View Full Version : bit question

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:05 PM
what bit would you reccomend for x-country for a horse that has a really soft mouth?

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:18 PM
Whatever bit you use for dressage and daily riding.

There is no rule anywhere that you MUST use a different bit for xc. I use a horse's dressage snaffle (usually a french-link or KK) for jumping until he tells me otherwise.

This seems like a trick question. The "softness" of the mouth doesn't really determine a bit change... what does the horse do that requires a certain bit? Ignore half-halts? (usually FLATWORK fixes that, not bits). Pull like a train? Head down and pull, or head out/stiff neck? Bad brakes combined with bad steering? "Soft mouth" doesn't say much, other than he probably doesn't lock his jaw; it implies he is responsive, so you can use whatever makes him happy-- rubber, happy mouth, KK, mullen, whatever.

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:19 PM
I think we need more info. Does the horse get strong? Heavy? etc. My horse has a pretty soft mouth--he gets a bit more excited on XC, but I still ride him in a KK ultra loose ring (with the bean). I just need to give him bigger half halts than in dressage or stadium.

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:25 PM
You may not need to bit up at all.

I foxhunt my horse in a loose ring snaffle (He prefers a single-jointed bit) and add a running martingale.

You have to experiment. Some horses will get stronger and more keen once they figure it out.

Jan. 20, 2010, 10:33 PM
Yes please explain what the situation is. A really soft mouth is good - that means the horse is very nice and responsive. But is the horse over reacting in XC or something?

I would think a nice fat mild bit - or even a happy mouth....

I have five horses - one is older - one is 9 hands - one is just now saddle broke - so that leaves two - and they are both very soft and responsive - one can get aggressive though when he is in a field of jumps - he loves it so much. I can ride him pretty easily in a soft french link snaffle but I did learn at a competition cross country - that he sort of gets really excited so I do put him in a dr. bristol just so I can help him contain himself when needed!

But in general both of these horses are in mild french link snaffles most of the time.