Bits for Starting Colts

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Touch the Sky, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    A rope halter is NOT a bosal. You are confusing the two as being equal, they are not.
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  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Typically, traditionally trained dressage horses wouldn't have a double bridle on until they've had 4 or more years of consistent training. Most dressage trainers would have a cow if a student put on any bit not listed in the national rules.
  3. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2016
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    :eek: :confused: I didn't read that at all in that. Two different animals so to speak.

    Edited added - completely different. You know that-!!
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  4. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    Dunno - I did about 3 weeks ago. May depend on how the rope halter has been fitted. No opinion, though, on how to best start a horse.
  5. Blue-Roan

    Blue-Roan Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2016
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    A lot of Western trainers put the first couple rides on in a bosal or sometimes a sidepull, before moving onto a snaffle. Can't speak as to what the English trainers do though. It's really a matter of preference, and most trainers don't ride in the halter or bosal long enough for it to really matter.

    As for starting in a shanked bit, just no. No responsible trainer would make a young, green horse to work in the same equipment as an older, finished riding horse would. There's a reason dressage trainers don't start prospects in a double bridle, and the vaqueros didn't start colts in a spade.
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  6. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2012
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    I put 2 rides on the unstarted 5 year old project I had this summer. I taught her to give to pressure in the halter from the ground, then worked on it from on her back. Then went right to using a french link snaffle. I wouldn't do ALL my riding in a halter, just wanted her following her nose and learning about leg pressure. When I put the snaffle on her, she took right to it without any fuss. Gal that has her now LOVES her.

    I think it depends on what works for the horse. My gelding was started in a snaffle (not by me, I hadn't ridden much in 5 years when he was started and didn't think it was a very good idea since he was a bronc and I didn't want to get hurt lol). I don't see anything wrong with putting a few rides on a young horse in a halter. Whatever floats your boat, man.
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  7. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2012
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    I teach about following the nose first so they get ground driven in a halter before flexing to a bit from the ground, and then ground driving with a bit, and then saddled and ridden with a bit. I've done it various ways, using a bosal at first or riding in a halter the first couple of times but I've found a nice progression this way. There's certainly nothing wrong with how you do it if it works for you!
  8. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    I never said they were equal. I know full well they aren't because (well, design of course for starters) when I've been lazy and hopped up on my girl bareback in her rope halter, she doesn't respond the same. And also because, well, I model my training/riding after the vaqueros.

    You're acting like people who start without a bit, in general, are clueless beginners. And also that people who start in a halter go riding off along the road in that getup. Uh... wrong on both counts, I believe.

    Different strokes, different folks.

    Snaffles are great until you meet a snaffle hater like my girl. Although, now that she's just about a 2-rein horse, we've played some before the weather turned, and since I barrel race her in a jr cowhorse, she's learned to pick up and carry a snaffle comfortably. Finally. She can be ridden in a snaffle. Occasionally. Now that she's nearly "finished." Though she still prefers other headgear.
  9. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

    Sep 29, 2004
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    Started my young horse in a sidepull, then moved to a snaffle of varying mouthpieces, I just moved into a short shank curb with low mouthpiece yesterday. She did well in it, very soft.
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  10. Touch the Sky

    Touch the Sky Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2013
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    I've just always had luck with a nice rope halter or sidepull for The first few rides and then moved to a dogbone or french link d ring snaffle. I'll play around with them to see which one they seem to prefer, but those are my go tos. The only horse I consistently ride in a shanked but, is my old, mostly retired MFT mare star, and she only showed in it, because it's required. It was a low port, medium shank, and you honestly didn't need it. She could be ridden in anything.
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