how to know what bit to use - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-02-2020, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question how to know what bit to use

I currently use a bit and I still need to have more control of my horse while trail riding..When I pull reins back he stops for a sec..then off again...
Kinda at a lost... I just dont want to get hurt..
Any ideas on what you use? and worked..? or even a headstall that would work well with it..

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-02-2020, 08:44 PM
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Sounds like you need to work in a more contained space for a while first, because if fear of getting hurt and wanting more control is your reason for upping bit, that says you need to do more training with him. I don't know your situation, but this just seems like a recipe for disaster.

Don't judge someone's horse or skill because they don't compete or work with a trainer.

Sometimes they're the most in tune with each other.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-02-2020, 08:51 PM
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How much exercise does your horse get? What's his diet?
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-02-2020, 09:05 PM
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Most western style riders I know neck rein and rely more on leg aids than steering with the reins anyway. With my old horse that's how I rode him and I usually stopped him more with my seat than pulling on the reins. I would sort of just relax and then let out a big exhale, like the sort you'd do in a breathing exercise to release all the tension and sit a bit deeper. And my horse was the sort that would try to get out from underneath you if you'd let him get going. Of course, I have much less experience than a lot of the people here and they could probably explain things a lot better than I could and I don't know what level of training your horse has (and at the time I was working with him I also had help from other people around the barn) but this reminded me a bit of the horse I had. But I would really guess it isn't a problem with the bit and changing tack likely won't fix the problem, but training will. It's probably best anyway to look for solution that doesn't require buying new tack. For your wallet's sake if anything else.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-02-2020, 09:36 PM
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if you ask for a halt, and your horse halts but his brain is just holding it's breath until you ask for a forward again, then NO CHANGE has occured. He is halted, but his mind is still focussed on going forward. If you release the reins at that point, you are literally training him to do this again and again. Such that he learns to just lean into and push against the bit.


you should not release the rein/ bit until he actually has some mental change that indicates he has 'thought back to you'. That means he is 'listening' wit his ears and his mind, and has given up that 'go forward' thought , and is waiting for you to say the next suggestion.


I would not release the bit until he has backed up to the point where his ears are pointed backward to me, and he is no longer leaning onto the bit, and if you do release the bit, he doesn't automatically go forward.


I hate to sound mean, but my guess is that you have, inadvertantly, trained this response into him, over many rides.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-03-2020, 03:20 AM
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What kind of bit are you using now?

How old is your horse, how long have you had him and how much training has he had?

Is he experienced on trails?
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-20-2020, 08:34 PM
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I will agree with the others that have posted here in that I don't think this is an equipment issue. Of course, you can find others that think that a shanked bit or a curb chain or some such device will function like an emergency brake and provide you with some control but it'll only be temporary until such time that your horse decides to simply go through the device.

This may well be a training issue for both you and your horse but I believe that it'd be helpful to have someone view you and your horse to know for certain.
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Last edited by Elessar; 02-20-2020 at 08:44 PM. Reason: delete post
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-20-2020, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
if you ask for a halt, and your horse halts but his brain is just holding it's breath until you ask for a forward again, then NO CHANGE has occured. He is halted, but his mind is still focussed on going forward.
.
Hmm. A halt as you describe, stopped but the mind and energy focused still on forward, is the kind of halt I love! In Dressage, one wants the horse thinking forward and being able to just release that contained energy by slight opening of hand...to feel the power
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-20-2020, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
Hmm. A halt as you describe, stopped but the mind and energy focused still on forward, is the kind of halt I love! In Dressage, one wants the horse thinking forward and being able to just release that contained energy by slight opening of hand...to feel the power
All good and well if the horse waits for the "ok, go!" Signal. But don't blame the horse then if he won't stay stopped when you want him to.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-20-2020, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
All good and well if the horse waits for the "ok, go!" Signal. But don't blame the horse then if he won't stay stopped when you want him to.
I don't blame the horse, I blame the training
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