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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a really good horse that usually listens to leg pressure but the stop does not come easy. I would like to go on trail rides and i dont want to harsh of a bit. Could a curb bit be the one to use. I have used a snaffle and it worked just not like i hoped. I am pretty sure she has been in a curb bit with her previous owner. Should I try a curb bit or something else?

she is very calm and trained to be slow but can be stubborn at times.
 

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curb bits magnify the pressure you apply. ,so if you chose to use one, you need to remember to not yank as hard on it as you may have with the snaffle. If you do chose to put the mare in a curb, try it out in the arena first.

there's other ways to build "brakes" in a hrose, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have ridden horses in curb bit before so i know how to use them correctly. I just dont know if this is the right choice or not.
 

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I don't ride in a curb, though I have. For me, if the hrose isn't stopping well, then I usually feel that as a stiffness in the body and thus in the mind.

I would want to work with the horse in the arena to improve the stop, in the snaffle, by doing a lot of lateral work, and getting the horse to accept the bit and soften to it, and follow it , from side to side.

I would work on a one rein stop at the walk. this helps to get the horse a bit more supple and to cue into the raising of one rein to mean "get ready to stop".
 

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If you are questioning it, I would have to say no, sorry. As a quick fix, it will work, but only for a short while and then where do you go? To a harsher bit? It's a vicious cycle until you can train your horse to stop on a loose rein.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i was just wondering if a curb bit is a bit that is good to go trail riding in. i usually use a snaffle and i haven't tried anything else i just need another opinion about trail riding with curb bit.
 

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Trail riding is riding, you can use any bit you & your horse usually ride in. I have trail rode up & down mountains, through thick forests and on roads from a bosal to everything to a cathedral curb, makes no difference as long as the horse is responding to it and is comfortable packing it. What I am saying is you don't go to a leverage bit until your horse can stop on a loose rein with a snaffle.
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If your horse responds well to poll pressure, then a good curb or gag bit will work better than a snaffle. If your horse doesn't care about poll pressure, then a snaffle will be fine. Two of my horses use snaffles, and one uses a curb.

That said, a curb works like any other properly used bit - for communication. It won't make your horse stop faster, but may communicate the idea of slow down better for some horses. The one horse I use with a curb is more relaxed when she is ridden with one. Let your horse tell you which bit is right by seeing how your horse listens, relaxes and responds.

Regardless of which bit you use, I suggest making perfect stops a priority. Insist on every stop being made quickly - not a sliding stop, but one made with honest effort - to four squared up feet with no fidgeting. Perfect stops = 60-90 seconds of rest. Imperfect stops mean more work.

In the end, what will stop an excited horse is a HABIT of response. You want your horse to think "stop = heaven". And you want your horse to have done so many hundreds and thousands of perfect stops that the cue to stop - be it with one rein or two - becomes pure instinct. STOP needs to replace RUN as their instinctive reaction to fear.

My mare taught me to be open to the idea of curb bits. She is also teaching me that curb bits are still about communication, not power or force.

If what I wrote doesn't apply to you, feel free to disregard. No offense is intended, and I'm not any kind of great rider myself. Good luck!
 
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