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Hey there,

I am looking for a new bit for my TB who can get strong and unresponsive at times. I am still in the process of working with her so we can contain those moments, but once in a blue moon she will go back to her old ways and pull my outside arm out of socket馃槀. She is currently in a rubber single jointed pelham and is doing fanatsic. I have just enough control to bring her back and say, "hey, thats not what we are doing", but I want to change the mouthpeice. The rubber bit part is a little too big for her mouth and I can tell she doesn't enjoy it much. I was looking at a waterford pelham, Lozenge Jumper, a simple double jointed pelham, or a myler. Any suggestions?
 

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Something I've noticed amongst the lesson barns in my area is that the myler dee bits with hooks and a low port are ubiquitous amongst the hot, athletic, and sensitive OTTB types. Often these trainers don't use a curb chain, but it certainly can be added if he gets strong doing certain activities or has had some time off.

The nice thing is that these are popular bits. Not only are they easy enough to find used, but they also hold their value if it turns out its not the right bit and want to resell.

Peewee bits are also something I've seen from time to time on strong OTTBs. They seem like they do a good job of getting control, while still being comfortable for the horse. They do however look a bit unconventional, and therefore haven't caught on in popularity.
 

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Um, this probably isn't what you want to hear, but 99% of the time, what we need for strong horses is not a stronger bit that they will eventually habituate to anyway, but more likely to go back in their training and teach them how to better respond. When are you needing a stronger bit? In all work or just a portion of work, for your safety? For jumping?

I can certainly understand the frustration in working with a horse that can get very strong. I've worked with some myself. That being said, all the horses of this kind that I've worked with have had something that needed to be backtracked and worked on. Many of these horses were put in bigger and bigger bits and the issue just became worse and harder to fix. Their go to response in a new situation or when they wanted out was to pull and that needed to be rewired with the basics, starting with groundwork. A stronger bit may help short term, but long-term, a horse will habituate or their response will lessen to the stimulus (bit). That being said, I could see using a stronger bit in a temporary situation (one or two rides) to work on having the horse more responsive, then going back to the old bit shortly after.

I'm not saying that this is your horse, but it is definitely something to think about. As owners, we tend to overlook the training of our own horses in favor of more optimistic perspectives. We prefer quick fixes, but the root of most issues are not a quick fix.

In any case, if you are just looking for a similar bit that is less bulky for your horse, I'd also recommend the myler as they seem to have lots of variation.
 
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