View Full Version : What bit do you use on your Arabian?

Feb. 11, 2010, 04:58 PM
I've heard Arabian horses sometimes have palate issues, I'm just looking for information on what Arabian riders and owners prefer to use on their horses.
Yes, I know about flash nosebands, no I don't want to hear about you cranking yours down on your Arabian that won't keep his mouth shut.
Just information and opinions on what you have found works best.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:13 PM
I have a friend that does all the breed shows with her Arab, both her and her trainer rely a lot on the Myler bits, of course not exclusively. On her suggestion we got the Myler Comfort Snaffle for my QH/Arab (whose face is more Arab than QH) and he does real well in it.
However, his issues didn't include opening his mouth, so I'm not sure what problems you're facing with your current bit.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:25 PM
I don't use a bit at all on her anymore. I tried her in a Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle and she does great in it. Before that I had her in a short shanked training bit. She has suprised me and goes so much more relaxed and comfortable in the bitless bridle. I'm suprised because she is 26 years old and still a spitfire and as far as I know this horse has never been ridden bitless before. I've owned her half her life and know who owned her before I bought her so I'm confident that she has always been ridden in at least a snaffle, at worst a tom thumb.


for the record...I'm not anti bit or a bitless fanatic...I use what makes my particular horse most comfortable. This particular horse seems to be more comfortable in the Dr. cooks.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:28 PM
Thanks!! I'm considering switching to the Myler. That's the reason behind my post. I wanted to see if people have had good experiences with that or if another brand/bit is preferable.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:29 PM
I have also heard bitless does well too. I guess I have a hang up about not having a bit...perhaps that's the best choice though. I could always buy one and resell it if it doesn't work out.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:34 PM
I have also heard bitless does well too. I guess I have a hang up about not having a bit...perhaps that's the best choice though. I could always buy one and resell it if it doesn't work out.

If you buy off Dr. cook's website you can return it within 30 days for a full refund minus shipping, no questions asked.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:44 PM
That's good to hear!
Did your horse get annoyed or bothered at all by the lower noseband?

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:54 PM
My arab does NOT go well in any single jointed bit. Head tossing, unaccepting of bit etc.

The one I use for dressage that she is the most accepting of is a Stubben egg butt with a copper lozenge link the middle (french link style mouthpiece, but link in the middle is fatter).

On the trail I use a french link baucher (toklat brand). At the beginning of a race I'll use a Myler kimberwick (non ported) because she won't pull against it. Honestly I'm not so impressed with the Myler. I'm glad I was able to find it used for ~$80 because there is no way that it was worth $120 to my horse...(but if I had a different horse, I might have a different opinion!).

I also use a mechanical hackamore (Slyster brand) if she's being exceptionally good.

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:55 PM
Oldpony...any adjustment issues or anything?

Feb. 11, 2010, 05:55 PM
That's good to hear!
Did your horse get annoyed or bothered at all by the lower noseband?

My mare wasn't bothered by it at all. The first time I rode her in it she lowered her head and walked out like a champ. I was concerned she wouldn't respond well to it but it was almost as if she said "what took you so long?". I have an 8 year old gelding (her son) that didn't do well with it at all though. He would get chargey and buck. I actually originally purchased it for the gelding (I believe that if less works you go with less - less bit, less shoes, less saddle (recently moved to a treeless saddle too but that's a whole nother story)) I used it on the gelding didn't like the way he went with it and sent it back and got my refund. Got to thinking that I didn't give it a fair chance and felt bad about sending it back so after 6 months or so I re-ordered it...still didn't like the way the gelding went with it so i tried it on the mare..she loves it and I love it on her.

Bank of Dad
Feb. 11, 2010, 06:18 PM
Myler comfort snaffle. Might consider trying a level 2 Myler this spring for when we're out with others.

Feb. 11, 2010, 09:45 PM
I used to ride most horses in the typical french link snaffle but once I got into endurance riding and began riding Arabians I found that several of them were unhappy with the bits I tried on them. I was really getting unhappy with my riding! It must be my fault. One mare that I had would just hang her tonque out of her mouth, looked like a pink snake flapping around. I experiemented with bits. The worst for her was a nice, smaller diameter french link. I tried a Myler bit with a triple mullen barrel mouth piece that bends in a gentle arch across the tonque and bars. Nope, hated it. Oddly, a fat, single joint, eggbutt bit was less disturbing to her. It struck me that maybe she didn't like a bit that sat on her tonque. I tried a Myler ported kimberwicke. It has a medium high port that gave her tonque room. Bingo! No tonque flapping or fussing.

Current Arab gelding hates the french link with a passion, little better with the single joint JP hunter snaffle, even better with the Myler triple mullen. He got ridden in that until just recently when I got tired of his high energy pulling and loss of attention when ridng cross country with friends. I decided to go to the Myler kimberwicke and we are both happy campers.

My guess is, yes, many of these horses have less room in theri mouths for bits. Most jointed bits have bit fat joints that are too bukly and uncomfortable for these horses. The Myler bit swivel joints and curved shapes are a much better design. Some horses really want tonque relief and a wide, medium high port may be just the ticket. And lastly, you and your horse may be happier using something other than a snaffle bit.

Bonnie S.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:01 PM
French link snaffle on all 4 that are under saddle currently.
On my old stallion, when foxhunting, sometimes a french link gag with two reins.
On my old gelding, I was known to use a slow twist when hunting. Or a short shanked pelham.
He also did show hack in a dressage double.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:07 PM
I agree with Bonnie S. - lower palates and overall a smaller mouth. When I do use a bit, its a french link, which is pretty flat. I mostly ride though with no bit, I simply linked the side cheeks to the loop that you attach to the bit, added black foam rubber to the noseband and neatly taped it. It looks like a normal bridle unless you look closely. I would not have done this when he was 5, and I don't do it out on the trails.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:15 PM

many people think bits go to the roof of the mouth therefore they think when a horse resists a bit it has a low palate. Bits rotate DOWN unto the tongue if a snaffle and off to the sides of the tongue and bars if ported. go look at your bridle and pick up the reins where your hands would be: above the withers, and see how a bit works.

So, snaffles work off the tongue. Cheap snaffles pinch hard. Good snaffles pinch too, that is what they were designed to do Arabs are sensitive and will let you know they won't take the pinch where perhaps a different breed will "take it".

Good riders or trainers can ride snaffles as they have good hands and can pinch and immediately release when the horse does what they want.

Opening the mouth gets rid of the tongue pressure for the horse.

Mylers are great as their snaffles will not pinch the tongue, but PORTs are a better way to go for a trained horse.

You may not need a myler, but they are well made bits. Look at what you are riding in! Work it on your arm to see how it feels. Snaffles pinch. They are designed to be a training bit, not a gentle bit.

Don't listen to others, listen to your horse, he will tell you what fits. If you are not a trainer or don't have great hands you should probably not be riding in a snaffle. Ports are not cruel, they are a huge relief to the horse in many situations.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:24 PM
more on french links. they work off the tongue, but distribute pressure over a WIDER area, thus less pressure so that is why a horse will go better in them.....way less harsh than a snaffle, once again put it on your arm and test it for yourself

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:26 PM
At my instructor's suggestion, I got my Arabian a double-jointed, loose-ring Myler. Until this horse, most had gone well in a French Link. Instructor thought the horse needed less on her face (lighter bridle, no noseband) and a lower-profile bit.

The horse still isn't very happy in it, but she goes better in that than the French link.

Also have a Little S hackamore for her. The noseband is too firm, so we wrapped it to cushion it. I'm considering swapping it out for a biothane or leather nose piece, but I want to make sure the Little S has some stopping power since the mare still spooks a bit dramatically. She's growing out of the spookiness, so I'm thinking she'll be able to go in simple noseband within the year.

I've had her teeth done several times, but by the vet, not a dentist. She needs tranq at this point.

She seems to be growing more mellow over time, and I expect to have more options as she gets better and better. She's a willing little horse, but her reactivity has been a handicap for us. Luckily, she's growing out of it. (she's 6 this year).

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:32 PM
a loose ring puts the least amount of pressure on the tongue of any snaffle as you cannot "set" it it is loose. That is why your horse goes better.....

try putting your horse in a port. i bet your trainer won't let you but it may help.

per bitless riders that is a reflection of how well your horse is trained. It hates the bit you use, but it will go well for you without one. KUDOS. But don't slam the bits, you just didn't find the one that worked. But you did have a well trained horse after all! All horses are individuals. what works on one won't on another, same for brands of bridles and bits. Borrow and test before buying.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:36 PM
Thanks. Instructor isn't happy about the hackamore, but she's more concerned about the horse and rider communicating well. I don't think she'd have a problem with any bit that works for both of us.

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:39 PM
I have found that some horses do better with a bit that works a little differently. The same gelding that didn't work out in the bitless bridle is now in a Kimberwick. Turns out that he works best in a bit with a small amount of curb leverage which the kimberwicke provides. I've tried him with a full cheek snaffle, a loose ring snaffle, a D ring snaffle, an argentine snaffle...I don't recommend that one at all - we both hated the longer shanks :(. I've tried several other bits that we didn't like for one reason or another. I don't envy your search. Bits are expensive, I've probably spent over $400 trying to find a bit that my gelding likes. Turns out that I owned it all along....:lol:

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:45 PM
Bits tried and failed: Myler Comfort snaffle, Myler french link, Baucher french link, KK loose ring snaffle, Neue Schule training bit....he now seems happiest in a cheap thinner, loose ring snaffle!

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:47 PM
That is the truth! At least Myler has a rental program!

But i never throw away any bit. the next horse might love it. They also progress and move out of bits. it makes you crazy!!!!!

Right now i own every bit known to man so I am ready for whatever comes my way

Feb. 11, 2010, 10:49 PM
JLR1 those are ALL snaffles. Try a ported bit. your horse is telling you tongue pressure sucks. Or try a hack or a Myler combo!!!!!

Feb. 12, 2010, 02:19 AM
JLR1 those are ALL snaffles. Try a ported bit. your horse is telling you tongue pressure sucks. Or try a hack or a Myler combo!!!!!This is a point worth pondering. My little mare isn't totally comfortable in the hackamore, either, so I'm wondering if the teeth/face conformation is bothering her.

But I have not tried her in a ported bit. I'd love to borrow one. The bit search gets expensive. Right now somebody else is riding her and conditioning her for distance competition this spring. Unfortunately, while the mare is sound, I am not sound enough for all the mileage required to condition for distance riding at this time. I finally have a horse with the potential for a sport I love, yet I'm not up to it. Bummer. But, I still want the mare to be successful with another rider. Maybe I should try a ported bit and just see how she goes.

ms raven
Feb. 12, 2010, 03:14 AM
In the past I have used a double jointed snaffle with oval mouthpiece and the Myler Comfort Snaffle (MB02). My mare liked the Myler but when I purchased it it was legal unfortunately it is not so now (it is 1 millimeter too narrow for EC Rules).

I am currently using a KY Rotary Bit (http://www.horsenpetoutlet.com/images/bits/115574.jpg) and in particular a double jointed eggbutt bradoon.

I do prefer to use an eggbutt bit over a loose ring in general. My mare has fleshy lips and some loose ring bits pinch her. She can be a little stronger in the canter in the eggbutt but overall I find that she is much more confident and adjustable. It is easier for me to work on lateral movements and/or affect one shoulder at a time. I am in love with rotary type bits.

Feb. 12, 2010, 09:01 AM
To rent bits try your tack shop. Myler does have a rental program which takes the sting out of bit purchases. Not every store does it, the ones in my area do and it was a big help. Myler bits curve forward much more than other bits, they follow the natural curve of a horses mouth so it is not just marketing bull, they ARE different. My tack shop charged 4 a day to try a bit. Well worth it as I have spent hundreds on bits that don't work over the years. :no:

Or borrow bits and try them, you can tell right away what your horse thinks!

With that said, I still think every horse is an individual. Every horse I own rides best in a completely different bit. But all of them go best in a port or mullen bit, NOT a snaffle type.

Feb. 12, 2010, 09:31 AM
howardh...I have only used snaffles on this horse and he doesn't seem to appreciate them. Perhaps I will borrow a port before I spend half a paycheck on a Myler :) and I'd like to put some more miles on this horse before he goes bitless.
PRS-thanks for the financial encouragement :) lol

Feb. 12, 2010, 11:23 AM
Good luck! If your horse is sensitive try a port that has smooth sides vs the sharper edged correction types. Also, try to find a port that curves forward a bit instead of being straighter. The straighter the bit, the harder it goes down on the bars.

The higher and wider the port the more you free up the tongue. You may not want to give total freedom if your horse is hot or not that broke!

You don't have to spend a fortune. I just have had really good luck with Mylers, but I have had $30 bits work well too, the trick is finding what your horse likes. I almost think we should all do bit parties where we swap out bits to help each other out! Much more fun than Tupperwear or Slipsada jewelry!:D:D

Feb. 12, 2010, 12:46 PM
An important thing I haven't heard mentioned is bit size. You want to make sure you are using a bit that fits your horse's mouth. A 'typical' bit is 5" but many arabs' mouths are smaller than that. My two Arab geldings have 4-3/4" and 4-1/2 mouths while my half arab 13hh pony has an amazingly tiny 4" mouth.

Feb. 12, 2010, 01:00 PM
minuspride - no, no adjustment issues at all. Poor baby had been in a different bit every month for a while so he was getting used to us screwing around with him. We got the Myler "on trial" from some website with the try it free for 15 days or something like that. The first day we rode him in it we knew we would purchase. Instead of fighting the bit and raising his head/hollowing his back he started relaxing and coming down, accepting the bridle, etc. He went from looking like a wild untamed pony to an actual dressage pony.
I forgot to add that we trail ride in a hackamore. He is FAR happier with the hackamore and having nothing in his mouth at all (wouldn't you?) but alas, not allowed in dressage.

Arrows Endure
Feb. 12, 2010, 01:08 PM
I've been having bitting issues myself.

Tried a plain french link snaffle-he hated it.
Tried a Myler comfort snaffle-he REALLY hated it.
Tried a thinner snaffle-nope
Tried a thicker one-nope, not that one either
Tried a mullen mouth-nope
Tried a kimberwick-I got off really fast on that one, off a spinning, pissed off horse.

Finally decided there had to be pain somewhere, and pulled the bit all together and rode in a rope halter for six months.

I have recently re-introduces a plain french link snaffle, which was the least offensive to him. We were on ride 2 with that before Snowmageddon hit, but it was encouraging. There was a bit of fussing, but no fighting, and he seemed to forget about it after a few minutes.

I am barely using my reins, thank goodness I seem to have installed some good leg and voice cues. I'm hoping with some time, I'll be able to use my reins. It's hard to ride endurance without them.... :)

Feb. 12, 2010, 01:39 PM
I love having all these options! This was exactly what I wanted from my post!

howardh-LOVING the idea of a bit party :) If you ever do it count me in lol
Thank you for the advice on the port...I will definitely take it to heart.

oldpony- MUST find myler "trial" website...off to spend my work hours scanning the internet for one :)

Arrowsendure- whew, maybe you want in on howardh's bit party seems like you would have a lot to offer the bit "library" haha. I haven't looked into the french...but I'm sure one of my friends have one. I'll have to borrow!

Thank you for all your options/opinions!!

Feb. 12, 2010, 01:42 PM
After trying a bunch of options, I went in a completely different direction that has worked out really well for my Arab.

I found that he generally hates jointed bits. He also hates poll pressure and nose pressure, go figure, so hackamores have been generally unsuccessful too. I was trying a happy mouth mullen, which worked pretty well, but of course he chewed right through it. The bit that I finally ended up with is the Pee Wee bit. http://www.peeweebit.com/. I know that there have been contentious discussions on COTH before about this bit, so you can take my advice with a grain of salt or not, as you prefer :) All I can say is that it's working for my horse.

Basically, it's a very thin, curved sweet iron mullen with loose rings. It has 3 configurations from snaffle to curb, but I only use the snaffle configuration. When you use the reins, the mouthpiece rotates up slightly to avoid putting pressure on the tongue and bars. It does not seem to be curved enough to hit the roof of the mouth. So although the thinness of the bit makes it look severe, it's actually really mild in the snaffle configuration. However, if you need brakes, there are external bars that lay against the horse's lower jaw. So I can use one rein or the other to turn his head slightly using the indirect pressure on the opposite side of the jaw, which seems to be really effective at breaking up the resistance in his head and neck and allowing me to use my seat and legs to slow him down. It's kind of hard to explain, but the videos on the website do it better.

Feb. 12, 2010, 01:58 PM
I worked at a hack barn that used approximately 20 arabian horses- mostly geldings as hack horses. The barn was associated with a hotel resort that did a lot of advertising in NYC. Lots of beginners. Only one arabian went in a bit. The rest went in a mechanical hackmore with very short shanks.
No beginners hanging on the horses mouth, no horsey get annoyed by having his mouth jerked on but there were still brakes so safe for beginners.

We could go out with a group of advanced beginners, gallop across a field and safely stop before the road at the end of the field.
Many of these horses can straight from New Holland Sale and straight into a hackmore. A guide would put a weeks worth (or less) of rides on the horse to make sure they were safe and onto the hack line they would go.

In the 6 months I was there we had 1 fall- that was a guide on a green 3 year old arab that was not part of the hack line and I had one arab hed back to the barn twice with a 10 year old. Go figure that was the best tip of the season as mom said her child had sooooo... much fun running.

Before I started at that hack barn I had an ex-endurance arab. I used to stop him by running into pine trees. I had all kinds of suggestions on what to use- pelham, tom thumb, running martingale etc.... I got run away with & dumped more times than I care to admit.
Put him in a mechanical hackmore and I could put advanced beginners on him out cross country and he would stop and was a much happier horse.

Regretfully that solution won't work for my new arab X. I plan on doing some dressage and eventing with him in addition to trail rides.

Feb. 13, 2010, 12:05 AM

Most of the bits you tried worked off the tongue. The mullen was the only different shape, but what happens with a mullen is that when you pick up the whole bit rolls down over the entire tongue. It is only "off" the tongue when you leave it alone or have really light pressure. It sounds like your horse hates tongue pressure. I hate to say it again but try a port. The kimberwick is a cheekpiece, what matters is what is inside the mouth of the horse so if it is a kimberwick with a snaffle jointed middle mouthpiece, nothing gained. Per Mullen mouthpieces, my arabs all hated mullens too! I don't know why, many horses go great in them, but not one of my arabs ever liked them.

AND FORGIVE ME FOR BEING BOSSY I just am so adamant about bits from personal experience. Only listen to your horse! Not your friend or your farrier or your trainer who demands you ride in a certain bit. BULL. Once the bit is inside the mouth no one can tell what it is anyway, except sadly for dressage riders who's horses are so well trained that it is a crime they are forced to ride in jointed bits. JMO

PORTS ARE NOT EVIL. They free up the horse. They rotate DOWN off the sides of the tongue. A horse needs its tongue to swallow. Imagine your tongue being pinned down while you try to jog! That is what we do with tongue bits. Try jogging with your finger pressing down on your tongue. I know a ported bit is a huge brain swap as we are trained to think a snaffle is gentle but give it a try. My arabs have thanked me.

And Big horse little horse, I don't own a peewee yet! I guess i better get one since I own every other bit! HA. Glad it works. I never care what anyone says, if it works it works! It looks like a mullen but I can't figure out the sides without using it! Woo hoo a new bit!

Feb. 13, 2010, 03:17 PM
PORTS ARE NOT EVIL. They free up the horse. They rotate DOWN off the sides of the tongue. A horse needs its tongue to swallow. Imagine your tongue being pinned down while you try to jog! That is what we do with tongue bits. Try jogging with your finger pressing down on your tongue. I know a ported bit is a huge brain swap as we are trained to think a snaffle is gentle but give it a try. My arabs have thanked me.

There are many ported bits. Can you give some specific makes and models or links to ones that you've tried and liked? Thanks.

Feb. 14, 2010, 12:52 PM
And Big horse little horse, I don't own a peewee yet! I guess i better get one since I own every other bit! HA. Glad it works. I never care what anyone says, if it works it works! It looks like a mullen but I can't figure out the sides without using it! Woo hoo a new bit!

The external side bars use indirect pressure on the lower jaw to turn the horse's head. So if you use the LEFT rein, instead of pressure on the bars, tongue, etc., the bit slides slightly through the horse's mouth until the RIGHT side bar comes into contact with the horse's lower jaw. So it's a pushing action instead of a pulling action, which is much more comfortable and creates much less resistance from the horse. You can sort of see it yourself by putting your fingers on your own jaw and PUSHING to turn your head, as opposed to putting your finger at the corner of your mouth and PULLING to turn your head.

And what you were saying about mullens putting pressure on the horse's tongue is completely avoided in the PeeWee bit. When you have rein contact, the mouthpiece rotates up in the horse's mouth to keep it from putting pressure on the tongue.

Feb. 15, 2010, 08:46 PM
Rack On

I have gotten good success with the myler 04 for a step up for a young horse, (all Mylers are vailable in different cheek pieces so you can ride in a shank or an eggbutt etc).....

For my really broke horses the 33 mouthpiece is great. I am not good at doing links but I have used the Myler combo bit in an 04 mouthpiece for really pushy horses and the 48 and 25 port.

These are all Mylers.

For the others I don't know the brands, sorry, but one is a straight bar and the others are just just look like they curve upward.

I think I have a few Reinsmen. I guess my favorites are the Mylers as my horses have gone the best in them. The combo bit was a lifesaver on the trails with a hot horse that had learned to put his head up in the air...

Arrows Endure
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:26 PM
Well, I'm willing to try out anything. I hate it when the poor guy fusses while I'm riding.

Anyone around Rising Sun, MD have a 4 1/2 inch or 4 3/4 inch ported bit I can test ride???? I can supply a few different bits for test riding in exchange. I think I still have the Myler comfort snaffle, the french link, and a couple others. I'd have to go dig in my tack box.

Of course, it may have to wait until my poor horse can walk outside of the plowed path from the barn to his pasture. We had to plow him paths in the pasture. 14.2 hand horses with three feet of snow have issues. Especially since we just moved here from Florida, and he's never seen snow before this year. Poor guy has been threatening to walk home...

Feb. 16, 2010, 05:42 AM
My arab mare will not tolerate poll pressure (Cooks bitless) or nosebands, or the metal of a hackamore.
She goes beautifully (endurance/ hacking) in a Myler Level 2 MB04. This mouthpiece has a low port. It has 5" shanks. She has learnt that if she maintains pace/gait there will be no contact on the tongue or bars.

My gelding frets dreadfully with anything in his mouth, he froths and lolls his tongue so he has an english hackamore and is completely happy with that.

Feb. 16, 2010, 08:06 AM
Never had any problems with bits with my girls. One Legion of Supreme Merit and two Legion of Honors. Four National Champions. I think they should be fitted as individuals and not as "Arabs."

Feb. 16, 2010, 08:33 AM
I could not agree more! Bitting has nothing to do with breed, it is all about the individual animal. Add to that the rider's hands.

That is why I get so frustrated when people ride in a bit because someone told them to use that bit! If the horse hates it and goes like crap, what is the point?

What works on your horse may not work on others. I have 4 arabs, and four additional different breeds. ALL go best in a completely different bit.

You will know when you hit the right bit, it is just a frustrating journey, thus the need for bit parties!:lol:

Feb. 16, 2010, 09:52 AM
howardh...still waiting for the bit party :)
I'm so glad to have so many options!

Feb. 16, 2010, 05:03 PM
5" JP Korsteel oval mouth bit-its a triple jointed bit. The thicker the better. My horse LOVES this bit but I have had good luck with eggbut and french link snaffles.

In my case the jacknifing of the single joint of the traditional snaffle ended up pinching my horse and anything with a center bean/link was best. My horse never seemed to have a hard time with wider bits

Feb. 17, 2010, 09:14 PM
Thanks Howardh.

I have looked at the Myler bits but THERE ARE SO MANY. So many combinations....I think I will just get a medium port with a short-ish shank. I too have a rather large bit collection so what is a few more.

Feb. 20, 2010, 03:33 PM
1).I tried everything from nice gentle bits to more severe bits like a double twisted wire...nothing and I mean NOTHING worked for more then a few rides on my Arab. He'd be fine for the frist 2-3 rides in each new bit then go back to grabbing down, pulling and running away with me, screaming, yelling, pulling, panicing.... I'd had enough and he was only 5 at the time when I was desparate to find something that would make him happy and us to enjoy our Volunteer Horse Patrol Rides especially out in open fields when the rest of the group went for a canter we went for a death run leaving everyone behind and getting into some dangerous situations.

After some research I found Dr. Cooks bitless and I have the synthetic one now. I had a loaner from another board memeber who excelusively did training on the bitless Hatrick is her name on one of the BB's. We tried it on my Arab and I was def nervous on how he'd act and respond to the completely different feeling and signals of the bitless. After the first ride in the ring I was still slightly unsure but after the 2-3rd rides and then trails I will never look back. It's like I have a totally different horse. I can ride on the buckle at a canter use JUST my voice to slow or stop and he reacts smoothly and immediatly. No more death rides, no more fighting, and crying and cuts on his lips. He is relaxed on our rides, can canter in a group no problem, bends, turns, stops prefectly with little pressure and usually just voice commands. I didn't do any other training with him for the run aways he simply just couldn't have a bit in his mouth it was like overload for him. Now he is happy to go for rides, will call if we ride on a regular basis and we skip a day. So for this arab Bitless FOR THE WIN!!!

2). As for my HYPER ADD-Arab/NSH I still have him in a loose ring french link snaffle. He has a hyper oral fixation issue where he puts everything and anything in his mouth and when riding the bit relaxes him. I tried going bitless with him but he panics, doesn't listen and he acts like the straps under his chin are killing him. So until we get him at a state where he is riding properly and consistenyl and safely I will keep him in his current bit and then slowly switch him to bitless to see if he will calm down with it. Even with many training sessions both with the bit and bitless he is not SAFE without the bit currently but we hope to some day get him trained enough (he's coming 5yrs this yr) to go bitless on both arabs.

Good Luck!:D

Feb. 21, 2010, 05:09 AM
I had one horse who went best in a thinner racing D...

another in a regular tom thumb...

A stallion who seemed to hate tongue pressure and went well in a waterford bit--linked balls between D cheeks (comes in loose ring and full cheek too) I found in a 4 3/4". You'd think he'd hate that with it still contacting the tongue, go figure....

I buy about everything I find in 4 3/4" in case I'll ever need it because they can be hard to find.

I start my young horses in double linked bits-- oval, roller, french link and see how it goes.

The peewee looks interesting, and pricey. I've looked at the Mylars but couldn't justify the price for a chance someone might like it while I'm not having a real problem yet.

Feb. 21, 2010, 09:05 PM
Both of my arab gelding have been completely happy in medium copper mouth eggbutt snaffles. Some of the bits out there are super complicated and I have to wonder how they even work. The one super sensitive mouthed mare that I had was actually quite happy with a straight mouth snaffle (that is what is is called even though since there is no joint it isn't technically a snaffle). This bit kept her nice and happy without resorting to nosebands to tie her mouth shut or other gimmicks. The only problem with it is that if you don't have brakes, it sure won't give you any. Good luck with your bit search! A collection is always useful to have.

Feb. 22, 2010, 10:48 AM
Eggbutt snaffle for dressage work, hackamore & S hack for trail, but next time I compete a snaffle gag.

Feb. 26, 2010, 11:17 AM
My Arab went well w/ a 4 3/4 eggbutt French link snaffle. The French link was a vast improvement over the traditional snaffle.

Mar. 12, 2010, 01:02 AM
We have used the Monte Forman Humane Bit for over 25 years on all our horses, which includes my Arabians.

Here is a photo of one in the link below. (You can see where they flair out at the top so that they are pinchless):


You can save the jpg image and enlarge it to read more about them.

We purchase them from either Fallis Saddlery (http://www.fallisbalancedsaddles.com/) or Boz Saddlery (http://www.bozsaddlery.com/). You have to call to order them.

Happy Trails!

Mar. 13, 2010, 02:09 AM

Number 7 mouthpiece, loose rings.

Only bit my Arab is happy in. I have a curved shank bit with the same mouthpiece for barrel racing as well.

Mar. 13, 2010, 04:29 AM
eggbutt snaffle: jointed or french link.

No gobstrap. Just a plain noseband