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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My horse is a former ranch/games horse from what I know of his history. I'm transitioning him into English since he moves like an English horse and has taken to jumping and dressage much more than anything western. He takes up contact well and rounds his back well - but only in a western curb with the leverage of the curb action and the chin chain.



I've tried him in a single jointed baucher - which he proceeded to hold with his teeth and pull with all his might. I've had him in a myler with hooks and chin chain which does give him a little more comfort and he likes it better, but still doesn't round like the western curb. The next step is to try a pelham with double reins so I can ride off the snaffle and only use the curb for a little reminder every once in awhile.



I know I can jump and do open shows in the double reins with the pelham. But what about dressage? Any advice?


EDIT: I don't think he was every started in a snaffle in his life. And when I say he rounds with the western bit, I mean you barely have to pick up the reins and apply a little leg and he's perfect. I hardly need anything to get him to round up off the curb bit. With the Myler with hooks, you have to use a ton of leg plus more rein contact and everything to get him to even THINK about rounding.
 

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there must be more difference between these two bits than just that one has shanks and the other doesn't.


Consider the mouthpiece. Your curb bit is a ? low port solid mouthpiece? dogbone jointed? what?


and, consider the thickness of the mouthpiece. I've seen people say, "oh, it's a single jointed, hollow thick mouthpiece. It's gentle" Not if it's so fat that it's making the horse feel like he's choking. Not if it's pulled up so high in his mouth that he is being gagged by it.


there is more to consider than the shanks.


When you do ride in the shanked curb bit, do you ride one handed (neck reining), or do your direct rein?
 

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Additionally, having a horse round up is not necessarily what you'd be looking for in dressage. Sometimes people have what they feel is a nice , collected horse, when what they really have is a horse that is curled behind the bit, either racing through it, or leaning heavily on the front end.





 

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Discussion Starter #4
there must be more difference between these two bits than just that one has shanks and the other doesn't.


Consider the mouthpiece. Your curb bit is a ? low port solid mouthpiece? dogbone jointed? what?


and, consider the thickness of the mouthpiece. I've seen people say, "oh, it's a single jointed, hollow thick mouthpiece. It's gentle" Not if it's so fat that it's making the horse feel like he's choking. Not if it's pulled up so high in his mouth that he is being gagged by it.


there is more to consider than the shanks.


When you do ride in the shanked curb bit, do you ride one handed (neck reining), or do your direct rein?

The curb and the baucher have the same single jointed width mouthpiece. I do direct rein in the curb, but with a looser rein than with a snaffle.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Additionally, having a horse round up is not necessarily what you'd be looking for in dressage. Sometimes people have what they feel is a nice , collected horse, when what they really have is a horse that is curled behind the bit, either racing through it, or leaning heavily on the front end.






When I say "round up," I'm attempting to articulate the feel of him rounding his back and not riding like a hollow, way above the bit giraffe. He actually engages his hindquarters.
 

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My western-trained horses always went well in a Kimberwicke or pelhap with a ported mouthpiece for English classes-- it was similar to what they were used to and they went well in it.
 
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