View Full Version : Sort of Spinoff: COnfessions of a "Bit Ho"

Nov. 28, 2009, 07:58 PM
I am a bit "ho" :eek::yes: I LOVE bits, I have so many bits and if I find one I don't have, and it is reasonably priced (I buy a lot of used bits here and there) then I buy it! My wall in my tack room is full of bits of every description. I suppose I need help, but here is my bit confession/dilemma:

In spite of my "addiction" I cannot bring myself to get a Mikmar! They just don't LOOK right, not like a bit at all. i just can't get past the fact they look like huge torture devices! :no: The horses I have seen wearing them look uncomfortable, like it just doesn't fit the mouth. Am I missing something here? (seriously!) Should I break down and add one to my collection?? :confused: I have a few bits I have never used, but I figure someday I will, but a lot of them get used here and there when I need something that a particular horse needs.

Nov. 28, 2009, 08:36 PM
from one bit "ho" to another....nope I wouldnt get one. I have had a few that go well in it them, but not for long enough to justify owning one.

Nov. 28, 2009, 10:54 PM
They just seem a little bit too 'contraptiony' to me. And aren't they REALLY expensive? I wouldn't buy one until someone I really trust has told me I need one. Which I hope they never will.

Nov. 29, 2009, 12:09 AM
So first things first. The mikmar mouthpiece is a relatively soft mouthpiece that most horses will accept and even "lay on" happily. It also does a bang up job of promoting salivation as evidenced by my (former) mare: http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2183398380094686761SELxmV

I've used the mikmar combo bit on several horses with great success. I purchased one for an extremely fussy (and psychotic) QH I had who couldn't handle anything in his mouth at all thanks to his extraordinarily low and thick palate in conjunction with his high degree of sensitivity. I tried almost every bit/type of bit in my EXTENSIVE collection (I tried at least 25 bits on that horse with NO luck), and finally decided to order the mikmar kind of as a last ditch effort. I picked up a combo bit with a low, curved port.

The mikmar turned out to be the softest thing in that horse's mouth....much more so than a mullen mouth, happy mouth, french link, or any other type of snaffle. If I put the reins on the mouthpiece (as opposed to the shank or noserope) it functioned like a super super soft snaffle. The combination of that and a rein on the nose rope turned out to be magic for this particular horse. And then the curb strap was a nice piece as well since he was a "curler."

I ended up selling him, but then I tried it on one of my jumper mares who needed better brakes in the show ring (the mare in the pic above). The soft mouthpiece was great for her since she was a pretty sensitive horse, and the nose rope gave me additional brakes that didn't cause any head tossing or fighting on her part.

As a side note, I'm not sure I would bestow the title "bit ho" to anyone who looks at ANY bit sideways or without realizing that every bit out there has it's use on some horse or another. I mean seriously, giving pause makes you a "bit call girl" at best :lol:

Nov. 29, 2009, 07:39 AM
I'm a bit 'ho, too.

When I look at my bit library, however, it seems that I'm a rather conventional, even prudish sort: Everything is some sort of snaffle.

Now that I'm getting old (and perhaps losing my 'hoing edge), I realize that I could get by with fewer gadgets. I mean, really, what's the difference between a D-ring happymouth mullenmouth and an egg-butt version of the same?

In my later buying years, I did start to experiment with leverage and instability in bits-- so I added some full cheeks, a Waterford and a three-ring, elevator bit to the mix.

I stopped experimenting with this or that metal to encourage salivation.

But I do pay attention to soft materials like Nathe versus black rubber, versus happymouth when they are built into mullenmouth bits that flex evenly throughout.

And I still peruse the bit section at any tack store or mobile store-- perhaps there will be some wacky bit out there I haven't thought of.

God forbid I'd ever get into the western world. Bitting there is even more complicated and expensive that in "ours." The true bit 'hos there have vast collections of bits... even custom-made things built (for $3 Grand) to suit the conformation of a particular horse from palate to shoulder.

We have *no* idea.

Nov. 29, 2009, 08:55 AM
GET ONE!!! I LOVE my short shank low port combo mikmar and so does my horse. I can't wait to get the pelham version so that I can ride my horse in the Talent Search.

Nov. 29, 2009, 09:24 AM
I have more bits then most people at my barn, and i have everything, from happy mouths to leverage bits, including a mikmar! most of the time when bring people into my locker, when they need to borrow a bit, they see that and say how it must be a torture device.

HOWEVER, i have a very nervous and sensitive tb jumper, who flatted happiest in a plan old copper d. Over fences and at shows he is VERY hot, and it just wasn't enough for that purpose. Someone recommended this to me and i thought they were nuts, that all that "hardware" would fry my horses brain! (Although i do know how the whole thing works and its soft,etc on any other horse i have i would have said go for it, but he is my "special needs" kid) He thought it was the greatest "gift" i ever bought him. He was still "hot" but must softer, and LOVED the nose rope. It gave me more "whoa" with out any tenseness or hollowing.

He doesn't wear it anymore, it's marketed at a "training" bit and for the most part worked as one, he retained what he needed from it and now jumps and shows in a "pessoa magic ball bit" or something, but i throw the mikmar back in the mix every so often. And in no way am i implying that this bit replaces any training basics. (just a disclaimer! ;) )

So my answer, from one "bit ho" to another is go for it! It something useful to have in your toolbox, and worked wonders for a horse a had with a low palate!