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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
While I appreciate your energy, is all of this work yours? If not, be sure you give credit to the original writers/ photographers.
Yes, all was written by me, with the exception of a few short excerpts in the double bridle and bosal segments, which were written by friends of mine and incorporated to fit the feel of rest of the work. The photos were procured via a Google image search; most are stock images from online tack store catalogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Bought a new bit today!



Well, they only had it in a twisted dogbone mouthpiece, which I wasn't thrilled about, but I wanted the shank so bad I bought it anyway. If it works the way I think it will, it's going to have all the benefits of an Argentine snaffle-type shank, plus the added benefit of the "feel" from the bottom ring, which should allow very subtle cues from the reins to be transmitted via tiny vibrations. I sure won't put snap reins on it--I'll have to use tie-ons, and heavy ones, at that.
 

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I have a horse with a very soft mouth. He's very responsive. He doesn't like a tight rein and will toss his head if you are heavy handed with him. What kind of bit do you recommend for him? I am using a Tom Thumb, and I now realize that may be part of the head tossing problem, so what do you think I should do?
 

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I have a horse with a very soft mouth. He's very responsive. He doesn't like a tight rein and will toss his head if you are heavy handed with him. What kind of bit do you recommend for him? I am using a Tom Thumb, and I now realize that may be part of the head tossing problem, so what do you think I should do?
Switch to 3 link snaffle with copper or sweet iron (with some taste in it) to give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I'd check his teeth first to make sure that it's not a pain issue. And then, yeah, wouldn't hurt to go to a snaffle, if he'll respond to it. Otherwise, a short-shanked curb bit with a three-piece mouth will be similar to what he's used to, but softer at the same time.
 

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This piece is amazing! I truly wish I had discovered this before while researching bits. They have all changed so dramatically in the past 20 years, I was at a loss. Thanks for this; it gives me something to look back on when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I've never used one, but my understanding is that they are plastic-coated metal, correct? Pretty hard? Flavored, or not?

I've had good luck with rubber or plastic composite bits--with no metal interior--in the past. If you have a chewy horse, he'll gnaw through it over time, and with hard plastic, that can create sharp edges. The key is to make sure that the mouthpiece isn't too thick, because usually it is considerably thicker than a metal bit's. I don't think that HM bits are any "gentler" than metals bits, but rubber ones are due to their give and flex. But if your horse for some reason hates metal, I suppose it's worth experimenting. Some people swear by them.
 

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Thanks. Yeah I think they are plastic coated.
I've inquired about bits for my weird to fit/unhappy with bits horse in the past, right now I am using a training bit on him that is similar to a pelham, but that is a whole lot of rein going on. Training Bit (Rollerbit) - $76.95 - Tellington TTouch Training

He seems to like the roller.
He is definitely chewy/chompy.
He had some bad experiences with snaffles and pretty much refuses to take them. I am working with him, but I don't know what I am going to do at this point. I thought about a Happy Mouth, but I am pretty sure he will just destroy it.
His previous owner said she had a Billy Allen bit he liked, but she didn't specify exactly which one. She offered to sell it to me, but then I never heard back from her. /shrug

I guess I will keep playing and see.
 

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Have you considered bitless?
I have! My mom has a rope bitless bridle I am going to try on him.
His previous owner said "Oh dear god no, no bitless bridle", but I think she was more afraid of him than I am.
 

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I posted this on the open forum and got some replies, but not really the ones i was looking for. I was directed to post the question here and see what you had to say Bubba.

My 6-year old daughter has a quarter horse that has ran off with her and is unresponsive to her efforts in trying to stop him. He is a little barn sour and we've been working with him on that and he's gotten much better. Here's what happened: We were on our way back to the barn when her horse started trying to trot. I told her to hold him back. Well, he totally ignored her and took off in a run. My daughter held on for dear life but was unable to stay on when he jumped a ditch. She fell off and scraped up her chin pretty bad. After that, my husband, his brother, and I all took turns riding this horse away and back to the barn, stopping him several times in between and making him stand still. This has worked wonders on the barn sour issue.

She has since started riding him again. She has overcame her fear of him and they are working much nicer together. But, he still doesn't listen to her completely. We've been using a tom thumb bit on him, and he just plows right through it like he doesn't feel it in his mouth. I don't think my daughter is strong enough to actually make the tom thumb as rough as some people say it is. Then I used my brother-in-law's bit that he uses on his roping horse. It got a much better response with the horse. I personally do not like the way this bit looks, but it seems to work with my daughter's horse.

Does anyone have any suggestions before I purchase this bit? I'll include a picture. It's called a Chrome Plated - 5" Copper Spade Mouth with Roller, 9" Loose Cheeks, Slobber Bar. "Ride-on" Curb Bit it's the second one from the bottom. I want your honest opinion on this bit and also any suggestions on a different bit that would work for my daughter and her horse. He responds fine with an adult, and he does need a bit of a heavy hand, my daughter just isn't strong enough to use a light bit.

Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-equipment/6-year-old-child-runaway-horse-90334/#ixzz1QgMjighE
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·


The bit isn't really all that harsh with a forgiving hand. It's got quite a bit of leverage, but no rough spots and a little tongue relief. When you're loose on the reins, it'll just sit there without bothering the horse, and there's no chance for pinching. It's a bit that's meant to be neck-reined only, never direct-reined. With an educated adult riding the horse, there'd be no issue.

The problem is that, as a 6-year-old, she probably doesn't have the most refined hands. She'll be pulling when she's not supposed to be, and giving unclear signals, etc. The flip side is that she's likely not strong enough to actually hurt the horse, even pulling full force, and it's not a bit that you can jerk on and do damage, unlike some chain mouthpieces (which a lot of kids' horses are ridden in, for the same reason: control).

The bottom line? Her safety is more important. If the horse responds well to this bit, and this bit only, then use it. Keep working with your daughter on using subtler cues to control the horse. Keep the horse tuned up and responsive by having adults ride him occasionally with a good hand on the reins. Make sure, if you haven't already, that his teeth are in good condition. Make sure as well that his training is tuned up and he's a safe horse for a kid to ride.

And good luck.
 
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