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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a beginner with a new horse. I am using the bit that my horse was using with the previous owner. It is a myler bit with about a 4 inch shank.

I think I attached a picture here. Not the best pic but the only one I have and I cannot get to the barn today.

My horse is pretty good and listens pretty well. I mainly trail ride him and will start working in the arena to work on my skills. He can get a bit excited when heading back to the barn but nothing that I have not been able to handle and he is acting like the other horses....just picking up the pace to get back.

A few people at the barn have commented to me about the bit. Knowing nothing about bits I have been listening to their comments. They just feel that he does not need such a bit and I could go down to something like an easy cheek snaffle. They suggested I ride with my myler on the trails for now and practice with a snaffle in the arena.

Others have told me that I will lose most of my control with a bit like that. I would feel better with some brakes....
Please help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I wanted to add that I think I am still too much in his mouth as well....so that is another reason I am thinking maybe a new bit while I am learning?
 

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Keep the bit bc the brakes work. Start training your horse for obedience under saddle and probably, on the ground, too. I wrote about this on a recent thread:
http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/head-tossing-mouthy-bit-106129/#post1264804
The ability to stop your horse is all in the horse's head. Horses have to known to pull against ANY bit until their mouths bleed if they get frightened and haven't the right training to draw on to trust their rider. Mylar bits help beginners with uneducated hands to NOT hurt their horse's mouths. IF you feel like you need an additional bit, I would buy a cheap ($20/farm supply store) Full cheek snaffle and use that ONLY in a fenced in area to teach your horse to half halt and back up--basic schooling.
 

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If he likes the bit, why would you want to change?

Personally, whnever I go somewhere new, my horses get shanks because it makes me feel more in control (Except with the one mare in my avatar who rides in a twisted snaffle because she'll toss me over backwards if I used a shank bit on her, but thats beside the point)

You need to do whatever keeps you safe and your horse responds well to. There is no reason you can't learn to ride better in that bit. It is a pretty kind bit in itself (I have the same one and many more myler shank bits) and since it does have that barrel there is no nutcracker effect on the horses mouth, but there is still a joint for independent movement.

Now the only reason I would switch to a snafle is if you are so heavy handed that you're either a) ruining his mouth or b) not using the shank bit properly.

The second reason I would go back to a snaffle is if there are training holes that need to be fixed for showing. If you just want to learn how to ride or just want to go out on the trails, its not that huge a deal which of these two bit options you use.
 

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I typically don't like to see beginner riders working in curb bits because they tend to over use their hands. With a stronger bit this can lead to all sorts of problems. Also, curb bits aren't meant to be ridden with contact, so if you're having the tendency to hold onto the reins that's all the more reason to switch to a snaffle.

Myler makes really good bits. So I would suggest switching to something like this Myler Dee Comfort Snaffle Wide Barrel in D-Rings at Schneider Saddlery . It uses the exact same mouthpiece you already have, so the transition to the snaffle, and eventually back to the curb when you're ready, should be easier. Even if you end up going with another type of bit, I would stick with a D ring or full cheek snaffle.

Now, the snaffle is going to be quite a bit milder than the curb you've been using, so it's probably is a good idea to see how he does with it in the arena first, but if your horse is responding well to it, there's no reason you shouldn't ride in it on the trails too. Hope that helps. Good luck.
 

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I would not switch your bit, presuming your horse goes well in it. People mistakenly believe that snaffles are gentler. They aren't--just a different type of action. Like someone else said, don't go hauling around and riding on heavy contact. But there's no reason that can't be your daily bit, and no real good reason to change.
 

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I agree with Bubba.

I also want to add it does not matter what anyone thinks about your bit, all that matters is that your horse works well in the bit.

No bit is perfect for every horse, sometimes finding the best bit takes a long time, so if you have a bit that your horse works well in and likes there is no need for you to change it.

I also recommend you stick with that bit in and out of the arena until you get a better feel for him.
Then if you feel he would work better in a different bit then that is when I would look around.
Get the opinion of a trainer that you respect. Get the trainer to ride your horse and watch you ride your horse, then talk over what you both think would work best if you do end up changing bits.
 

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I read your post, you didnt mention you were having any problem at all with the horse, just with what people say.
Tell em to ****** off. If it aint broke dont fix it, If he goes and whoas, and isnt having issues why change ? That isnt a really harsh bit by any means.
Last thing you wanna do is change back and forth. How are you riding the horse ? How did the previous owners ? English riders tend to ride with constant bit pressure, I tend to ride with a loose rein. That bit is pretty much the same thing I am using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I forgot to mention that he is throwing his head around. I am concerned that while I am learning I am too much in his mouth. When he throws his head around I realize I am too much on his mouth....
 
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