Barrel Racing: Which bit works best for me? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By PartialToGray
  • 3 Post By gssw5
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-17-2015, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Red face Barrel Racing: Which bit works best for me?

I have been barrel racing for about 6 years now. My horse is 6 years old, big 15.3 hands, he likes to have his head up high and so I use a tie-down. I am a pretty small rider with light hands.

I have trouble with the first barrel. He has a lot of natural bend but almost too much where his whole body is turning but he needs to be quicker and get his body underneath him so that I can turn tight against the first barrel when coming to the second.

I was using a twisted snaffle on him, and then transitioned into a draw gag bit to keep his head down and collected. I am looking for a new bit to get his shoulders lifted but keep him collected so that I can circle a little better on that first barrel.

I have these picked out but not sure which would be the best pick for me. Some are more expensive so I don't want to waste my money on something that is not needed.

Brittany Pozzi Lifter Series - Twisted Wire Snaffle

Teskey's Saddle Shop: Futurity Bit 6.5" Three Piece Twisted Wire Snaffle by Professional's Choice -Teskey's

Westen AT Dot Dogbone Long Sliding Gag Bit -
horsecrazz is offline  
post #2 of 4 Old 02-17-2015, 03:53 PM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Middletown, NY
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I hate to say it, but a new bit is not going to solve your problem. In order to get your horse to use his end effectively, reach underneath himself, and be more balanced around a turn, you need to back off the pattern and get him to do those things on his own first, then apply them to the pattern.

I was right where you were last summer, my horse fell onto his forehand around the first barrel and just didn't get the concept of reaching under himself. I thought if I went to a different bit it would fix him. It didn't. I have spent the last 4 months doing nothing but English flat work, having him keep his own track around the rail with no interference from me, serpentines, figure 8's, transitions transitions transitions! His balance is so much better now!! He engages his hind end more effectively now. Collection is important no matter the discipline!

A bit is just a way to get more out of your horse's current training, not a substitute.

But that's just my 2 cents
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PartialToGray is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 02-18-2015, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
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My horse did the same exact thing. I'm going to work Saturday and I work with a barrel horse trainer so I'll ask her opinion. She told me the teardrop gags wont help. I'll give you the name of the bit she recommends.
can99 is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 02-18-2015, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
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I agree with partialtogray in the previous response. You need to go back and teach the horse how to use himself off the barrels. He is diving on his front end and doing what I call a wheelbarrow turn, no bit will fix it.

If his headset is naturally high tying his head down is a disservice, if his head is high due to trying to avoid the bit, a different bit will not fix that either.

Go back and work on exercises to increase his balance. I love serpentines, spirals, counter bending, half halts, roll backs, and lots of transitions all the things he needs to be able to do when going ninety to nothing around the barrels.
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