She got shod today so I decided we'd ride down to the dirt road and have a bit of a run.
She responds well to the bit at low speeds but when she goes faster it's like trying to stop a volkswagen with a bungee cord.
I don't know what to do though.
If she does not respond well at speed, then do not allow her to "have a bit of a run". If you purposefully put her into a situation where she will "fail", then she will. Instead, set her up for success by only asking for speeds you know you can control her.
And yes, please get her teeth checked if it has been a couple years because at least that is something you can rule out for hurting her.
My main questions are, how might the curb be not hurting her in comparison the the snaffle? How would the broken mouthpiece be possibly hurting her but not the mullen? Do those mouthpieces affect the teeth differently?
Some horses are much happier in a bit with a solid mouthpiece of some kind.
However, also keep in mind that the curb you posted is a lot more bit compared to a plain snaffle. It might be that it gives more "bite" and thus makes her respect it better and then she doesn't pull on you.
I much prefer to use "enough bit" on a horse so I do not have to pull. Rather than use something too light and then you end up pulling and creating sores, which also does nothing to soften the horse's mouth. When they have learned to respect the "bigger bit" then you can go back down to something lighter and keep the horse soft at the same time. You re-train them to be soft to anything.
Yes sometimes people will go to a bigger bit and then end up relying on that bigger bit to control the horse. But the difference there is that if you PULL on the horse in the bigger bit, then yes, you will just create a worse problem by bitting up and going stronger. The bit is only the training tool. If you do nothing different with your hands, then yes you will also create problems in the bigger bit. But if you ride them correctly and keep them soft, you can start with something they currently respect and then gradually reduce the bit.
we had a bad day today. She decided she didn't know what "whoa" meant and I just about wiped off while trying to lope the barrel pattern- she's not collected at the lope very well. (It could be the saddle though, tried something different) I want to find a good hackamore for barrel racing and playdays that isn't ridiculously strong.
Quite honestly, you have a horse that you cannot stop and therefore you should be nowhere near
the barrels with her. You need to fix her training holes before you put her on the pattern. Stop working the barrels.
Again, do not put her into a situation right now where she is set up to fail.
And DO put her in something you can control her in. It is WORSE to her to put her in something too weak that you are going to pull on her with and get into a runaway situation, than to put her into a bit that she RESPECTS. Then work your way back down as the horse re-learns to respect the bit.
Trainer keeps telling me I need a strong bit if I'm going to run barrels....I mean yeah I wouldn't run in a halter but nobody says I can't if my horse is trained to do so.
What does your trainer say about you not being able to stop your horse? (I don't understand why your trainer would allow you to run barrels when your horse does not have the basics required to do so.)
While it is important to find the "right bit" for your horse that they like, I quite honestly think you are thinking too hard about this. I believe that less of your problem is the bit, and more of the problem is TRAINING.
Focus on the training. There will not be a magical bit that will fix all her training holes.
Like really...we went to a rodeo last night and God almighty this one girl came in on a wild eyed bucking paint and she was YANKING on that horse's mouth.
I feel like the low levels is a bunch of half-wild horses and half-crazy riders.
So how does that differ from your horse running off with you the other day while you were doing the barrels at home?
I do agree there are plenty of barrel racers out there that give barrel racing a bad name. But if you can't even control your horse at home, I don't think you are in a position to be judging others.
She's quick and can beat the shizzle out of the local barrel horses around here when on a pattern. I wouldn't be surprised if she could make an even 16 seconds easily. The fastest at the last race I went to was about 16.6. It's just that I can't find a bit to fit at the moment, for any discipline.
So.... I am confused now. She's won barrel races??
You say she can run a 16 at your local race .... but she hasn't?
I'm not sure if you are just talking up your horse, or if she ran barrel before you got her, or what.
Again, I think less of your problems have anything to do with the bit ... and more to do with training. The bit is not going to make you outrun everyone else by 6 tenths.