Bit for active mouth? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Bit for active mouth?

I'm thinking about getting a roller bit for my horse, but before I dive in I was wondering what other types of bit options I should look into. I was considering a key bit as well, but will I see much difference between a key and roller?

He is pretty good when riding, but when just standing around and sometimes walking he has hard time with distractions and I'm hoping that will give him something to do, to at least try it, since I don't forsee his personality changing through training.

Thanks for ideas!
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 02:42 PM
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Why do you want to change bits just because he gets distracted?

You need to learn how to get him to concentrate on you!

You say 'an active mouth' key bits are usually only used for youngsters to get them to play with the keys thus keeping a wet mouth. (I really dislike these bits as it can make a horse over play with the bit.)

A roller bit stops them from grasping a hold on the bit. So ofmyour horse has an active mouth, as in over playing with the bit, then these will make him worse.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 03:03 PM
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I know the roller's work really good for horses that play with their bits. Also, the chain mouthpiece bits could help because they're smoother against their mouth than a regular mouthpiece.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 06:34 PM
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I like a roller/cricket for a horse that wants to play with his bit. It seems to give them something to do and helps calm them. Plus it keeps the tongue moving which relaxes the jaw, promoting relaxation as opposed to a key bit which will somethings get them chewing instead.

I don't worry too much about it if a young horse plays with his bit the first few weeks under saddle-- it usually goes away as the horse becomes more relaxed about being ridden. Some horses will get anxious if they are the type that don't like to stand around but you've taught them not to move their feet. They feel they need to move SOMETHING and these are the ones that the roller or cricket on the bit seem to help with. It's a tool to help the horse learn to help himself.


If you are ever at a gathering of California-style horsemen, there's often an underlying 'whirrrrr.....whirrrrr...' or 'crink, crink, crink' sound here and there, particularly horses who have been standing around awhile and are starting to get bored. It's the horses playing with the crickets on their spade and half-breed bits.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Why do you want to change bits just because he gets distracted?

You need to learn how to get him to concentrate on you!

You say 'an active mouth' key bits are usually only used for youngsters to get them to play with the keys thus keeping a wet mouth. (I really dislike these bits as it can make a horse over play with the bit.)

A roller bit stops them from grasping a hold on the bit. So ofmyour horse has an active mouth, as in over playing with the bit, then these will make him worse.

I can't change his personality, which I can only compare to a person with ADD or ADHD. Sure I can train or make people, or horses, like that focus on me, but that's not what my goal is. He has to want that himself. Sometimes having something to play with helps focus on mundane tasks.

I am not trying to make my horse stop playing with the bit. I actually want him to have something to play with.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMaple View Post
It's a tool to help the horse learn to help himself.
This is exactly my thoughts. He is as you have described...

I'm not sure if I try something like a snaffle with roller, or a spade with a roller, and if I go the spade route, would I still want to go with a broken bit, or would I want a mullen mouth...

I might have a mullen mouth bit lying around somewhere that I could try to see how that works then figure out the rest. And I'm sure I have some people who can let me borrow some options a few times to try.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filou View Post
Sure I can train or make people, or horses, like that focus on me, but that's not what my goal is. He has to want that himself. Sometimes having something to play with helps focus on mundane tasks.
I don't get this idea. Because you want the horse to WANT to focus on a mundane task rather than being trained to do so, you think adding a distracting bit for him to play with will help?

I guess it would be the same philosophy as giving kids 'fidget spinners' to help them concentrate in class. I don't get/agree with that as a rule either.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-12-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I don't get this idea. Because you want the horse to WANT to focus on a mundane task rather than being trained to do so, you think adding a distracting bit for him to play with will help?

I guess it would be the same philosophy as giving kids 'fidget spinners' to help them concentrate in class. I don't get/agree with that as a rule either.
Yes, that is essentially it. Since he is already inclined to play with the bit I would like to give him one that's meant to be played with. When we are standing, he can play instead of look around and get antsy.

In my experience with young children who have difficulty concentrating, having something to play with can really help them stay focused until they grow older and then that object they play with transfers to something else. In most of the classrooms I've been in, and in my own we do give children who have a hard time concentrating some form of accommodations. This could be a wiggle seat, so that if they can't hold still they can wiggle while causing less disturbance, I also use marble mazes, I've seen parents who give their kids legos to keep in their pockets to play with. It helps give them some form of stimulation so that they can stay focused on low interest activities. Usually those same kids have a subject they love where they don't need to play with something, because it's high interest for them, and they invest fully. Now if the object they are playing with is too interesting (fidget spinner), it can totally distract them more, it needs to be something small that's almost not noticeable, something appropriate for an adult might be chewing gum, or clicking a pen.

Aside from my personal experience it's what many schools do, and what the books teach here in California. I'm sure there's some studies out there supporting why we do this. Not everyone agrees and the parent has the right to say no, not for my kid... I wouldn't ever give a kid a fidget spinner, but I might give them a marble to roll in their hands while they listen to me read, for example.

I think it goes without saying this isn't any sort of rule, and it doesn't apply to most people, because most people don't have problems learning in this way.

If having a fidget spinner helped your child focus in the classroom, would you let them have it, or not?
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-13-2019, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Filou View Post
Yes, that is essentially it. Since he is already inclined to play with the bit I would like to give him one that's meant to be played with. When we are standing, he can play instead of look around and get antsy.
So that sounds like you AREN'T wanting him to concentrate on something specific, but be distracted from being 'antsy' & learn to relax. I certainly get that.

Quote:
It helps give them some form of stimulation so that they can stay focused on low interest activities. ... Now if the object they are playing with is too interesting (fidget spinner), it can totally distract them more, it needs to be something small that's almost not noticeable, something appropriate for an adult might be chewing gum, or clicking a pen.
Aha, thanks for explaining that. I've been told that autistic or otherwise kids with learning difficulties 'should' have a fidget spinner or some such, but then, it became 'the done thing' at my kid's school for ALL the kids to be given something fascinating like that(mine were among the few not allowed), and IME(I used to help out in class regularly) it did NOT generally help kids focus at all - quite the opposite - But it sounds like the teachers missed some key principles there!

Quote:
If having a fidget spinner helped your child focus in the classroom, would you let them have it, or not?
Yes, definitely, if I had good reason to do so. Just that I didn't see that result. My eldest's Grade 5 teacher also let them bring ipods/phones & earplugs to class to listen to music while they 'worked' - I was ropeable about that one - I sure as hell can't concentrate well on something else when I've got my favourite tunes on, so how is a 10yo meant to??

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-13-2019, 10:02 AM
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So, going a slightly different path with the same reasoning behind it...
Instead of something like keys or rollers to play with what about texture change?
Instead of a shiny stainless bit you look for a bit that is older and pitted in finish?
Not "rough" as in sharp edges but roughened texture that the sensitive tongue can move against...
Kind of like the kid who had a rock, the lego, the rabbit foot in the pocket as the tension release trigger..
They are harder to find, but a bit with a small bit of nubby to it...
Have you tried what you are currently riding in in a sweet iron or the old metal materials that made mouthing a bit quite the enjoyable experience for the horse and did help quiet and gain their focus...
just a thought...

...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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