobs is absolutely correct. I hate to see horse overbitted for the sake of it or instead of good training but in the right hands and for the right reasons they are not a problem
If a horse feels unhappy with your hands on his mouth he wont go forwards properly so the stronger bit would be counter productive - he'll soon let you know how he feels
If you feel anxious then theres nothing wrong with trying him in something you feel more comfortable with
Good luck with the new horse
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-17-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I rode with a friend of mine today, and she's kind of a 'been there, done that' rider, I think she identified my concern....I think I'm scared I'm going to accidentally jerk on him, for instance during something sudden like a good spook or a stumble......I guess we have all accidentally given them a good yank unintentionally.....I would rather just not be doing it on the end of a correction or cathedral bit!
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-18-2012, 08:41 AM
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My reining gelding rides with a cathedral bit, and I too was scared of it. I tried to ride him in a low ported correction bit and even an o-ring snaffle, and he just didn't get the point, like OMG what is direct reining?? Lol. He works sooo much better with his usual bit:)
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