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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my horse and I compete in showjumping.
He is a very hot horse who tends to rush towards the fences, ending up jumping them flat and knock the poles on the uprights. He was trained in a semi flexible rubber bit, on the thinner side when he was young.
Thicker bits are out of option, because he will not respect them and I hate the way that single jointed bits work.
My previous trainer told me to ride him in a three ring bit, but the feeling was awfull. We tried a pelham with two reins, but he would go behind the vertical. Gag bits with two reins also didn't work. I am now with another trainer that defends (and I agree) that stronger bits will not solve the problem.
He has two different double jointed bits, a french link snaffle and a Dr. Bristol eggbut. He hates the Dr. Bristol. The french link is okay. I was told to try a waterford bit, a metal mullen mouth or a miller bit.
If it was your horse, what would you try? Oh, and he is also difficult to turn.
 

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Your horse by your description has a lot of holes in his training and those need to be addressed and that will also address how much bit he needs and why.
Is your horse hot or is he rushing because he truly has not been taught correctly how to ride the approach, execute the jump and finish it on landing to balance and ride the next obstacle...
A rushing horse does exactly what you described and people think "hot" and it may not be.:cautious:

Each of those bits you mentioned was designed for a specific purpose and used for a specific reason and they don't necessarily get lumped together of pick one....not if you really understand what each bit is for.
Your trainer should be giving you better guidance in a suitable bit, but more importantly how to fix the issue of why your horse is rushing and jumping flat....no bit is going to fix that, sorry.

Horses though that "He is a very hot horse who tends to rush towards the fences, ending up jumping them flat and knock the poles on the uprights. He was trained in a semi flexible rubber bit, on the thinner side when he was young. " sound more to me they are not "hot" but uneducated.
Going to a stronger or different bit in the mouth is not fixing the holes in his training where he is missing how to do...its band-aiding the situation. At some point, you will run out of bits to ride the "hot" horse in and still be "rushing fences, jumping flat and knocking poles" and still need to back it down to some basics, fixing the holes and then maybe the horse won't be rushing and being "hot" but easier to rate and send down a line of fences with control and listening to you in place.

You need to communicate with the entire horse, not just its mouth....the whole package needs to speak with you...a partnership of communication right now missing.
Right now you are speaking at the horse, not with the horse...there is a huge difference. You are not listening to what he tells you of why he jumps as he does...
There is a layer of education missing on this horse he needs...
Fix his education and bet he doesn't need the heavier iron in his mouth for any other reason than he like the feel and to carry it.
🐴... jmo...
 

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hmm, doesn't turn well? like what? falls in, falls out? resists the hand? stumbles? Is this at the canter you are talking about.?

All f that speaks of balance issues. Would you be interested in doing some dressage lessons with him, working on lateral work? it might help. Also, get his poll joints looked at by a chiro/body worker.

no bit advice from me. You probably know way mmore about bits than I do.
 

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I also think there is something wrong on the training side. Difficult to turn sounds like he has been rushed and advanced too quickly, and/or does not have the strength and balance to use his hind end well. Or else he has a physical problem.

Bit-wise I would probably try a mullen kimberwicke, but only use one rein. Kimberwick bits are such mild curbs you can use contact without worrying about a snaffle rein. But sometimes the curb action can help, especially if he doesn't respond to just upping the snaffle by using a gag bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My advice would be to get a trainer to rehab his mouth. Constantly increasing the aggressiveness of bits is not going end well. There is only so far you can go.
I don't want to use a harsher bit, I want to find a bit that makes him comfortable and relaxed. My trainer rides him twice a week and he is working, alongside with me, to make him lighter in the mouth
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also think there is something wrong on the training side. Difficult to turn sounds like he has been rushed and advanced too quickly, and/or does not have the strength and balance to use his hind end well. Or else he has a physical problem.

Bit-wise I would probably try a mullen kimberwicke, but only use one rein. Kimberwick bits are such mild curbs you can use contact without worrying about a snaffle rein. But sometimes the curb action can help, especially if he doesn't respond to just upping the snaffle by using a gag bit.
Yes, there are a few gaps in his flatwork training. When the former owner saw that he was a terrific jumper, all he did was pratice jumps and takes him to shows to win. My trainer and I are trying to fix this gaps and so far it has been going well. He now can engage his hind end very well, is much more balanced, is able to do counter canter easily, both in a straight line and circles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm, doesn't turn well? like what? falls in, falls out? resists the hand? stumbles? Is this at the canter you are talking about.?

All f that speaks of balance issues. Would you be interested in doing some dressage lessons with him, working on lateral work? it might help. Also, get his poll joints looked at by a chiro/body worker.

no bit advice from me. You probably know way mmore about bits than I do.
Hey,
Yes, he leans on the bit and falls out when doing tight turns in canter. His former owner didn't bother to train him properly. He has a lot of gaps in his flatwork. I had him checked by a chiro and he said that the key to improve is to work a lot on the flat. And that's what my trainer and I have been doing. So far he has improved quite a lot: he engages his hind end much better, his doesn´t fall in or out, way more balanced, very balanced in counter canter in circles and in straight lines. We have been introducing some shoulder in and leg yelds. We tried to teach him the lateral work on the ground first, using two poles on the corner of the arena to get him to go in between them, but he was so confused and got so stressed that we had to give up that strategy. He was really confused, I believe because of the poles. He is a natural born jumper and going with his hands in one side of the pole and his feet on the other messed him up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your horse by your description has a lot of holes in his training and those need to be addressed and that will also address how much bit he needs and why.
Is your horse hot or is he rushing because he truly has not been taught correctly how to ride the approach, execute the jump and finish it on landing to balance and ride the next obstacle...
A rushing horse does exactly what you described and people think "hot" and it may not be.:cautious:

Each of those bits you mentioned was designed for a specific purpose and used for a specific reason and they don't necessarily get lumped together of pick one....not if you really understand what each bit is for.
Your trainer should be giving you better guidance in a suitable bit, but more importantly how to fix the issue of why your horse is rushing and jumping flat....no bit is going to fix that, sorry.

Horses though that "He is a very hot horse who tends to rush towards the fences, ending up jumping them flat and knock the poles on the uprights. He was trained in a semi flexible rubber bit, on the thinner side when he was young. " sound more to me they are not "hot" but uneducated.
Going to a stronger or different bit in the mouth is not fixing the holes in his training where he is missing how to do...its band-aiding the situation. At some point, you will run out of bits to ride the "hot" horse in and still be "rushing fences, jumping flat and knocking poles" and still need to back it down to some basics, fixing the holes and then maybe the horse won't be rushing and being "hot" but easier to rate and send down a line of fences with control and listening to you in place.

You need to communicate with the entire horse, not just its mouth....the whole package needs to speak with you...a partnership of communication right now missing.
Right now you are speaking at the horse, not with the horse...there is a huge difference. You are not listening to what he tells you of why he jumps as he does...
There is a layer of education missing on this horse he needs...
Fix his education and bet he doesn't need the heavier iron in his mouth for any other reason than he like the feel and to carry it.
🐴... jmo...
First of all I do not want to use a heavier bit! He has a lot of gaps in his flatwork. My trainer and I have been working a lot on the flat and so far he has improved quite a lot: he engages his hind end much better, his doesn´t fall in or out, way more balanced, very balanced in counter canter in circles and in straight lines. When it comes to jumping, he is a hot horse. Everytime he sees poles he prances around the arena it's even hard to get him to wait while others are jumping. When I am greeting the judge, he won't stop and, as soon as he hears the bell, he starts to canter right away. I am really sorry, but where I live, part of being a hot horse is when the horses tries to rush the fences. He jumps flat when I am not able to control him soon enough. He is very sensitive. Even a fingertip more loose and he will run towards the fence. He was taught how to ride the approach, otherwise he would not have been able to jump grand prix classes. I understand and know every specific purpose of the bits I mentioned. We just want to find a bit to make him as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We are in a "special" situation. He had four months off and know he is telling me "you either let me go or I will do it my way and it will not end good for you". I know my horse inside out. We have done lots of shows and, even though he his very hot, I can collect him enough in a line to add a stride or take one out. Our main goal is to put the less iron in his mouth, because he also has a large tongue and a low pallate. Right now I am not being able to set the communication with him in order for him to jump in a relaxed way, not take off from underneath the fences or 2 metres before. And he tends to choose the second option, because he is very strong, but it is a dangerous option. Even if he sees that he won't make it, he will not stop or refuse the fence.
 

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Hey,
Yes, he leans on the bit and falls out when doing tight turns in canter. His former owner didn't bother to train him properly. He has a lot of gaps in his flatwork. I had him checked by a chiro and he said that the key to improve is to work a lot on the flat.
Glad the closing of gaps in his flatwork is occurring...
You just unlocked a lot of why you are rushing, jumping flat and hitting poles....training, and the lack of it.
Where he is "lacking" in one he is also going to be lacking the other. Where his prior owner "cheated him" is also showing in his jumping accomplishments.
It is not only flatwork missing but his education in over fences needs attention before you continue to ask high get his basics taught and understood so he learns to use his body correctly will give you a better ride and outcome with less stresses to him and less chance of injury when he uses his body to his and your advantage.

Many years ago I had a horse who could jump the moon... jumper classes of 5'x5' oxer lines but could not do and was frightened of cross-bars and low verticals...less than 24".... I rode equitation and hunters and nothing more than 4' was enough for me, but the horse had it to go higher {just not with me!}
When we started to fill in those enormous gaps in training the horse started to be easier a ride to rate and send down a line of fences... The rushing, the throw of his body stopped and he became a fun scopey ride as I knew he could be, but thanks to the work of my trainer friend he became what we knew he had hidden...
My friend competed him more than I as she was so much better a rider and a great instructor/trainer..he greatly benefited from her astride. ;)
I rode him in flat classes primarily as he was a powerful horse and a bit unpredictable o/f...not so "fun".:cautious:
🐴... jmo...
 

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Sorry, I was typing while you had posted and missed your post #9....😖
So you sit on a horse of caliber to jump 5' high fences and 6' wide spreads is quite a animal and investment you need to protect...
Grand Prix horses are indeed special animals...
I still wouldn't necessarily identify him as "hot" but very forward and he probably knows what he needs to take his rider at when facing the size and breadth of fence.
Point & shoot and if he crashes he crashes..............not fun.

I look at the best jumpers in the world and they arrive in the ring alert but very attentive to their riders cues.
They are forward in their attitude with energy level but they rate and not one of them jumps flat or if they do down went rails as a result.
But they enter the ring obviously seeing and knowing their task next...but they enter on a loose rein, salute the official then reins taken up and they are "revved-up" and away they go...
At end of the course they leave the ring nearly on the rein buckle....relaxed.

Someplace there is a switch mental that needs flipped...filling in those missing gaps may help flip that switch but there are also horses who just love to jump so much they do prance...but they do listen, rate and ride as their gifted rider dictates...

I've never ridden the Grand Prix animal but have taken care of them, many of them during my time.
Special athletes they are but they ride with discipline and need a solid education to be as good as they can achieve.
I also know the horses I took care of did not ride with heavy hardware in severe bits, but actually 2 of them I know rode in French Link....no gags, no twists, nothing usually stronger than a broken mouth snaffle and very occasionally a Pelham so it was a snaffle rein used except if the horse was being belligerent to the rider in warm-up he knew when the bridle bit was switched he was going to be ridden as was needed, not the way he wanted of flat out run....that is just not safe for any.
I take that back...only on flat did I ride and it was to understand the power felt....never would I attempt o/f... I do know my limitations.
I've also ridden some 3rd level dressage horses, just to ride, not train and not to ask of them more than their basics since those upper level advanced maneuvers executed are beyond my ability of finesse...if I erred sitting or bumping them and got something unexpected...it was a :eek: moment.

I still think your trainer should be the one making the bit offerings to the horse since they are handling and training him, it is them who feel the response minuscule to a bit change you may be missing.
Most people here I don't think have ever sat on a Grand Prix jumper and have never felt the power, that kind of motion and striding coiled under them..
I wish you good luck figuring this out.. I would love to see just a picture of you astride doing a competition...such elegance and athleticism is seen.;)
🐴...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry, I was typing while you had posted and missed your post #9....😖
So you sit on a horse of caliber to jump 5' high fences and 6' wide spreads is quite a animal and investment you need to protect...
Grand Prix horses are indeed special animals...
I still wouldn't necessarily identify him as "hot" but very forward and he probably knows what he needs to take his rider at when facing the size and breadth of fence.
Point & shoot and if he crashes he crashes..............not fun.

I look at the best jumpers in the world and they arrive in the ring alert but very attentive to their riders cues.
They are forward in their attitude with energy level but they rate and not one of them jumps flat or if they do down went rails as a result.
But they enter the ring obviously seeing and knowing their task next...but they enter on a loose rein, salute the official then reins taken up and they are "revved-up" and away they go...
At end of the course they leave the ring nearly on the rein buckle....relaxed.

Someplace there is a switch mental that needs flipped...filling in those missing gaps may help flip that switch but there are also horses who just love to jump so much they do prance...but they do listen, rate and ride as their gifted rider dictates...

I've never ridden the Grand Prix animal but have taken care of them, many of them during my time.
Special athletes they are but they ride with discipline and need a solid education to be as good as they can achieve.
I also know the horses I took care of did not ride with heavy hardware in severe bits, but actually 2 of them I know rode in French Link....no gags, no twists, nothing usually stronger than a broken mouth snaffle and very occasionally a Pelham so it was a snaffle rein used except if the horse was being belligerent to the rider in warm-up he knew when the bridle bit was switched he was going to be ridden as was needed, not the way he wanted of flat out run....that is just not safe for any.
I take that back...only on flat did I ride and it was to understand the power felt....never would I attempt o/f... I do know my limitations.
I've also ridden some 3rd level dressage horses, just to ride, not train and not to ask of them more than their basics since those upper level advanced maneuvers executed are beyond my ability of finesse...if I erred sitting or bumping them and got something unexpected...it was a :eek: moment.

I still think your trainer should be the one making the bit offerings to the horse since they are handling and training him, it is them who feel the response minuscule to a bit change you may be missing.
Most people here I don't think have ever sat on a Grand Prix jumper and have never felt the power, that kind of motion and striding coiled under them..
I wish you good luck figuring this out.. I would love to see just a picture of you astride doing a competition...such elegance and athleticism is seen.;)
🐴...
Thank you very much! Yes, it is an animal that needs to be treated differently. The reason why I asked for help was because he sometimes ignores me and my cues on the uprights and knocks the pole. However, when the next upright shows up, he listens and kind of overjumps because he hates when he knocks the poles. I talked to my trainer and I had recentely bought a single jointed snaffle, a thin one because his pallate is very low and he hates thick bits, and my trainer told me to try it on the flatwork lesson. He went wonderfully. Now, it is a matter of being consistent and work on his flaws until we can ask more of him flatwork wise. In my yard I train with 4 other girls and we all have different training plans. Some horses need to jump more, some need more flatwork, to fill gaps and flaws, to enhance communication in a suppe way. We have a girl with a 6 year old horse. He wasn't broken correctly and now, even though he his powerfull he is not able to collect and extend, do small circles or change leads in the canter. He is also quite cold and tends to disconnect from the rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you very much! Yes, it is an animal that needs to be treated differently. The reason why I asked for help was because he sometimes ignores me and my cues on the uprights and knocks the pole. However, when the next upright shows up, he listens and kind of overjumps because he hates when he knocks the poles. I talked to my trainer and I had recentely bought a single jointed snaffle, a thin one because his pallate is very low and he hates thick bits, and my trainer told me to try it on the flatwork lesson. He went wonderfully. Now, it is a matter of being consistent and work on his flaws until we can ask more of him flatwork wise. In my yard I train with 4 other girls and we all have different training plans. Some horses need to jump more, some need more flatwork, to fill gaps and flaws, to enhance communication in a suppe way. We have a girl with a 6 year old horse. He wasn't broken correctly and now, even though he his powerfull he is not able to collect and extend, do small circles or change leads in the canter. He is also quite cold and tends to disconnect from the rider.
Just to add more emphasys to how sensitive he is, before I bought him, he was competing with a high level professional rider. But the rider acknowleged that he would not be happy as a source of profit. He had to be someone's special horse. And that's how I got the chance to buy him. He needs attention, needs a human partner that just doesn't want him to ride and compete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I also think there is something wrong on the training side. Difficult to turn sounds like he has been rushed and advanced too quickly, and/or does not have the strength and balance to use his hind end well. Or else he has a physical problem.

Bit-wise I would probably try a mullen kimberwicke, but only use one rein. Kimberwick bits are such mild curbs you can use contact without worrying about a snaffle rein. But sometimes the curb action can help, especially if he doesn't respond to just upping the snaffle by using a gag bit.
Hey,
Thank you for your comment!
Yesterday, he had a physio session, and he has two contractures in his neck and is a bit sore on the poll area, which I found weird, since I never used any kind of bit or training aid that caused poll pressure. Yes, he was rushed flatwork wise. He competed as 5 year old in July 2014 jumping 50 cm. In may, 2015 he was still five and competed at 1,20 and 1,25 at a show. It was to rushed. My physio taught me how to help him with the contractures. He does have the strenght and the balance. It is also my fault about the turning part. I was not educated on how to properly turn a horse, so when he landed from the jump, I wasn´t able to "gather him up" and turn properly, which made a huge difference. I am now studying and training on developing my education over fences. Yesterday, before I rode him, the physio just did a few small adjustments and he was already a different horse, much more supple.
Bit wise- many people have suggest a mullen kimberwicke with just one rein, but I came to the conclusion that it has little to do with the bit. We need to improve our connection and I am hoping to achieve the stage where I can ride in the same bit, both at home and shows. He does get hotter in the show ring, but I have to work more with my body.
 
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