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western bit questions

This is a discussion on western bit questions within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to drop a bit for inspection in western trail class

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    06-03-2010, 01:22 PM
Silvera, would that bit be okay for him to show in?
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    06-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Definetly. I show Storm (my 3 year old) in it all the time. The only thing is that because the horse is 5 and the bit is a shank bit you have to ride one handed. Once a horse reaches 5 then they have to be riden one handed regardless in western (I beleive, at least that's what it is here). I have even shown him in classes where you have to "drop" the bit for inspection and it went over great.
    06-03-2010, 02:07 PM
Hmmm. I'll have to check and make sure. I know that the rule for 4H (which is what we'll be doing) is that horses 5 and under can still be shown in a regular snaffle. He still falls into that category. I'm not sure if he can still be direct reined or not, even though he is under 6.
    06-03-2010, 02:10 PM
Yes it's defenitly good to check. Also check and see what it says about the bits, when you have to neck rein. Because I show Storm (3yr old) in a shank bit I have to show one handed regardless of age. It was the same last year, I rode him in the same bit. Depending on the judge though you may be able to get away with direct reining with this bit as some of them classify it as a transitional bit or something like that.
    06-04-2010, 09:11 AM
I checked into it. She will have to neck rein in the WP classes at the fair, regardless of what kind of bit. Twilight (that's the horse, not the kid lol) is doing pretty decent on neck reining fro an experienced rider, but my kiddo has a lot of work to do in the next 2 and a half months!
    06-04-2010, 11:43 AM
Good luck, and hope everything goes well for you. Also remember that even if she isn't 100% ready by the time you are showing it's just for fun. Next year when she has more time in the saddle (your daughter) then she will do 100% better then this time around.
    06-04-2010, 02:44 PM
That's what Im telling her. "This is your first year, think of it as a practice run!"
    06-20-2010, 05:01 PM
I'm in a very similar situation. We just made the decision to lease my daughter's lesson horse for 4-H next year. He is a 19 year old, 1000 lb labrador and since he's a beginner to intermediate level horse, he's in a snaffle.

I need to get him a new bit and the leader suggested a Tom Thumb bit, which my research led me to flinch...is it? I have an email in to the trainer/instructor/owner, but she's out on a trail ride and I starts a camp tomorrow so I may not hear from her for a few days.

This is a softy and I'm putting an 8 year old (while reasonably experiences, still new to this bit) on him with a new bit so I want to go as easy as I can with him, and frankly, I have no exprience with bits.
    06-20-2010, 05:07 PM
I ended up trying a bit that someone gave me. French link mouthpiece, shorter shanks that curve towards the back. He did fine in it. BUT, then my daughter informed me that she prefers to ride english, so the whole western bit thing has been scrapped for now, and he's in a dee ring snaffle. I was glad, because I think that both she and the horse need more time before they are ready to neck rein together in a shanked bit.
    06-20-2010, 07:20 PM
The french link type mouth pieces (double broken), either with a roller or without, are great because they don't put pressure on the top of the mouth in a hard point. Tomb thumbs are good but they have a single break in them so can be a little harder on their mouths. If the horse is used to a single broken snaffle however you should have no problem transitioning to a tomb thumb.

Artsyjenn - I think you have made a good choice in sticking with english for a while until they both learn to neck rein. If you keep teaching the horse to neck rein then when/if your daughter decides to go western then they are already prepared. You can teach neck reining in a snaffle so you don't have to worry about changing bits all the time. I think the one you mentioned about getting is pretty good and you made a good choice with that one.

Good luck with this year if your daughter shows :)

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