Bits Bits and More bits.....HELP!! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 01-13-2009, 05:53 PM
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If you feel that you don't have control of your horse without a harsh bit, I would suggest going back to basics. I believe in ramping up in bit severity when a rider and a horse are doing more complex and subtle maneuvers, not just when they lack control. Eventually you will be needing a harsher bit because your horse has become desensitized to your current and bit. By doing this you are going down a slippery slope my friend.
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post #12 of 25 Old 01-14-2009, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Use the top slot when you are indoors and the bottom slot when you are at home. The top slot gives it more of a feel of a snaffle and is a little more mild than the bottom slot.
Just what I was going to suggest ;). As he gets better, you can try a bean mouth D ring.

I also agree with avoiding a slow twist bit. They have a tendancy of hardening a horse's mouth. It's more difficult to wean a horse out of one.
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-14-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by onetoomany View Post
If you feel that you don't have control of your horse without a harsh bit, I would suggest going back to basics. I believe in ramping up in bit severity when a rider and a horse are doing more complex and subtle maneuvers, not just when they lack control. Eventually you will be needing a harsher bit because your horse has become desensitized to your current and bit. By doing this you are going down a slippery slope my friend.
I definitely agree with this statement that if you're having to revert to a stronger bit, you should probably look at training problems first.
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post #14 of 25 Old 01-14-2009, 09:48 PM
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Okay well first, I'm not a fan of someone riding in a harsh bit b/c they feel they need the harshness on the horse....your horse being recently gelded may well need a stronger bit but make sure it's for the right reasons and he's getting enough training and exercise that the bit isn't just being used as a quick fix to control excess energy as he adjusts from being gelded and gets the hormones out of his system.

That said, a straight bar (mullen) mouth bit with a slight curve is actually very mild. People point out that it doesn't offer tongue release which it does not, but it also won't apply constant pressure if the rider has soft, following hands. My jumper is very strong and goes in a mullen mouth pelham and LOVES it b/c he has a very low soft palate and anything with a port or single joint is incredibly painful for him. Bit harsness is often more a function of the rider's hands and the horse's mouth conformation than anything else.

Like someone else pointed out, a mullen mouth bit does offer less lateral control in that it is harder to differentiate pressure from one rein to the other, but the horse's mouth is STILL extremely sensitive so the horse can feel a difference as to which rein you are using, it's just not as strong.

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post #15 of 25 Old 01-14-2009, 10:51 PM
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OK, I'm still in the learning stages of this (so take it with a grain of salt...) but so far I have to agree with everyone's replys so far.

Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
I I would steer clear of any twisted wire bits, or even a slow twist bit - you can do very great damage if you don't have good hands.
Absolutly. A twisted wire (or even a small diameter bar) works on a distrubution principal. The larger the bar, the more surface area the load/pressure is distrubuted across.
Example - (DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS - just imagine it) IF you took a regular steak knife, and laid it flat on the table, then you pushed your thumb on the flat side of the blade, and pushed fairly hard - what would happen - not a whole lot, maybe gouge the table. Now IF (this is the don't try it at home part) you took the same knife, and laid it on the table so the sharp part was facing up, and you pressed your thumb on it fairly hard - what would happen - OUCH!!!.
Example 2 - Try to carry a 5 gallon bucket of water to the end of your driveway using the plastic roller handle that slides over the wire - a touch uncomfortable, but tolerable. Now carry the same bucket back, just using the wire - bet ya it hurts alot more!
The principal is the same - equal force being distrubuted over more surface area. In both cases your hand (or thumb) is the horses mouth. A wire bit (or smaller diameter bar) increases in force because there is less surface area to distribute the pressure. Keep in mind that this effect is multiplied when using a leverage bit (I'll get to that in a minute).

Now, I'm not trying to start a debate here - I'm just repeating information that was given to me. My last horse had a western curb bit. I attempted to give this to my new horse, and he thought the world was ending.... So I read different threads here, and I saw a handful of people say to stay away from a Kimberwick because it's harsh, ect.ect. So after further reading I had self perscribed a D ring snaffle and headed off to the bit store. I told the lady what my delema was, and she directed me to the Kimberwick. I told her no, too harsh and all the other negative things I had read. She asked what I wanted, I told her a D ring snaffle. She handed me a Kimberwick - I was puzzled!! She then explained to me what a Kimberwick was, how it worked, and why it was better than the D ring I was eyeing up (not to mention the Kimberwick was cheaper)...No offence to the D ring at all - but this is what she told me. I have included a (POOR - no laughing) drawing I made in paint to help describe what I'm attempting to say...
A kimberwick could kinda be called a multi-use bit I guess. I was told that it mimicks several commonly used bits simply by changing mounting points for the reins. It can simulate a D ring snaffle by attaching the reins in the upper holes in the D ring (attachment point A in my doodle). It can simulate a curb bit (lessened in sevarity) by using the lower attachment holes (attachment point B). It can simulate a loose ring by attaching the reins around the D (attachment point C). Each position has its uses and circumstances.

Now before anybody snaps on me, let me explain the way this works - simplified.
If I want to simulate a D ring, I attach my reins to the point A in the diagram. On a D ring, the rings pivot in and out, but cannot rotate. When the reins are attached to point A, pressure is applied along the same axis (imaginary line) as the pivot point (bar in the horses mouth) - the effect is virtually the same.
If I want a more aggressive (right term??) bit, getting closer to a curb bit, I can attach at point B. Rein pressure is multiplied (about twice) through the levarge action of the D to the pivot point (bar).
If I want to simulate a loose ring, I can attach the reins at point C. Now, since the D of the Kimberwick only pivots (in and out) and doesnt rotate, the pinching is eliminated that can be found in a loose ring. The reins are free to slide up and down on the D, simulating the action of a loose ring. At this point in training, the horse shouls consider the slight pressure of the rein sliding up the D as a preque - and respond to the command before any pressure is applied.

I now own a Kimberwick - and will not own anything else. The lady at the tack store told me that I could chose whatever I wanted. So I decded to go with the one bit, instead of 3!

PS...I spent the extra money I saved on pony treats!
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post #16 of 25 Old 01-14-2009, 11:05 PM
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Wow....sorry so long winded.....
After rereading my post....I kinda confused myself!

I may be able to explain the leverage in an easier way...

Take the D ring example (attachment point A). Now on the photo below, place your left hand over the image so that the tip of your ring finger is on the red circle (where the bar is). Go ahead.... do it - nobodys watching! Now place your imaginary reins (your right index finger and thumb) in your pointer finger where the attachment point A is (should be about the tip of your pointer finger). Wih your "reins", pull back (to your right) but KEEP the tip of your ring finger on the red dot. Notice the force is pulling backwards with no lever/twisting action.

Keep your left hand up there, and move your "reins" to the B spot. Now pull back (right) keeping your ring finger there. See how your hand pivots? Notice the curb chin (about the tip of your index finger) moves upwards? Thats the multiplication/levearge action.

I hope that this simplifies it a bit.

Oh, ya, don't forget to wipe off the finger prints on the screen too!
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post #17 of 25 Old 01-15-2009, 12:23 AM
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Very good, RT very detailed description, and educational pictures... however I have to disagree... I still prefer a Pelham to a Kimberwicke.
Why, you ask?
You can ride the pelham with 2 reins or 1.
With 2 reins, you have a choice... you can ride on:
- the snaffle rein (the top rein) only, where there is (very minimal to) no leverage. You are essentially riding a snaffle bit (you can get mullen mouth, single joint, or double with this bit)
- the snaffle rein and the curb rein, so that you're riding on the snaffle 99% of the time and then apply the curb rein as needed, just a little "listen to me" tweak.
- You can ride with a converter too.. and that makes it a mild (depending on the shank) curb bit.

With a kimberwicke, you are riding on the curb all the time, or you're not, depending on the rein placement... so you don't have a choice to change mid-ride, unless you want to get off and change your rein placement.

Anyways, that's my opinion... I prefer to just use a plain ol' double jointed bit.. loosering with a bit guard, or a d-ring.

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post #18 of 25 Old 01-15-2009, 12:50 AM
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I prefer a pelham over a kimberwicke IF the rider uses two sets of reins and knows how to use them. I don't agree with using a converter on a Pelham, You might as well be using a kimberwicke .

A kimberwicke is great for someone who doesn't want the complexity of using two sets of riens and needs a bit more "umph" than a D ring or full cheek. I have two kimberwickes and enjoy using them from time to time when the need arises.

I prefer a bean mouth loose ring or 3-piece full cheek with a copper roller in the middle. Or for trails/hacking, I prefer a cross-under style bitless bridle.
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post #19 of 25 Old 01-15-2009, 02:28 PM
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Ruby Tuesday.... Thanks!!! That was a lot of well thought out info!!!!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #20 of 25 Old 01-15-2009, 10:14 PM
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Dumas, ty. Just tryin to explain what I waz a thinkin (again...sorry so long winded!)

Anybody got a pic of this pelham? I dunno if I ever saw one, and kinda like to learn more.

Kinda sounds like (without seein it) like you could do the same thing with the Kimberwick, attach 1 set of reins to the "A" attachment, and 1 to the "B"........well, you guys could...I have a tough enough time with one set!! lol

Thanx for the input though!
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