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Must have bits

6755 Views 72 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  ClearDonkey
I love discussion that revolve around bits because there is so much to learn about them.

The discussion I want to get started, is what are bits that you keep in your "every day" tack locker that you find is great to keep on hand hen working with horses? And why is it that you've chosen to keep it in your daily/regular use bin? Maybe mention what discipline(s) you're into.
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Question: why would a horse choose a double jointed over a single jointed, barring mouth conformation?
Horses ridden on contact do well in double jointed bits, and why they are more common in an English riding program
The basic bit in which young horses are started, western, is a single jointed snaffle
There is also the common practice to use one wrinkle, English, while good western training programs work at teaching that horse to carry the bit

Many give the single jointed snaffle a nut cracker effect, but that one happens if you use more hands then they are intended to have used, or, using both reins equally,pulling straight back

That does not mean if someone wants to use a double jointed snaffle, western it is wrong, just explaining as to why many great training programs get along great with a well made single jointed snaffle
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Well, it is understood to me, JMO, when talking of snaffles, western, it is assumed a legal snaffle mouth piece , as used in any judged events, thus,even a twisted mouth piece is not legal,let alone some torture devise,.
I also don't consider bicycle chain mouth pieces, when talking of curbs, as used by some gymkhana people, where 'anything goes, far as bits
When speaking of curbs (any bit with shanks ), one also has to decide far as discipline, and how that bit is used.
Western, a curb is a bit a horse 'graduates to, once he can be ridden on a loose rein, one handed, for increased signal and finesse. So, if discussing any bit, leverage over non leverage, ridden with contact, or, on a loose rein, as ;signal bit, has to be part of the discussion.
For instance, put a Spade bit , in the mouth of an un educated hrose,not trained to the level to be ridden in a Spade, or in the hands of someone who has no business riding with a Spade bit, and that bit could be a torture.In the hands of a person qualified to ride with a Spade,and horse that has gone through the Vaquero training program, it becomes an ultimate tool for a light 'Bridle hrose'
Even so, according to Ed Corrnel, when a horse was first up in a SpADE,and ridden out to work some cattles, many old Vaqueros had a snaffle bridle tied on the back of their saddle, in case they had to take hold of that horse, working those cattle
Any tool used incorrectly, is not going to work as it is designed to
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oKay, if I was not showing, only could have one bit, it would be a single jointed snaffle, with sleeves, sweet iron, with copper inlay
If showing, a horse older then five, that horse would need to move on to a curb, thus number two bit would be a transition type of bit, that has just a little bit of curb action, and can still be direct reined if needed
Ie, single jointed mouth, loose jawed short shanks

Third would be a curb with a port. A basic one would have a wide port with lots of tongue relief and medium or low port, far as height

From there on in, there are many designs of curbs, that just give a little extra finesse, or certain events, so I buy quite a few, but could do without these 'extra curbs. I am kinda drawn to collecting bits, like some women collect shoes, even though they mainly wear just a few of those pairs of shoes!

I don't know how to upload pictures directly from a sale site, so will need to post links
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Bit # 1. Something like this , only with copper inlay also

Bit # 2, that I use when first moving up from a snaffle

Bit # 3
Something along this line

Now, if in the original question<i am allowed to have more then three bits, there would be at least one more bit between 2 and 3

Something like this

I would probably also throw in a curb with a roller, or a cricket for horses that like them, esp in events where they get some nervous energy
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Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
When you pull the reins, there is less of a pinching action (nutcracker effect) with a double-jointed because of the positive width of the middle piece. Just take either bit, put your finger in the middle, and squeeze the outer parts together...

The parts of a snaffle should not be squeezed together like that-that is the entire point!

I except this explanation, with a single jointed snaffle, used as it is English, or used in correctly western, but the fact remains, it is the bot used in western training programs, one I have used on over 100 colts, one people like Bob Avila stake they have won hundreds of thousands of futurity dollars with, and a bit he finds 98% of horse like.
There Is NOT nut cracker in a signal jointed snaffle, adjusted and used correctly, western.
I agree there well could be, riding English with constant contact, so perhaps not the best choice there.
Bits can only work correctly, if they are used correctly

If interested, there is a good video by CA, why so many horses 'have to be in the lead', or they act up, and how to fix it.
Far as bracing against the bit, and trying to use something like a one rein stop, won't work, if not done correctly, nor the hrose first taught the lightness and response, including that giving in the face and poll
How ell they can bend themselves, rubber neck, has nothing to do with being able to use body control, able to take the head away correctly, able to disengage the motor, able to not let ahorse brace, by not providing a steady pull ,for him to be able to do so.
Again, those spooking videos by Larry Trocha show these concepts better then words alone
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