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View Full Version : Trail/endurance folks! What bit/hack do you ride in?



sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 11:39 AM
I've always been really curious about bits and bitting, and why folks choose what they do when riding. I think trail riders are one of the most interesting to look at when it comes to bit/setup choice, because there's SO much variaton.. and we have no rules/regulations as to what we can use! :lol:

So! Trail and endurance people! Fill out my fun little survey, and let's talk bits n hacks! :D

Trail or endurance? Or both?:
What kind of horse?:
English, western, or other?:
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
What bit or bitless setup do you use?:
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?
Why do you use that bit/setup?:

If ya wanna elaborate on anything, feel free! This is more for fun and because I'm curious than anything. I see some trail riders riding in halters, and then I see some in ported correction curbs, and basically EVERYTHING in between. :yes:

sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 11:43 AM
I'll go first. :)

Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
What kind of horse?: QH/Paint, old-style bulldog type.
English, western, or other?: English or Aussie.
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: w/t/c, with an occasional hand-gallop. Pretty straightforward for us.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: The typical western mechanical hackamore, or occasionally a double-jointed snaffle with a copper bean in the middle and it's curved to fit in the mouth better. Eggbutt cheeks.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Fleece noseband on the hackamore for comfort, otherwise nope.
Why do you use that bit/setup?: I tried about a zillion bitless setups, and for whatever reason, maresie likes the "big hack" with longer shanks more than anything else. And we occasionally ride in the snaffle just to refresh her memory on it, so she can still be ridden in one if the need arises ever.

Shadow14
Apr. 25, 2008, 12:44 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?:
What kind of horse?:
English, western, or other?:
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
What bit or bitless setup do you use?:
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?
Why do you use that bit/setup?:

:

Started trail riding, went endurance, lost my partners, back to trail.
Arabs. Are their anything else????
road trooper for 17 years then got bucked off my a new horse and switched to light weight western
What do I ask. Very complex manuvers. I want next to a dessage horse out there. One that pivots, sidepasses readily and quickly, backs, responds to verbal commands, can be steered with the knees, ground ties, hobbles, stakes out etc etc. I spend 2 years doing intensive training before I consider him totally trained for the trail. Forgot to include alot of trailer exercises.
I run a mild western bit. It neck reins better, has a better stop in the event of a accident, long western reins again in case we go head over heals in the bush, I have something to hang onto or something for him to step on.
I rode for years with sidepulls but they actually weight more then a bit and rub the nose if used alot
He wears back ankle boots on narrow trails since they are little more then one foot wide and he tends to interfer in this situation. On the open areas I wear nothing.
I believe strongly in shoes, no barefoot. I run about 50 miles each and every week as an average. I always carry a 10 foot neck rope in case I find a stray horse, has happened a few times and if I for some reason want to tie my guy or someone elses.
I set up or look for different tasks for him to learn each time I head out and work alot of water, deep ditches, anything that makes him more handy.
Training is a big part of my riding.
He must feel free to drop behind any horse, leave any horse, never kick and never pull or resist what I want. Must also be handy at working gates.
I believe in a good set of spurs, not used often but there if I need to back anything up.
I have soft gentle hands, use the reins to suggest , not pull but suggest but in the event I need to back that suggestion up they are also there as a tool.
Voice, body and suggestion are my means of steering and control. Spurs and reins back up the suggestion a little more aggrssively if he fails the suttle hints.

Diamond Jake
Apr. 25, 2008, 01:21 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?:Endurance
What kind of horse?:Morab
English, western, or other?: English
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
W/T/C , during long cool off walks, leg yielding, stop/backing
What bit or bitless setup do you use?:S Hack by Partrade
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Will apply breastcollar and crupper for hillier rides
Why do you use that bit/setup?: If he got anxious about wanting to burst ahead, he would pull his head up to avoid the bit. I am not comfortable with a martingale, so I tried an S Hack and got better control.

Auventera Two
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:00 PM
Endurance and Trail

I use an S-Hack on all my horses. The Arabian's hack now has the Hought Tack beta noseband. It is flat and smooth and she does fine in it. She did NOT do fine with the typical rawhide noseband though.

I use this because I want my horses to be able to eat and drink freely along the trail without me worrying about choking, or them getting discouraged. Also because I just plain do not like bitting up horses. Just my personal preference.

No extra stuff. No martingales. Just a breastcollar. No crupper. No spurs. No whip.


English or Western?
I have a dressage background and ride with all those basics in mind, in a treeless saddle.

What asked for on trail:
I ask for w/t/c/g, and also leg yielding or turn on the forehand or haunches as needed. I do very little schooling in the arena, but when I do, I work on ground basics a little jumping for fun, bareback, and just developing good response to subtle cues. More dressage basics coming through I guess.

What kind of horse?
~Arabian
~Pony of the Americas/Quarter Horse/Shetland Pony cross
~Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross

I love Norval's comment - Arabs, is there anything else? :lol: I agree. I love my other two, but darnit, if the sheeeet hit the fan, give me that Arab any day over any others.

And also, always ALWAYS A MARE! Never a gelding. (And now I shall prepare to eat these words. hehehe) Seriously though, I really dislike geldings. I want the attitude, dominance, and opinion of a good strong alpha mare. That's my kind of horse. The whole "clean the sheath" thing freaks me out. And you never know when they'll decide to um.."get comfortable." No thanks. I want mares. I have 3 mares and god willing will never have a gelding. My second choice would be a stallion (only if the vet did the cleaning!). I owned one of those too and he was great. A superb gentlemen. But I just cannot feel the mental connection with a gelding. I'm sure it's ME and not the horse, but still.

Nezzy
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:01 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: TRAIL

What kind of horse?:APPALOOSA

English, western, or other?: I RIDE ENGLISH, HORSE IS VERSATILE

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: REGULAR TRAIL RIDING WITH W/T/C AND JUMPING ON THE TRAIL

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: MYLER COMFORT SNAFFLE

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? THE LESS TACK I USE, THE BETTER- I WANT MY HORSE COMFY.

Why do you use that bit/setup?: COMFORTABLE BIT FOR THE HORSE, NOT HARSH.

ChocoMare
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:02 PM
HORSE A:
Trail or endurance? Or both?: - Trail

What kind of horse?: Clydesdale/Standardbred Cross

English, western, or other?: English

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Simple wtc, sidepass occasionally

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Eggbutt french link

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope.

Why do you use that bit/setup?: Had a fat snaffle on her but she HATED the nut-cracker effect. Tried going with a BB but had no whoa.

HORSE B:

Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail.

What kind of horse?: Percheron! (The Equine Sofa :D)

English, western, or other?: English

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Walk, trot with the very rare up-the-hill canter.

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: English mechanical hackamore

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope.

Why do you use that bit/setup?: I believe she had been terribly over-bitted prior to my acquiring her. Consequently there was nothing I could get in her mouth....and when Miss 17.3 hh puts her head up, ain't no way litte 5' 6" me is gonna win. Sooo, I tried a halter with reins clipped on. She went fine and that was that!

Auventera Two
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:12 PM
Edited to add - when I was trying to figure out what kind of hack or bitless the Arab would like - I was riding her in a Myler comfort snaffle, or an Argentine snaffle. The Argentine was used only for about 2 months while she was in this super hot, top fuel mode. No clue what that was all about, but thank the lord she grew out of it. Then I went back to the Myler snaffle, and now back to the Little S Hack.

CoopsZippo
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:27 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?:

Trial

What kind of horse?:

Qh and a MFT

English, western, or other?:

Western and Aussie

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:

QH WTC Half pass small jumps. Mft All his Gaits

What bit or bitless setup do you use?:

QH.. Likes his Full cheek snaffle. MFT... Argentine snaffle

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?

Nope

Why do you use that bit/setup?:

QH was a HUS in a former life and likes the full cheek. He will go in the Argentine too. MFT likes the Argentine so why switch

Jess!
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:31 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Endurance.
What kind of horse?: One purebred Arabian, one Half Arabian/Paint.
English, western, or other?: Endurance Saddle. So more like western.
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Pretty much just w/t/c.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: On my full Arabian, I use a french link eggbutt. On my half arabian, I use just an eggbutt with a copper mouth
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope. Just my halter/bridle combo :)
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Because snaffles are pretty easy bits, and I want my horses to be soft mouthed. I used to ride with shanked bits when I was younger, but I have more training knowledge/patience than I did when I was 16, so I switched all my horses to snaffles.

LittleblackMorgan
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:36 PM
HORSE A:
Trail or endurance? Or both?: - Trail

What kind of horse?: Morgan/Black Lab Cross :lol:

English, western, or other?: English

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Simple wtc, pop over fallen logs, over the river, thru the woods...

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: french link snaffle, kimberwicke on the beach/ in parades (just in case)

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc breastplate. fat pony. .

Why do you use that bit/setup?:

After much trial and effort, found out horse has a low palate. Kimberwick is too rough for everyday use. Regular snaffle is too soft

tabula rashah
Apr. 25, 2008, 02:37 PM
Horse #1
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
What kind of horse?: Morgan
English, western, or other?: English
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Schooling 2nd Level Dressage
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: In the ring, french link snaffle. On the trails- wonderbit.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? On the trail- running martingale
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Because he's very competitive and can go like a run away frieght train at times

Horse #2
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
What kind of horse?: TWH
English, western, or other?: English
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Regular trail stuff
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: He goes in a level 2 Mylar curb with a roller
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
Why do you use that bit/setup?: He sets up beautifully for his gait in it


Horse #3
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Both
What kind of horse?: Morgan
English, western, or other?: both
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:schooled through 1st level dressage
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: either a loose ring french snaffle or rope halter with reins
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? running martingale
Why do you use that bit/setup?: she's a low maintenance gal and doesn't need much

Shadow14
Apr. 25, 2008, 03:15 PM
And also, always ALWAYS A MARE! Never a gelding. (And now I shall prepare to eat these words. hehehe) Seriously though, I really dislike geldings. I want the attitude, dominance, and opinion of a good strong alpha mare. That's my kind of horse. The whole "clean the sheath" thing freaks me out. And you never know when they'll decide to um.."get comfortable." No thanks. I want mares. I have 3 mares and god willing will never have a gelding. My second choice would be a stallion (only if the vet did the cleaning!). I owned one of those too and he was great. A superb gentlemen. But I just cannot feel the mental connection with a gelding. I'm sure it's ME and not the horse, but still.

Vickey what's with this????:confused::confused:
We all know that the male species is the stable one. No mood swings week to week, no hot flashes, always reasonable, can always be counted upon.
I don't want another mare, had one once and never again.
I even had one on my shoing cycle that we had to change the date on because when in heat she was unmanagable.

No a good male can always be counted on to be the same day after day.

Afterall we have one thing on our mind and nothing else gets in the way:D:lol:


Remember the old saying??
How can you tell the difference between a lady with PMS and a pit bull???
Answer.
The red lipstick.

Auventera Two
Apr. 25, 2008, 03:22 PM
LOL :lol: Good one Norval. :D

Nezzy
Apr. 25, 2008, 04:54 PM
i'll take my gelding any day. Or any other gelding over most mares. notice i said MOST. there are exceptions.

katarine
Apr. 25, 2008, 05:07 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: trail only
What kind of horse?: Jake the QH and Chip the TWH
English, western, or other?: western
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
Both are broke to death: lateral aids, seat bone cues, good on leads, work gates, hop logs, etc...sharp as tacks.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Jake gets a Little S or plain eggbutt snaffle, Chip gets an Imus bit for gaited horses- he hates the poke of a normal snaffle and this has independent shanks- quiet in his mouth and gentle
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Jake could go in a halter so I like the Little S. Sometimes a snaffle just b/c. Already answered re: Chip. Anything on his head must be silent and quiet in terms of motion, too. The Imus bit does that really well.

I do like a simple, easy going Little S hack for trail riding. the short shanks won't catch on limbs, buckets, etc...and I'm not in their mouth should I choose to let them eat. But it's too much motion for Chip so he gets his bit. I hope to graduate him to a hack, I think he'd like it.

sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 05:07 PM
Looks like most of the folks here are all about comfort for the horse when choosing their equipment. That's really neat. :):yes::yes:

For the endurance folks, it seems out of all the hackamores, the s-hack is the most popular for endurance. Why is that? I've thought about trying one for my mare (the only thing I don't like about the one I use is if she tries to graze/drink, the shanks hit the ground!), but she HATES having a lot of stuff on her face, and goodness forbid the slobber/stabilizer bar between the shanks TOUCH her chin for .00001 second... she HATES that too. :eek::lol::lol:

Although I've never really looked.. do s-hacks use a stabilizer/slobber bar? The shanks are fairly short on them, so perhaps it's not needed? :confused:

sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 05:09 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: trail only
What kind of horse?: Jake the QH and Chip the TWH
English, western, or other?: western
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
Both are broke to death: lateral aids, seat bone cues, good on leads, work gates, hop logs, etc...sharp as tacks.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Jake gets a Little S or plain eggbutt snaffle, Chip gets an Imus bit for gaited horses- he hates the poke of a normal snaffle and this has independent shanks- quiet in his mouth and gentle
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Jake could go in a halter so I like the Little S. Sometimes a snaffle just b/c. Already answered re: Chip. Anything on his head must be silent and quiet in terms of motion, too. The Imus bit does that really well.

I do like a simple, easy going Little S hack for trail riding. the short shanks won't catch on limbs, buckets, etc...and I'm not in their mouth should I choose to let them eat. But it's too much motion for Chip so he gets his bit. I hope to graduate him to a hack, I think he'd like it.

Have you ever tried a "big hack" on the guy that likes the stuff on his face to be real still? My mare is the same way, she doesn't like things to move around too much on her face. So I use the big hack with a fleece noseband and leather curb strap; it keeps everything quite still and she's a happy camper.

That's why she's not a big fan of sidepulls; too much movement.

katarine
Apr. 25, 2008, 05:25 PM
LOL when I say quiet I mean reallllly quiet. Something as simple as nylon cord reins slight floppage on slight slack) vs my good heavy leather reins (no flopping, they are heavy)bothers him. Long shanks that would flap with his head nod? no way.

the little S is going to be the quietest I can find...but the nose band 'bopping' him at ALL, is an issue with him. I hope as he settles more (he's Supah Dupah sensitive) we might - maybe- get there. remember - TWH=head nod.

sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 05:40 PM
LOL when I say quiet I mean reallllly quiet. Something as simple as nylon cord reins slight floppage on slight slack) vs my good heavy leather reins (no flopping, they are heavy)bothers him. Long shanks that would flap with his head nod? no way.

the little S is going to be the quietest I can find...but the nose band 'bopping' him at ALL, is an issue with him. I hope as he settles more (he's Supah Dupah sensitive) we might - maybe- get there. remember - TWH=head nod.

I forget about the head bobbing thing.. shows how much I know about TWHs. :lol:

rideapaso
Apr. 25, 2008, 10:11 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Both

What kind of horse?: Paso Fino and Arabian

English, western, or other?: I ride in a treeless trail saddle

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Since I mostly ride a gaited horse, we gait. He also has a fabulous walk and very comfortable canter. He's finally learned how to sort of trot up hills

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: No bit -- a simple rope halter with sidepull rings.

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Breastcollar, heart rate monitor


Why do you use that bit/setup?: Riding with a halter makes it very easy for my horse to eat and drink along the trail.

rideapaso
Apr. 25, 2008, 10:19 PM
I use the big hack with a fleece noseband and leather curb strap; it keeps everything quite still and she's a happy camper.

Had to laugh at the fleece noseband. I used to have a horse that completely freaked out over fleece nosebands. The first time I put a hackamore on him with a fleece noseband he started rearing and backing with his eyes almost crossed looking at it. When I finally calmed him down and took of the fleece, he gave a great sigh of relief and was fine. Go figure. (fortunately, I was only leading him around at the time and not on his back). :rolleyes: So much for trying to be nice to his nose.:eek:

sublimequine
Apr. 25, 2008, 10:53 PM
I use the big hack with a fleece noseband and leather curb strap; it keeps everything quite still and she's a happy camper.

Had to laugh at the fleece noseband. I used to have a horse that completely freaked out over fleece nosebands. The first time I put a hackamore on him with a fleece noseband he started rearing and backing with his eyes almost crossed looking at it. When I finally calmed him down and took of the fleece, he gave a great sigh of relief and was fine. Go figure. (fortunately, I was only leading him around at the time and not on his back). :rolleyes: So much for trying to be nice to his nose.:eek:

If it makes you feel better, I had to despook my mare from the fleece the first time she wore a hack with it on there as well. It was the same thing, I nonchalantly raised the bridle to put it on, she went crosseyed and HAULED backwards like, "Ahhh it's gonna eat my faaaaace!" :lol::lol::lol:

questisthebest
Apr. 25, 2008, 11:34 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: I did endurance on my horse, but now we are just doing trail
What kind of horse?: Appendix
English, western, or other?: both
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:w/t/c and more complex maneuvers (pivots, three track work, sidepassing, and later stuffs.)
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: kk ultra, though I want a mikmar, my horse is very comfortable in it, however I don't think it's large size would be ideal for trails.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope!
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Because my horse isn't ready to move up, he responds nicely in a snaffle as well and is well behaved on the trail. He does just fine eating and drinking on the trail with the bit.

Auventera Two
Apr. 26, 2008, 09:22 AM
Although I've never really looked.. do s-hacks use a stabilizer/slobber bar? The shanks are fairly short on them, so perhaps it's not needed? :confused:

Yes. I made my own by braiding 3 colored ribbons together and tying them on. The wire band that comes with them is horrible. I made the ribbon to match the ribbon on her browband.

katarine
Apr. 26, 2008, 11:24 AM
what's so horrible about the 'wire band'? It's just a piece of cable that doesn't touch the horse. How is it horrible?

Romantic Rider
Apr. 26, 2008, 11:36 AM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Both, mostly endurance

What kind of horse?: Arabian mare and Anglo-Arabian mare (Love, love, love those Arabs:D)

English, western, or other?: English / Endurance. I have a treeless Trekker Talent for the Arab, and a Wintec Endurance for the Anglo

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: I always keep it simple a straightforward. Tried dressage with my Arab once and we both hated it.

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: JP Racing D snaffle on both, twisted on the Anglo (curved mouth pieces so it doesn't pinch)


Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Breastplate and running martingale on both, crupper on the Arab for hilly rides

Why do you use that bit/setup?: They both like the snaffle and go well in it. I don't like using strong bits, and they are too strong to go bitless. I use the martingale because they are high-headed.



Totally agree with you on the mares, A2. I love them. They are always interesting because you never know what they'll be like. But you do know they'll always try their absolute hardest for you. They are dirt tough. And I think you can form more of a relationship with a mare than a gelding. Also love the attitude. (I know there are exceptions. We have one spunky, adorable Arab gelding who is rather like a mare in his attitude and complexity, and one mare (a stupid little Paso) that I detest.) I want a horse that thinks. Don't put me on a boring horse.

Auventera Two
Apr. 26, 2008, 01:20 PM
what's so horrible about the 'wire band'? It's just a piece of cable that doesn't touch the horse. How is it horrible?

It is horrible because it was constantly getting kinked and the little loops that hold it on would slide up the ring, torquing the whole shank and pulling it cockeyed. The ribbon I made is loose so it slides easily on the ring and doesn't put torque on it. I'm not constantly fighting the shanks getting pulled under the jaw anymore.

CosMonster
Apr. 26, 2008, 01:24 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Both

What kind of horse?: Arabs and TBs

English, western, or other?: English. I do have a western saddle I ride in frequently, but my horses don't neck rein or anything like that. My serious western riding friends say I ride English in a western saddle :lol:

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: I try for variety with all my horses, whether they are primarily trail, show, or endurance horses. I train them to at least 1st level dressage and low-level jumping, and we put that to use on the trail in addition to simple w/t/c/g.

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: On my Arab mare I use an english mechanical hackamore, on both the TBs I use french link snaffles, and on my Arab gelding I use a Herm Sprenger Turnado snaffle. I sometimes put the hack on him if we're just going for a short trail ride.


Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Sometimes a breastplate for hills, but never martingales or tie downs. On my Arab gelding I use a loosely adjusted flash because he seems to like the extra stability it gives (it's still plenty loose enough for him to open his mouth a bit, and when we start going on longer rides and he gets more broke I'll probably either forego it except for arena work or just ride him in the hack).

Why do you use that bit/setup?: I prefer a bit because I feel it lets me communicate more subtly with my horse. I use the softest bit possible, and pick one that fits with the horse's personality and the size and shape of their mouth. The mare goes tolerably well in a bit but prefers the hackamore (I think it's due in a large part to the fact that the woman who started her was extremely heavy handed), so I go with that. I use the mechanical english because it was cheap and I bought it on a whim to see if she went better in one, and she did. I've since tried out several other styles of bitless bridles and I've found that she goes about the same or worse in them, so we stick with the first one. It's nice when the cheapest option is also the best--seems to happen so rarely with horses. ;)

As far as the mares vs. geldings debate, I've worked with mares, stallions, and geldings and I've got to say that I like them all. I think so much of it is just personal preference--personally, I started out as a mare person and all geldings seemed boring, then I had a few to many shows ruined by a hormonal mare and became a gelding person and all mares started to seem witchy, then I wound up with a bunch of both in my care and I realized that I liked the ones I liked regardless of gender. If that makes sense. :lol: I think some people do genuinely get along with one gender better than the other, but I'm not one of them.

Shadow14
Apr. 26, 2008, 02:53 PM
I repeat as I did in some other posts. Why do you want your horse to eat out on trail??? Is he fed so poorly the other 22 hours of his life that you need to be feeding him out on trail?? It is an annoying habit that shouldn't be started in the first place. Dropping the head to snatch a bit of grass will get you in trouble not to mention the annoyance factor.
Drinks better without a bit??? Again do you really think your horse needs to drink all the time?? Stopping to let him play at each water puddle is again annoying. I will let my horse stop say once every few hours to have a descent drink and if he is truely thursty he will drink. Letting him wet his lips every few minutes does nothing.
On an endurance or mileage ride you water about every hour, few every vet checkpoint but not inbetween.
Another thing I read about not having a bit helps the horse breath better?????
That is a new one. A horse runs with his mouth closed. Spent alot of time at a lope this mornig and watched his mouth closely. Never saw it open to breath or eat.
I certainly can match anyone with running bitless or doing anything else bitless but I find a light snaffle bit more comfortable then running bitless.
Bitless is alot of show off. Look at me, I don't need a bit, my horse is well trained??? Again alot of show.
I have had girls steel my bridle, slipped it off the horse and ran off. I loped along with them for a few miles and they gave it back because it was no fun watching my horse lope with them totally free and still in control.
I don't need a bit, I prefer one and find alot of times those riding without end up heavy handed to control the horse. Try running in a group and see if your bitless horse stays light???
No eating on trial, no breathing through the mouth and only drinking when you truely are thirsty. Makes for a better drinker and less playing.
This is experience talking.

katarine
Apr. 26, 2008, 03:02 PM
if it was kinking you had the shanks all twisted up on the noseband. That's the only time I ever had trouble with mine: I let the SO swap headstalls and he was sloppy in installing the hack. Undid it, untwisted it, done. Just curious- it was user error ;)

sublimequine
Apr. 26, 2008, 06:32 PM
Another thing I read about not having a bit helps the horse breath better?????
That is a new one. A horse runs with his mouth closed. Spent alot of time at a lope this mornig and watched his mouth closely. Never saw it open to breath or eat.


I've wondered about the breathing thing myself, but I'm assuming the mouth DOES have some sort of effect on the breathing, otherwise why would some racehorse as well as some saddleseat horses get their tongues tied down?

Also, I actually knew a Saddlebred (ridden Dressage, NOT a Saddleseat horse) that had his nose broken as a youngster (a farrier punched him in the face.. I kid you not), and had breathing issues ever since when really all-out exerting himself. His breathing was somehow compromised/decreased when ridden in bits, you could literally HEAR the difference when he was ridden in the bitless setup she had him in. He'd make these godawful gagging/choke/snort sounds with a bit in; with the bitless, just a light snort with each stride. I don't know how that actually works, but for extreme cases like that (don't know many horses like him, poor guy!), it does come in handy. Same goes for horses with injured tongues, broken jaws, etc, etc.


I certainly can match anyone with running bitless or doing anything else bitless but I find a light snaffle bit more comfortable then running bitless.
Bitless is alot of show off. Look at me, I don't need a bit, my horse is well trained??? Again alot of show.
I have had girls steel my bridle, slipped it off the horse and ran off. I loped along with them for a few miles and they gave it back because it was no fun watching my horse lope with them totally free and still in control.
I don't need a bit, I prefer one and find alot of times those riding without end up heavy handed to control the horse. Try running in a group and see if your bitless horse stays light???

And some folks are more comfortable riding bitless than in a snaffle. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks! :lol:

Also, heavy-handed-ness has NOTHING to do with equipment. I think we can both agree that rough hands is the rider's error, and someone with rough hands isn't going to be any different if you have a ginormous bit on their horse's face, or a sidepull, or a snaffle, etc, etc.

As for lightness in bitless setups, I take my mare for romps through the fields in her hackamore. I actually have more brakes and more lightness in her hackamore than in the snaffle. A lot of it has to do with WHAT KIND of bitless setup is being used. Of course lightness is gonna be a heck of a lot harder to achieve in a rope halter, rather than a mechanical hack. It's no different with bits, like using a snaffle vs a curb bit.

CosMonster: A tornado snaffle?! What's that? Sounds funny! :lol:

Jess!
Apr. 26, 2008, 07:01 PM
I repeat as I did in some other posts. Why do you want your horse to eat out on trail??? Is he fed so poorly the other 22 hours of his life that you need to be feeding him out on trail?? It is an annoying habit that shouldn't be started in the first place. Dropping the head to snatch a bit of grass will get you in trouble not to mention the annoyance factor.
Drinks better without a bit??? Again do you really think your horse needs to drink all the time?? Stopping to let him play at each water puddle is again annoying. I will let my horse stop say once every few hours to have a descent drink and if he is truely thursty he will drink. Letting him wet his lips every few minutes does nothing.
On an endurance or mileage ride you water about every hour, few every vet checkpoint but not inbetween.
Another thing I read about not having a bit helps the horse breath better?????
That is a new one. A horse runs with his mouth closed. Spent alot of time at a lope this mornig and watched his mouth closely. Never saw it open to breath or eat.
I certainly can match anyone with running bitless or doing anything else bitless but I find a light snaffle bit more comfortable then running bitless.
Bitless is alot of show off. Look at me, I don't need a bit, my horse is well trained??? Again alot of show.
I have had girls steel my bridle, slipped it off the horse and ran off. I loped along with them for a few miles and they gave it back because it was no fun watching my horse lope with them totally free and still in control.
I don't need a bit, I prefer one and find alot of times those riding without end up heavy handed to control the horse. Try running in a group and see if your bitless horse stays light???
No eating on trial, no breathing through the mouth and only drinking when you truely are thirsty. Makes for a better drinker and less playing.
This is experience talking.

I let my horses "snatch and grab" when I'm on an endurance ride, because it's good to keep them eating during the ride. My one mare won't eat on the trail, but my other one is a HOOVER and will snatch tall grass as she's trotting along. I want to keep her guts moving, and in two of my endurance books it says it's good for them to nibble along the trail [Go the Distance by Nancy S Loving, DVM and umm..forgot the other one. I'll go look it up...]

Shadow14
Apr. 26, 2008, 07:18 PM
Sorry, I can't respond to any emails today,
Something has crashed on
my computer and the mouse is missing. . .
http://i32.tinypic.com/n65kli.jpg

sublimequine
Apr. 26, 2008, 07:21 PM
Sorry, I can't respond to any emails today,
Something has crashed on
my computer and the mouse is missing. . .
http://i32.tinypic.com/n65kli.jpg

I've seen that before. It's kittenvirus.exe. Tragic. :no::no::no:

:lol:

Shadow14
Apr. 26, 2008, 07:33 PM
I let my horses "snatch and grab" when I'm on an endurance ride, because it's good to keep them eating during the ride. My one mare won't eat on the trail, but my other one is a HOOVER and will snatch tall grass as she's trotting along. I want to keep her guts moving, and in two of my endurance books it says it's good for them to nibble along the trail [Go the Distance by Nancy S Loving, DVM and umm..forgot the other one. I'll go look it up...]

We look at 50 miles as long but it really isn't that far and a horse that has gotten a good feeding the night before doesn't need to eat along the trail.
Are these dedicated race horses or our pets?? If a pet then we use it for other things and again the annoyance factor is high with a horse eating along the trial.
I have run 32 successful rides and never had a horse pulled or very very seldom got anything but A ratings and I don't believe in feeding along the trail as I am trotting along. Drink at designated water troughs yes and in practice only every couple of hours.
The arab horse was developed as a war horse. They were fed the night before, no breakfast and worked hard all day long, not pampered with snacks all day nor water.
Read all the books but in the end decide for yourself.
'Again I have 32 rides behind me, never a problem and the only reason I didn't do more is because they don't mean that much to me, not worth the drive, the lost weekend and yet my horse does his own 50 miles plus each and every week of his life just carrying me through the woods I love.
Read the books and then decide what is right for you. Alot of your experts are better writers then rides and readers follow their words blindly.

Jess!
Apr. 26, 2008, 07:51 PM
It is true to do what works best for you and your horse as a team. I like to keep mine nibbling a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, they are not eating the whole entire ride! :eek: They get a few mouthfuls each loop.

I've also figured out with my one mare, if I give her a half of carrot, or let her munch some grass, about a mile out of the vet check she is RAVENOUS when she comes in and will eat very nicely and drink better at the holds.

The other mare could care less if she has food along the way, and truth be told doesn't even eat much at the vet checks. LOL

HiddenStars826
Apr. 26, 2008, 11:55 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
What kind of horse?: Arabian
English, western, or other?: Mostly western (sometimes I throw english saddle on), but I usually use a bareback pad
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: On the trails? walk/trot, some short cantering (stifle issues), sometimes more depending on who we are with/where we are/terrain/etc.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Parelli rope hackamore
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? No way
Why do you use that bit/setup?: My horse, when he wants to, has a habit of grabbing the bit and bolting- the more you touch the bit, the more he tucks his head and goes faster. He can't brace against the hackamore that way because the pressure points are different, and he is much more relaxed in the hackamore. It's also somewhat for me- I've noticed that I seem to use my reins more if I have a bit in my horse's mouth than I do with the hackamore (not really sure why though...never figured it out), and that makes him worse. I also figure if he's wellbehaved enough to go out on the trails with his rope hackamore, there is no sense in adding more- he does everything I ask perfectly, so I don't NEED anything more.

carp
Apr. 27, 2008, 11:11 AM
Trail or endurance? Or both?:Trail
What kind of horse?:Quarter Horse
English, western, or other?:Eclectic mix--whatever tack happens to fit at the time. This year it's a barrel saddle.
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: W-T-C
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Currently in a very thin fixed sweet iron snaffle dee.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Both my horses are in training, and my trainer likes this bit setup. The bit has a strong bend as well as being thin, so it's more severe than any of the bits I normally use. I'll be ditching the arrangement as soon as the horses are out of training. I like full cheek bits because they make the "turn your head" message a little clearer when you are using direct rein. Normally I use a variant on Dr Bristol full cheek with a copper roller instead of a flat piece in the middle. I wanted a copper french link, and this is the closest approximation I could find. My gelding seems pretty happy in it. My mare in contrast, detests the roller bit, so I had her in a regular copper full cheek snaffle. Unfortunately she chewed the heck out of her snaffle, so now it's unusable. :no: One of my friends lent me a rubber snaffle which worked pretty well. Alas, I can't find the exact bit in any of my local tack stores. I'll probably try a Happy Mouth snaffle instead.

matryoshka
Apr. 27, 2008, 01:07 PM
1. Mostly trail, but trying to get into endurance.
2. I ride an OTTB, but also have an Arabian and a WB and am fostering a Haflinger. I ride them all in the same type of bit.
3. I used to ride English, but due to injury need a western tree for support of my hip. So, I have an Abetta endurance saddle, but recently switched to an Abetta western. A hack saw nicely converted it to an endurance pommel. ;)
4. I only ask for what is required by the trail. Butch recently learned to back up when we were marking trails for the Foxcatcher ride. I've also been asking him to get off his forhand, and his topline has started to develop nicely. This was advice from an osteopath, and she was soooo right!
5. I use an egg butt French link snaffle. I like egg butt bits because they don't pinch the corners of the mouth. I like the French link because it offers tongue relief and enough movement that the horse can play with it if desired. Horses who come to me with problems from other bits seem to go fine for me in a French link. When I go bitless, I use a side pull. I've got both a leather-rolled side pull and a padded Biothane side pull.
6. I use a martingale to keep the saddle from sliding backwards when going up hills or galloping. I need to get him used to a crupper, too.

Auventera Two
Apr. 28, 2008, 08:53 AM
if it was kinking you had the shanks all twisted up on the noseband. That's the only time I ever had trouble with mine: I let the SO swap headstalls and he was sloppy in installing the hack. Undid it, untwisted it, done. Just curious- it was user error ;)

I've never undone or redone anything. The hack is about 4 years old and after so much use on 3 different horses, the cable has just gotten stiff and kinked. Replacing it was literally a 5 minute fix and really not a big deal.

Auventera Two
Apr. 28, 2008, 08:56 AM
I let my horses "snatch and grab" when I'm on an endurance ride, because it's good to keep them eating during the ride. My one mare won't eat on the trail, but my other one is a HOOVER and will snatch tall grass as she's trotting along. I want to keep her guts moving, and in two of my endurance books it says it's good for them to nibble along the trail [Go the Distance by Nancy S Loving, DVM and umm..forgot the other one. I'll go look it up...]

I agree with your post. The endurance books I have, and also the AERC handbook say it's good to encourage the horse to eat along the trail. Obviously this doesn't mean you come to a halt in the middle of the trail and block it while your horse eats.

My mare grabs the tops off tall grass, or sticks as we walk or trot along. When we canter, she never tries. She learned to do this as a baby when she was ponyed off my experienced trail horse. She can grab grass and not miss a beat.

Everybody does things their own way and as long as you're not harming horses or other riders, I really see no problem. :confused: Every horse and rider is different and once you figure out what works for your horse, that's what you should do.

dreamswept
Apr. 28, 2008, 10:19 AM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail, I'd like to try CTR, but don't think we'd make it in endurance as he's not really suitable for that.
What kind of horse?: Haflinger!
English, western, or other?: Abetta Endurance Saddle
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Mostly just W/T/C on trail. We're working on an obstacle course in the arena, with sidepassing, backing up, etc.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Full cheek snaffle with a french-link mouth. I'd like to try a sidepull sometime.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc): Nope, he's clean and simple
Why do you use that bit/setup?: When I got Mitch, he was ridden in a Tom Thumb at his old barn. I don't like Tom Thumb bits, and am a big fan of full cheek snaffles since they don't get pulled through the mouth. I rode the mare I was leasing on trails with a full cheek snaffle, and chose a French-link mouth because I think 3-piece mouthpieces are the best. I tried it on Mitch, and he's great with it.

matryoshka
Apr. 28, 2008, 10:20 AM
My OTTB is a hard keeper, and you can bet I let him eat on the trail. He eats and drinks fine in any bit. One important thing about letting horses eat on the trail is that ulcers start on empty stomachs, so if yours is prone, grass along the way can help keep the guts churning something besides acid. I've got mine trained to eat when I say "grass." This doesn't mean he doesn't try to eat at other times. The problem is that he'll eat during trail rides but get hyped up in competition. We're working on it.

As for not allowing a horse to drink when it wants, that sounds like torture to me. Do you only allow yourself to drink at designated times? Heck, I carry a water bottle and a camel back so I can drink when I'm thirsty. If your horse is playing instead of drinking, then move on. I ask mine to drink, and if he plays and I'm not in the mood, we walk off. Sometimes I let him play to cool us (and any surrounding horses) down.

If a sidepull gave me enough control or could get my horse's head up when he starts bucking, you can bet I'd ride in one. Why use a bit when you can do without? It isn't showing off--it is choosing what is comfortable for you and your horse. My guy is fine bitless until he gets fit, and then he acts like a racehorse at the track. That was his job before I got him, and I can't really blame him for reverting.

Spoiling is when the rider allows the horse to do what he wants, when he wants. If we think that snatching grass along the trail is important for his well being, then it isn't spoiling the horse to allow him to do so or to train him to do so upon command. Same goes with drinking.

If you disagree, I recommend going out and scribing for a ride. Then instead of 32 or so rides, you can see how 100 or more rides are going for all different types of horses. You'll see dehydration and colic aplenty. You'll hear the vets' comments about horses and recovery. The responsibility of the rider is to find out what works best for his or her horse. That means that all advice, whether from books or the internet, needs to be read with healthy skepticism. Discussion is good. ;)

BTW, I think Dr. Cook is the one who did the study about horses breathing better when bitless. It has to do with how they hold their jaw and how that affects the airway. Since he has something to sell, one has to look at it a closely for self-interest. I KNOW that having teeth floated regularly affects how the horse holds his jaw and therefore his breathing. My horse is a roarer, so breathing is an important issue for us. Wish his speed was a little (okay, a lot) better controlled without a bit!

jazzrider
Apr. 28, 2008, 11:57 AM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: We usually do 2-3 hour trail rides, 1x/week in winter, 2-3x in the summer.
What kind of horse?: I'm riding at TWH right now, but also have a QH to ride when he isn't lame :no:.
English, western, or other?: I have a Tucker Plantation saddle for my TWH for trail riding, but also have a dressage saddle for him that I use for training and schooling, and short hacks by our property. For my QH, I have a Circle Y Park and Trail western saddle, but more often ride him in an Albion dressage saddle since we only do short rides and it's more comfy for me.
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: We try to make the horses use all their gaits out on trail. I've also recently started doing bending and lateral work on trail to get my TWH's mind on me.
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: I use a Level 1 Mylar Comfort Snaffle bit with short shanks on my TWH, and use and O-ring Mylar Comfort Snaffle on my QH. Love those bits!
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope. Even riding dressage with my QH I refused to use even a flash. No "extra stuff." I do ride with a breast plate on my TWH if I know we're going to do a lot of steep hills -- but that's it.
Why do you use that bit/setup?: Around the property I often ride them in their halters with snap reins attached, but like to have a bit in out on trail just in case. I'm very light handed (my QH has TMJ issues), so see no reason to pay for a bitless set up when they're happy going in the snaffle bits (I did consider it though). I did try using the Mylar without the shanks on my TWH, but he seemed confused by it. He came with an evil bit with 7" shanks that I would never use on him (he's a sweety, very responsive, goes well). The Mylar with the 5 inch is kind and a nice compromise.

12hooves
Apr. 28, 2008, 10:35 PM
[QUOTE=sublimequine;3168467]I've always been really curious about bits and bitting, and why folks choose what they do when riding. I think trail riders are one of the most interesting to look at when it comes to bit/setup choice, because there's SO much variaton.. and we have no rules/regulations as to what we can use! :lol:

So! Trail and endurance people! Fill out my fun little survey, and let's talk bits n hacks! :D

Trail or endurance? Or both?:TRAIL
What kind of horse?:KMSH
English, western, or other?:I have an ABETTA TRAIL saddle but would like to get a TREELESS (not sure which one)
What do you ask of your horse? WALK, GAIT, and CANTER which usually turns into GALLOP, and WHOA DAMMIT!:lol:
What bit or bitless setup do you use?:FLEECE LINED HACKAMORE with a short shank
Use any extra 'stuff' with it?: I keep a HALTER on under the bridle, and a ROPE either on the halter or in my SADDLE BAG
Why do you use that bit/setup?:I haven't had a horse yet that wasn't comfortable with it. It's easy to put on/take off. We can let the horses eat after a couple hours out on the trail either with the hackamore on or can easily slip it off with the halter still on. I would like to try a ROPE HALTER/BRIDLE, but I know of a barn where they use rope halters and I don't think the horses like them. (they tell me things:lol:) I've seen where the knots have rubbed the hair off on the side of the nose. They just look like they would be uncomfortable. Do they make them with a softer rope?

matryoshka
Apr. 29, 2008, 12:32 AM
Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a KMSH?

BTW, you can make your own rope halter using whatever type of rope you choose. Search the internet for directions on how to tie. They usually list how much rope you need for the size halter you want. It is frustrating to learn, but rewarding once you get the hang of it.

12hooves
Apr. 29, 2008, 07:29 AM
Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a KMSH?

BTW, you can make your own rope halter using whatever type of rope you choose. Search the internet for directions on how to tie. They usually list how much rope you need for the size halter you want. It is frustrating to learn, but rewarding once you get the hang of it.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse:) and, thanks, I'll have to check that out.

Shadow14
Apr. 29, 2008, 01:05 PM
32 rides or 132 rides. If you can keep a horse running with almost straight A's for 32 rides you have the procedure down. I have seen many a horse on the ground, vets pumping the IV bags trying to get fluids into him. It is not pretty.
The longest I have done is 65 miles. I feel my weight of 193 plus saddle and equipment and a 870 pound horse is too hard on the animal for a 100. I have even completed rides with horses in the high 700 pound range but spend alot of time on the ground.
We tell our kids not to keep eating junk between meals since we don't want to spoil their appetite yet we let our horses play in the water whenever the opportuinity presents itself. Like kids this just spoils the appetitie.
If you only let the horse have water every hour to 2 hours he appreciates the water and drinks a large drink at the time. I have never had a problem with dehydration so something must be right.
If you are serious about running then you have no time for the horse to graze along the trail in a run. I haven't at least and I have never seen any of the runners in front of me doing it either. Maybe the guys behind are the grazers.
Again if I had a good looking partner that wanted to run I would do it all again but not running alone. NO fun in doing it alone and I don't know a single person doing it anymore.

Jess!
Apr. 29, 2008, 01:24 PM
32 rides or 132 rides. If you can keep a horse running with almost straight A's for 32 rides you have the procedure down. I have seen many a horse on the ground, vets pumping the IV bags trying to get fluids into him. It is not pretty.
The longest I have done is 65 miles. I feel my weight of 193 plus saddle and equipment and a 870 pound horse is too hard on the animal for a 100. I have even completed rides with horses in the high 700 pound range but spend alot of time on the ground.
We tell our kids not to keep eating junk between meals since we don't want to spoil their appetite yet we let our horses play in the water whenever the opportuinity presents itself. Like kids this just spoils the appetitie.
If you only let the horse have water every hour to 2 hours he appreciates the water and drinks a large drink at the time. I have never had a problem with dehydration so something must be right.
If you are serious about running then you have no time for the horse to graze along the trail in a run. I haven't at least and I have never seen any of the runners in front of me doing it either. Maybe the guys behind are the grazers.
Again if I had a good looking partner that wanted to run I would do it all again but not running alone. NO fun in doing it alone and I don't know a single person doing it anymore.

I'm going to comment on this.

I am a front runner, I usually top ten, and my last ride I was first in, 20 minutes ahead of everyone else. :winkgrin:

And I still let me horses grab grass as we're trotting along. My last mare was pretty coordinated and could grab at the canter, as well.

I only let them grab every so often, I'm not stopping every few minutes to let them graze.

Whether or not they are good eaters or drinkers - I don't want an empty stomach. Endurance horses, or any horses that are in heavy heavy work, are more prone to ulcers than horses who aren't in heavy work. Keeping those digestive juices working on something, even if it's only a handful or grass or a few carrots at each water stop, helps.

I used to be anti feeding on the trail, but I am no longer so. I want to keep my horses healthy. I did have a mare who refused to eat on the trail, and we never had a problem with her, so sometimes you don't have to.

And I always let them have water. But, if they start pawing at it, or playing, I pull them up and leave. My horses either drink, or leave. No playing. It's disrespectful to other riders to let my horse bang around in the water, and potentially upset their horse into not drinking.

matryoshka
Apr. 29, 2008, 11:38 PM
Whether or not they are good eaters or drinkers - I don't want an empty stomach. Endurance horses, or any horses that are in heavy heavy work, are more prone to ulcers than horses who aren't in heavy work. Keeping those digestive juices working on something, even if it's only a handful or grass or a few carrots at each water stop, helps.Yes, this is the point. One cannot accurately compare human and equine digestive systems. Horses are designed to have something in their stomachs all the time. My guy came off the track with ulcers, so I'm very careful about it. He also got dehydration colic once from not drinking on the trail. So I trained him to drink on the trail.

One has to learn an individual horse's needs and not go by what one rider (or 20) found to be okay. What worked for your horse might seriously impair mine. And he's 1100 lbs. I had a little 900 lb mare that did great in CTR, and she didn't like to drink on the trail at all. That was okay for her. She never colicked in her entire life (she died at 28).

BTW, congratulions Jess!

Simbalism
Apr. 30, 2008, 12:41 AM
Trail or endurance? Or both?:Trail
What kind of horse?: chestnut TB mare
English, western, or other?: I usually ride in my western style endurance saddle for trail rides, english in the ring or just around the farm.
What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: w/t/c, side passing, turn on forehand, backing
What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Mostly use an english hackamore with fleece nose band. If I do use a bit, I use a Happy Mouth mullen mouthpiece.
Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? When I used to show I used a standing martingale. Now nothing extra.
Why do you use that bit/setup?: I thought it would make it easier for my girl to drink at water crossings.

yellow-horse
Apr. 30, 2008, 01:06 AM
currently trail riding, used to do endurance and ctr's
the bit/bitless set up is individaul for each horse,
my dear departed horse rode her in a halter for competition and recreation, the only time i used a bit was when it was required for dressage, we did dressage, endrance, hunters, eventing, hunter paces and fox hunted a few times, except for dressage and fox huntin, used a leather halter, even in cross country or hunter paces, i had no problem controlling her in a crowd, she was comfortable, i was comfortable, saw no reason to use a bit, when i did use one it was a french link, i tried a side pull and hack and she didn't like it
morgan mare, use a halter for trail riding, that's all i do with her
husband twh we use a french link
i have an insanely large bit collection for someone who doesn't use them
i rode for decades in a prix d, it was the most comfortable for us, we did look odd doing distance in a jumping saddle but it worked. no knee rolls or much of a seat, i could put my leg anywhere i wanted
currently have a tenn walking horse saddle that i tricked out changed the stirrups and rigging on it the seat is so deap you'd have to fling yourself out of it to go off, an old county dressage that i love and a collegiate close contact, use a breast collar on the twh
as far as bit vs bitless, i could care less what folks ride in, but i've never done anything advanced enough to need that kind of refinement
i like to trot for trail riding, but also expect the horse to be able to do lateral and 3 track movements

matryoshka
May. 1, 2008, 10:26 AM
i have an insanely large bit collection for someone who doesn't use themThis made me laugh. I've got so much equipment that I bought for a specific reason and now barely use. I just know that if I donate or sell it, I'll need it for something!!

ChocoMare
May. 1, 2008, 10:34 AM
This made me laugh. I've got so much equipment that I bought for a specific reason and now barely use. I just know that if I donate or sell it, I'll need it for something!!

Sell or trade it all for what you want/need here! http://bitsandbarter.proboards74.com/index.cgi?

The ads are free!!!

Auventera Two
May. 1, 2008, 12:14 PM
I agree on the ulcer thing. I don't have a horse with an ulcer (that I know of), but I do have one myself. What feels best is to keep food in my stomach. I take Nexium but once a lesion is there, it is difficult to clear it up. Antacids did nothing. Managing only with diet did nothing. Even a supposedly very good proton pump inhibiter - Protonix did nothing. Nexium is the only thing that has improved it. The pain is extremely sharp and hot, like a knife in your gutt. Thankfully mine is controlled with the medication and "grazing" on snacks all day. When I get hungry, I need to eat, or I get really uncomfortable. If anybody has Kurt Cobain's journal, he talks frequently about the severe ulcer pain he lived with and the inability to heal it. He had cancelled tours, and cut them short due to ulcer pain. He writes about laying in bed and wishing to die because the pain is so bad. He ended up killing himself, and a lot of Cobain finatics believe this was mostly due to the unresolved pain in his stomach that he couldn't ever escape from.

No way would I want to chance ulcers in my horse. If some mouthfulls of grass or other food along the way can keep the acid off the stomach walls a little bit, I am all for that. I would take a guess that there are more heavily worked horses with ulcers than we realize. When they protest or are just "grumpy" or doesn't recover as well as they should, they may be having pain that they cannot tell us about.

And congratulations Jess, I love reading your posts!

Rienzi
May. 1, 2008, 01:44 PM
Golly gee-whiz. Rode a Arab-Quarter cross on the trails for a few days. Guess I was a big show-off to ride him in a short-shanked, fleece-lined mechanical hackamore, regardless of the fact he responded beautifully to the slightest bump on the reins.

Or could it be the fact that he hated his bit (regular snaffle), would get grumpy and sling his head around when he was wearing the bit? Whereas he was happy and cooperative in the hackamore?

Hmmm.

Horses are just as individual as people, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially when it comes to tack and riding styles.

And let's face it anyway -- most of the control we have of the horse is in the horse's mind, not in the bit.

rainechyldes
May. 1, 2008, 02:36 PM
Trail or endurance? Or both?: Endurance/plus ring work and the occasional schooling show. Endurance horses I firmly believe should have the skill set that any other well mannered and able horse citizen should have. and should be able to compete cross disciplines at lower levels with ease.

What kind of horse?: arab/appy gelding and an NSH mare.

English, western, or other?: Aussie when competing endurance/ english saddle for ring work

What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: all my horses learn w/t/c/-collected/working/extended/ leg yields/shoulders in/ simple & flying changes/counter canter/ jumping/ xcountry etc

What bit or bitless setup do you use?: arena/showing - loose ring snaffle, endurance - they start in a loose ring, eventually I move them to a hackamore.

Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Not in endurace. bridle/saddle, that's all folks. I have been known to use surcingles and side reins when schooling.

Why do you use that bit/setup?: because it generally works for my horses and me.

CosMonster
May. 1, 2008, 03:15 PM
sublimequine--

http://http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=40587&Category_Code=Sprenger&Product_Count=2

It is a funny sounding name, isn't it? :lol: Basically it's just a normal single-jointed snaffle but the joint is angled so it lays flat in the mouth even when pressure is put on the reins, as opposed to the scissor-like action of a regular snaffle. The horse I use it on goes better in a single-jointed snaffle rather than a french link, but he has a low palette (sp?) and kind of a large tongue so it was difficult to find a bit that didn't scrape the top of his mouth. On my horses with normal mouths I didn't notice any real difference, but it's a huge improvement for him.