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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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Going to a harsher bit will not fix your problems. Once he gets hardened to that bit, you're going to have to go with something even more harsh. Instead, look at hiring a trainer to teach you how to make him more responsive to your aids.
Personally, I really dislike Tom Thumb bits, and it could be that your horse doesn't like them either. They're actually a fairly harsh bit.
If you haven't yet, go check out Smrobs' post, "will your horse listen to your bit?" - if you can't find it, let me know and I'll send it to you.
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.
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I'm really not sure what to tell you. I would suggest going back to a western D type bit, and working with a trainer that can teach you how to ride from your seat and leg, not your hand. That is, unfortunately, too in-depth to teach online.
My rule of thumb: if you're in a curb, you ride with seat and leg, and neck-rein; you don't use the bit much at all. Until then, stay in a snaffle.
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