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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I stood by and watched my aunt and her friend with their lessons, and I remember the trainer saying that while riding in a snaffle bit you should ride with direct contact (2 hands) instead of neck reining. Why is this, and is this true? I usually ride in a snaffle and I neck rein all the time. If this is true, what are some good bits that are meant to be neck reined with? I k now that neck reining doesn't have much to do with the bit, which is why I'm confused.
 

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My daughter rides in a snaffle and only neck reins right now. That's all she's ever used on her lesson horse, and the instructor doesn't think she's ready for 2 handed yet.
 

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We use snaffles on all our mares and they all neck rein. Since you're not using the bit, I don't see what difference the bit would make.
 

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I remember hearing that somewhere, but it is, in fact, nonsense. So no worries =)
If your horses go well neck-reining in a snaffle, more power to you.

One thing that is best to avoid, though, is direct reining in a curb. But even that you CAN do..
 

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The main idea behind that is to keep from confusing the horse. If you neck rein on a loose rein with a snaffle, it is no problem. However, if you have the reins tight and try to neck rein, then the outside rein pulls the bit off center esentially telling the horse to turn the other way. Like if I wanted to turn left, I would move my hand left and that would in turn tighten the outside rein and pull on the outside of the bit, which tells the horse to turn right. That makes a horse that faces the outside of a circle and throws them off balance.

That being said however, if it is being done on loose reins, NR in a snaffle is no problem. If you are looking for something just to step up the finesse though, this is the bit that I put all my trained horses in. It is a very mild bit and still allows the convenience of a 1 rein stop or direct rein if you should need it.
 

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If your horse responds well to neck reining and stopping in a snaffle, then there's no reason to switch to another bit. If you need more "stop", then you can try a curb.
 

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I find smrob's answer to be the best. I think the reason it is believed is that a snaffle is meant to be ridden with contact, so if you have contact, you shouldn't neck rein. However if you ride in a snaffle and a draped rein, it should be fine.
 

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My event horses all neck rein in a simple snaffle. When I get in trouble at a jump and lose my reins, I might not have time to do anything but grab up leather and steer to the next jump any way I can. Neck reining is an essential tool, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice guys! Much appreciated. I switched to a tom thumb bit w/ the chain chin strap, mostly because I thought the snaffle I had looked funny on her western bridle set, but I rode her in the tom thumb for about 2 minutes just to see how she was, and she was good with it. I'm going to ride tomorrow longer and see how she is. I will let you all know how that goes.
 

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You thought the snaffle she worked perfectly fine in looked funny so you stepped her up to a Tom Thumb? Seems kinda senseless and silly to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
She's been ridden in the thumb many times, we just switched bits for a while and I got sick of the snaffle so switched back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, and to reply to your thinking she worked perfectly fine in the snaffle. She broke through it too easy which is why I was sick of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Her stopping is exceptional, it's not like she absolutely won't stop, unless she's at a dead run, than it takes longer. She simply got used to that snaffle bit and began to take advantage of it, so, back came the tom. It's not like I threw an extremely harsh bit back on her, just back to the old one. She acts just as she did when we had it on her before...very well!
 

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Ton thumbs are one of my absolute least favorite bits. I dislike any jointed curb bit. I would rather see a horse in a regular curb so that you have the subtle feel of a good curb without the "nutcracker" of the snaffle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I do have to say, I've always heard different things about tom thumbs so I did some research and I guess with the wrong person, they can be pretty **** harsh. I wanted to get a curb on her but the ones we have are huge! So I just put her back in her thumb bit. I don't think this will be a problem, as it never has because I'm very light with my hands and she is very responsive, especially in the thumb bit. All I have to do with that bit is slightly lift my reins up and back, just barely, and she stops on the dime. With the D ring snaffle she was in, I'd have to actually make quite a bit of contact with her mouth. I guess for everyone, it's kind of a hit and miss. But I agree with you, alison, tom thumbs can be harsh.
 

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If your horse is broke enough to be neck reining, then my question is why are you still riding him in a snaffle bit? Just curious. Is your snaffle a shank snaffle? If you and your horse are getting along good the way you are doing things then unless you are showing, it doesn't matter what kind of bit you are riding in. Do what works best for you and dont worry about what other people say, again, unless you are showing. If you are showing in a snaffle bit then you must use 2 hands, and be showing in a green class.
 

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If your horse is broke enough to be neck reining, then my question is why are you still riding him in a snaffle bit?
My horse neck reins out the wahoo, but I don't generally ride in a curb because I don't ride western. He still does fine in a snaffle.

There are lots of reasons :]
 
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