Bits for Starting Colts

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

  1. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Arem, It isn't all about you.
    She didn't go in a snaffle because you didn't get her used to it. She goes in it NOW, because she got ........................What? Used to it. Not every horse you can pop a bit in and go. It takes time for horses to get used to a new bit. 5-7 days in it. You think we just say: Oh my, my riding horse, driving horse, doesn't LIKE a bit, so I'm going to just go with what he "likes", the halter.

    No, the horse isn't USED to it yet. Don't argue with me. You 've had this ONE horse to train in your entire life.
     
  2. Friesiangirl

    Friesiangirl Senior Member

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    I do EXTENSIVE ground driving with the bit before I ever get on.

    Yes, they are worked with a lot in the halter and understand how to follow their nose but we start rides in a snaffle unless there is some reason that's not a good match. Had a very low pallet on a youngster and didn't have much that seemed to fit well on hand, so we started in a rope halter until I found something that worked for that one.

    They don't wear their big kid bits (which may remain a snaffle for english horses, but for the reiners it's always been some form of curb) until they move off lateral pressure, understand how to half halt, can move and stop from seat. The curb, like spurs, is a tool for refinement in my eyes. You can't refine upon what they don't know.
     
  3. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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    You always make so many assumptions. You assume that she never had a bit in and I just stuck a snaffle in and away went went. *buzzer sounds.* Wrong.

    This is a horse who was trained in a school program left to mostly sit with the occasional simple trail ride. Then I got ahold of her. And she needed a big tune up/training holes filled in.

    She just hates snaffles. She was good with any other bit (leverage types), but I wasn't about to try to tune her up in a bigger bit. We made zero progress trying to go through and fill holes in the snaffle. And we tried for years. The toungue pressure irritated her and it's hard to get through to an irritated (and therefor bracy) horse.

    I'm so glad that there was a different option out there. The bosal allowed us to communicate better (no irritating toungue pressure) and her whole attitude towards riding improved.

    I highly doubt she is the only horse like that on the planet.

    Keep in mind, this is not just me and my experience. I'm following a method done for decades. Years and years and years of riders who started horses in hackamores. It's completely, totally, 100% valid.

    I never said "well if the horse doesn't like the bit, ride in a halter." Never. But there is value in paying attention to what the horse likes and doesn't like and accommodating those things when possible. Like I did with my horse, retraining her in a hackamore instead of the more common snaffle.

    When you limit yourself to "my way or the highway" you end up cheating yourself out of a whole wide world of experience. Narrowminded isn't a viewpoint to strive for.
     
  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I don't have to make assumptions. If a horse fusses when you put a snaffle in it's mouth, you lower your hands. Voila'. You take the pull off the lips for a while. Easy peasy. Most people don't realize it, so they just say: "My horse doesn't like a snaffle". The horse has to get used to it. Just like anything else you do with them, they need time to adjust to the signal being in a different place.
     
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  5. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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    Now you're assuming my horse didn't like the snaffle because I was pulling on her? Wrong again.

    Her lips have nothing to do with her objections. I can ride her in gags and she's happy as a clam.

    She just hates snaffles. Learned to tolerate them now that she's broke and can be ridden off mostly seat and leg. Tolerate. Not like. Not work her best in. Tolerate.

    If a snaffles are the be-all-end-all, why didn't the vaqueros use them instead of hackamores?

    Horses have preferences. It's just the way it is.
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    And there's my point.
     
  7. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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    You missed *my* point. She still doesn't like the snaffle. She only learned to tolerate it after years of training in the Bosal.

    We wasted years trying to get her accepting of the snaffle WHILE training. Bracy, irritated horse.

    Switched to the bosal. Bam! Happy trainable horse. Throughout, I'd pop a snaffle in and try to work with her her in it. I wanted her to be able to go in a snaffle. I tried to get her used to it. Nope. Nada. Angry horse.

    Hell, even as recent as last year, I tried to get her to go in a snaffle. Once more, I got a very obvious NO from my horse. Pop in a gag? Happy little horse. Whatever. Guess we don't ride in a snaffle. Who cares.

    Fast forward to this year. I've had all different bits in her mouth. Out of the blue, I popped the snaffle in one day and rode. Lazy and didn't plan on doing much. finally she was ok with it. Still won't work her best, but ok for plunking around. She always seems relieved when I pull the bosal out the next time. Reaches for it.

    I don't know about you, but mere tolerance from the horse isn't acceptable. What she likes is important. Happy horses preform better.

    Not all horses like snaffles. They shouldn't be forced to go in them just because human insists they must. Not where there are dozens of other viable options.

    So, while it's nice to be able to go in a snaffle for lazy putter around rides, we go in bosal, gag, or 2 rein for work depending on what we're doing. Snaffle hangs and gets dusty.

    I'll start horses in bosals. We'll do some snaffle stuff for the "just in case" but I'll adhere to the vaquero standards of keeping the horse's mouth "new" for when they are ready for the bridle.

    Good enough for them for decades and decades, it's good enough for me.
     
  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Oh yeah, Arem, your six years of experience bitting horses, you know ALLLL about it.

    Lots of horses don't ACCEPT stuff because the trainer doesn't know how to TRAIN them to accept it.

    Don't fricken tell me about it Arem, Thousands and Thousands of StB colts EVERY FRICKEN year, trained in a Snaffle. NOT A ONE, anywhere, on any race track in the US, Canada, Oz, NZ, or France didn't get trained in a snaffle.

    But YOU know it all. NO sense teaching you how to get a horse to accept a snaffle. You're convinced your horse is special. No, she's not. You just didn't get anyone who knew what they were doing to show you how to TRAIN her to accept it. She's a mare who wanted to push you and all she had to do was fuss and you got pushed. Horses know, through instinct, who they can get it over on and who they can't. Fuss and she'll stop asking me to learn to give my head in a bit. Smart girl, your horse.

    It's a breeze when you know what you're doing.
     
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  9. OldGreyMare

    OldGreyMare Senior Member

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    Arem, I understand what your saying, my two Quarter Horses were started they way you describe the Vaquero way and to this day, Terry, while he will tolerate a snaffle, does not like one, nor has he EVER liked any bit we have tried with him, but you put him in a bosal or a hackamore and he turns into one of the most pleasant, patient, responsive horses ever under saddle. His sister Lucy, who was trained the same way is the opposite and doesn't mind, but goes so much better when not having a bit. Her, I can ride with a string around her chest and bareback, both work off of cue's, pressure and a shift in weight. And yes, both my Quarter Horses are finished horses.

    No use arguing with experience, they will beat you with it till you know what they are going to say verbatim. Same song different dance. Smile, nod, and do what makes your horse happy and responsive, as you said, each one is an individual and should be trained as such, no horse is like the next, nor does one training method fit all. I think we gain knowledge and experience when working with many different breeds than one set particular breed, and that I am very very fortunate to have been able to ride and watch, attend clinics, and work with so many great breeds, both large and small, and I still learn to this day, I don't beat people with what I use to do, what I once did, what my kin once did, and hark on the by gone days of once upon a time.
     
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  10. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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    I didn't say I know it all. I just know different than you.

    Yes, you have a lot of experience, much more than me but your experience is LIMITED to one specific skill set. You trained STB colts for racing.

    I'm a western performance horse person.

    Our experiences and knowledge base and opinions will always have differences because of that.

    Doesn't mean I'm wrong. Your not totally wrong either. (Just on the point that all young horses must be started in a snaffle or you're clueless) We just have different ways. And that's ok.
     

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