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OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:48 AM
I have a 22yr old Appendix mare that I mostly trail ride. She does have alot of training, both english and western, goes great in a snaffle, and in a Bitless Bridle, around the barn and doing flat work. When I get her out on the trail she can get strong and annoying. I can handle her in the Bitless, or snaffle, but I really have to use a tight rein. I would like to find a bit that puts a little more brake on her.
When I got her she was in a w\estern tom thumb, but I refuse to put her back in it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanx!

PS - We go english;)

Shadow14
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:15 PM
What is wrong with the old bit??? I like a good strong bit and a curb CHAIN.
It is far better to have a good strong bit and use it lightly then a mild/bitless bride and ride with hard hands.
I believe in churchill's philosophy. Walk softly and carry a big stick.
Use a curb bit and chain, good reins, use then lightly but if the situation arrises don't hesitate to set her on her butt.
Soft hands and a big bit will work to keep the horse soft and responsive.
Also back alot. I like to stop and back a step or two. Teaches the horse to round the back and stop better.

sublimequine
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:34 PM
What is wrong with the old bit??? I like a good strong bit and a curb CHAIN.
It is far better to have a good strong bit and use it lightly then a mild/bitless bride and ride with hard hands.
I believe in churchill's philosophy. Walk softly and carry a big stick.
Use a curb bit and chain, good reins, use then lightly but if the situation arrises don't hesitate to set her on her butt.
Soft hands and a big bit will work to keep the horse soft and responsive.
Also back alot. I like to stop and back a step or two. Teaches the horse to round the back and stop better.

Western Tom Thumb bits are horribly designed IMO, I'd never ride in one either. Also for trail I prefer something with swept-back shanks, so the horse can graze/drink without the shanks poking the ground. Tom Thumbs, at least the ones I'm thinking of, have straight shanks. (However, I do agree with you on the 'bigger bit, softer hands' idea. Totally. :) )

As for OP; why not try a slightly stronger bitless setup? I'm a big fan of short-shanked mech hacks myself. English hackamore, beetle hackamore, S-hackamore, Jim Warner hackamore, they're all good.

If not, perhaps a colt bit? Small shanks, but just enough leverage to perhaps get horsie's attention. :)

http://www.domvet.com/pharmvet/images/155.jpg
^ Colt bit, with dogbone link in the middle. I highly suggest getting something double-jointed if you're going to go with leverage. Single-jointed leverage bits can poke the top of the mouth.

OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:40 PM
I can't put her back in the TT because of someone else's use of it. When I first started ridding her I was half leasing her with a young girl. The girl was getting lessons on her, when the horse would not respond fast enough for the trainer, the trainer would cross the reins under the mare's chin, hop up, and be very rough with her. When I commented on this the trainer said it was how you broke a horse:mad:, I have to agree it is a great way to "break" a horse. It got to the point where every time that bit would be used the mare would shake her head more and more, and the trainer would do that more and more harder and harder. Finaly the trainer couldn't work with them anymore, and I got the girl to go to the Bitless.
The issue with the mare being so annoying is recent, and only on the way back to the barn. I have been working with her to reduce the problem, but think I need to step up to a leverage bit, and don't know much about them.
I also hate having to use so much force with the Bitless. So if I could find something else that she would respond to, I could go back to light hands.
Sorry for the novel, thanx for the response!

gallop-dq
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:26 PM
You could try a pelham or kimberwicke, with your choice of mouthpieces - mullen, single joint, double joint, or ported. Personally I'm a BIG fan of a pelham (especially mullen mouth) with two sets of reins so that you can adjust how mild or strong you want the bit to be depending on the situation. Or use a pelham with converter if you want to stick with one set of reins.

katarine
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:28 PM
if it's an I'm going to the barn and NOW issue, no bit will really change that. I wish it was that quick and simple.

Would you be interested/willing to foresake a few, maybe several, quick return trips to the barn, for some training trips that remind her to be respectful of your wishes?

OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:36 PM
I have been looking at a pelham with a rubber covered mullen mouth. When I did some research on the mullen I was told A) it's very gentle because it rests on the bars and gives alot of tongue relief and B) It's very harsh because it puts too much pressure on the bars with no relief. So I don't know what to believe. I have also thought about the kimberwicke, but something keeps me thinking the pelham would be better.
Our trail is actually a gravel road across the street, so I have spent some time trotting her up the hill and walking her back in the direction of the barn. There is also a field across from the barn, where she can see some of the horses, but she still sort of acts up. I take her there and make her trot away and walk back. When she starts to jig I give her a little reminder, if she keeps it up I make her circle, then if she won't stop I trot her away again. Any other thoughts I would be more than willing to try out:D.
She didn't do this when we first started going out alone, it only started after I went out with her favourite pasture mate a few times, then wanted to go alone. Now she's this way with or without. No the PM isn't jiggy.
I would rather keep her in the BB but I feel like if I have to use so much force, it's sort of pointless.

Chief2
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:40 PM
I use an Reinsman Billy Allen on our app/tb. He loves it. I believe this would closely approximate the french link. The 'barrel' covering the center joint of the snaffle prevents it from fully closing, thus forming a curb bit when both sides are engaged at the same time, giving you better stopping control without hurting your horse. However, you still get the effect of a snaffle if you only engage one side or the other. Reining training bits have shorter shanks, with the same action. Get a decent one, not a cheap one, as the cheap ones are usually thicker in the diameter of the mouthpiece, which blunts the response.

My horse hates a snaffle, but put him in this, and he'll carry it in his mouth for you all the way through the woods. Thoroughly comfortable, and has a good stop when you need it.

OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:04 PM
Looks like it might work. I'll look into it thanx!!

katarine
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:06 PM
If the circling doesn't fix it, you need to change the circling pattern and make it mean something. Now it's just a circle to get out of the way so she can be pushy again.

Case in point the SO's TWH can get very pushy about going home, if he tries to ride it out it and just hope to make it home...it can escalate into small rears, plunging, hiding behind the bit, cantering in place etc. so, pretty serious stuff, much worse than what you are describing BUT- if the MOMENT that horse of his even ponders amping it up about going home, the very INSTANT that starts to happen- he uses a gentle leading rein (as though he were riding a baby learning to follow its nose) to lead the horse's nose to the rider's knee or toe..and circles him to a stop... and he only releases the horse when he gives to that rein and puts even tiny slack in that rein. He then drops that rein, and gently picks up the other to lead the horse's nose to his other knee, and again, the horse gets his nose back when he gives and puts even tiny slack in the rein. repeat until the horse is calmly cool with this back and forth and the feet are stone-dead still. If they wiggle or get pissy you just totally chill and ignore it and keep on bending, back and worth.

This is NOT the quick, punitive Clinton Anderson mess. that will only amp up an anxious horse when the goal is actually a calmer, more meditative state.

This will not work in most shanked bits unless they allow independent side action. The Billy Allen won't offer enough- I love that bit but it's wrong for this sort of work. Your BB or a snaffle is fine. Teach her to mind that snaffle or BB. the TWH in question is ridden in a plain old snaffle, too.

Do not ignore her early uhh, can we go a little faster, mom? nope- the nanosecond she ups from a 1 to a 1.5 on a 1-10 scale, you nip it calmly, as though she's trained YOU to do this and boy you are well trained. There is no muss, no fuss, no hurry, no punishment.

They learn, and quickly. Stay calm, stay on it, stay after it. It will take a little time but it will work. Now with our horse just one, maybe two- hey, give me your nose and he instantly settles back down, and he can ride him home on total slack from miles out. I'm passionate about 'trail' horses being GOOD horses, just as good or better than any arena horse. If I'm going to trust them with my tail out in the great wide open, they will be good, that's my rule and I believe in 'riding' my horses, inside the pen or out. Not just bitting up bigger and praying :)

Huntertwo
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:42 PM
I have been looking at a pelham with a rubber covered mullen mouth. When I did some research on the mullen I was told A) it's very gentle because it rests on the bars and gives alot of tongue relief and B) It's very harsh because it puts too much pressure on the bars with no relief. So I don't know what to believe. I have also thought about the kimberwicke, but something keeps me thinking the pelham would be better.
Our trail is actually a gravel road across the street, so I have spent some time trotting her up the hill and walking her back in the direction of the barn. There is also a field across from the barn, where she can see some of the horses, but she still sort of acts up. I take her there and make her trot away and walk back. When she starts to jig I give her a little reminder, if she keeps it up I make her circle, then if she won't stop I trot her away again. Any other thoughts I would be more than willing to try out:D.
She didn't do this when we first started going out alone, it only started after I went out with her favourite pasture mate a few times, then wanted to go alone. Now she's this way with or without. No the PM isn't jiggy.
I would rather keep her in the BB but I feel like if I have to use so much force, it's sort of pointless.

I absolutely love my Myler Combination bit. A little pricey, but well worth it. You can find them on-line at Dover Saddlery.

As far as your mare? I find circling just makes my pony more jiggy and hot.
It does nothing to deter her "hurrying" back to the barn.

My new trick works like a charm :) I did this to her for two days and now when I saw "Walk" she walks.

Provided your horse knows how to side-pass this is what I did. And you can do it on a narrow trail as opposed to circling.

I tell her firmly "walk". As soon as she breaks into a trot, I immediately side-pass her about 5 feet or so. Not harshly, not meanly, in fact I praise her for side-passing.
But you have to be quick and consistent...consistency is the key.

Then I tell her "walk" in a firm voice, so there is no miscommunication. And we go on.
Same as getting spooky. Soon as she starts acting up, I immediately side-pass her.

In addition, a horse really can't get light in the front (rear) if you keep them side passing.

She caught on to this in only 2 days. Now I can do an entire trail ride on a draped rein. :yes:

IMO side-passing is more *annoying* to them, and makes them work harder than circling.

Here is the link for the combo bit. http://mylerbitsusa.com/bit_combo.shtml

katarine
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:47 PM
HunterTwo that's perfect: and a variation on the theme I posted: make any hint of jigging= work (your sidepassing) and/or concentrated work (stop and be soft and responsive), do you see what I'm saying? You are absolutely right- circling to circle is like doing doughnuts in the parking lot ;) lots of vroom vroom and certainly not a calmative.

OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 05:53 PM
Interesting idea, thank you!!
I did the circling to solve other problems and it worked for that. I had hoped it would work for this.

OTTBLUVER
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:00 PM
katarine - I didn't see the other response, I will have to try that. Thank you

Shadow14
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:10 PM
Also for trail I prefer something with swept-back shanks, so the horse can graze/drink without the shanks poking the ground. I do agree with you on the 'bigger bit, softer hands' idea. Totally. :) )

.

I don't agree with the grazing part on the trail but I do agree with the swept back shanks. I agree with the swept back because of wiping out. At least a few times a year I go down hard with a horse. We step in a hole or something unforseen and down we go. If the bit digs in the ground the horse gets cut and that is not acceptable. I had a horse land hard on his side and my leg this winter and did a couple of complete head over heals last summer and I don't want a bit digging into the ground.
I rod for years with side pulls but found them heavier then wearing a bit and his nose lost it's hair just from the rubbing and constant bouncing on the nose with loose reins.

Shadow14
Mar. 20, 2008, 06:15 PM
The western style bit MUST be broken in the middle, no solid bits here if you want to steer the horse. I also have no use for a rubber or nylon mouthpiece. stick to a plain broken copper or steel.
I also like heavy western style reins. Heavy so the horse feels them when you pick them up or lay one on his neck and broken so when you get dumped you can hang on to one so the horse doesn;t get away. A short single rein will get ripped out of your hand. I teach ground tying so if the rein drops the horse will stop or hopefully step on one reminding him to stop.
This works for me
http://i32.tinypic.com/211q97n.jpg

chicamuxen1
Mar. 24, 2008, 07:50 AM
I'm very much against having a jointed mouth piece on a bit with shanks. The biomechanics are counter productive. this is very like the cause of your horse objecting to the western Tom Thumb in the past. I'd also suggest something like a kimberwicke or very short shanked pelham with maybe a mullen mouth or a low port, no snaffle type joint. You may have to play around to see what works in your horses mouth. Personally, I don't care for the big fat rubber or nylon mouth pieces as many horses simply don't have a big enough mouth and high enough palette for the fat mouth piece. It ends up being such a mouth full for them that it pressed against thier tongue badly. I do like some of the Myler Kimberwickes which have a smooth low port. They are sort of jointed but in a different way. They don't bend in the middle, instead, they allow the rings to swivel. I used one very successfully on an endurance horse of mine that hated tongue pressure, so she really dislike snaffles. She could also pull like a freight train in a ride. The Myler bit had a nice port which kept the bit off her tongue and gave me a lighter horse on trail, while I could still use it it for bending and direct reining like a snaffle. Of course they cost way too much but there are vendors who will rent you Myler bits so you can try before you buy.

Bonnie

prudence
Mar. 24, 2008, 08:46 AM
I use a mullen hard rubber mouth pelham with the four reins and find it perfect for the trails. At the start of an endurance ride you have more control with this type of bit and can ask for a lowered head quite easily. Later in the ride you can switch to a hackamore or snaffle (or halter if you are so inclined!). I need the ability to collect my horse at times and since he was ridden for years in a double bridle (what I started him on trails in too) his brain works better with the pelham setup throughout the ride.

I have been told by a winner of the Tevis Cup that a kimberwicke is the best bit for endurance.

Guilherme
Mar. 24, 2008, 04:16 PM
The problem with a lot of the rubber and/or "wrapped" moutpieces is that the rubber/plastic wrap makes them too big for the horse's mouth. Such a situatuation is NOT "kind and gentle" to the horse.

I like the Myler line and use a Pelham with a low port moutpiece. It gives good feel and the ability to switch the reins (or use a four-rein rig) is a plus.

G.

Leather
Mar. 24, 2008, 05:54 PM
I second the Myler Combination bit recommendation.

I use mine with two sets of reins--I mainly ride off of the "snaffle" rein, but have the curb one there for extra stopping power when foxhunting.

Check on their website to see if there are any dealers in your area that offer a rental program. You can select any bit and take it out on trial for something like $5/day. If you purchase the bit the rental fee is applied to your purchase.