What bits would you try?

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by Sidssa, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Sidssa

    Sidssa Full Member

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    I am taking it pretty easy this winter with my 12-year-old QH mare, just enjoying her, doing some trail riding, and thinking about what I might like to try with her next. She is a sweet, good girl and tries hard, just a solid citizen with a nice attitude. I try to listen really carefully to any tiny sign she gives me that things aren't perfect, because I don't think she is much of a "complainer" and I don't want to miss anything, if that makes sense.

    During the fall I suspected she wasn't loving her bit, which is a plain eggbutt snaffle. She's spent the most time in plain snaffles, although in polocrosse she went happily in a kimberwicke. She would occasionally grab it for a second, kind of like she wanted to stretch, and then immediately release and go on as normal. She did it in my western saddle, my aussie saddle, and bareback. I corrected this whenever she did it but I think she might just do better in something else, or at least it's worth a try. So this winter I have been riding her just in her rope halter and she does great. I'll probably keep that up some as I think it's been improving our communication even more, but I'd also like to find a bit that keeps her the happiest she can be.

    Would you try something with some copper? A roller or something to play with? A gentle dogbone? Thick rubber? An o-ring instead of an eggbutt? The kimberwicke for every day?
     
  2. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

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    The design of one bit's mouthpiece may be more comfortable in a horse's mouth than that of another bit. The mouth's width, the thickness of the tongue, and the height of the palate are just three variables to consider.

    Another very important factor is how the bit is adjusted. It should not put constant pressure on the horse's mouth. Nor should the horse be required to constantly work to keep it in the proper position.

    Finally, how and how much the rider uses the bit determines how the horse experiences its presence. Remembering also that communication is a two-way process, the rider should be able to "fee" the horse through the bit and reins.

    Additionally, the bit should serve as only a small component of the communication between the rider and the horse. Just yesterday, I had a student who was a little apprehensive riding a very responsive horse since she had just fallen off another horse that had bucked mildly. To demonstrate that she need not worry about this horse, I mounted and laid the reins on the horse's neck. I seldom ride this horse that is used by other instructors and students often with little subtlety. But I wanted to demonstrate how well the horse reacted to gentleness and subtlety. I asked the horse to walk, turned it in both directions, stopped him, and had him back up -- all without the reins in my hands.
     
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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  4. Sidssa

    Sidssa Full Member

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    Great, thanks for all that. So, WHAT BITS would you try in the situation I've described with my horse?
     
  5. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    The bit I would try is the one @manesntails linked to, it’s a great start point, and most horses seem to go well in it. I will always keep one in my bit bag, just because....
     
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  6. Sidssa

    Sidssa Full Member

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  7. Blue-Roan

    Blue-Roan Senior Member

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  8. DelP

    DelP Senior Member

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    This is my go-to not when I start working with a horse and the I may swap depending on fit/need.
    Curved Mouth Eggbutt Snaffle Bit

    I like the curved mouth and it’s a good quality bit for the price. It works especially well for fat tounged/low palate horses. Go up 1/4” since it is curved.
     
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  9. Sidssa

    Sidssa Full Member

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    Am 3 rides in with the 3-piece copper O-ring and I am really happy with it and appreciative of the recommendations! The grabbing/pulling behavior seems gone (fingers crossed) and she seems happy and relaxed.
     
  10. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

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