Slow Twist Bit - Tell me, Good Bad Ugly

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by CowGirlUp1833, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. CowGirlUp1833

    CowGirlUp1833 Senior Member+

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    My new instructor wants me to put a twisted bit in Steveys mouth. He initially said 'twisted wire' to which I replied...no way. I compromised by saying I would "TRY" a slow twist.

    Can ya'll tell me more?

    Oh. And just FYI, I'm the most ignorant person ever when it comes to bits.... LMAO. I riden everything I've ever owned in a simple or french snaffle. So make sure you put everything in Dummy terms! :blushing:
     
  2. Dawn

    Dawn Senior Member

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    What are the reasons for wanting to put a twist in? That would be the first question. What problems are there currently? What is the current bit? What effect is the twist supposed to have?
     
  3. CowGirlUp1833

    CowGirlUp1833 Senior Member+

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    Why? Stevey has a tendancey to ignore my hands when he gets in front of a fence, regardless of my half halts and other aids.....

    To ME, I'd rather try other ways before bitting him 'up'....but....

    Current bit is a simple egg butt snaffle ridden in a figure 8 noseband.

    The effect is suppposed to be more leverage I would assume... I don't know, as I said I'm bit illeterate.... :(
     
  4. MyBelgianAzzy

    MyBelgianAzzy Senior Member+

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    A slow twist just has a little more bite to it than an identical bit with a smooth mouth. I have used a little of everything which I know is taboo on HGS, but a slow twist really is NOT that evil in my opinion, when ridden with light hands. I'm sure your trainers thought is the slow twist (well, the twisted wire originally) would get his attention when you half halt.

    Any bit can make a horse's mouth hard or rip it apart, if you can't ride. The bit is only as strong as the rider.
     
  5. CowGirlUp1833

    CowGirlUp1833 Senior Member+

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    I've always been told I have soft hands...so perhaps that is why he thinks it is okay in this case.....
     
  6. Dawn

    Dawn Senior Member

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    This is just my personal experience with twists, both slow and wire/corkscrew.

    The horse's mouth literally becomes 'numb'. Not hard as in mentally ignoring the bit. But physically numb. Take something with a bit of an uneven edge to it and rub it across your arm for several minutes. Don't push down hard, but give enough pressure to feel it. Stop after, say 5-10 minutes. Now rub that spot with your finger. The sensation will be dulled, a numbing effect. Do the same thing with a smooth surface and you will get a completely different effect.

    In a slow twist, I've noticed a big tendency for the horse to lean on the bit. If he's leaning (again this is my opinion based on my experience), then the bit can not 'rub' as much as the pressure stabalizes the bit in the mouth.

    Have you tried him in a french link? Something new, but not harsher.

    Every horse I've ridden in a twist is much less reponsive than their similarly trained counterparts in smooth snaffles. I've only had the option to take one from a twist (corkscrew) to a smooth snaffle and he was a much more pleasant, responsive horse.

    So there's one opinion for you!

    You can try it if you won't. And likely at first you will see positive results, but they will be very short lived and the bad will gradually sneak in.
     
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  7. Dawn

    Dawn Senior Member

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    Also what all exercises have you done to try to get him more responsive to your half-halts? That's something else to consider.
     
  8. CowGirlUp1833

    CowGirlUp1833 Senior Member+

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    Ugh! That is DEFINITELY NOT what I want to accomplish!!!

    I have tried the french link.... no change in him really....

    Maybe I need to go to a double rein so I can engage only when necessary?
     
  9. harli36

    harli36 Senior Member

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    IMO twisted bits are evil, I don't care if they are slow twisted or twisted wire.

    No matter how much contact you have with the bit, heck even when there is no contact at all in the mouth(think just after you put the bridle on) there is still bite to a twist. A horses tongue is much more sensitive then our hands or skin could ever be, so while it may not seem as though a twisted bit has any kind of bite while just holding it in your hand you have to think of it as when it's actually in the horses mouth and the upper bars of their mouth are pushing down on it and their lips are pushing on it and their tongue is pushing up on it.

    IME because of this in the begining they have a tendency to cause the horse to go behind the bit and after they get used to it and their mouth hardens they just start pulling on the bit like they did with their old bit.

    If you need a little more bit for certain times (like when in front of a fence) or when taking a new trail etc and as long as you are ALSO going to incorporate some new types of training to also help stop the problem then I would suggest trying a pelham instead. With a Pelham the horse isn't always getting jabbed in the mouth and you can pick and choose it's severity. Snaffle rein only when he is listening and snaffle and curb rein for when you need a little extra "emergency brake".
     
  10. MyBelgianAzzy

    MyBelgianAzzy Senior Member+

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    I don't think I would use a pelham... then he'll have the chance to evade the bit by sucking back. I respectfully disagree with Dawn's numbing synopsis- I understand the reasoning, but experiance has told me that there is sometimes a benefit to using a slow twist, even long term.

    Perhaps then the answer is the horse really only feels the twist for a portion of the ride, and is corrected during that time. Then, when it has numbed the horse, so to speak, the horse is still in "corrected" mode?
     

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