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Emstah
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:10 AM
Does anyone know what this bit is that Darren puts on his horses? You can see it here (http://sporthorsestudio.com/MBI803/AdvCPages/MBI803-2133.jpg.html) and here (http://sporthorsestudio.com/MBI803/AdvBPages/MBI803-2053.jpg.html) and here (http://hoofpix.com/SHT-chia-cou/Chiacchia-072603-2618.cfm). He seems to have it most of his horses for XC and SJ. I'd never seen one like it and was wondering if you guys know what it is.

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Emstah
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:10 AM
Does anyone know what this bit is that Darren puts on his horses? You can see it here (http://sporthorsestudio.com/MBI803/AdvCPages/MBI803-2133.jpg.html) and here (http://sporthorsestudio.com/MBI803/AdvBPages/MBI803-2053.jpg.html) and here (http://hoofpix.com/SHT-chia-cou/Chiacchia-072603-2618.cfm). He seems to have it most of his horses for XC and SJ. I'd never seen one like it and was wondering if you guys know what it is.

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

wanderlust
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:20 AM
I don't know what it is called, but it is all the rage in the jumpers these days, too. I think it may be what Dorina is referring to on the h/j thread as a "mikmar".

53
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:30 AM
there is an add in this month's PH (probably twd the back of the mag) for this bit - it gives a bigger picture of it. I was just looking at it this morning.

Emstah
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:38 AM
Wow- one of these?! (http://www.mikmarbit.com/). Call me old fashioned but I wouldn't put one of those anywhere near my horses! They would probably flip over backwards if I touched the reins! That is quite the contraption!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif I guess it is a quick and easy fix, and it seems to be working for him...

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Timex6979
Aug. 21, 2003, 10:47 AM
whether or not darren's using one of those mikmars or not (the 3rd pic looks different, but can't really tell what he's using in any of the pics) i would hesitate to put one of those things in ANY horse's mouth. and quite honestly, i could care less WHAT big name is using them these days. i've had really good luck with horses of all types/temperments/levels with a good old SNAFFLE. don't plan on changing that either.

subk
Aug. 21, 2003, 10:58 AM
I think it's a big mistake to copy a pro on a bit as most of them are much better riders than the rest of us ever will be. A bad riding moment could be a training disaster in the wrong bit, but I'm sure Darren has alot fewer of those moments than I do. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Personally I think it's more interesting that the same unusual bit is used on 3 different horses--none of which are particularly using their backs well.

SillyHorse
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>none of which are particularly using their backs well.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Understatement of the year, especially the second one! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

SillyHorse
~ I'm probably on John Ashcroft's enemies list. At any rate, he's on mine. ~

Timex6979
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
Personally I think it's more interesting that the same unusual bit is used on 3 different horses--none of which are particularly using their backs well.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL, i wasn't even going to go there, so thanks for doing for me! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Raspberry
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
I think it's a big mistake to copy a pro on a bit as most of them are much better riders than the rest of us ever will be. A bad riding moment could be a training disaster in the wrong bit, but I'm sure Darren has alot fewer of those moments than I do. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Personally I think it's more interesting that the same unusual bit is used on 3 different horses--none of which are particularly using their backs well.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Those were exactly my thoughts....the typical amateur has much less educated hands than a pro AND those horses don't have a jumping style that I'd like to encourage (though it might be less bit choice inclined than I'd tend to believe)

I was thinking...oh, wait, that wasn't me.

twowillows
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:32 AM
I bet there is a little sponsorship money going on here for him to put all of his horses in this bit. I have to agree also with the back thing!!!

subk
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:34 AM
Welcome to the BB Raspberry!

I'm not trying to be overly critical of Darren here guys, remember were only seeing a nano second of a minute plus ride here. Granted they're rather important nano seconds. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif We also don't know what the "issues" with these horse are...this might be a big improvment. I'm a whole lot more tolertant of someone like Darren in this get up than seeing it with your average Joe. My suggestion would be "professional driver on a closed course, do not try this at home."

eventer_mi
Aug. 21, 2003, 11:39 AM
Devil's advocate here: It's also a big mistake to assume that because a bit looks "gadgety" and "severe", doesn't mean that it is.

Back when I was riding hunters (boy, that was a loooong time ago!), everybody talked about the "bicycle chain" bit and was aghast that anybody was using it - how severe it was, etc. however, it turns out that the bit in question was a Waterford - not exactly the bicycle chain that people were imagining. Have you looked at a Myler combination bit? They look pretty severe, too - but I tried one on my heavy-on-the-forehand draft cross and he acted like there was nothing in his mouth at all - I got better responses off a fat Happy Mouth eggbutt.

I'm not saying that every novice should run out and buy one. I'm just saying that until you have tried one, you really shouldn't judge the bit - it could work differently than you would expect it to.

Not trying to start anything - just looking at the other side of the coin. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

A northern fairy tale begins with "Once upon a time..."
A southern fairy tale begins with "Y'all ain't gonna believe this sh*t..."

subk
Aug. 21, 2003, 12:05 PM
Hmm, point taken eventer_m, although I would say that being "gaget" doesn't automatically mean something is severe. I would say there is no question that this bit is a gaget, whether or not it is severe remains to be seen. (Although I'll be surprised if it isn't--it's set up to use leverage, it has a port and it appears that string would put some preasure somewhere too!)

Emstah
Aug. 21, 2003, 01:40 PM
I don't care who uses it (especially Darren!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif)- it looks AWFUL! My boys seem to do just fine in a nice old snaffle http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

risingstarfarm
Aug. 21, 2003, 02:06 PM
Did anyone look at any of the other photos at that website? Almost all of the horses are jumping the same way - regardless of bit.

Ronda
www.risingstarfarm.net (http://www.risingstarfarm.net)

Odie222
Aug. 21, 2003, 02:49 PM
Yeah I was watching Darren at Stuarts, and kept asking everybody what kind of bit he had on his horses (and he had that type of bit on everyone of his nine horses, cuz i saw all of them go xc). I just happened upon the website for the mikmar bit (which by the way is in fact the bit he has on those horses in the pics and he had on all his horses at Stuarts, i found out from a friend after the event) and they seem to make out on the website like this is some miracle bit that EVERYONE from novice to advanced can use. I would be wery of using it for those reasons, no bit is a miracle bit, and no bit with leverage should be used by a novice, IMO. Darren has great hands (watch him ride xc on one of his novice horses, he give such a huge release ) so more power to him if he thinks these bits are working for his horses. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

eventer_mi
Aug. 21, 2003, 02:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
Hmm, point taken eventer_m, although I would say that being "gaget" doesn't automatically mean something is severe. I would say there is no question that this bit is a gaget, whether or not it is severe remains to be seen. (Although I'll be surprised if it isn't--it's set up to use leverage, it has a port and it appears that string would put some preasure somewhere too!)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Good point, subk, however, I offer this up to you to chew on... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Bits are designed to affect certain parts of a horse's mouth, and head - I guess a bit in its "purest" form would be considered a snaffle. I'm sure that when the french link (which hardly anybody would consider a gadget, or severe) first came out, was frowned upon by some, simply because of its deviation from the norm. The way I see it, the combo Mikmar appears to be a bit that acts a heck of a lot like a Myler Combination bit - nose pressure, some jaw/curb pressure, maybe some negligible poll pressure. The regular mikmar just looks like a curb bit to me - and a very western one, at that. When you use a bit with a sidepull, or The Bitless Bridle (breaking out a youngster, for example), you are sort of doing the same thing as a combination bit. One could argue that a Baucher is gadgety, since it not only affects the bars and lips of a horse's mouth, it (as some have said) affects the poll as well. Same thing with a Continental/Pessoa/American/bubble gag/bit.

Plus, a bit's severity depends a lot on the hands that are holding it.

A northern fairy tale begins with "Once upon a time..."
A southern fairy tale begins with "Y'all ain't gonna believe this sh*t..."

Emstah
Aug. 21, 2003, 03:17 PM
"they seem to make out on the website like this is some miracle bit that EVERYONE from novice to advanced can use"

Yeah, and did you look at the before and after pictures?! Totally absurd- look at the rider's position in the two pictures and then tell me that because of the BIT the horse is going better!! Haha- that's quite some advertising they've got there!

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Pixie Dust
Aug. 21, 2003, 03:25 PM
I think the entire horse world is just wee bit too focused on bits these days. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Pol
Aug. 21, 2003, 04:34 PM
What do you suppose Darren is looking at down under his horses' left shoulders in those 1st 2 photos?

Part-Time Angel
Aug. 21, 2003, 09:38 PM
I've looked around the website and I personally think it looks pretty harsh. They say this like its a good thing:

When a rider applies pressure (pulls) on the reins it sends a signal to the nose, jaw, poll, bar and tongue simultaneously instead of to just one focused area.

Personally I like a curb rein that I can use when I need it. I think if a simple touch to the reins gave pressure to ALL those areas my horse would either freak out or... naw, she'd definetely freak out.

allows the rider using the Mikmar Training Bit to send signals with a lighter, softer, less abusive hand.

Yes, riders can be gentler with their hands, because the bit is saying so much already. I hate things like this that pretend to encourage gentler riding. YES, it may encourage gentler hands, but only because if your rough with your hands with something that complex, you may do some serious damage, at least to the horses training.

::This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time::

*^*Like so many others, I had become a slave to the ikea nesting instinct*^*

bounce
Aug. 21, 2003, 10:05 PM
My original trainer- Oh so many years ago- instilled in me to learn to ride the horse... train the horse, and a snaffle will be all you ever need. If the horse has a proper and effective half-halt, connecting from the back end, up into the bridle- what the heck do you need all that metal in their mouth for??

On second thought... my TB that thinks that "rein back" is against the law for TB's... might actually go backward with this bit (maybe on top of me... but backwards, anyway!!)

xcjumper
Aug. 21, 2003, 10:17 PM
One of the ladies at my barn rides in the combination one. She has a big, strong, heavy warmblood and he goes very nicely in the bit. My horse, on the other hand, would keel over http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Interesting, side note. The TD at the last show told her that she could ride in the bit for XC and SJ but couldn't ride with the rope part on. Do you guys think this is illegal? I can't tell if Darren has the rope part on or not.

~Run and Jump!~

3Miracles
Aug. 21, 2003, 10:31 PM
Anybody know the name of the horse in the first picture? I used to own a horse named San Salvador that Darren has been riding. San Salvador's a little brown horse that could be the one in the first pic. I bought him just-broke and took him thru prelim. Loved him and wndering how he is doing.

mademoiselle
Aug. 22, 2003, 07:50 AM
I don't know anything about this precise bit (I've never ridden with it) but here are my 2 cents.

- I think it's kind of strange to ride nine different horses with the same bit ...

- I love to ride my horses with a snaffle and trust me 90% of the time, I ride with a snaffle. But my greenie (6YO) who had a very, very awful start (almost beaten to death), doesn't go with a regular snaffle on the XC. He was started with a rider who went 2 times to the Olympics and to Badminton (not what you can call an amateur) and when I bought the horse he told me : "On the XC, forget the snaffle, he can pull very hard !".
I work a lot in dressage and we're currently schooling 2nd and 3rd level (my horse can do the entire Advanced dressage test) and I still can't ride him with a snaffle on the XC. And even with a ton of work, I will never be !

Should I stop showing, because I'm not good enough to control my horse with a snaffle on the XC ?
I'm willing to let anybody ride him on the XC with a snaffle and show me ...
I currently use a pelham with two reins and I don't feel that I'm "destroying him" or that I'm a horrible person. My Idol is Pippa Funnel and she doesn't ride her horses with a snaffle on the XC, does it mean that she is wrong and she doesn't know how to ride ?

Bounce, you're more than welcome to come to train my horse, I dream to ride him with a snaffle !

"www.lechevalfrancais.com"

FairWeather
Aug. 22, 2003, 08:17 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by eventer_mi:
Back when I was riding hunters (boy, that was a loooong time ago!), everybody talked about the "bicycle chain" bit and was aghast that anybody was using it - how severe it was, etc. however, it turns out that the bit in question was a Waterford -
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Are you sure? Because there were actual "bicycle chains" for bits at one time.

deltawave
Aug. 22, 2003, 08:42 AM
Yes, there really ARE bicycle chain bits. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif A far cry from a benign old Waterford!

This thing looks to me like a cross between a spade bit, a mechanical hackamore and a gag. For heaven's sake, I would think a horse would rather fall down dead than do anything bad while wearing it! Yikes. Is that how we want our horses to go? Sure, it might allow a lighter touch with the hand, but what if the rider makes a mistake and inadvertently punishes the horse's mouth? With a snaffle you might get a tail swish and pinned ears. With this thing it looks like you'd break the horse's jaw! Whatever happened to all the dressage training we do to encourage the horse to seek the bit? If I were a horse I'd run away, not "seek" this one! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I also think it's a little odd that 9 different event horses all go great in the same bit. I'll bet Darren's getting a nice endorsement. That's not to say he doesn't have success with it....obviously he does, but it's scary enough seeing novice riders riding the bottom rings of Pessoas--I can only imagine what's in store for their poor horses when these medieval things become "trendy". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
Kelly (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/imag0009.gif)
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Gwen (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/bridge.jpg)

bounce
Aug. 22, 2003, 08:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But my greenie (6YO) who had a very, very awful start (almost beaten to death), doesn't go with a regular snaffle on the XC.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The "training the horse" comment comes into affect here. If the horse has a history of bad training, sometimes there is nothing you can do to correct that. It sounds like your horse has issues with cross country that result from bad experiences... so unless you can completely undo all of those bad experiences- you are right- he will probably never go in a snaffle on xc.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:03 AM
I don't know....I think if you really think all horses can do XC in a snaffle, then you haven't ridden a true dyed-in-the-wool puller.

I totally agree with training; no quick fixes, etc. and I also think many people are overly obsessed with bits, but I also think that some horses just need more bit for XC.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

LisaB
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:05 AM
Okay, guys. Some of our experiences have been only dealing with a snaffle(me included). Others have had to go to other types of bits. I think it really depends on what you are riding and at what level. I think in the case of Darren, who gets stellar dressage marks, it's a case of having an advanced horse. I've seen him schooling and he knows what he's doing. With that said, he has to deal with a very fit, very strong horse. Some of these contraptions that I see around are to lift a horse, make them stop crossing thier jaws, make the head go down, etc. Now, you're doing advanced, going incredibly fast towards very solid objects, the last thing you want to be doing is hauling on your horse's face before that solid obstacle. If he's not listening, well, he's terribly fit, remember? Probably needs some solid reminding to get his ass back and then the rider is able to leave him alone and let him do his job.
I'm not condoning huge bits at all in the lower levels, even up to prelim. I think at that low of speed over that height of fence, your horse should be paying attention to you in accordance with having some kind of snaffle in his mouth. And then there's always the warranted exceptions. What I see is the abuse of such bits by hands that shouldn't have them. The horse is being ridden off the face instead of the leg and the rider winds up having trouble anyway. These bits serve no purpose in that case.

bounce
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:30 AM
I am by no means saying that all horses CAN go in a snaffle.... just that that is what you should aim for!

We have horses at my barn that go in the elevator... or other different bits at different times, largely because they are in the process of training... which goes on for a lifetime! But our goal is to develop that horse that can be soft in your hand, responsive to the half-halt (coming back from seat, back, leg and rein), when you ask for it- even from a big gallop, at a fast pace, coming into a solid xc jump. Do all of them get to that level? Hell no! But it is a nice goal to work toward. I think all of us are looking to ride that xc machine that is EASY to ride!!

My "original trainer's" comments just help me to keep that goal in focus... so I don't start by overbitting, or trying gadgets. And even if a horse is in a stronger bit... we continually try to correct the training, so that the horse can go back down toward a snaffle... say, after his balance is better, or after he has done a million and two canter to halt transitions, and realizes that the rider IS up there, and IS talking to him!

Pixie Dust
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:36 AM
I think that is the general consensus bounce http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

Horses are such individuals. My friend's horse, who has gone advanced (with a pro) but he has taken him to Radnor twice, well this horse can do XC in a snaffle. A child can ride this horse. (And he isn't gifted in dressage either.)

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

rusti
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:47 AM
I know my trainer has a huge old bag of bits and different things work for different horses. I'm lucky, my guy goes in a big fat snaffle and the most we've ever put on him when he was super fit was a slow twist so I haven't had to learn how to put on all those complex bridles or how the different bits work so can't comment on that. I have seen Darren ride at a bunch of events and obviously he know's his dressage and the horses are well schooled. But, From what I've seen there's not a one of them that most of us would be brave enough to sit on cross country. they don't look like an easy bunch. No doubt he rides a talented string of horses. They look very fit, but way to brave for their own good barreling down to those fences 90 miles an hour and it looks like it takes a very strong ride and a lot of finesse to get them around. I also wonder about using the same bit on every horse, but, in fairness if every horse was going around in a big fat snaffle I doubt it would have drawn any comments. And a snaffle in bad hands can be even more severe than one of those big old nasty bits in good hands.
don't know the guy personally but from the comments on these boards whenever his name is mentioned seems to be a pretty contriversial guy. Have to admit to being increasingly curious as to what the story is.

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 22, 2003, 04:16 PM
All I can say is, I've watched a lot of Advanced horses go around cross-country with much simpler bits, including many snaffles. These horses were just as fit and just as successful as Darren's. Sometimes they were ridden by people who weighed half of what Darren weighs (i.e. Carol Kozlowski and Mimi Osborn).

Maybe he is making a percentage off the bit. Maybe he is having more trouble with his horses because they are stallions or Trakehners, or both. Or maybe his horses are just not listening to him on XC? Maybe they just don't like being called "hon"! (p.s. he calls everything and everybody "hon".)

subk
Aug. 22, 2003, 04:46 PM
"Any gaget bit, or any bit which depends on pain and leverage rather that pressure, is a substitute for training."

"The further up the ladder (from Preliminary to Advanced) one goes, the more difficult it is to avoid time faults and the more essential it is that you ride the horse in a plain snaffle."

"Don't be fooled by the fact that your horse jumps well in a certain type of gaget bit...The problem is that, once the horse 'burns through' in its mouth in a gaget bit, it becomes much worse than it would be if it were just pulling strongly against a regular snaffle."

"Remember, using more bit is an admission that either your horse, you, or both, are not yet properly trained to the level of competition."

All quotes are excerpts from Jimmy Wofford's book Traning the 3-day Horse and Rider.

The only addition I would make is that Jimmy would also say on the day of competition do what it takes to "get the job done."

JER
Aug. 22, 2003, 05:13 PM
Given that a rider has proper training and a good pair of hands, the wrong bit is any bit you can't comfortably ride forward in.

Sometimes the wrong bit is a snaffle.

bounce
Aug. 22, 2003, 05:16 PM
Well put Subk!!

twowillows
Aug. 22, 2003, 05:30 PM
I was at a jumper show today and watch a couple of terrible rounds but nevertheless there was that bit. I think it is a fad because the horses hate it. You have to ride with an extremely forgiving hand becuase if you pull they open there mouth, stick out there tongue and flip there heads watch about 3 horses in this bit.

deltawave
Aug. 22, 2003, 06:39 PM
OK, my chronology may be wrong here, but we've had the Happy Mouths, the weird metals, the Mylers, the "bitless bridle", the Pessoas, and now this 15th-century-looking thing. Not sure if this represents a trend or not, but what's NEXT? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif Anyone care to guess?

I hope I someday have the pleasure of picking J. Wofford's brain, or even just hearing him "hold forth" for a while! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
Kelly (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/imag0009.gif)
Bonnie (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/fancy.jpg)
Gwen (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/bridge.jpg)

Robby Johnson
Aug. 22, 2003, 07:30 PM
JER,

I couldn't agree more. I think the best bit is the bit that allows you to ride forward in. As in, float the reins and know that if you need to take a tug you're going to get a response.

But, like everyone else, I fail to see how each individual horse could need this specific hardware.

I personally would rather ride with a sharper bit on a loose, confident rein than a simple snaffle and a constant tug-of-war.

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

NRB
Aug. 22, 2003, 07:46 PM
I'd say that over half the horses in training at my old boarding barn went in this bit. (40 horse barn) Or rather the western longer shank rendition of this bit. The horses were all Arabians, ridden predominatly western. Since I frown on their riding habits I frowned upon the bit. For example when they were not riding thier horse in this bit then they would have unbelievably thin snaffles (LaCroix Snaffle) used with a low set running martingale contraption that kept the head low. Talk about riding from front to back. Talk about being into gadgets and head sets.

So that is the vision of really bad riding I have in my mind when I see this bit being advertised in magazines. Now I don't doubt that Darren is a very gifted rider, far far more capable than I will ever be, and I therefore trust him to make the right desicion when he uses this bit. He has far better hands, balance, judgement than the average joe and can get away with using some thing that looks like the bastard child of a spade bit and hackamore. Me, I'd better stick to snaffles.

Calvincrowe
Aug. 22, 2003, 09:42 PM
Ouch! Mary in area 1, you can't assume that a breed of horse is more likely to be a problem that needs a bit like that. Doesn't Darren ride more than one breed of horse? Aren't there strong/difficult horses in every breed/type out there?

In the wrong hands, even a simple snaffle is a harsh tool. As my trainer has stated, you need a bit more bit than called far, especially XC, when a touch of control can save you and your horse from disaster. Just my two cents

Maren
Aug. 25, 2003, 05:07 AM
Thank you, calvincrowe! Thought that comment was kind of out of place too.

My entire herd of Trakehner eventers go on simple snaffels.

www.trakehners-international.com (http://www.trakehners-international.com)

Blaufelden
Aug. 25, 2003, 05:59 AM
Hi Maren, I agree .... felt again like I got punched in the stomach with that "Trakehner comment." Oh, pity for those who don't know or understand our breed! This whole thread reminds me of a bunch of old geezers sitting around second guessing the quarterback - easy, isn't it?! Gee, let's all get a 17h breeding stallion, who is at the top of the game, fit as a fiddle, jump on his back and jog him around the course! No thanks - too old for that. I'll stick to dressage and breeding these marvelous creatures!

LisaB
Aug. 25, 2003, 06:07 AM
Hmmm, interesting observation about other advanced riders who ride in snaffles. I trained with Mimi Osborn Combs for a long time until I found another excellent instructor closer to me with an indoor to boot. She rides very softly and prefers the 'bunny rabbit' type of horse. I know Raffles a little and he's a cross bred of some kind and is taking a friend around prelim at the moment. Her idea is to get the horse confident in themselves and thier abilities and that gets them around. Do the gymnastics and leave them alone to figure it out. She took my one horse for a few weeks and really calmed him down. Made him sit and think rather than rushing around. He became a more mature confidennt horse and I do ride him around in a thin french link loose ring snaffle. He wants to be a foxhunter now and that's all I ride him in. And when someone buys him, that's all I'm going to recommend because if you haul on him, he hauls back. Like 90% of all horses. You just have to ride his TB pace. He'll get around.
Just an interesting observation in the differences. I'm now starting to take the new horse over some small stuff. I ride with a grab strap so I just do my 2 point and let him figure it out. It's sometimes the most frightening thing with a greenie because you want to place them, help them out, don't know what the heck they are going to do. But you just gotta sit.
But I don't know at that level. Does is really depend on the rider and the horse? What do the smaller riders use? They may ride smaller quicker horses because of thier size. But then again, what did Karen ride with on Biko? He's a big boy.

rusti
Aug. 25, 2003, 06:49 AM
I agree its not fair to second guess the rider/trainer or to attribute qualities of a few horses to an entire breed. I think what people are questioning is the use of what appears to be a very harsh bit on an entire string of horses.
Um, and I just so happen to own a 17 hand breeding stallion who is currently a very consistant intermediate competetor and who will be making his advanced debut in the next few months with his trainer. The horse runs in a big fat snaffle and I have no problem hopping on him and jogging him around a course, granted a small course, which is the extent of my ability in that same snaffle. Don't know Darren, or his training methods, although he is undoubtably very talented and some of those horses he rides are amazing. Like I said, I don't think I'd be brave enough to sit on one based on what I've seen. But will say that I would have some serious questions if my trainer tried to put that get up on my boy.

[This message was edited by rusti on Aug. 25, 2003 at 09:11 AM.]

subk
Aug. 25, 2003, 07:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Blaufelden:
This whole thread reminds me of a bunch of old geezers sitting around second guessing the quarterback - easy, isn't it?! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There is a mighty big difference between being an "old geezer" who hasn't, doesn't and won't put on pads and suit up doing Monday morning quarterbacking and the discussion going on in this thread. In case you weren't aware, several participants of this thread own/ride upper level horses. Observation, discussion and yes, even criticism of successful individuals and their techniques are a powerful method of LEARNING.

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 25, 2003, 07:59 AM
Dear Trakehner lovers:

You missed my point entirely. I was asking the question, Why does Darren need this bit on 9 different horses? I was searching for a common thread. Some are stallions, many are Trakehners, etc. The point was, does HE think they need it because they are stallions or Trakehners, not me. I wouldn't put this bit in my tack room, never mind in the mouth of one of my beloved horses. Darren is the one who is implying that Trakehners are difficult to ride by using this bit on all of them. Don't shoot the messenger about this. Email Darren at www.eventrider.com (http://www.eventrider.com) and tell him he's giving Trakehners a bad reputation by riding them in this bit. OR, maybe it's too hard to ride in a snaffle if you have a hangover???? http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif (see Millbrook thread if you don't get this comment.)

Oh, and LisaB, I owned Raffles http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

eventer_mi
Aug. 25, 2003, 08:10 AM
Btw, yes, it WAS a Waterford that people (at least in my area) were questioning. Not a real bicycle chain bit. I remember this because one of the riders at another barn was using it for her jumper, and we were all aghast at it. Of course, we had no problems putting a triangular edged snaffle in our horses' mouths... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

i was just playing Devil's Advocate. While it's ideal that we all be able to go in a snaffle for all three phases, I'm just saying that what was considered a medieval torture device at one time is now considered common place in another. Technological advances, scientific discoveries, etc. have spawned the equestrian market with all sorts of new devices. I personally don't have the hands to ride in this kind of bit (the Mikmar, because (to paraphrase Jimmy Wofford), I can't be assured of never making a mistake with my hands. That's why I rode my hard-pulling, extremely hot former TB mount XC in a loose-ring Nathe with Rein-Aids - I didn't want to inadvertently punish him with a mistake with my hands over a fence. Yes, he pulled me, and to this day, I'm still not sure which is worse - all that pulling and tugging to get him to rate himself, or simply just putting a slightly stronger bit and getting more with less. The jury's still out on that one... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A northern fairy tale begins with "Once upon a time..."
A southern fairy tale begins with "Y'all ain't gonna believe this sh*t..."

Maren
Aug. 25, 2003, 08:18 AM
Now I get your point, Mary in Area 1....

But I really refuse to think Darren is working against the Trak breed by using this bit....that would imply that the world top show jumpers are strictly working against Holsteiners with the life-threatening bits they have in their mouths....

There are not many individuals out there like Darren who do such a good job at promoting Trakehners, so no, I'm not emailing him.

Last tim eI saw him he had either pessoa or a regular snaffle on his boys, so who knows which experiment he is running right now. If it works for him, fine, the rest of riders should maybe first ride at that level before thinking about using one of that kind too. Couldn't agree more with what many here said!!

www.trakehners-international.com (http://www.trakehners-international.com)

Gry2Yng
Aug. 25, 2003, 09:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I personally would rather ride with a sharper bit on a loose, confident rein than a simple snaffle and a constant tug-of-war.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Me too!

I school in a snaffle in the winter and hope every day to compete in it. But even being the big girl that I am...probably at least as big as Darren, I CANNOT set my horse up with a snaffle in two or three strides. In fact, I can't take him out for gallop sets and maintain a speed of 425 or 450 in a snaffle, even with no fences in the picture. Some horses are just STRONG. I am not talking about a puller or a horse that will lay on your hand. It is a pure and simple case of a horse that LOVES to run at speed in big open fields. Steering is no problem, speed control and braking are.

Put the gag on and I never have to do more than touch the reins. We are both a lot happier when my arms aren't sore and his mouth isn't bloody.

As for Darren's bit. I can't imagine using it, but I don't have a pink coat either.

rusti
Aug. 25, 2003, 03:53 PM
Mary in Area 1, from your posts it seems you have some personal issues with this trainer. Don't get the Millbrook reference. checked that topic and don't see a thing about drinking and other than a stop on Windfall, Darren seemed to have a very good weekend. Don't think its fair to attack someone personally who is not here to defend himself. Hey, lots of my friends refer to an event as a three day cocktail party! And most times that's a pretty accurate discription.
Gry, I can't take my stallion out of gallop sets in a few strides in that big snaffle either but my trainer sure can and Its a pretty safe bet that I out weigh him by quite a few pounds. But that horse knows he darn well better respond when he's asked nicely by the trainer because if it has to be repeated it may not be so nice! But, not every horse in the barn goes in a snaffle, a few have elevators or a gag, nothing as nasty looking as the bits in question. Don't have a problem putting something other than a snaffle on the horse if its what he needs to get around safely. But do believe that the bit should be the least severe to get the job done. If the horse requires stronger and stronger bits there is something wrong with its training. I would be all over it if all of a sudden I saw my horse run in something like that especially if the whole barn turned up in one and they all started jumping like those pictures, heads up and not using their backs at all, yuk!

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 25, 2003, 04:42 PM
Rusti, did you read the NYT article at the beginning of the thread? From the NYT Millbrook story:

"Mr. Chiacchia got a drink but allowed that he was not all that familiar with tequila. On the other hand, he noted, 'I've ridden my whole life with a hangover.'"

That was the quote I was referring to specifically. I think PETA has enough issues with eventing already without being given quotes like that which imply that riders are impaired while riding cross-country.

I have personally witnessed riders who went cross-country at an advanced three-day event who I know for a fact were drunk. It is not a pretty sight, and it is not safe or fair for the horse.

I am really surprised by how many people are making light of this (i.e. "a three-day cocktail party".) Perhaps this should be a whole new thread.

Jamie
Aug. 25, 2003, 08:21 PM
Isn’t it fun to chat. We start with emstsh’s concern about what appears
to be a severe bit and develop the thread to a drunken 4* competitor.
Come on folks let’s keep things in perspective. You’re not discussing
some unknown 3rd party about his theory of eastern philosophy. If you
can’t do better than this we should all just concentrate on our day job
and let these hard working folks do their job.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 26, 2003, 08:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You’re not discussing
some unknown 3rd party about his theory of eastern philosophy <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No we aren't, because Darren chose to have himself quoted by the NYTimes. He threw it out there and now people are discussing it. Personally, I couldn't care less, but if Darren is going to say it, he should expect people to talk about it.

Pol
Aug. 26, 2003, 09:15 AM
It seems to me that Darren has worked VERY hard this year to put himself into the Eventing Lime-light. He is competing a lot of horses, at all levels. He has good sponsorship and is highly visible. I have to admit, those horses are placing well, in spite of it all. By becoming a recognised personality, it is Darren's RESPONSIBILITY to present himself, his horses AND EVENTING in a good light. The New York Times article did nothing good for Eventing, IMHO. Those of us who work hard to keep a low profile, do the best we can for our horses, showing the utmost respect for the horses, officials and the rules, do not need this kind of publicity. I have NEVER been drunk at a competition. Nor have any of the competitors I choose to be with during events.
It seems to me that Darren had better learn to choose his words more carefully or keep his mouth shut. Like it or not (I don't), he speaks for the rest of us now that he has become a big shot. I do not happen to appreciate his training methods nor what he has to say.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 26, 2003, 10:06 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sleepy.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/uhoh.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

GD....people can't even joke around anymore.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Pol
Aug. 26, 2003, 10:59 AM
NO, they can't. Not if they are being QUOTED in an international periodical. I happen to take offense.
Sorry we are boring you, PD. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

Pixie Dust
Aug. 26, 2003, 11:33 AM
Well, actually, people can joke. If people are offended then that's the breaks. Darren can deal with it however he choses.

BTW, I never said, nor do I think that anyone here is boring!

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

[This message was edited by Pixie Dust on Aug. 26, 2003 at 02:27 PM.]

bounce
Aug. 26, 2003, 12:04 PM
It's a good thing he's not running for a political office. Sounds like he is not mature, or savvy enough to deal with the lime light in a PROFESSIONAL manner. He'll grow up eventually (or not)... and realize that what he does and says is a role model for other eventers. It will also affect his business. How many mothers will send their impressionable kids off to ride with someone that rides cross country with a hangover and airs it to the world? Not me!!

JER
Aug. 26, 2003, 12:34 PM
You owe it to your horses not to ride with a hangover.

You owe it to your students not to coach/teach them with a hangover.

Maybe this bit works well when the rider has a hangover. Perhaps the bit maker could use DC in their ad campaigns with a quote from the NYT.

itsallgood
Aug. 26, 2003, 12:48 PM
Back to the bit thing. Have any of you who are so judgemental ridden in this mikmar bit? It IS NOT a Western Correction bit. It is actually a very soft bit. I know it looks harsh but truly it will surprise you.

We've ridden horses in it who are heavy and pull, some who are afraid of the bit and everything in between. ALL of the horses went well with this bit.

If you go on their web site, www.mikmarbit.com (http://www.mikmarbit.com) you'll see some great testomonial from Beerbaum and Rodrigo Pessoa. Do you really think they would ride in a Western correction bit?

Don't be so judgemental. Maybe it is a great bit.

Robby Johnson
Aug. 26, 2003, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by itsallgood:
testomonial from Beerbaum and Rodrigo Pessoa. Do you really think they would ride in a Western correction bit? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If they could win, yes.

The jumpers, IMO, are the worst at the hardware. Just slap the horse down with big shanked bits, nosebands, draw reins, etc. Whatever it takes to go fast and jump clean.

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

JER
Aug. 26, 2003, 01:37 PM
The Mikmar folks claim their bits perfect "head set". That sort of puts me off because I'm looking for a true connection and not a head set.

Riders like Beerbaum and Pessoa are looking for tools that are the most responsive with the least effort, at least when they are in the competition ring. But they have the physical skills to use it properly. And I'd be really surprised if they use the same bit on every horse they ride.

I'd like to see the bit in question. It might be an excellent choice for a particular profile of horse, but then again, that's true of every bit. I use a Sprenger combination hackamore-bit on my mare for XC and sometimes SJ. It looks like a harsh contraption but it serves as a good reminder to her that there is actually a rider on board who would like her to go to a sequence of obstacles. It's not a training or schooling issue, this is just one difficult mare and riding her in a snaffle on XC is just not a sensible thing to do.

itsallgood
Aug. 26, 2003, 01:43 PM
Actually, if you'll look at Rodrigo's comment on the web page, he said that it actually helps the flatwork and in his words, "the key is to get good flatwork in between fences."

deltawave
Aug. 26, 2003, 03:58 PM
I daresay that Rodrigo and Ludger (yup, am on a first name basis) http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif have the requisite skill to ride almost any horse--no matter how difficult--with far more tact than I'd ever be able to. Same for Darren. In the best of hands, perhaps this bit can be used with a maximum of effectiveness.

I also wonder, then, why these extraordinary riders would NEED such a thing. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

My biggest fear is the "fad factor", where you will see every kid going out to get one of these thinking "oh, THIS is the answer to my horse that rushes fences/flings his head/doesn't listen" when, in fact, their horses are in need of more schooling or better riding.

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
Kelly (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/imag0009.gif)
Bonnie (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/fancy.jpg)
Gwen (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/bridge.jpg)

Gry2Yng
Aug. 26, 2003, 05:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have NEVER been drunk at a competition. Nor have any of the competitors I choose to be with during events.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I guess you and I will never hang in the same crowd at an event. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

itsallgood
Aug. 26, 2003, 05:19 PM
I don't think that it is Rodrigo and Luger's "need" for the bit as much as it is an effective gentle bit.

I really think you need to ride in it to be able to critique it.

[This message was edited by itsallgood on Aug. 26, 2003 at 08:35 PM.]

Emstah
Aug. 26, 2003, 06:57 PM
Gry2Yng- I, and countless others, will attest to the fact that Pol is the MOST fun to have around at an event. She keeps eveyone laughing hysterically and is friends with all. You would be so lucky to hang in the same crowd as she.

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 26, 2003, 07:19 PM
If you hang with Pol (and Emstah!) at an event, you don't NEED to be drunk! We are usually hysterically laughing at each other on nothing stronger than Gatorade.

bounce
Aug. 26, 2003, 08:19 PM
Pol, Emstah, and Mary in Area 1- My kind of people!!

Who wants to be drunk and miss all the fun???

Emstah
Aug. 27, 2003, 07:44 AM
"We start with emstsh’s concern about what appears to be a severe bit and develop the thread to a drunken 4* competitor."

http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif That's why this is so much fun! My question was answered in the 1st response by Master Tally. It wouldn't have been any fun at all to end the thread there! It seems people have a lot of thoughts on other subjects, and I'm glad that this thread has (in a bizzare sort of way) brought up those topics. The beauty of these threads is they lead to strange places that have NOTHING to do with the original questions. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 27, 2003, 07:59 AM
Kind of like our conversations on a long road trip, eh Emstah?

Pol
Aug. 27, 2003, 08:07 AM
AHHH, the road trips.....
Thanks, Girlies. I think we have plenty of fun out there. Imagine, if we were drunk, we probably would not remember how much fun it actually was! I miss being out there, I'll tell you.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 27, 2003, 08:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Nor have any of the competitors I choose to be with during events. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I didn't say I wouldn't hang with Pol, but she wouldn't hang with me. I can generally be seen having a beer as soon as xc is over. Hung over on xc, no way. But I do like to have a cocktail on Saturday afternoon and sometimes I get a good buzz.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 27, 2003, 08:16 AM
I don't know what it is, but being around horses makes me crave beer. Nothing like a nice nut brown ale after riding. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Gry2Yng
Aug. 27, 2003, 08:36 AM
Beer and vetrolin...it is like sugar cookies and Christmas.

rusti
Aug. 27, 2003, 08:39 AM
OK, stating you've never run cross country without a hangover in a national publication is bad.
Getting falling down drunk and puking all over your boots, yep, pretty bad.
But, a three day cocktail party consisting of good friends, moderate amounts of adult beverages, and lots of horses, well, that's a very good thing!
Hey, I know my job as a good owner- sign the check and bring the beer!

Emstah
Aug. 27, 2003, 09:01 AM
I'm not sure that having a beer after XC is what Pol is referring to. I believe (and please, Pol, correct me if I am mistaken http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) that what she is getting at is that she doesn't generally hang out with those who are dancing on tables, puking, making out w/ eachother, grinding to the music, and doing strip teases.

I highly doubt she would write you off as a friend simply because of one beer after a long hot day...

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

GotSpots
Aug. 27, 2003, 10:15 AM
What's wrong with the occasional dancing on the tables?

Jupes
Aug. 27, 2003, 10:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...dancing on tables, puking, making out w/ eachother, grinding to the music, and doing strip teases.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

After cross-country????? How about after DRESSAGE?!?! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Pixie Dust
Aug. 27, 2003, 10:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> that what she is getting at is that she doesn't generally hang out with those who are dancing on tables, puking, making out w/ eachother, grinding to the music, and doing strip teases.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where ARE these event parties....sign me up! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

SillyHorse
Aug. 27, 2003, 10:29 AM
I'll never forget the time I walked into a bar in Middleburg (this was around 1985) and saw my (normally reserved) friend Sarah dancing on the bar. I was impressed!

SillyHorse
~ I'm probably on John Ashcroft's enemies list. At any rate, he's on mine. ~

Pol
Aug. 27, 2003, 10:37 AM
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif
EMstah...You are cracking me up over here. Thanks for sticking up for me! First of all, I always try not to judge other people. If they want to get completely sh**faced, that is their business. If they end up mistreating their horses because of it, THEN I will have something to say. I think a beer after XC is about as delicious as it gets. HOWever, Gatorade is just as yummy, and is probably better for me. I can drink 5 Gatorades and not get dizzy. I have even been known to have a glass of wine on an event Saturday evening. Wow. Drunk? Hungover? No way. And if I were, I surely would not broadcast the fact to a reporter associated with an international newspaper.

Chatty Girl
Aug. 27, 2003, 03:32 PM
Whoa...Whoa...listen up!

After reading all the comments no one on the chat line has come up with the facts on the Bitmar bit? Hello…anyone out there really know what you are talking about, all I hear is a bunch of nonsense and gossip! Who amongst you can present the hard facts and an honest debate about the Bitmar bit. I doubt anyone one of you folks know Darren personally otherwise you wouldn’t be shooting off at the mouth without the hard facts to support your “personal judgment comments”.

You know what they say about fools “everyone loves a fool” well I love the person Bounce that quotes... “How many mothers will send their impressionable kids off to ride with someone that rides cross country with a hangover and airs it to the world? Not me!!”

I also love most, the many quotes by Mary Area One...there are too many from her and all too ridiculous to re-quote...but she wins the prize...the whole hangover thing was taking out of contents and good for you Miss Mary from Area One for being such a smarty pants...is that the best you can do!

For those who know Darren you know that he is a true professional in everyway; incredibly accomplished rider; a horse lover that would never risk the well being of any horse; a motivating coach to young riders; a horse trainer with an open mind to try a new innovation; an advocate and strong supporter of Eventing for not only himself but more importantly for all competitors at all levels; a strong promoter of Trakehner horse; an amazing guardian to all his young students; he encourages education in more than equestrian sports; and a lot of fun to be around... the list can go on and on...it is Darren’s character to challenge all put before him, he has courage, and it this courage that it takes to be an accomplished person whether in sport or business. The cheap shots presented in this chat room are a true reflection of those who present them.

I stand behind Darren hands down!

Chatty Girl!

Emstah
Aug. 27, 2003, 03:48 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I cannot WAIT to see where this goes!!! One fact I do know, Chatty Girl, is that the bit in question is called a Mikmar bit, not a "Bitmar" bit.

"I doubt anyone one of you folks know Darren personally." Actually, I do. Otherwise I would have no basis upon which to form my opinions- except magazine articles. Beleive me, my opinion of Darren is FAR different from that of
the magazine articles.

"Miss Mary from Area One for being such a smarty pants...is that the best you can do!"
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

I can't wait!

Chatty Girl, I'm afraid it is quite obvious you are a greenie on here http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif May the force be with you!

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

JER
Aug. 27, 2003, 04:02 PM
Apparently, Darren does have a publicist.

Chatty Girl, I don't know Darren at all but I didn't see any of those stellar qualities shining through in the NYT piece. Maybe his remarks were taken out of context, but I can't imagine in what context the quotes would make him look like a "true professional in every way."

If you go talking to the press, you have to exercise your decorum as well as your mouth. Many of us learn this the hard way, especially in a sport that gets so little 'outside' attention.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 27, 2003, 04:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> taking out of contents <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

"taken out of context"

Before you get too fiesty, Chatty Girl, many on this board do know Darren as well as the O'Connors, Jim Graham, Capt'n Mark, Ralph Hill, etc. We are not short in professional influence.

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 27, 2003, 04:46 PM
WOWIE ZOWIE! I haven't been called a "smarty pants" since, oh let's see, maybe 4th grade? I guess that's about the level of Chatty Girl's post.

For the record, I would be very happy to have a private message discussion with Chatty Girl where I can refute, with substantiated and witnessed facts, each and every criticism of Darren that I have every posted or even implied.

The New York Times usually has to be able to do that too. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Oh, and no, that's NOT the best I can do! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

barbaraG
Aug. 27, 2003, 05:33 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif

Hey, Folks, I'm jealous, can't drink at all.

Do I miss all the fun? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BarbaraG
GWV/

Jumpoff
Aug. 27, 2003, 05:45 PM
MY MY MY

What a thread!!!

The ignorance is unbelievable. My father used to ride with the man who invented the bit in California. His name was Frank Evans and NO ONE ever had a bad thing to say about him. But of course he never stepped into this chat room. He died in 1999.

The Combo Bit that everyone is using is a different version of the long shank Training Bit that he came up with 50 years ago. We have used the bits for years, and all you people reacting in a negative way to its new popularity is ridiculous. You all sound like a lynch mob! We do H/J and a friend who knows we use the bits told me about this thread.

The facts, for anyone who has used them, (instead of the chat room gas baggers) is that the horses like it. It spreads the pressure out so it doesn't hit the horse in one area, and actually saves their mouth from sharp pressure.

Darren is one of your Eventing superstars, and you all rip him apart because of a bit he uses that you've never tried??? Good support for the sport.

We're disappointed because we always thought these bits were our little secret. We were glad nobody knew about them.

Did you ever think maybe there's a reason everyone is so excited about the bit. It's what you learn after you know it all that counts!

subk
Aug. 27, 2003, 06:07 PM
I personally think you guys who think we've "ripped apart" Darren for using this bit need to go back and reread the post involving him and this bit. Darren's excellent skill as a rider was brought up innumerable times. In fact I think that's the point most posters we're making: if you ride as well as Darren go for it, the rest of us mere mortals make lots of mistakes.

Why should the rest of us be insulted by other posters because we've dared to discuss Darren's unfortunate quotes in the NYTs. His words reflected on the entire sport not just him as an individual. I think the posters here have shown incredible amount of restraint in fact. No one has discussed anything about Darren that he didn't share with one of the largest publication in circulation in the English speaking world. He put it out there, we discussed it. No one has said anything about his personal life, his clients, any traning technique other than that which open then thread.

Talking to reporters is hard. Talking to hostle reporters or reporters who are looking for quotes to support a pre-detirmed story angle or bias is even harder. I know, I do it. Welcome to the big leagues Darren.

Pol
Aug. 27, 2003, 07:00 PM
Whoa...Whoa, Chatty Girl...Listen up....I suggest you settle down just a bit. My recommendation is that you have a private email discussion with Miss Smarty Pants. She knows a whole lot about your friend Darren. And being the Smarty Pants that she is, she has too much class to type it all out on a public forum.
This forum is a place where posters are free to post their OPINIONS, so be careful when you bash. Even in bashing, there are rules and manners that should be followed. We welcome you to the group, but do please try to be courteous.

jumpjesterjump
Aug. 27, 2003, 07:19 PM
I am new to this forum, but personal opinion is that at least the New York Times was writting about eventing. Had Darren only said the most political correct answers there would have been no story, at least this put eventing in the news. Consider the source, this was the "style" section of the Times. This is a gossip column. If you read this column on a regular basis you would see that the accuracy would be questionable. Besides in fifteen years this was the first time my non horsey father commented on a horsey article, and he loved it!!

Cospi
Aug. 27, 2003, 07:27 PM
Well, I think Darren's comment about riding with a hangover did make an impression. I have had several co-workers who know nothing about horses, but do know that I event, ask me if what I did was just a big party and did we all ride with hangovers? My least favorite comment, "no wonder you guys are crashing your horses all the time, you guys are always drunk!" Talk about unfavorable publicity that I had to seriously defend!

Blaufelden
Aug. 27, 2003, 09:18 PM
I'm back from page one.Don't we all think it's time to put this one to rest? Thank you Jump Off for your post - it was very informative concerning this bit. That's what this WHOLE thing was about in the first place!! Also, have to say that I take everything in the NYT with a grain of salt .... their reputation is not exactly stellar here lately ..... and yes, I WAS a journalism major and find this type of reporting abhorrant. It belongs at the grocery check out. All of us at one time or another have said things that we really regret, right?? I can also understand that after finishing a tough event and actually surviving to talk about it, could put a person in a pretty "giddy" mental state when what you say may not have passed by all of your exhausted neurons. My personal contacts with Darren have been nothing but stellar. He went WAY out of his way to help see that our lovely Trakehner mare was bred on time to Windfall .... stellar results there, too. If it wouldn't have been for him, it wouldn't have happened. He works hard to promote the Trakehner and his time and effort devoted to the ATA are appreciated and respected by many. So I think it's time for all to take a deep breathe and move on. I find it a pity that those who are at the "top of the class", especially those who have worked their as* off to get where they are, always seem to attract criticism. I guess it will always remain so.

della
Aug. 28, 2003, 06:32 AM
I just went to the website to see this bit---good God Almighty!!!! Maybe the pros need it, are light enough w/ their hands to use it- but my guy ain't never gonna see that one. The jumper guys can be an extreme bunch.
As for the drunk thread-- Anyone who feels the need to ride drunk-- at least maybe it won't hurt as bad when you crash and die; if hungover-- you are a strong soul to jump with a big headache and nausea. I pity your poor horse.
As for Darren C. or any other pros-- they are not perfect, they do at times say dumb things to the wrong people, they make bad choices just like the rest of us. The big difference is we get to be anonymous and they get to be on the front page. I agree that if you have an issue w/ him, then e-mail him to discuss it rather than gossip in a chat room.

Heather
Aug. 28, 2003, 08:40 AM
FWIW, I spoke last night to one of the riders quoted in the article (one of the good, non-embaressing quotes, thankfully). Though she was pleased to have such a nice, non embaressing quote accreddited to her, she kept saying, "How could I have been quoted, no one interviewd me!"

She said she remembered walking the show jumping course during the competitors party, and a "nice woman" sort of tagging along, and it was when they returned from the walk to the party that she made the comment that she was quoted as saying. To this rider anyway, this woman never identified herself as a reporter, a writer, or someone doing any kind of story, certainly not for a publication the size of the Times.

As a journalist myslef, I abhor this sort of reporting or behavior. I'm a competitor myself, and have the good fortune to be affiliated with some bigger barns/names, but I never, ever cross that line between on the record and off the record. If I don't have permission to observe, record, or quote before hand, then it's off the record, and I'm just another rider. Now certainly, I have personal reasons for this--I don't want my friendsand aquiantances to feel betrayed by me, nor do I want the sport to be shown in a poor light per se.

That being said, time and again I have heard/seen riders making statements or engagin in behavior with absolutely NO thought as to who may be watching or listening. It's not a matter of being media savy, it's a matter of being savvy period. If you want to crack jokes about your drinking habit, or gossip about the care and training of another riders program, fine, but at least have the sense to do it in the confines of your vehicle, hotel room, office, whatever, don't do it while signing autgraphs, don't do it a apublic party, don't do it while waiting to start the show jumping course. People ARE watching and listening.

If we are going to be a bigtime sport, we need to make sure our "heroes" are capable of carrying that mantle. It's not always fun and games. Remember the Mark Todd debacle a few years ago? It can and will ahppen here as our sport grows, so our riders need to be prepared.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 28, 2003, 08:48 AM
Good lord! Some of you need to actually READ the posts. No one said anything about doing cross country drunk. "EVERYONE" isn't ganging up on Darren, people were discussing the bit in a pretty balanced way IMO. I do think that people are overly judgemental over the comments he made, and are not considering the source, as someone mentioned, it was the STYLE section not the SPORTS section. I'm guessing it wasn't even a real interview, but a reporter hanging around the party looking for some fun quotes. Obviously DC has some charisma, which is always attractive to the general public, so the reporter tuned in to that.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Heather
Aug. 28, 2003, 08:48 AM
Oh and just to stay somewhat on topic. I definately tend to be in the snaffle camp--and as such I presume far to many people in the world are riding with far more bit than they would need if they'd just train their frickin' horses. I also know first hand there are some horses who just ain't going to go in a snaffle, no matter how glorious their flat work. However, I think the number of hroses like this are far fewer than the number of horses who will be bitted up to next TUesday when they leave the box.

I also have a low confusion/tack fussing threshold. I HATE dealing with complicated tack--one of those new fanlged high-set figure 8 nosebands with the metal rings damn near did me in yesterday, and I know in the realm of tack it's not really all that complicated.

And yes, I tend to think for any strong bit, the monkeys with razor blades analogy is a good one. I have good hands, but that doesn't mean I don't miss and get left when jumping from time to time. Would hate to subject a horse to that sort of mistake with that bit.

I can't envision the circumstance under which I would be interested in using a bit like this--the truth is as an amatuer, I'd probably sell the horse that was that strong on XC and buy something more appropriate for myself.

itsallgood
Aug. 28, 2003, 08:57 AM
OK, all of you who are bashing the bit...have you tried it? It may look bad but really is a fairly gentle bit. Try it before you bash it!

Pixie Dust
Aug. 28, 2003, 09:07 AM
I haven't bashed the bit. But I wouldn't try it, because my horse is just fine in a snaffle.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Emstah
Aug. 28, 2003, 10:02 AM
"...could put a person in a pretty "giddy" mental state..." That seems like a fair excuse for a 9 year old girl who just finished her first novice event! But how about a pro who competes every weekend on multiple horses? Not sure giddyness is an excuse for giving our sport a bad rep. and our young riders a bad example http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 28, 2003, 10:45 AM
Heather--
Just FYI, I was at the competitor party that night. The MOMENT we walked in, we were informed that the woman from the NYT Style section was there, talking to people. There were a lot of people around her, and EVERYBODY was nosing in, trying to get attention. There was NO WAY someone could have been oblivious to her being there. She was not lurking about, listening in. Maybe she wasn't "interviewing" people, but she was certainly identified.

BYW, the photos of the barn area were mislabelled. The girl kissing her horse is Lisa Malek, a Young Rider from Area 1, not Karli McGuinness. We were stabled just to the right of Lisa (all the blue and yellow stuff).

rusti
Aug. 28, 2003, 11:22 AM
Wouldn't want my horse in that bit. There is no way you can convince me that its gentle, good lord, just look at the thing!
I'm not saying there isn't a horse out there that needs it or that someone with the skill level of DC can't use it tactfully, but there is no way in the same hands its easier on the horse than a big fat snaffle.
As for any comments regarding DC, with a few exceptions, I just don't see where he's being trashed. Post after post gives cudos for his abiltiy and record. Maybe his comments to a major publication were not particularly appropriate but I don't think that makes him a bad person and it certainly wouldn't keep me from using him as a trainer if I needed one. Now, the bit choice may make me think twice if indeed he was using it on his entire string of horses and not just on one or two.
I do wonder why the hangover comment needed to be brought up in this thread? don't like him, don't use him. Seems like whenever the guys name comes up a few people take the oppurtunity to make subtle negative comments. If he's done something horrible that can be substantiated please enlighten us if not get over it and move on.

Heather
Aug. 28, 2003, 12:04 PM
Well, my trainer didn't know about it, Mary, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe she was late or something, or came in another door, but she was definately taken by surprise. It's not an excuse for making dumb statments in public, and thankfully mine didnt' (she was one who was quoted as saying "Oh look, they're showing cross country, that's the best part"). She said she had been getting calls all day about it, and was like, "What are you talking about?" She remembered the "nice lady in the hat" who followed them on the show jumping walk, but had no idea who she was. Then again, she isn't the type that would be "angling for attention" anyway--she leaves that to others.

And rusti, well said, I'd be leery of any trainer (in the collective sense, not pointing a finger) who thought ANY thing/piece of tack/training method, could/should be applied to every single horse. The critters just don't work that way.

Blaufelden
Aug. 28, 2003, 01:21 PM
Yes, Emstah; "giddy." According to Webster's, "lightheartedly dizzy ~ possibly from exercise." Seems perfectly fitting to me to use the word in this context.

Gry2Yng
Aug. 28, 2003, 01:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I'd be leery of any trainer (in the collective sense, not pointing a finger) who thought ANY thing/piece of tack/training method, could/should be applied to every single horse. The critters just don't work that way. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A true statement, which also applies to the snaffle.

Emstah
Aug. 28, 2003, 02:18 PM
"Entry:Â*Â* giddy
Function:Â*Â* adjective
Definition:Â*Â* silly
Synonyms:Â*Â* bemused, brainless, bubbleheaded, capricious, careless, changeable, changeful, dizzy, empty-headed, erratic, featherbrained, fickle, flighty, flustered, frivolous, gaga, harebrained, heedless, impulsive, inconstant, irresolute, irresponsible, light-headed, punchy, reckless, reeling, rocky, scatterbrained, skittish, slaphappy, swimming, thoughtless, unbalanced, unsettled, unstable, unsteady, vacillating, volatile, whimsical, whirling, wild, woozy"

Seems perfectly fitting to my too, Blaufelden, now that you mention it.

"One needs an end to journey toward, but it's the journey that matters in the end."

Jumpoff
Aug. 28, 2003, 02:35 PM
I just talked to the Style Reporter from the NYT. She said she embellished everything Darren said, and that the Mikmar Bit is as misunderstood as most of her newspaper articles.

Darren and his bit, both books being judged by the cover!

Notice there is not one comment about his bit in this chat, from someone who tried it, or uses it, and doesn't like it.

goobs
Aug. 28, 2003, 03:25 PM
Wow and double wow. If the lady that was interviewing him was the woman who was trying to talk to him with her eyes a flutter while the poor guy was trying to put plate on his food then no, she certainly did not act like she was interviewing him. More like she was trying to flirt with him and was obsessed with his every move. Darren was concentrating more on his plate than her and although he was very polite, you could tell this overly starstruck woman was reluctant to lose his attention. If she was the reported I could not believe her behavior with him. After reading her article and witnessing the "interview" I laughed.

Darren seems like a very nice person. I watched him warm up his young riders and I've seen him ride a lot. He knows his stuff. I do not know him personally however or ever had any kind of experience with him to say otherwise. I also saw the bit in question and it caught my attention and my friends. I don't have anything to say about it as I've never seen one before but his horses looked very happy in it. Someone once said to me that there are no things as harsh bits, just harsh hands. I've seen people ruin their horse's mouths in just plain snaffles.

Mary in Area I - too bad you didn't tell me you were there, I was there also! It was a great party!

Robby Johnson
Aug. 28, 2003, 03:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumpoff:
I just talked to the Style Reporter from the NYT. She said she embellished everything Darren said, and that the Mikmar Bit is as misunderstood as most of her newspaper articles.

Darren and his bit, both books being judged by the cover!

Notice there is not one comment about his bit in this chat, from someone who tried it, or uses it, and doesn't like it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jumpoff,

You are *so* lying! No reporter - hard news or social set - would ever admit to "embellishing" anything, particular after the recent NYT debacle with plagiarizing/embellishing reporter Jayson Blair.

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

Jumpoff
Aug. 28, 2003, 04:01 PM
Jumpoff,

You are *so* lying! No reporter - hard news or social set - would ever admit to "embellishing" anything, particular after the recent NYT debacle with plagiarizing/embellishing reporter Jayson Blair.

Robby

Dear Robby,

That was an attempt to ad some levity to this ridiculous banter. Of course the society reporter would not say that, and knows nothing about horse bits. This is thread is so far off the original question, I tried to give it some full circle closure. Lighten up.

GotSpots
Aug. 28, 2003, 04:13 PM
Jumpoff: Falsely stating that someone is lying can be construed to be the basis of a lawsuit, particularly when the statements implicate someone's job or professional abilities. It's called defamation, and can open up the speaker to a number of fairly severe penalties. Even on an "anonymous" bulletin board, a subpoena can easily uncover the IP address from which a message was posted.

Jumpoff
Aug. 28, 2003, 05:33 PM
Gotspots; Thanks for clearing that up.

Robby Johnson
Aug. 28, 2003, 07:12 PM
I sort of figured you were being cheeky, Jumpoff. I didn't mean for my response to you to sound "heavy." But would you have stepped up and admitted your hijinks had I not called you on it?

Good thing to know we've got the fabulous and slinky GotSpots on board to do her Law Thang! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

GotSpots
Aug. 29, 2003, 07:05 AM
I don't slink. I strut, thank you very much. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

deltawave
Aug. 29, 2003, 07:08 AM
Ah, but one can be slinky and still strut... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
Kelly (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/imag0009.gif)
Bonnie (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/fancy.jpg)
Gwen (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/files/bridge.jpg)

Robby Johnson
Aug. 29, 2003, 07:28 AM
I meant slinky in a very rive gauche Tom Ford for YSL sort of way. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

GotSpots
Aug. 29, 2003, 08:03 AM
Ah, well, that's ok then. I wonder if I could get Yves to dress me for the jog? Heck, it worked for Bettina Hoy...

KateDB
Aug. 29, 2003, 08:34 AM
I thought Bettina was dressed in/by Chanel, at least at Badminton last year.
I'm sure Yves would like that opportunity to be seen, too!

One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

GotSpots
Aug. 29, 2003, 02:38 PM
I think you're right on the Chanel, come to think of it. Of course, if I looked like that, I don't think I'd need the help! Hilda Hick Donahue is about as close as we come over here: she always looks lovely at every jog, and I do believe I've seen her wear a hat, veil, and gloves.

Maybe I could convince someone that couture should coordinate with the Spotted One...hmmm.

Robby Johnson
Aug. 29, 2003, 02:58 PM
I told you, no moo-moo prints unless it's from Miu-Miu. Or, better, Prada itself.

But you are right - it was Chanel that dressed Bettina a few years ago.

Robby

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

jumpjesterjump
Aug. 30, 2003, 08:14 PM
In my opinion, everyone should just stick to the facts:
1. everyone who has previously commented on the bit who has first hand experience in its use has only had positive remarks on the matter.
2. Darren never told anyone to use it. He has shown no signs of sponsorship to this point for the Mikmar Co.
3. Why attack the character and personal descisions of a star of our sport? How does that portray our image to outsiders, especially when our sport is currently under question. We need unity.
4. Darren is a role model for our young riders. The winner of the NAYRC CCI* was a student of Darren's. He is also a mentor and instructer for the ICP.
5. What did Darren ever do to you Mary? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
P.S. Go Chatty Girl!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

ideayoda
Aug. 30, 2003, 08:24 PM
Interesting the bit is being used on a horse which went with a far more simple one with a previous (top international) rider. And equally interesting that he had to pay ahsa fines for his wonderful behaviors in warm ups.

I.D.E.A. yoda

barbaraG
Aug. 30, 2003, 08:30 PM
Robby and Everyone,

The Great Warrior usually selects her clothing from L.L. Bean, just in case the question should arise! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Cheers,
BarbaraG
GWV/ her own fashion plate http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

lucky2day99
Aug. 31, 2003, 11:56 AM
Personally I am shocked by all of the hub bub of the hangover comment and now the bit. People making comments like how many mothers will want their kids to ride with someone who rides in XC with a hangover and airs it to the world..

Just an observation but generally on many of the eventing lists I am on and on this very board people talk constantly about the drinking comraderie etc etc. In fact just last night I was going through the archives and saw a thread about post your favorite eventing pictures... someone posted pics of their trailer after the event and had one picture showing every single beer bottle downed during the event as they stretched across the length of the trailer.

So... geez give the man a break and stop being so hypocritical.

Christina

free
Aug. 31, 2003, 01:57 PM
Sorry...I do not believe that substance abuse is a laughing matter or needs to be equated to comraderie in any way. I do not believe that it should be excused because someone has achieved success and in particular not as a role model for young (or older easily impressed) people. We also wouldn't be fooling anyone by closing ranks and not talking about it amongst the Eventing community. I would much rather people know that this is not the norm or that you have to stoop to this to be accepted.

Some people view a glass as half full - some view it as half empty ... I spill it!

lucky2day99
Aug. 31, 2003, 02:39 PM
Free-- I was not expressing that it is a laughing matter. Myself, I drink rarely. I may have a beer or a glass of wine with someone-- or a drink drink... but I have long past my days of drunken revelry (I think that is misspelled so much for a college education).

I was pointing out however that from my exposure to the eventing community (me and my horse are a long ways off from competing even at beginner novice though I hope to in the not so distant future) drinking is talked much more than when I was in a hunter jumper community. Which is why I pointed out last night just on a lark looking at eventing pictures I saw the trailer picture. So.. hence why I think it is awful to judge someone when I have seen numerous posts about people referring to their own partaking of the fire water.

GotSpots
Aug. 31, 2003, 02:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Personally I am shocked by all of the hub bub of the hangover comment and now the bit. People making comments like how many mothers will want their kids to ride with someone who rides in XC with a hangover and airs it to the world <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> But there's a huge difference between having a beer with a couple of friends after a great day of x-c, and telling a reporter that one regularly rides with a hangover. The point is a judgment one: I would hope that someone who is representing the United States would have better judgment that to either (a) regularly compete with a hangover or (b) make such a comment, true or facetious, to a reporter for a nationally read newspaper. The comment would have been less inappropriate had it been made to the Chronicle, where the majority of readers have some knowledge of the sport, may even know Darren, and might have taken it as tongue in cheek. As it was, the reporter was for a major newspaper, circulated around the world to a wide audience whose main knowledge of eventing is either from Christopher Reeve's accident or from thrills and spills/disaster on horseback videos (including the coverage of Barcelona, which focused on exhausted, dehydrated horses). I don't care how sassy, good looking, or well-known you are: it was not a classy move for someone who is supposed to be promoting the sport.

On the bit, well, in the right hands, maybe. I don't think I'd use it on my horse, but my horse probably doesn't need it. However, the level of animosity from those who purport to defend Darren or the bit seems pretty high, when the majority of comments about the bit have been "maybe ok in his hands, not something I would use or be comfortable with a beginner using." Doth protest too much?

jumpjesterjump
Aug. 31, 2003, 06:00 PM
for the record, Darren never told anyone to use the bit.

piaffeprincess98
Sep. 7, 2003, 05:40 AM
Wow, this got long real quick! I found a picture of the bit I think you guys are talking about. This is from Burgeley.

Bit (http://www.nenedigital.co.uk/equestrian/Burghley2003/burghley200360b.htm)

Lindsay
An aspiring photographer specializing in dressage, eventing, and hunter/jumper digital photography.

~*Co-founder of the COTH Photographer's clique*~
For the best of my pics go to
My photo albums (http://www.picturetrail.com/piaffeprincess98) or More photo albums (http://www.picturetrail.com/piaffeprincess86)

Pol
Sep. 7, 2003, 06:07 AM
Well, actually, no. The arrangement shown in the Burghley pic is what is known locally as a trendy noseband. The bit Darren uses that has us all in an uproar is the Mikmar. If you go back to the early stages of this thread, you can see the link to the actual bit company web site.

piaffeprincess98
Sep. 7, 2003, 01:33 PM
Ah, my mistake Pol. I read the early parts of the thread but I guess my memory served my incorrectly. It still looks strange though huh?

Lindsay
An aspiring photographer specializing in dressage, eventing, and hunter/jumper digital photography.

~*Co-founder of the COTH Photographer's clique*~
For the best of my pics go to
My photo albums (http://www.picturetrail.com/piaffeprincess98) or More photo albums (http://www.picturetrail.com/piaffeprincess86)

alfalfa
Sep. 9, 2003, 12:33 PM
I'm not an eventer but Darren's summer base is close to our house, about 1 1/2 mi. away. I have never met Darren, so I cannot attest to his character or training techniques. When his horses are in town they go by our house all the time doing fitness work and I can say 9 times out of 10 they are in an eggbutt. Perhaps the Mikmar is just something Darren finds effective in a competition atmosphere where the horses are going stronger.