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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently using a jr cowhorse with a three piece dogbone with a copper roller on my gelding. It has a 5.5" shank from top of the purchase to bottom of the shank. He likes this bit. He's a big 17h Morgan thoroughbred cross. He's 6. I've had him since he was a foal; mostly trail riding, playdays but have been actually training on barrels for about three months. I've taken him to two time onlys so far and he gets a bit stronger. His last time only was a 20.311.

I've been doing a bit of reading about having two different bits, one for training and one for actually runs. He seems to be a bit of a free runner but likes to turn for the second barrel a bit early at times. He has a good whoa, back up, turn on the forehand, needs a little bit of work turning on the hind end.

Anyways about the two bits, what is a slight step up from the bit we've been using? Just something with a little more rate and to help me keep him straight that smidge longer into the second barrel so we have that smooth turn?

TIA
 

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Instead of "stepping up" your bit, I suggest you do some dressage training. It will increase your boy's flexibility, muscling, longevity, etc. My friend is a trainer and one of her students benefited from dressage training with her barrel horse. They were US Jr. Champions (not sure if that is the right title!) several years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh ok so you don't suggest two different headstalls? And yes we do lots of "dressage" excercises. I rode English before switching to Western three years go.
 

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Why "rate up"?
Why not "rate down" and put more solid training on him,... before you ask for speed ask for accuracy?

My gf trains at home in a thick snaffle full-cheek to assist with the turns while the horse is learning to wait and listen for a cue...
Full cheek gives the turn assistance and support of keeping him straighter...
But honestly, she could drop her bridle and ride off her legs and seat guidance and maybe not win but place nicely.
I know she runs against some nice competition and wins often by evidence of the belt buckles, saddles and money earned.
She also doesn't run patterns, but breaks down the legs and works only issues...

You also think along the same theory txgirl...
Put the foundation training there. Fill the holes and gaps solidly then turn on the afterburners!!
:runninghorse2:..
 

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I think you can use the same bit. That's the same exact bit I use on my horse who is transitioning from being a head horse to eventually barrel race. Right now we are just working on basic stuff like learning one another and getting her to collect a little more as well as be more aware of her foot placement. Plus lots of long trails rides because she needs to quiet her mind. Work on rate without changing the bit. It will take practice. There are tons of drills and exercises to keep him from shouldering that second barrel as well.

I recently saw a drill that I'm going to practice with my mare eventually. Get them set going around the barrel and then let them go at it at their speed until they drop speed, sort of just like circling the barrel and then you keep your hands steady. It was suggested as something to do with a hot horse, but it may help if your guy doesn't want to rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I totally understand. I've had this horse since he was a foal. I've raise him. He is six now and just starting to actually think of a "career" for him. He was originally going to be my eventing horse when my OTTB got older. Abusing my horse is not what I'm thinking of doing. I think I asked a simple question based on reading about people using different headstalls for different environments/activities. This is my first time posting on this forum and I don't feel like I'm getting the benefit of the doubt on here.
 

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I totally understand. I've had this horse since he was a foal. I've raise him. He is six now and just starting to actually think of a "career" for him. He was originally going to be my eventing horse when my OTTB got older. Abusing my horse is not what I'm thinking of doing. I think I asked a simple question based on reading about people using different headstalls for different environments/activities. This is my first time posting on this forum and I don't feel like I'm getting the benefit of the doubt on here.
I don't think anyone is assuming that you are abusing your horse. I think the consensus by most of us on this forum is that going backwards and resolving the base issue rather than adding equipment is the better way to go. I, too, have heard of people using different equipment for different things and I'm sure many people do, but I'm of the opinion that less is more in terms of equipment. I definitely don't wrap my mare's legs in polo wraps and put on her overreach boots for every single ride because that is unnecessary for many things.

My horse also has issues with being more go than whoa. If you look at my posts, I asked for help with bits and much of the response was similar. I wanted a less bit than her previous owner was riding her in but one that would still give me some stopping power if necessary. Honestly, she almost runs through the current bit at times. However, I am not putting something else in her mouth because I know the issue is a lack of training. We do a lot of riding just in the round pen working on slowing down...she never wants to walk. And we work on a verbal whoa just using my seat and legs without hands at all. I know that once I add speed on a barrel pattern I will have gone back to replace any holes in her training which should mitigate the need for a harsher bit while running allowing me to just keep her in whatever regular bit works best for her.

It's not attacking you at all. It's just a sharing of opinions.
 

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Nobody is attacking you-- but I think you'll do a lot better to address the training issues rather than bitting up. I'd actually suggest going down to a snaffle for training, and using your current bit for competition. It sounds like he needs to be more solid on the pattern before competing or adding speed. If he hasn't been out much, try hauling him to some barrel races and doing 'exhibition only' and trotting or loping the pattern so you can correct him the instant he tries to scotch or turn early rather than trying to hold that shoulder up at a gallop. Most of the gals who do barrels successfully spend a year just hauling and loping the pattern at exhibitions until that horse is 'point and shoot' solid. Then you start asking for speed and those horses will scorch a pattern without bad habits creeping in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll try that thanks! I'll use the snaffle at home and the Jr cowhorse out. I have a d ring with the same copper roller. I've already submitted my dues for three more time onlys this Saturday at a jackpot.
 

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You're so welcome! Really everyone is nice here. And sometimes the advice isn't what you want to hear but what you need to hear is what I have found. I am trying to get my mare down to a snaffle at home as well. She's fine when I ride alone, but if anyone else rides with me then she gets so hot and wants to race them!
 

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Personally I would forget the shank and go with an o ring combo bit. I run my horse in the twisted dogbone o ring combo. The noseband help with control, but the bit itself it not harsh. I do not run with a tie down though.
 

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Personally I would forget the shank and go with an o ring combo bit. I run my horse in the twisted dogbone o ring combo. The noseband help with control, but the bit itself it not harsh. I do not run with a tie down though.
Twisted does not equal not harsh.
Combo bits/Gag action do not equal not harsh.

I would vastly prefer the bit that she is currently running in, than bitting up to your suggestion.
 

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Twisted does not equal not harsh.
Combo bits/Gag action do not equal not harsh.

I would vastly prefer the bit that she is currently running in, than bitting up to your suggestion.
Please tell me how a three piece dogbone bit is harsh. It is not thin, it doesn't pinch as hard due to being three piece, and it's an o ring. So I assume you think a basic twisted snaffle is harsh too? You can make any bit harsh if you want it to be. I would rather run in an o-ring than a shank. Maybe you should see the different types of the combo bits there are, obviously some are harsher than others.

"Reinsman Twisted Snaffle Ring Combiniation Bit

Wonderful for older colts, young horses, or any soft mouthed horse. Contacts the nose first to tuck it, then gently picks up the mouth until the curb tightens for gentle but all over "nose, bars, lips, chin, and face" control. Works exceptionally well with any type martingale or draw reins. 3" Rings. 5" Mouth 3/8" 3-Piece twisted wire with dog bone snaffle."
 

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I'm currently using a jr cowhorse with a three piece dogbone with a copper roller on my gelding. It has a 5.5" shank from top of the purchase to bottom of the shank. He likes this bit. He's a big 17h Morgan thoroughbred cross. He's 6. I've had him since he was a foal; mostly trail riding, playdays but have been actually training on barrels for about three months. I've taken him to two time onlys so far and he gets a bit stronger. His last time only was a 20.311.

I've been doing a bit of reading about having two different bits, one for training and one for actually runs. He seems to be a bit of a free runner but likes to turn for the second barrel a bit early at times. He has a good whoa, back up, turn on the forehand, needs a little bit of work turning on the hind end.

Anyways about the two bits, what is a slight step up from the bit we've been using? Just something with a little more rate and to help me keep him straight that smidge longer into the second barrel so we have that smooth turn?
A Jr. Cowhorse is one of my favorite bits and I use it a lot.

For where you are in your training, I do NOT think you need a competition bit yet. That idea comes from, maybe having a lighter bit for a really ratey horse in a small indoor pen, but having a little bit stronger bit for a big outdoor pen where the barrels are off the fence. That's more where you are going to have the benefit on a FINISHED horse.

If your horse is turning the second barrel too soon, that is NOT a bit problem. That is something you are going to have to control with your seat and legs. Use your inside leg to "hold" your horse and make them wait on your before the initiate the turn. Legs, legs, legs, not bit. That bit is only there to guide them around the turn.

So I would stay with your Jr cowhorse and work on your slow work, and seat/legs.

Personally I would forget the shank and go with an o ring combo bit. I run my horse in the twisted dogbone o ring combo. The noseband help with control, but the bit itself it not harsh. I do not run with a tie down though.

Please tell me how a three piece dogbone bit is harsh. It is not thin, it doesn't pinch as hard due to being three piece, and it's an o ring. So I assume you think a basic twisted snaffle is harsh too? You can make any bit harsh if you want it to be. I would rather run in an o-ring than a shank. Maybe you should see the different types of the combo bits there are, obviously some are harsher than others.
The bit you suggested is NOT a snaffle bit. I know the website says "snaffle" but websites and catalogs are often wrong. There is LEVERAGE on the bit you suggested, the way it connects to the noseband, and it will apply leverage just like a shank will.

Educate yourself better before jumping down ClearDonkey's throat with misinformed statements.

I too would prefer to ride with the smooth mouth dogbone Jr Cowhorse, than what you suggested. I don't like combo bits and I don't like twisted mouthpieces.



 

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Combo bits are a lot harsher than a Jr. Cowhorse. They tend to be popular among the teen crowd on horses that have no business wearing them around here. Most of the horsewomen won't use them because they can confuse signals and shut down a horse's try. I despise twisted wire bits-- even a dogbone is not a gentle bit with a twisted wire mouthpiece. A twisted wire bit of any type, even a plain snaffle (which the combo bit is not) is pretty high up there on the 'harsh' scale and should only be used by expert riders in very specific situations, and then only for one or two rides before switching back to something milder. A twisted wire mouthpiece used regularly will ruin a horse's mouth.
 

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Please tell me how a three piece dogbone bit is harsh. It is not thin, it doesn't pinch as hard due to being three piece, and it's an o ring. So I assume you think a basic twisted snaffle is harsh too? You can make any bit harsh if you want it to be. I would rather run in an o-ring than a shank. Maybe you should see the different types of the combo bits there are, obviously some are harsher than others.

"Reinsman Twisted Snaffle Ring Combiniation Bit

Wonderful for older colts, young horses, or any soft mouthed horse. Contacts the nose first to tuck it, then gently picks up the mouth until the curb tightens for gentle but all over "nose, bars, lips, chin, and face" control. Works exceptionally well with any type martingale or draw reins. 3" Rings. 5" Mouth 3/8" 3-Piece twisted wire with dog bone snaffle."
Here is a picture of the bit in question. That bit can move upwards in the horses by 2+ inches, putting enormous pressure on the bars of the mouth and the poll. This bit is no an O-ring, and it is an elevator bit. Call it what you want, but this definitely is NOT a bit for young horses especially. Pair it with a martingale or draw reins...borderline cruel.

I must ask after seeing your responses on many of the barrel racing threads, claiming to be self-taught... What are your credentials?

I train for the public. I teach clinics to the public. I teach private lessons. I train problem horses. I carry state titles. What do you do?

I also posted a picture of the combination bit I prefer to use, notice it has 1/4" of travel room in the horses mouth compared to the 2"+ that you posted. Notice how the mouthpiece is smooth, with tongue clearance. Dogbone mouthpieces are good too, when they are smooth. I have nothing against combination bits that are appropriate. The one you posted, is not.
 

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A Jr. Cowhorse is one of my favorite bits and I use it a lot.

For where you are in your training, I do NOT think you need a competition bit yet. That idea comes from, maybe having a lighter bit for a really ratey horse in a small indoor pen, but having a little bit stronger bit for a big outdoor pen where the barrels are off the fence. That's more where you are going to have the benefit on a FINISHED horse.

If your horse is turning the second barrel too soon, that is NOT a bit problem. That is something you are going to have to control with your seat and legs. Use your inside leg to "hold" your horse and make them wait on your before the initiate the turn. Legs, legs, legs, not bit. That bit is only there to guide them around the turn.

So I would stay with your Jr cowhorse and work on your slow work, and seat/legs.



The bit you suggested is NOT a snaffle bit. I know the website says "snaffle" but websites and catalogs are often wrong. There is LEVERAGE on the bit you suggested, the way it connects to the noseband, and it will apply leverage just like a shank will.

Educate yourself better before jumping down ClearDonkey's throat with misinformed statements.

I too would prefer to ride with the smooth mouth dogbone Jr Cowhorse, than what you suggested. I don't like combo bits and I don't like twisted mouthpieces.



First off, I never said it was a snaffle bit. I just posted straight from the description and that is what they called it. I know the difference. I asked if they thought a basic snaffle was harsh. Two, it's still not harsh, and I will never agree that it's harsh. It's just enough when I need it, which isn't very often because I don't have to correct my horse much at all. I've considered switching bits due to this anyways, but I don't see why I can't advise OP what worked for me. I just haven't found what bit I want to switch to.
 

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Here is a picture of the bit in question. That bit can move upwards in the horses by 2+ inches, putting enormous pressure on the bars of the mouth and the poll. This bit is no an O-ring, and it is an elevator bit. Call it what you want, but this definitely is NOT a bit for young horses especially. Pair it with a martingale or draw reins...borderline cruel.

I must ask after seeing your responses on many of the barrel racing threads, claiming to be self-taught... What are your credentials?

I train for the public. I teach clinics to the public. I teach private lessons. I train problem horses. I carry state titles. What do you do?

I also posted a picture of the combination bit I prefer to use, notice it has 1/4" of travel room in the horses mouth compared to the 2"+ that you posted. Notice how the mouthpiece is smooth, with tongue clearance. Dogbone mouthpieces are good too, when they are smooth. I have nothing against combination bits that are appropriate. The one you posted, is not.
I'm not sure what "credentials" you're talking about. I never claimed that I have taught anyone. No offense, but I really don't care you have state titles. I'm friends with some very experienced racers that would have different opinions than you. It's barrel racing, people with horses generally have all kinds of totally different opinions. What works for you may not work for someone else. Once again though, not sure what you mean by credentials. I never claimed to be a professional because I'm not. I'm sharing what worked for me, and that bit worked for my horse and I and we do not do terrible either. I'm not the type that's in the horses mouth all the time. He doesn't need much correction at all, this bit is just there at this point. He knows his job now and I can stay out of his mouth, so once again, I'm sharing what worked for me. Plus I've been considering switching bits anyways, but I do not know what I want to switch to, but that bit helped me get to this point, so I shared.
 

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First off, I never said it was a snaffle bit. I just posted straight from the description and that is what they called it. I know the difference. I asked if they thought a basic snaffle was harsh.
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If you didn't intend to call it a snaffle bit, then I would advise you to be more clear and precise in your descriptions. You talk about an "O ring" and a "snaffle bit" seemingly interchangably in your post; plus the vast majority of folks will use the term "O ring snaffle" which is where your post gets very confusing.



Plus, you told the OP to "ditch the shank" when you did not understand that the bit you posted realistically functions as a shank.



It's just enough when I need it, which isn't very often because I don't have to correct my horse much at all. I've considered switching bits due to this anyways, but I don't see why I can't advise OP what worked for me. I just haven't found what bit I want to switch to.

If it's working for you, why do you want to switch?


It's pretty hard to make a general recommendation for a different bit, when you haven't followed up on my questions to your previous threads, nor posted a video. It's much easier to suggest something when you can see the horse working, and know exactly what issues/problems the rider is trying to address.
 
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