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I'm fairly new to the gaming world, but my Arab mare goes in a french link loose ring snaffle and always will. I intend my Paint to always go in a snaffle as well. I think that if you're requireing a harsh bit, then proper training hasn't been done. I don't think barrel horses should be jazzed up uncontrollable airheads who only know how to run a pattern.
 

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^^Agreed. I think the bit should correspond with the level of training of both horse and rider. Typically I like to see a greener horse in an easier bit, so as not no hurt its mouth should something go wrong. The more experienced the rider and horse team the more finesse you can ask for, this is where you get into curbs and gags. A very experienced and light handed rider can use just about any bit on any horse, but IMO, in the gaming world, those are few and far between.

I personally have used eggbutt snaffles, medium port curbs, french link curbs, loose ring snaffles, and a rope hackamore once or twice. It all depends on how I am feeling and what I think a horse can go well in. IMO my level of training is not high enough for me to use anything that could be harsher than a meduim port curb, I am very light handed, but I do not want to risk grabbing a horse in the mouth should something happen.
 

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It depends on which horse I am riding. Generally I'm riding Jester, and I just use a snaffle on him.....or even just a halter. However on Annie, I'd use a curb. It depends on how your horse responds.
 

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I ride all my barrel horses in the million dollar bit. I love the bit, and I see more flex come out of my animals when I run them in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
THIS million dollar bit?? do you have a pic of it on ur horse so i can see how it looks? it looks kinda harsh! but it could be just all the chains...
 

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^^ If you use this bit you're horse should be very very well broke. You should be a very very good rider also. If you have to balance on the reins or have problems keeping your feet in the stirrups then don't use this bit.
 

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i used to run my horse in a curb bit but switched her to a snaffle.she doesnt do very well in a snaffle so im looking for a lil bit harsher bit as she kinda ignores the snaffle sometimes.what about a micmar bit???
 

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i used to run my horse in a curb bit but switched her to a snaffle.she doesnt do very well in a snaffle so im looking for a lil bit harsher bit as she kinda ignores the snaffle sometimes.what about a micmar bit???

I wouldnt go necessarily harsher if she wont go in a snaffle...she should be able to with no problem at all. Start from the beginning again, starting off with a walk and work your way up. Dont push her until she has mastered being able to be soft in supple in a lower gait before moving on to the next.

Anyways...I dont show barrels professionally, but I have just done the basic pattern for 4-H and small fun shows. Uusually, I run my mare in a basic rawhide hackamre with short curved shanks or a basic tom thumb.
 

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I'm fairly new to the gaming world, but my Arab mare goes in a french link loose ring snaffle and always will. I intend my Paint to always go in a snaffle as well. I think that if you're requireing a harsh bit, then proper training hasn't been done. I don't think barrel horses should be jazzed up uncontrollable airheads who only know how to run a pattern.


VERY well said!!

Training, not gadgets....especially painful gadgets.
 

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I wouldnt go necessarily harsher if she wont go in a snaffle...she should be able to with no problem at all. Start from the beginning again, starting off with a walk and work your way up. Dont push her until she has mastered being able to be soft in supple in a lower gait before moving on to the next.
Agreed. Your horse should be respectful of any bit you place in its mouth before you even think about an event as high tension as barrel racing.

And to the op, I think that bit, in the right hands, is not any more harsh than a plain snaffle bit.
 

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Actually...the "million dollar bit" isnt a very severe bit... granted, in inexperienced hands it is... but what tool isnt.

Lets break it down, mmk?
While it has a longer shank, it's not only swept back more than most curb bits, it also has relief in the gag action. The mouth peice is a dog bone, giving a break so that the pressure applied to the roof of the mouth is far more mild than the "nut cracker" effect that a simple broken mouth peice possesses. The nose band is a personal preferance. Basically applies pressure over the nose with rein pressure.
It's not a bad bit, BUT it is a bit that inexperienced riders tend to gravitate towards because of it's popularity.

I"m a firm believer that big bits ARE OK... the deal is, the horse needs the training to back it up. The more bit you have, the less "riding" you should do. If you HAVE to put a heavy bit in a horses mouth to ride, then something is off. A simple snaffle is your best friend. It's a great go to bit for any horse, any dicipline, at any time.

I personally love my 0-ring snaffles. From there, a good bump up bit is the sixes bit.
 

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You can believe what you want about the severity of that bit. Two thin pieces of wire twisted together will never find its way into any horse I train or any student training with me. There is no way that could even sit on a horse's bars without repercussions, IMO.
 

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You can believe what you want about the severity of that bit. Two thin pieces of wire twisted together will never find its way into any horse I train or any student training with me. There is no way that could even sit on a horse's bars without repercussions, IMO.
You do realize that that bit isnt limited to a twisted wire, right? What if it was available in smooth mouth peices?

Even on the topic of twists... Larger twists arent severe, they simply get the horse's attention more. Now, the smaller the twist, the more severe. I'm not a fan of a small twist...mostly because Im able to get my horse to do what I want in a larger one, a copper covered, or a smooth mouth peice. What about a square one? I've found them to be FAR more severe with a lot more bite than a twist. Have you had experience with any?

Anyhow, it is what it is. Back to the subject of barrel racing bits... lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
it sems like everything ANYONE posts on here anymore SOMEHOW turns into a fight. its ridiculous.
maybe Allison Finch and I just dont like the look of that bit, maybe we like things more simple and not looking like some contraption instead of a bit.
please everyone on here needs to just cool down. im really not liking how everyone just looks for a fight.

VB
 

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I just use a snaffle for them all except Spirit. She goes in a tomb thumb for now because it's all I have around, and plus she will only neckrein and needs some leverage.
 
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