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Kuddos on a very excellent video! Shank and purchase ratio, as it relates to signal time is very well explained, as are mouth piece design.
I now also know the explanation of why a horse that learns to work with a quiet and relaxed mouth,learning to carry that bit, without having that mouth forced shut by various cavassons does not foam.
I always worked my horses towards that goal in mind, showing western, but never had a good explanation for those that claimed a foamy mouth shows a horse accepting a bit!
 

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No, you are not wasting your time. A 60 minute video is a bit intimidating to watch. We have some Internet problems at peak demand, so I downloaded it overnight to watch this morning.

The three videos you have put together on bits are vastly better than anything else I've seen. It is much better than any book I have on the subject.

The only problem may be that many people just want "a bit to do X". They want to skip training, and they want to skip spending 2 hours on 3 videos that will tell them what they need to know to make an intelligent decision!

Also - I've noticed English riders like to write about riding, and western riders...well, mostly get on and ride. I've got a couple shelves of books on English riding, but only a couple of OK books on western riding. I'm a fan of western riding, but all the truly good books on riding I own are very English in approach.

I know I'm going to post your videos in response to people's questions in the future, but I don't know how many will actually watch and learn. I have tried to simplify it down to "Snaffles pull back & curb bits rotate" - but even THAT seems to be more than a lot of folks want to hear. I wish I could get a dollar for every thread asking for "a good bit to collect my horse's head". I could quit work and buy me a fancy horse.

:cheers:
 

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I tend to think of Daniel's threads as raisins in the muffin, although I sometimes pull them off subject without meaning to do so. Given how few people study bits or put in any thought to how or why they work (or not), I'm glad to see a thoughtful and detailed explanation.
 

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I am sure Daniel has a lot to offer, but so far, it's been mostly limited to links to his website. not a crime, just that it doesn't show much interest in the forum beyond getting folks to go there.
 

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Hi, Daniel. I noticed your name and this thread. I have watched a good portion of the video, but I wanted to watch and study all three of your videos before responding. I have some ideas I'd like to run by you, but I wanted to see if you've already covered them. They include the affects of applying the reins in various directions as well as the argument presented by General William H. Carter in his book "The U.S. Cavalry Horse" (first published in 1895) for the traditional two-to-one ratio.

I appreciate your effort in trying to understand and explain some of the innumerable variations in bits, how they operate, and some of the variables that affect their use. I have put some effort into trying to understand the principals associated with various designs. I have been working on several charts to illustrate various effects of design and use. Manufacturers and sellers of bits seldom provide much detailed physics behind the bits they promote. The few texts I've found trying to explain bits and their applications all appear quite limited in their own ways. I would love to find a more definitive text.

I often get the impression that bits are to many horsemen what lures are to many fishermen. They hear anecdotes about certain bits, have friends that use them, or see them used by people they consider good riders and buy them in hopes that they will solve whatever problem they are having with their horses. Such people often don't want to bother trying to comprehend the theories behind the design and use of different bits. Some buy bits simply because they like the looks of them.

Others may be perfectly happy with what they are currently using and have little interest in understanding how other bits work. Still others may have become overwhelmed by the many variables that can be used as arguments against different theories

Then, there are people like many students of various topics who simply try to absorb what they hear but feel they can form no good response.

I sometimes get discouraged by how little response I get after all the work I put into designing my web sites. Then there are the limited sales of the books which took me years to write. But I hear this is the same for many authors and publishers of books I have purchased and appreciated. When I feel discouraged, I try to remind myself that my real desire is to share what I have learned in the hope that even a few may benefit from my efforts.
 

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I am sure Daniel has a lot to offer, but so far, it's been mostly limited to links to his website. not a crime, just that it doesn't show much interest in the forum beyond getting folks to go there.
I asked for feedback and I thank you for yours. However, being analytical, I went to the facts. As a contributor, I have given out about 700 likes. 700 times, I read a thread and agree with another's post so I contribute by giving it a "like". My stamp of approval and a "positive reinforcement, if you will. Of the 344 times I took the time to comment, about twenty of so are "links to my website and shameless self promotion". So, about 320 times I read posts and spent time answering them, often with several paragraphs, not just a sentence or two.
So, you are factually VERY off on your premise. Not to mention, this site doesn't allow " links to your website". There is precisely ONE link to my website and it resides solely in my signature. ALL other links are to thoughtful, experienced, and FREE information there for the taking.
As a poster, I admit that I have grown weary of answering the SAME TEN questions over and over again. Quite frankly, there is not a bit question in the archives of this forum that the poster would have no need to ask if they spent 30 minutes on my, again, FREE videos, all of which have links back to horseforum.com
So, from my point of view, over a thousand times, I have contributed to various posts on this forum alone. About 20 times I have asked a question of my own. That question has been the same, "How did you like this FREE information?"
That hardly seems out of line, to me at least...
 

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My remarks were aimed at your apparent disappointment at the lack of response to your links to multiple videos from your training website. If you engage in actual discussions with members however repetitive they can become , you will have more engahing responses from reAders of your posts, which DO have great videos to offer..
 

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Again, thanks.

Again, the links are to YOUTUBE, not my website. There is a difference, as one is against the rules. Just ask a moderator.
 

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I have contributed here over 1000 times. Less than 2% of the time have I asked for anything in return, and that boils down to a mere click of a mouse. A thought or two on what you liked or didn't would be a great bonus, and is always appreciated.

Thus far, I don't think I have wasted anyone's time. The lack of response, however has me seriously questioning if I am wasting mine...
 

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I have not been able to cajole my painfully slow internet to allow me to watch all of the video yet, but I did appreciate the section talking about mouth suction and how a bit should work.

I have been seeing an article about some current research by Dr Cook claiming bits are the cause of death in racehorses making the rounds on facebook. There is also another one talking up the wonders of bitless going around, too. While I read both with a grain of salt seeing as the person producing them just happens to sell a bitless bridle (and I wasn't going to pay to access the entire research article), it did make me pause to think about the physiology involved.


Look forward to seeing the rest of your video, if in smaller than ideal increments.
 

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Other researchers have looked at it and concluded bits do not interfere with breathing. Unfortunately, I didn't bookmark the study...

Almost all the studies I've been able to find using radiographs to SEE what goes on inside the mouth have been done with dressage horses and dressage bits. Almost all of them have involved snaffles only.

This one, from "Bitting: The Inside Story" - USDF Connection Dec 2005, may have a little application to western riding:



It at least makes clear the role the tongue has in relieving pressure on the bars. A lot of folks assume "tongue relief" makes a bit gentler. The US Cavalry considered a bit with tongue relief to be more severe, since any pressure not sustained by the tongue is transferred instead to the bars.

This screenshot has one of the very few pictures I've found of a curb bit inside the mouth (click on it to enlarge):



The article it was in has the best short discussion of bits I've found, although I think he gets a few things wrong:

http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaepfocus/2006/bennett1.pdf

I honestly don't know how they get a curb bit with straight sides to stay aligned when the horse's head is not vertical. With my bits, the weight of the reins always causes the end of the shank to rotate to its lowest possible spot. Assuming my horse carries its head at a 45 deg angle, that means a 45 deg bend in the sides results in the "neutral" position involving no rotation. If I use a straight shank bit, when my horse's head is at 45 deg, the weight of the reins will rotate the bit 45 degrees - which also tightens the curb strap and removes all of the "signal". Mia had the curb strap tighten all by itself in this picture, which is what taught me just how freely a curb bit can rotate:



If you click on it to enlarge it, I think this one shows that the curb has rotated enough to tighten the curb strap even though the reins are not completely straight:



I ride Bandit in a snaffle right now. I eventually want to transition him to a curb because I think a curb gives the option for gentler communication than a snaffle does. Used right, it is potentially gentler than a sidepull halter - IF you can get the horse responsive during the "signal" phase. The signal phase allows for precise communication without applying pressure...but Bandit is probably 6-12 months away from being ready for the transition.

I transitioned Mia to a curb bit for a very different reason - and it worked very well with her. But she was probably a "One Percent" kind of horse, and Bandit is more of a "99-percent" kind.
 

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I'm Dun getting Cornfuzed wit all dis stuff.. feel way out of my league..LOL
 

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A closer up picture...couldn't edit my previous post since I was past the time limit:

 

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1 reply? Seriously? Am I wasting my time here?
I guess you would have to define wasting your time....you posted a link to a video, which I have chosen not to click on, does that mean you have wasted your time?

You maybe analytical, but being part of a forum is far more than just a numbers game, I'm not sure if I am impressed or *not sure of what word I want here....so I'm leaving it hanging* that you have analysed your own participation in the forum to such a degree....but numbers are only part of it.

A forum is a community, sharing all sorts of things, knowledge is of course an important part of that, but people often are looking for specific answers to their questions, now yes the answers maybe in the archives, the subject has been covered before, but they want to feel it is personal to them, so they ask again...that is the way of forums.

As TXhorseman rightly says

When I feel discouraged, I try to remind myself that my real desire is to share what I have learned in the hope that even a few may benefit from my efforts.
That is what all of us do, my mission is simple, to be a poster child for not buying a horse that is half broke and bolshy, when you do not have the skill level to deal with it. I leave my message, and move on, if I can save someone from spending a month in hospital getting fixed, then great, it worked, but I can't make them listen or respond.

So, I can't tell if you are wasting your time, you will have to ask yourself what is it you want to 'get' from sharing this, I guess if it is responses from here then yes I guess you are. I read that it is a 60 minute video, that is a bunch of time to ask of a person.
 
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Didnt make it very far into the video yet.. But I'd like to discuss a couple things already.

First off, with the narrow ports that arent very tall (like a correction bit is what I'm gonna assume you're talking about) there is potential for the tongue to get pinched up in there and essentially grabbed by the bit. Those ports actually arent the greatest from my understanding. They dont have enough room for any tongue relief and still act on the tongue and bars and lips. Some food for thought there.

Now, the whole "bits are only as harsh as the hands" i only agree with this for some bits. Its not a general statement thats good for all bits. I like to use that statement when people are freaking out over a pretty regular curb bit that they are too afraid to use to just pass it off as scary and aggressive.
Truth is, there are lots of bits out there that not even soft hands should be using. Thin twisted wire, wonky combo gag bits that basically are a vice on a horses face, bike chain... I could go on for a while on this. Instead of generalizing that statement, I'd rather point at a bit (for example a mona lisa) and say its not harsh in experienced hands and in a horse that is trained to a high enoigh level to understand the type communication this bit exhibits.

My two cents for now.
 

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I haven't watched this particular video yet Daniel but I can say that I've appreciated the others you've posted. I don't go to all the sections of the forum every day so this is the first I've seen this post and I'll probably watch the video tonight.
 
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