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View Full Version : Bit advise for a puller



eclipse
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:23 AM
My mare, 7 but not a lot of experiance, becomes an absolute freight train over fences. She puts her chin to her chest & runs and of course being a super round jumper as well, I am way to far forward to get her head up. We do a LOT of flat work, transitions, leg yield, shoulder in, circles etc and she is lovely on the flat to ride. I currently have her in a full cheek french link as she absolutely hated any of the snaffles I tried.

Unfortuanlty the french link just doesn't seem enough over fences. Would a Dr. Bristol be a better choice? I still want her to gallop forward as she doesn't have a long stride, but I just want to stop the head tuck & run! (Eventually I'd like to get her back into the french link but I know we still need to work on a lot of flat work for that to happen!)

jetsmom
Jun. 26, 2009, 11:27 AM
You need more leg, and softer hands, not necessarily a different bit. She is getting behind the bit. More leg cures that. Lots of transitions and bending will help.

You might consider a Happy Mouth Mullen mouth. Some horses really like them and since the action is different from a snaffle, they will move into the bit rather than curl down.

I'd also practice trotting small crossrails while schooling flat work. Just add one in randomly, making sure your reins stay soft. Getting behind the bit is often a result of pulling w/o using leg, or not softening when the horse gives.

When she trots a crossrail quietly, I would go to cantering a crossrail on a circle, keeping the reins soft. If she gets quick, half halt (using leg), and soften, letting the circle slow her down.

eclipse
Jun. 26, 2009, 11:32 AM
Thanks, but she is already trotting cross rails very very quietly. It's just when I string more than 2 fences together that the pulling starts. I know some of it's me and some of it's from her still being slightly unbalanced, but it's a horrible feeling to have them tuck their head, evade the bit & start to go like a freight train! LOL She is built slightly downhill too, so that doesn't help either.

If I ride her on a longer rein she also stays quieter but then I don't have the reins short enough to bring her back to me if I need too. She was started western & not very well I think! It's almost like she's been taught that keeping her head higher is a bad thing & I know it will get better with time, I just don't like the feeling of having nothing in my hands!

chawley
Jun. 26, 2009, 12:18 PM
It's really a matter of trial and error w/ different bits. One bit that I've had success with on multiple horses that like to pull is a rubber snaffle.

Be sure that you stop and correct her each time she rushes. Also, make sure she's not in any pain (saddle fit, hocks, back, etc.)

Spud&Saf
Jun. 26, 2009, 12:27 PM
I would make sure that she is not behind the vertical during all of her flatwork - get a video and review. She is likely behind the vertical there, too. Can be hard to feel for it at first, if you haven't had one that does it before.

Also, gymnastics -teaches her to use her body better and helps you to learn to stay out of her mouth.

As always, the old addage - less rein, more leg. Even if you think you're doing it right, it's probably your solution. (Ask me how I know this :cool:).

I would not go up in bit - would maybe try a simple snaffle, perhaps rubber or even a nathe/mullen mouth.

Spud&Saf
Jun. 26, 2009, 12:29 PM
Thanks, but she is already trotting cross rails very very quietly. It's just when I string more than 2 fences together that the pulling starts. I know some of it's me and some of it's from her still being slightly unbalanced, but it's a horrible feeling to have them tuck their head, evade the bit & start to go like a freight train! LOL She is built slightly downhill too, so that doesn't help either.

If I ride her on a longer rein she also stays quieter but then I don't have the reins short enough to bring her back to me if I need too. She was started western & not very well I think! It's almost like she's been taught that keeping her head higher is a bad thing & I know it will get better with time, I just don't like the feeling of having nothing in my hands!

Then she likely gets heavy because you are pulling. Change your level of contact, not your rein length.

Jack16
Jun. 26, 2009, 05:33 PM
I would try a less harsh bit like the others have said and think shorter reins and longer arms. That way she can have her head but if you need to pull her up you still have short enough reins to do so. Also, make sure you are using your seat and pulling from your back and shoulders and not your hands when you are pulling her up. You want to pull up and push forward so you do that by driving her forward and straight with your leg and pulling up with your back and shoulder. My last horse did a similar thing and we went with tougher bits which he avoided even more so I ended up putting a three jointed Myler snaffle in his mouth and never had another issue.

I agree too that you should make sure it isn't pain like her hocks or back or saddle or stifles locking, etc. Good luck.

goeslikestink
Jun. 26, 2009, 06:04 PM
Thanks, but she is already trotting cross rails very very quietly. It's just when I string more than 2 fences together that the pulling starts. I know some of it's me and some of it's from her still being slightly unbalanced, but it's a horrible feeling to have them tuck their head, evade the bit & start to go like a freight train! LOL She is built slightly downhill too, so that doesn't help either.

If I ride her on a longer rein she also stays quieter but then I don't have the reins short enough to bring her back to me if I need too. She was started western & not very well I think! It's almost like she's been taught that keeping her head higher is a bad thing & I know it will get better with time, I just don't like the feeling of having nothing in my hands!

jetsmoms on th right track consider pole work and grid work
and consider putting a canter ole stride behind the last jump and consider doing small grids not just one jump or two but working up from the ground from poles into small grids if shes rushing then add a canter pole after the last jump on the grid this will help slow her down but
none can be achived if you dont put the flat work in first - you know the old saying dont run before you can walk etc etc
balacne your self and the horse up on the flat then work the poles on the ground then work into small grids then in to small course of jumps etc etc