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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dontcha hate it when you press 'backspace' and it takes you to the previous page - aka losing all you've already written? :-x

ANYWAY:

I'm after bit advice for my pony who - typically - has a mind of his own.

He likes to 'try it on' to see what he can get away with; this is just general carry on and bucking. He doesn't rear. When we're on the cross country course he will sometimes pull his head forward and down - taking my contact with the bit with him and tugging me forward a little out of the saddle. He will also 'lock' his jaw against the bit, generally when I want him to turn a certain way and he doesn't want to go.

Today on the Cross Country training day we went to he was being a right handful: jig-jogging, bucking, trying to take off, being difficult to stop and grabbing the bit. He settled down after a while but was still 'trying it on'.

He is fine on the Show Jumping and Dressage phases but I'd just like a little more control on the Cross Country.

I currently ride in an eggbutt snaffle but have used a tom thumb in the past. I also use an eventers breastplate with a martingale attachment.

Should I change my bit? I don't really want to use a curb at all as I think that would be too strong for him.

Tom Thumb? Loose ring? D ring? Full cheek? etc.

Any input would be good :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
He's 12.3hh, 14 years old and a Welsh Sect. B Pony

He isn't on any 'hot' feeds or grain - just grass in the paddock or meadow hay when he's in the yard.

He isn't sore anywhere and his saddle fits - he just likes to try see how much his rider will let him get away with.
 

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What kind of noseband do you have on his bridle? A figure 8 noseband can help if he is crossing and locking his jaw. Also, a full cheek bit can help with steering. Personally, I don't think a stonger bit will make any difference. It sounds like he just gets really excited about cross country and is anticipating getting going!

Also, if you try a full cheek bit you could also try it with the little leather bit loops that hold the top of the full cheek bit up and attach to the cheek pieces of the bridle. This can add just a little extra leverage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
What kind of noseband do you have on his bridle? A figure 8 noseband can help if he is crossing and locking his jaw. Also, a full cheek bit can help with steering. Personally, I don't think a stonger bit will make any difference. It sounds like he just gets really excited about cross country and is anticipating getting going!

Also, if you try a full cheek bit you could also try it with the little leather bit loops that hold the top of the full cheek bit up and attach to the cheek pieces of the bridle. This can add just a little extra leverage.
I can't find a figure 8 in my area in pony size.. just in full /:
I might be able to order one if I can convince Dad to hand over the credit card for a few minutes though :lol:

I think I'd also have to order in the full cheek - I can only find them in 5" upwards and Vince takes a 4.5" - would it be worth trying out?

He currently just has a hanoverian noseband without the flash strap on.
 

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Just a note that a Tom Thumb is actually a curb, and a fairly severe bit at that. If you are worried about being too strong for him, Tom Thumb definately falls under that catagory.

I also think that a stronger bit won't help though, and may even worsen the problem. It sounds like more of a training issue to me that if giving you less control. Look up the one-rein stop and practice that with him. It is a sure and fairly safe way to stop him in his tracks if taught correctly. When he gets too excited or tries bucking, force him to engage his mind and take him through a few exercises that make him think. Serpentines, spiral circles, and disengaging his hindquarters are good ways to do this.

I'd also recommend a figure eight noseband though, with either a full cheek or the eggbutt that you're already using. Remember, if your making him think, he has less time to act like an idiot. And that's always a good thing ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a note that a Tom Thumb is actually a curb, and a fairly severe bit at that. If you are worried about being too strong for him, Tom Thumb definately falls under that catagory.

I mean the Australian Tom Thumb :lol:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Look up the one-rein stop and practice that with him. It is a sure and fairly safe way to stop him in his tracks if taught correctly. When he gets too excited or tries bucking, force him to engage his mind and take him through a few exercises that make him think. Serpentines, spiral circles, and disengaging his hindquarters are good ways to do this.
I use the one rein stop when he really won't listen.. it's a little difficult when he locks his jaw though. The serpentines sound good and spiral circles (they'd be leg yielding inwards and then outwards?).

Thanks for the exercise ideas :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kimblewick
Is there a way to regulate the curb action in the Kimberwick?

I read somewhere that the first slot on the Kimberwick was similar to the action of a snaffle, which would make it a little nicer on his mouth than using the second slot. (correct me if I'm wrong - not much knowledge with this bit)
 

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I use the one rein stop when he really won't listen.. it's a little difficult when he locks his jaw though. The serpentines sound good and spiral circles (they'd be leg yielding inwards and then outwards?).

Thanks for the exercise ideas :)
Thats where the figure eight would come in handy. He wouldn't be able to lock up or evade the bit as easily :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went to the local Horseland store today and asked for some advice - she suggested either the Kimberwick or a Thin Mouth Sweet Iron (loose ring).

I went with the snaffle, and will test it out at the event this weekend.

What is the function of the figure 8? How does it work in preventing him from crossing his jaw? :)
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Well because of it's design, it applies light pressure to the chin to remind the horse to keep his mouth closed. If he does open it, the pressure increases and at a certain point before he can actually get it open it just stops the horse all together. At the same time it is applying that same pressure to the cheek bones, working as a sort of 'block' from moving his jaw to either side and thus crossing them :p that paired with the correct bit can help prevent him evading the bit in a number of ways. (I find fuller bits to be better for this but I realize that you do have a fairly strong pony so this may not work for you)

The thin mouth sweet iron may very well be a good choice. If you have one with a french link, that will enable to you work seperately on each side of his mouth for better turning control. The traditional doesn't give you as much control, and it really isn't any stronger than the eggbutt minus the fact that it's thinner, working on a smaller area of the mouth- but he may like the feel of it better.
 
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