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I have a D- Ring Snaffle and I was wondering what a good bit would be to try on my horse because he will NOT respond to my current bit, without me doing a one-rein stop. I ride western with him. He is a 15 yr old quarter horse.
I have had him for 3 years. I used to ride him in a "quick-stop" by weaver. Its like a hackamore. He responded to it pretty good but he has been using this snaffle for about 6 months and is getting numb to it. Also, I use my seat often. Sitting back and waiting for him to slow down or stop. Then pull til he stops, then I release. But yesterday he wouldn't what-so-ever. I was in a canter and had to do a one-rein stop and he won't respond. Its quite annoying and not to mention dangerous at times. So what bit should I get? I don't want it to be too harsh and i want it to have a e-break. By the way, I have been riding for years but I do not know much about bits at all.

What do you think about these? People have recommended them to me.

French link o-ring
Solid mouth swivel shank
or this one http://images.auctionants.com/257604.jpg


I have no idea. Thanks in advance :)
 

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This is my favorite bit for a horse who responds.. If your horse isn't responding to a snaffle he needs to be taught to give.. If your horse is leaning on the snaffle and becoming less responsive than he was I have to assume it may be you. Just sayin.. Mostly I believe you are going to have to begin again with teaching him to give to a light feel. Once you can get suppleness and responsiveness to lightness you can use this bit if you chose.. I find it easy to give a direct rein cue when needed to back up my other cues. Stopping comes from many places besides the bit.. Seat, leg... Body language..
 

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This is my favorite bit for a horse who responds.. If your horse isn't responding to a snaffle he needs to be taught to give.. If your horse is leaning on the snaffle and becoming less responsive than he was I have to assume it may be you. Just sayin.. Mostly I believe you are going to have to begin again with teaching him to give to a light feel. Once you can get suppleness and responsiveness to lightness you can use this bit if you chose.. I find it easy to give a direct rein cue when needed to back up my other cues. Stopping comes from many places besides the bit.. Seat, leg... Body language..
Okay, thanks. What is that bit called? And what are some exercises that with help him to be soft and supple and give easier?
 

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And what are some exercises that with help him to be soft and supple and give easier?
Other than steady, soft, forgiving hands, not much.

In general, any bit can be used incorrectly with incorrect hands.
 

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Other than steady, soft, forgiving hands, not much.

In general, any bit can be used incorrectly with incorrect hands.

Yes I do have steady, soft, forgiving hands. Yeah that is very true. What do you suggest I do to get him to respond to this bit or what new bit should I try?
 

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It is called different things in different catalogs. lol
statelinetack has it for a very good price.. When I bought it it was called a Francois Gauthier Antique Low Port Futurity Bit still is at Smith bro, but they are pricier. ;)

You need to get with someone who knows how to teach suppling an yielding if at all possible.. If there is no one do some research online, Youtube even.. Look at Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Giving to the bit.. and use a simple snaffle.. D ring, Full cheek, Loose Oring whatever.. but no shanks for this.. Start with a halter on the ground and work up to a bit, then mounted..
 

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It is called different things in different catalogs. lol
statelinetack has it for a very good price.. When I bought it it was called a Francois Gauthier Antique Low Port Futurity Bit still is at Smith bro, but they are pricier. ;)

You need to get with someone who knows how to teach suppling an yielding if at all possible.. If there is no one do some research online, Youtube even.. Look at Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Giving to the bit.. and use a simple snaffle.. D ring, Full cheek, Loose Oring whatever.. but no shanks for this.. Start with a halter on the ground and work up to a bit, then mounted..
Funny you said that.! I lovvve Clinton Anderson and have been doing the Fundamentals grroundwork series. I have completed all the groundwork, some of the riding. Such as flexing, cruise control, follow the fence, and one-rein stops of coarse. haha. But he is just so numb to that bit, like he turns really difficultly and like I said, will not stop easily. He such a different horse on the ground, though! Which exercises are you referring to?
 

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Sweetie, you need a trainer. Getting another bit will help for a while then it will stop working. Stopping is a pretty big thing, if you don't have a stop you are in very real danger in the event of an emergency. Look around for a good trainer and if you can't afford to pay maybe you could work out something like cleaning stalls or grooming horses.
 

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Hmm, I am going to guess he might be blowing you off. Maybe he's bored. Heidi gets that way.

So if you have been following the give with release perhaps you are not giving quick enough? I can't say as I can't see you doing it. :) I do think you need some onsite input.. Often we don't see the first give, OR perhaps you are giving too soon. Be sure he isn't bracing on you and is actually giving, not just tossing you lip service. Grudgingly isn't good.. ;)
 

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i wouldnt recomend curb type bits. the ones with solid mouth peices i mean. they can be very harsh on the horses mouth unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing. they also arent the best for non-neckreining horses because the bit is solid and wouldnt give at all. i would suggest a short shank tom thumb type. like this:

it gives a little more control than a snaffle/ d-ring but is not very hard on the mouth.
also do the give and release. another thing that i do to help keep your horse paying attention and easy to turn is while riding do random turns, stops, backing ups, and other things. when you feel that you have more control thats when you should try different gaits. when cantering you can still do random turns and everything but give more warning and more time to slow down. this can help with balance too.
always have soft hands and if more pressure is needed then slowly add pressure. dont ever yank on your horses mouth. i learned that the hard way and i regret it but im better with it now. :)
 

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i was speaking from experience and what ive learned from other people. bubba13: i read the thread and i think i understand more of why people dont like the tom thumbs. thanks for posting that!
i still will use the tomb thumb on my horses that i have them on now though. they work good on them and ive only had one horse with a problem with it but im finding a new bit for him now. other than that i have no problems with this bit
 

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I would say if you want a short shank snaffle, I have had real good luck with my Jr. Cowhorse Bit and they are now my go to bit for new horses. But again proper training is needed for them to listen in any bit. My mare wasn't listening in her bit so back down to a D-ring with went months later we are still in a D-ring as she isn't ready to move up.
 
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