Bits?

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daddyfid
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Bits?

Post by daddyfid » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:25 pm

What kind of bit do you use on your horse?

I think the bit my wife is using has to much pressure for her horse (TWH). She is a beginner rider and the horse keeps testing her, so she seems to always be fighting him. Last weekend we rode quite a bit and on Monday he seemed to have a sore mouth (kept mouthing and trying to spit the bit out). Up until now we have not had any problem with him taking the bit, but we have only been on short rides. Should we get a softer bit or what are your suggestions?

THE BIT SHE USES IS LIKE THE ONE IN THE PICTURE BUT IS A SNAFFLE STYLE (HINGE IN THE MIDDLE)
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rockllews
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Re: Bits?

Post by rockllews » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:02 am

She might try a kimberwick. It's a snaffle but has a chain under the chin that also adds pressure. We worked up to it when other snaffles weren't sufficing, but I do think it's still a milder type of bit. Hopefully more experienced horsepersons will chime in....

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Brittguy
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Re: Bits?

Post by Brittguy » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:20 am

You mentioned that he keeps trying to spit the bit out. I am wondering if you have the bridle adjusted so the bit is in the proper location of the mouth.

kiwigd
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Re: Bits?

Post by kiwigd » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:50 am

The bit that you are using is pretty strong. The bit should be sdjusted so that there is one or two crinkles in the side of the mouth.

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lightonthebay
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Re: Bits?

Post by lightonthebay » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:51 am

Those long shanks on your bit would apply a tremendous amount of pressure if the rider was not secure in her seat or if the rider was otherwise "hard handed". However, spitting a bit out could be an adjustment problem as mentioned above or a head set problem (how the horse holds its head in relation to the bit). I would agree with the suggestion of trying a milder bit such as a snaffle.
I would also strongly recommend having a horse expert (not neighbor Bob) watch the horse and rider perform in whatever bit you are using. Many times a local riding stable that teaches the English discipline will have some accomplished riders who could give you advice. There's certainly nothing inherently wrong with western style its just that it has been my experience that you would find a disproportionate number of accomplished riders in the english arena. By the way, I ride Western (just preemptively fending off the inevitable style war from trail riders). It is a common misconception that "control" magicaly emanates from the bit choice! Under most circumstances one should be able to have control of their horse while riding with only a halter.
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Karen
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Re: Bits?

Post by Karen » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:52 am

My horse came with a Tom Thumb bit, but after lots of experimenting, I found he didn't like a broken bit, not even a regular snaffle or kimberwick. After trying lots (probably a dozen) bits, this is what I found my horse liked the best:

Image

There is play in the mouthpiece on either side of the copper roller, but you can direct rein and ride with contact without the bit collapsing on itself like a snaffle. Was cheap too ($30) at http://www.horse.com It's a Billy Allen reining bit.
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Re: Bits?

Post by RayGubernat » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:19 pm

daddyfid -

There are so many things that could be going on. By the way, as I understand it, that IS a pretty severe bit. The shanks also will put a lot of leverage on the horse's mouth.

The bit edges could be pinching the horse's lips. The rider can be stabbing the horse in the roof of the mouth with the bit when they pull back on the reins. The bit might be too low in the horse's mouth. The horse's teeth might need to be floated(ground down smooth). The horse might have a wolf tooth(or two) interfering with the bit. The curb chain might be too tight or too loose. Some horses get annoyed if the curb chain is twisted and not smooth. The bit might be stainless steel and the horse might not like that taste. Sweet iron or copper might cause the horse to quit playing with it. I could go on, but you get the idea.

This might sound stupid, but the first thing I would do(assuming there are no dental issues) is go to a less severe bit, like a wide copper or sweet iron block port. The block port leaves room for the horse's tongue. The solid bit will not stab the horse in the rood fo the noth no matter how hard you pull back on the reins. The copper or sweet iron stimulates the horse to salivate, making the bit less annoying. I would also snug it up to one or two wrinkles in the corners of the horse's mouth. Give it a couple of weeks of riding, at least.

If you have no luck with that, I would do as suggested above and bring the horse to an english discipline trainer(the best you can find) and have them check it out.

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Blue Dawn Kennel
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Re: Bits?

Post by Blue Dawn Kennel » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:40 pm

The bit you pictured (a walking horse bit with swival shanks) is a pretty mild bit. You could try a National Bridle Shop double twisted wire, or a wonder bit (comes with different mouth pieces as does the walking horse bit)or even a solid walking horse bit. Here's a picture of each. I've used all 4 bits on my colts up to my older horses that I train and ride.


Wonder Bit~

Image

Solid Walking Horse bit~

Image

Double twisted wire~

Image

also might try the argentina snaffle another great light bit~

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Blue Dawn Kennel
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Re: Bits?

Post by Blue Dawn Kennel » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:57 pm

Just got to wondering, how old is the horse??? You said "he's never had problems before"?? Does this horse still have his wolf teeth?? These are pointy teeth that are located just in front of the back set of molars (where the bit lays/hits) that can create some problems if they have these.

I just reread and your all saying the walking horse bit is severe I haven't in the years I've been training and using them thought so. I know the pascal and a long shanked gag/slide snaffle (no curb) are severe bits. If we have a horse that's pulling or going through the bit we use the pascal as last resort.

Let us all know what happens and what works.
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Re: Bits?

Post by shags » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:33 pm

Brenda Imus' 'Gaits From God' dvd has a really good section on bits and bitting. She explains their action and why the horse reacts to them in specific ways. Imus markets her own design, but it's good to know why or why not to use a particular bit. I use the Imus bit and have had great results with it; I found that a lot of behavior issues like pulling, head-tossing, and getting behind the bit were due to pain caused by other bits.
The Imus dvd also is wonderful for illustrating and explaining various gaits and conformation leading to gaits.

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daddyfid
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Re: Bits?

Post by daddyfid » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:50 pm

Thanks to all who have spent their time to help with this issue. The horse is a 5 year old TWH. The horse was used as a wranglers horse for the previous 2.5 years (before we owned him). He has been very sound and a great horse except for this issue that just surfaced.

Thanks!

Brian

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Re: Bits?

Post by RayGubernat » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:02 pm

Brian -

Call an equine dentist...a real one. Somebody who just does horse's teeth and that is ALL they do. Not a vet who does it on the side.

If it just started...there is a reason... and I'm betting it is in the horse's mouth.

The only other thing is that since it was a wrangler's horse, there have probably been a lot of people tugging and banging on that horse's mouth and parts of it might be pretty insensitive.

But I still think it might be in the horse's mouth.

RayG

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Fireside
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Re: Bits?

Post by Fireside » Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:06 pm

First eliminate pain as the cause. An equine dentist will help with that... but you need to move to a much less severe bit. I almost never ride any horse in a bit other than a plain snaffle. If that is adequate to control an unbroke horse on day 1, its good enough for me for any horse. shanks = leverage = the ability to cause pain. ditto for twisted wire and gag bits.

Bits do not stop and/or control horses... TRAINING does! You might consider a couple sessions with your wife and a trainer to get them working together.

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dan v
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Re: Bits?

Post by dan v » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:40 am

A SSTL bit can make for a dry mouth. Perhaps try something is a sweet iron or copper inlaid...or copper roller.

One thing people need to understand about the length of the shanks. While a short shank won't provide for lots of leverage, it can be uncomfortable for the horse if the rider doesn't have calm hands. A longer shank can create more pressure, it is more forgiving of the rider without calm hands.

Most all the horsemen will revert back to a snaffle to get proper behavior. Increasing the level of pain might work, but might create an explosion too.
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Re: Bits?

Post by pkatzel » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:10 pm

Try loosening up the curb chain to relieve pressure in his mouth do not tell wife she will get nerveous and pull harder. As stated make sure it is mounted in his mouth correctly. Also see if you could buy bit/ headstall from previos owner. Hope this helps. Paul "dealing with wife issues for years"
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Kiki's Mom
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Re: Bits?

Post by Kiki's Mom » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:05 am

At just 5 I'm betting that those wolf teeth are giving him problems if he still has them. If he doesn't I'm betting the possiblity that the horse is in need of a float job on his teeth.. If this horse was a wrangle horse for 2.5 years with no problems and is suddenly gettin sore mouthed and beginning to give you avoidance issues, time to get an equine dentist in before you go switching head hear....especially if this horse is stabled in a barn and not getting much grazing time out in a field.

Points develop on the molars and incisors over time on a barn horse and these need to be filed off every so often. Every horse is different...some require a float job once a year others every couple of years depending on the housing conditions and diet.

Once the teeth have been cleaned up and realigned, if the headgear problem exists THEN explore options for change.

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Re: Bits?

Post by CherrystoneWeims » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:27 pm

I'm posting a little late on this subject.

I second the suggestion of getting the horse's teeth checked by an equine dentist.

I also strongly suggest that your wife take some English riding lessons. The best thing is to go to someone who teaches balance seat and dressage. I cringe when I see so many FT guys trying to muscle a horse to make it behave. A good seat and quiet hands go a LONG way to calming a horse and getting it into a comfortable gait. The best riders barely use their hands and use their seat to control a horse.
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lightonthebay
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Re: Bits?

Post by lightonthebay » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:52 pm

CherrystoneWeims wrote:I'm posting a little late on this subject.

I second the suggestion of getting the horse's teeth checked by an equine dentist.

I also strongly suggest that your wife take some English riding lessons. The best thing is to go to someone who teaches balance seat and dressage. I cringe when I see so many FT guys trying to muscle a horse to make it behave. A good seat and quiet hands go a LONG way to calming a horse and getting it into a comfortable gait. The best riders barely use their hands and use their seat to control a horse.
So your not a fan of the manly behavior of yanking a horse's head around while cursing aloud about the stupidity of the animal?
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CherrystoneWeims
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Re: Bits?

Post by CherrystoneWeims » Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:49 pm

lightonthebay wrote:So your not a fan of the manly behavior of yanking a horses head around while cursing aloud about the stupidity of the animal?
LOL Oh yes it's sooooo impressive! That and the hitting the horse about the head when it acts up :roll: :roll:
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lightonthebay
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Re: Bits?

Post by lightonthebay » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:09 pm

CherrystoneWeims wrote:
lightonthebay wrote:So your not a fan of the manly behavior of yanking a horses head around while cursing aloud about the stupidity of the animal?
LOL Oh yes it's sooooo impressive! That and the hitting the horse about the head when it acts up :roll: :roll:
I recall years ago when I was more lienient regarding allowing others to ride my horses. Now it is only a rare occasion when I allow others to ride them and then it is most likely a woman. I just don't tolerate the insecure wannabe buffoons who feel a need to dance in the spot light at my horses expense. I remember a guy who showed up to ride my horse 25 years ago. He was wearing a pair of huge Mexican rowls, a vest, cowboy hat and a six gun. I never saw him wearing anything other than his usual effeminate attire before that day. Naturaly, I had to baby sit him during the entire ride.

There has been plenty of times when I envisioned yanking them off their abused horse and spanking them until they curled up in a ball and cried in front of everyone. Well, you understand. I'm glad your out there. Keep giving good advice.

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CherrystoneWeims
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Re: Bits?

Post by CherrystoneWeims » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:10 pm

lightonthebay wrote:I recall years ago when I was more lienient regarding allowing others to ride my horses. Now it is only a rare occasion when I allow others to ride them and then it is most likely a woman. I just don't tolerate the insecure wannabe buffoons who feel a need to dance in the spot light at my horses expense. I remember a guy who showed up to ride my horse 25 years ago. He was wearing a pair of huge Mexican rowls, a vest, cowboy hat and a six gun. I never saw him wearing anything other than his usual effeminate attire before that day. Naturaly, I had to baby sit him during the entire ride.

There has been plenty of times when I envisioned yanking them off their abused horse and spanking them until they curled up in a ball and cried in front of everyone. Well, you understand. I'm glad your out there. Keep giving good advice.
OMG I am laughing at the vision of this guy in my head.

Last year I was at a trial and some guy had bought two VERY nice Walking Horses in KY. Problem was they were not FT horses. They were show horses totally not used to FT's. And to top it all off this guy couldn't ride to save his life. More money than sense there! One of the pro-handlers who thinks he is the be all end all when it comes to riding :roll: is telling this guy to NOT put any weight in his seat and to almost stand in the stirrups. He gets on one of the horses and of course the horse is acting up so he beats it on the head. I wanted to take a 2x4 and beat him over the head!

Long story short all these big guys were taking turns riding these horses and having trouble with them. Finally I said to one of them that I would switch horses with him. He gladly took my offer. I am only 5' tall so they had to toss me up on this beautiful horse. That horse was a DREAM!!! So smooth and just enough fire for me to have a LOT of fun riding him. I would have taken him home in a heartbeat if I could have.

When I was a teenager my riding instructors used to kid me that I looked like a little bug on these huge Warmbloods. Some of the guys laugh when I am running a dog because I usually can't find a horse small enough for me to get on without a leg up. (I don't have my own horse so I usually borrow or rent a wrangler horse) So I solve the problem by riding with my left stirrup long enough for me to get on myself (I would rather my scout help me with the dog) and thus when I am actually in the saddle I ride with only one stirrip.
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