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Argentine Snaffle (and reccomendations)

7742 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CJ82Sky
Hello! I ride Western and do mainly barrels and other western show classes and games and trails, so I need a versatile bit. I currently have my POA in a Tom Thumb, but I don't think it's right for him. he's 10 years old and I think, personally, he needs a little harsher bit. I'm having some attention problems with him, he doesn't like to listen very well and all of the sudden he's a little hard-mouthed (and he usually is pretty soft) and I just feel that he needs a harsher bit.
I have heard that many like the Argentine Snaffle? I've heard that it's a little harsher than a Tom Thumb, but still has the broken snaffle part so it's not so harsh... If you don't think that an Argentine snaffle is right for me, what do you suggest?
Thanks. :lol:
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i believe 99% of horses can go in a simple snaffle and only need a different bit for extreme circumstances such as a show or hunter pace, race, etc.

tom thumbs can be confusing and harsh. argentine snaffles can be as well. if you feel your horse needs a harsher bit i'm inclined to ask why? what is your horse doing that you are hoping to correct with a harsher bit? and before you look to a bit to correct things, why not go back to training in a snaffle and make sure the horse understands the basics and is listening to the most important aids like seat and leg rather than using a harsher bit.

bits are not brakes. they are the telephone line with which we communicate with our horses. and i believe that is true for ANY discipline.

if you are using a bit for breaks and steering than you are using the bit wrong imo.
Okay but I can't show in a regular snaffle in my area because Putts is over the age limit - :evil:. If I could - trust me - I would use a Dring or loose ring snaff - but they're not allowed for horses over 4 or 5 I think it is....
So what kind of bit would everyone reccomend since the Argentine isn't for me? (and I don't have a trainer right now - I'm pretty self-taught. I have a barrel racing 'coach' but I don't necessarily take lessons. It's an interesting situation.)
My first thought when you say that your horse isn't responding to your bit, and that you're riding western, is that this horse isn't trained to respond to leg and seat aids, and that you're relying on the bit a lot. When you upgrade to a curb bit, that is supposed to signify that your horse is so well trained that it can have this harsh bit in its mouth, but it rarely has to be touched; the signals come from the rider's seat and legs, and lastly, in the form of neck reining.
If your horse is heavy on the bit, and you're relying on the bit a lot, please switch back to a simple snaffle (no leverage; don't be fooled - any bit with leverage is no longer a snaffle, even if the manufacturers label it as such) and go back to the basics. Once your horse is responding to a snaffle, then pop the curb in for show; you shouldn't be using the bit much though. My recommendation is a western dee snaffle perhaps with copper inlay to encourage salivation.
That your self taught is wonderful, but EVERYONE reaches a point that they need outside help. Everone; no matter what level you're at.
Yeah - like I said, I have a knowledgable horse person that I go to for problems, but other than that I just ride with friends and by myself.
OK thanks a bunch! I mainly just wanted to switch bits because of the stories of the TT being really confusing for the horse... What about the sweetwater but? I've heard that it's pretty mild, right?
Wow I read that whole topic by smrobs and it was really awesome! Now I totally understand that the harsher bit isn't meant to make the rider have more control, it's to look like they have the same control with less exaggerated hands! Now I understand the importance of the bit and how to use one CORRECTLY. Hey- I'm learning here. I'm only 13, I've got time. :p
So I think I'm still going to switch, because smrobs also said that she hated the tom thumb, and I think it's the cause of some of Putts's confusion lately - but instead of going harsher, I think I'm going to go with a much milder bit. Perhaps a snaffle, but also maybe along with a Sweetwater?? Because I've read that they are pretty mild for a curb. And I definitely need a curb for showing.
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