this english bit okay? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-08-2012, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: eastern canada
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this english bit okay?

i have a horse that is usually ridden western and i want to show her english too. Her western bit is usually a on the shorter shank with a port curb with copper rollers on each side ( i think thats the right description ) lol. I already have a kimberwicke bit from when i used to show english. Do you think this would work, or do you have another recommendation? I have tried her in a very simple "easy" western bit, and she does listen but not nearly as responsive than the shank she came with. any ideas?

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pastrychef is offline  
post #2 of 4 Old 10-08-2012, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Utah, USA
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Start with the nicest bit you can. Loose ring french link snaffle is the best, and the one I use is a eggbutt french link. If she doesn't respond to the softest bit you can find, try to fix the problem through training rather than through a harsher bit. (Not saying you're harsh!)

The bit you currently have, however, I've used before on my old lease pony, and she didn't mind it at all. Personal preference I guess.
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LoveMyDrummerBoy is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 10-08-2012, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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I would try whatever bit you can until you find one she likes. I ride my mare in a Kimberwick and she loves it, by far her favorite bit. In forgiving hands, it's a perfectly fine bit. See if you can borrow bits from friends to see what your horse likes and go with that. Good luck!
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riccil0ve is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 05:31 PM
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She is more respectful in the other bit because it is more painful, in short. If you can ride her in a mild bit, do it... even if there are a few problems, it's better to smooth them out with schooling than with a harsher bit. If you can't, there are some training issues you need to work with. The only case (in my opinion) where it would be alright to use a stronger bit is because the horse prefers that type of bit over another and therefore works better, happier, and more willingly in it. But riding with a stronger bit for the sake of better control is simply not right, since riding should not be a battle against the horse for control; it should be horse and rider working together.

For now I'd suggest that you stay away from shanks and harsh bits altogether. I take from the way you talk about bits that you are not extremely educated about them, and therefore it's safer and kinder to stay with a simple snaffle. A shank or harsh bit creates the illusion that a horse is more responsive, but really that isn't so. Let me explain: With a snaffle bit, applying 1 pound of pressure on the reins results in 1 pound in the horse's mouth; in the same way, 10 pounds will result in 10 pounds and 5 in 5. With shanks or harsh bits, 1 pound of pressure on the reins could amount to 10 in the horse's mouth. It does not make the horse any more responsive or softer in the mouth, it simply creates the illusion. And for someone who does not have the required experience, these bits could easily do a lot of damage without the rider even knowing.

I highly suggest you begin with a simple snaffle or french link snaffle. If it turns out that your horse prefers a different bit, use that, but don't do it merely because you feel it gives you more control. Start with a snaffle and work out any kinks in the training in that bit.

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