Which bit for 9 year old? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-19-2016, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Which bit for 9 year old?

Hi, I'm fairly new to the horse world. I just bought a 9 year old who is very broke and a roper but will be mostly used for ranch work. His previous owner used a medium shank with a 4-5 inch shank. Which one of these do you guys think is best? Or neither? Thank you for your help in advance!!!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-19-2016, 11:53 PM
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I won't comment on the individual bits as I am not super familiar with western bits, but regardless of western riding or not I would like to comment on a few points that, IMHO, are important no matter what type of riding is being done.

- What is the previous owner's reasoning for having the current bit on the horse?
- Why is it that you are wanting to switch bits?


Those two points should be something to think about regardless of what bit is being used. Whether the horse is currently in a loose-ring french link or another type of bit, and whether you are wanting to change to a hackmore, or even a western pelham or anything in between ...those are still two very important points to address.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-20-2016, 12:17 AM
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https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack...pe-bits-69588/

Lots of different bits. I've had good luck with Billy Allens, but that doesn't mean they would work with your horse.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-20-2016, 12:41 AM
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I cannot tell from those blurry photos if the bit on the left has a Billy Allen barrel joint, which would mean it has some individual roll or control form one side only. where as the bit on the right looks to be a solid mouthpiece, which means you must ride one handed and neck rein only.

all this really depends on the background of the horse, your skill level and what you want to do with the horse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-20-2016, 12:32 PM
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I'd go with something similar to the first with shorter shanks. I like the hinged mouthpiece a lot and the swivel shanks.

This is my favorite (have this bit and LOVE it's mechanics):
Western SS Low Port Futurity Bit - Horse.com
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-20-2016, 02:14 PM
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I second the bit that drafty posted. I have a couple that are very similar and I've yet to find a horse that didn't like them.

Just a personal preference, but I like to keep my shanks as short as possible. Anything longer than 6" will make me walk away and keep looking elsewhere. I'm also not a fan of really high ports. IME, horses tend to prefer something more contoured to their mouth so that they can pick it up with their tongue and carry it if they choose.

I also like this style, it's a little simpler because of the solid mouth.
254330- Partrade Black Satin Bit

And here is another very similar to the one drafty posted, just with a little bit fancier shank.
239091- Partrade Cowboy Collection Short Slotted Futurity Bit



I have all these bits and I really like them. So do my horses.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-20-2016, 04:10 PM
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I love my Myler bits. I don't have any that they refer to as ported; all but one are jointed with a barrel roller and the ones w/o the barrel are simply snaffles. I wish I had one with the ring type roller to see which mine preferred. The western bit is curved with a short shank and my horses all do well in it when I am riding. My driving bits have an angle off the ring and then long and straight. The shank is slotted so that the reins can be adjusted for the driver's skill and ability. If necessary the reins can be on the ring directly. I was taught the shank was for the rider not the horse. The shorter the shank was for those with quicker rein pick up or heavier, more active hands and the longer for those with a soft, slow rein pick up and quiet hands. The shape of the shank also has an effect. Straight shanks cause quicker reaction to the bit, curved shanks the bit is slower to react to pressure applied. Just adding the barrel mouth piece is raised above the side and allows room for the tongue similar to the low port drafty linked to. They all have swivel sides. The barrel roller snaffle is what my English bits have as well as my training bit.

Last edited by QtrBel; 03-20-2016 at 04:17 PM.
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