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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have hunted my pony for the last two and half seasons and really enjoyed it, he's a Connemara that I used to event on. He is the perfect gentleman standing still/good manners etc and will jump anything, the only problem is when cantering/galloping out hunting he is super fast and turns into a giraffe with his head in the air and lacks breaks, this is only a problem as I have problems staying behind the field master. I currently ride him in a straight bar fixed snaffle, but I need more control, the only thing is he's just awkward to slow down rather than a strong tank and so don't won't to overbit. Any suggestions?
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the bit is not the issue. This is a training issue. The horse would eventually find a way to evade and run through any bit you switch to. He must be worked with and trained to listen to your cues even at speed, when he is hot and pumped full of adrenalin. Most folks with similar issues don't want to hear that, but is the truth

good luck
 

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Honestly... Out hunting most horses love it so much they utterly forget their manners. Take my mum's horse.. She goes hunting every season, and her horse Percy is PERFECT. I mean out and out bombproof. Out hunting though, he's a different story entirely, because he likes it so much. Here in Ireland, its extremely rare for a horse to not turn into a total nutter. Really, if a horse is perfect every where else, I'm inclined to leave it. The connies are strong little brats, and love hunting especially. If I were you, I would hold on tight, and hope for the best. He will pull up when the others do.
 

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I agree, your training is the problem. Get him stopping on a dime on the lightest aides possible, voice and seat, in the arena. The get him stopping on trail. Then start increasing the speed like its no big deal. Until he is stopping and under control I'd quit hunting him since he just keeps getting away with the behavior.
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I understand how strong a horse can become when out with the field. And I understand having to stay behind the hunt master.

Have you tried another type of snaffle? And what about putting him in a double or Pelham for hunts, only using the curb to slow? Many of the polo horses I ride go in a Pelham (one mare wears a double bridle) and I only use the curb to check them up to avoid fouling another horse. These same horses can be ridden and exercised in a snaffle, low port curb, or even a halter. It's just during the games that they get strong.
 

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I hunted in a vulcanite mullen mouth snaffle a few times, years ago, and had a similar problem in that the horse is so comfortable with the bit he can just ignore it.

Use a running martingale? If not, that might give an extra degree of control especially if you adjust it so it's shorter than usual (ie so it puts pressure on the reins a little before the angle of control is lost, about 30 degrees to the vertical). And make sure you use rein stops as catching a ring on a billet can cause a major accident at speed.

Alternatively, you could try a jointed snaffle. The extra pressure might do the job. In all this it's trying to make enough difference to avoid loss of control without going overboard with equipment.

I'd tend to ignore the 'schooling' thing. Promoters mean well and are generally correct, but horses are horses and hunting is EXCITING!!!

Best of luck :)
 

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Out hunting training often goes out the window. I would be trying a kimblewick or a Pelham with a straight bar same as his current bit with two reins (with this you can always just ride on the snaffle rein:))
 

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I know about horses getting excited and tuning you out, but I can't emphasize enough that your horse needs more training and to listen better. When you are hunting and the horse learns his skill and starts making his own decisions, you'll probably be ok. With MY old sport, CW Reenacting, my horses HAD to listen despite being excited bc we used black powder in pistols, carbines and cannons, ALL of which can injure at close distances. One pound of black powder is enough to blow up a house. We used smaller amounts in our pistols, but the cannons were sometimes double-loaded. ALSO, the infantry sometimes marched and "fought" with bayonets, which, like sabers are always "loaded."
Perhaps we get excited knowing that our horses are enjoying our sport as much as we do, so we overlook this. =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the bit is not the issue. This is a training issue. The horse would eventually find a way to evade and run through any bit you switch to. He must be worked with and trained to listen to your cues even at speed, when he is hot and pumped full of adrenalin. Most folks with similar issues don't want to hear that, but is the truth


good luck

Thanks for the advice, I do realise there's obviously an underlying training problem, but since the only time he does it is out hunting it's going to take a while to establish better manners and discipline, so was only wandering if there's a bit out there that would make life easier, on both me and to help save his mouth from constant pulls until I've ironed out this problem.
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Out hunting training often goes out the window. I would be trying a kimblewick or a Pelham with a straight bar same as his current bit with two reins (with this you can always just ride on the snaffle rein:))
Thank you for your suggestions! I tried a kimblewick on Saturday and I've already seen a massive improvement! He now doesn't chuck his head in the air, giving me more breaks! Can't believe how well it's worked - plus he seems quite content in it, thank you!
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I don't hunt/ jump, so I don't have advise as to training but I have had this issue with cow horses who want to haul tail when cattle get uppity.
 

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"Upgrading" your bit will only work for so long. What happens when he stops listening to that? Maybe people who show will use a "stronger" bit, but it's not for control. It for refinement of cues. I could show (or trail ride) my mare the same in a rope halter as a could in a snaffle or in a medium port with a 7" shank.
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As other posters who have hunted have said, when a horse is hunting all other training can go out of the window. The only way to cure your horse of this is to up-bit him, and then take him, take him, and take him again.

I'm glad the kimblewick worked, I was going to suggest you try something with some poll action. You may find that this is the bit for you, or you may find that after a couple of times out in it he works out how to evade it - and then you might want to try something else.

There is a useful UK online shop called thehorsebitshop.co.uk that has great explanations of how bits work, together with the opportunity to try them out. It is a useful learning resource even if you don't get anything from them.
 
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