The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There isn't a thread yet on bits and their use, so thought I'd start one!
I am adopting a 4 yr old mare, who has been professionally trained but not actually ridden in some time, and even then not often. I want to get a bit for her that will give me control (I ride light handed) but NOT be too harsh for her...suggestions, please?!
The foster home is using an eggbutt snaffle with good results. When I first started out riding, I had been taught that "there's no whoa in a snaffle", which stuck. (I really like "whoa"...it comes in handy!) My other horse is a 16 yr old QH gelding, and I use a curb with a roller, which he really seems to like.
BTW, I ride western, trail/pleasure...
HELP?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,166 Posts
There is plenty of "whoa" in a snaffle if you learn a "one rein stop". If your horse neck reins then, personally, I like the bit I've used for over a dozen years on a lot of horses. It is a cavalry shanked bit with a Billy Allen mouth. Just as a side note, your bit should be there for the finesse and your stop should come from training in the use of your other aids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
742 Posts
I was taught the bigger hammer theory. Your horse should be trained enough to get everything done in a snaffle before moving on to a stronger or shanked bit. If you just use a harsher bit to make up for holes in your training, you're just going to have keep moving on to harsher and harsher bits as your horse's mouth gets hard and unresponsive. As iridehorses said, stopping comes from training, and I've never had an issue getting a horse to stop in a plain old o-ring snaffle.

Personally I like to train in a snaffle and once the horse is ready move up to a curb. Most of our school horses ride in a tom thumb with medium to short shanks and they all do pretty well in them. I think you'd be fine to try out a curb on your new horse, but if you start having problems go back to the basics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
910 Posts
As stated above. A "WHOA" should come in training. I ride in nothing but snaffles. I run barrels, work cows, pole bend. And everyone of my horses have a whoa w/o me touching the mouth. So if she is goin well in an eggbutt snaffle. I would say keep her in that. Till you learn her a little bit. And as INK said... you should be able to do anything in a snaffle that you could do in a harsher curb bit. The harshest bit I ride in is a small trwisted o-ring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,472 Posts
I am adopting a 4 yr old mare, who has been professionally trained but not actually ridden in some time, and even then not often. I want to get a bit for her that will give me control

The foster home is using an eggbutt snaffle with good results.
First start with what she knows. You can understand change far more than she can. If the eggbutt is working - why fix what isn't broke?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,508 Posts
I tend to stick with D ring bits, either French link or regular jointed snaffle.

I'm in the 'less bit, more training' camp. I prefer a milder bit because a harsh bit in hard or the wrong hands can cause a lot of suffering to an animal.

If they're trained correctly and enjoy their jobs, there's no need for a harsher bit.

Besides, if a horse panics and blindly bolts, no bit is going to keep them in place.

You can learn a one-rein stop with ANY bit. It doesn't have to have shanks, twisted wire, or ports.

I find many people who ride in harsh bits are trying to make up for a lack of confidence, training, or both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
I use a plain snaffle with copper most of my horses because that's all they need, plus I don't know enough about other types of bits to get anything more complex. Spirit has a tom thumb with short shanks because its the only headstall around that fits her properly, and she really doesn't need much of a bit anyway because she is so responsive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
I use a twisted snaffle for training and a spring loaded curb with a port and a roller, BUT I ONLY use that for my western performance and just be for I go to a show i will put it on so there are no surprises I strongly beleive a curb is for a finished horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,349 Posts
There isn't a thread yet on bits and their use, so thought I'd start one!
I am adopting a 4 yr old mare, who has been professionally trained but not actually ridden in some time, and even then not often. I want to get a bit for her that will give me control (I ride light handed) but NOT be too harsh for her...suggestions, please?!
The foster home is using an eggbutt snaffle with good results. When I first started out riding, I had been taught that "there's no whoa in a snaffle", which stuck. (I really like "whoa"...it comes in handy!) My other horse is a 16 yr old QH gelding, and I use a curb with a roller, which he really seems to like.
BTW, I ride western, trail/pleasure...
HELP?!
First whoa dose not come from a bit. It comes from training. If you do not train the horse to do what you ask it dose not matter what bit you use is.

Bits especially some of the more aggressive bits are suppose to be used for refinement. I use a Mylar Cathedral port but. Now you would think this is a very aggressive but however it is not in the right hands. I use it b/c I was a very suttle cue which it gives me.

If the horse needs work stay in the snaffle and work on getting the hors more broke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,466 Posts
I generaly ride with a copper snaffle or barbed bit. It depends on your horses level of training. For example, I can ride Jester with just a halter and lead while I need to use a sharper bit on Honey because she is a bit more stubborn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,510 Posts
Snaffle. The only time I reverted to a tom thumb was when I was 14, stupid and given a runaway horse to train. It worked in getting her to stop, but it sure took me a lot longer to soften her mouth up again afterwards and have her go nicely in a snaffle.

Right now I'm riding my almost 3 year old Paint filly in a loose ring french link snaffle. She seems to love it. We've worked on whoa on the ground and whoa in the saddle. It was one of the first things she learned. I ride her mostly on a loose rein, and I can darn near pull a sliding stop out of her just by sitting deep, and saying "whoa". I don't need the reins at all to stop her. That is the type of horse that becomes a candidate for a curb - a horse that can be ridden on a completely loose rein and barely needs the bit to communicate. The curb offers refinement in the showring, so that a twitch of the rein is all that is needed as reminder.

I believe it should be mandatory for all snaffle horses to be ridden in a specific pattern without any bridle before being moved up to a curb. Only when you can control them with virtually no headgear should you actually move up to a more refined bit. I hate the term harsh, because the entire point behind the bit is to NOT be harsh. A curb is not a training device, it's a finishing device.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
^^Great post Miko. A responsive horse doesn't get responsive from what you put on their head, they get responsive from what you put in their head. If they have been riding her in a snaffle, then stick with it and maybe someday when she is ready, you can move her up to a curb. If a horse will not whoa in a snaffle, then they need more training, not a stronger bit. When I start a horse, I get them soft and responsive for stop, back, and turn in a snaffle, then when I feel they are ready, I move them up to a curb like this just for that refinement.
I thoroughly hate broken mouth curbs like the Tom Thumb.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top