View Full Version : Why don't you use a big fat snaffle?

Apr. 18, 2010, 01:15 PM
I thought this would be a good thread for all the horrible riders out there that don't use snaffles to explain why not :lol:

What led you to decide that your horse couldn't do stadium/xc in a snaffle? What did you do before you switched bits? What bit do you use?

Finally, how did the bit switch change your horse?

Apr. 18, 2010, 01:37 PM
Popcorn anyone.

Apr. 18, 2010, 01:41 PM
So before anyone has posted anything you get out the popcorn?

Since often the assumption is that people that have big bits don't know or care how to ride and train a horse wouldn't it be nice to hear from people that have used good judgement and experience to make their decision to bit up?

It is my personal belief that some horses are not snaffle horses and a bit that they respect and the rider handles well is a good solution. Perhaps this is because they are big strong hot fast horses or maybe they are older horses that are set in their ways and not going to change. I'd like to hear about it.

Meredith Clark
Apr. 18, 2010, 01:51 PM
My sister rides her boy in an elevator because he pulls the reins out of her hand and sneaks grass :lol:

since she's 20 we figured that the bubble bit is less embaressing than daisy reins

Apr. 18, 2010, 01:56 PM
I ride in a loose ring myler because my horse hates plain snaffles and French links also. I would ride in a fat happy mouth mullen but I lose finesse. I know mylers are thin but if she's happy, I'm happy

I did buy a d myler with the clips for a grad bit but so far it just sits in my tack trunk. I've used it out on trail once and liked that she was reminded to balance herself at canter.

Apr. 18, 2010, 02:04 PM
Because he hated the big fat hollowmouth loose-ring snaffle, and likes his narrow eggbutt and his narrow and heavy full cheek.

Meredith Clark
Apr. 18, 2010, 02:17 PM
I will add that my horse actually does his flat work and jumping in a double jointed loose ring BUT i started him in a happy mouth after he came off he track but he eats them ! I'm getting really sick of buying new ones every couple of weeks so I'm thinking of switching him to a metal bit.

I already own a KK double jointed D so I think i'm going to try that.

Still a snaffle but not as fat or tastey! :lol:

Apr. 18, 2010, 02:29 PM
Everyone has heard my answers ad nauseam. :)

Because I like to enjoy my limited riding time, and I find that riding in a suitable bit allows that to happen for me AND the horse without wasting a lot of time. Suitable bit = plain vanilla french link loose ring for Bonnie, a triangle mouth snaffle or a racing D for Keebler. Hardly barbaric. Bonnie in fact really doesn't like "fat" bits because she has a big fat tongue and lips. Little and thin suits her much better and she is NOT averse to expressing her opinion about bits loudly and clearly.

Both horses jump so darn nicely in a Myler combination that I just reach for that bridle almost every time. I've jumped each of them in half a dozen different bits and they both LOVE that one. Therefore, so do I. :)

Apr. 18, 2010, 03:23 PM
I just got my first horse about a month and a half ago and when i got him he was training for prelim so has a little bit more "go" then im used to. (i'm 14 and have only showed BN/N).
for riding at home ive been using a happy mouth snaffle. prior to the show i was freaking out bc i didnt feel like i had any brakes/control and i felt llike i wasnt ready for the show so then when i went to Spring Bay last weekend i used an elevator so i could feel safer and more comfortable.
however, we do all of our lessons and work at home in the snaffle so i can learn how to jump him and control him using my seat and legs and not pull on his mouth. then hopefully by next show i will be able to move down a ring on the elevator or move to a less severe bit.
like my trainer always says...its allllllll a process :)

Apr. 18, 2010, 04:06 PM
I watched a William Fox-Pitt video a year or so ago and he commented that he doesn't believe that it's the horses that are snaffle horses or non-snaffle horses, but the riders that have a preference. If I recall he was saying that riders tend to migrate toward the feel they are most comfortable with which is generally produced by a certain type of bit. For him it's a snaffle because that's what his mother made him ride in while he was growing up so that now he doesn't care as much for a non-snaffle feel.

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:11 PM
For me it depends on the horse. I've had horses that went in snaffles for all three phases...some big and fat...some thin. Current monster boy is going to go xc in a new bit after last weekend.....where I had little control over his lovely length of stride...especially going down hill. And he is too big and I'm not strong enough to be fighting with him in a competition.

Did canter sets today....and the new bit of choice for him is still a snaffle...but a loose ring cherry roller. (and we worked on his straightness and adjustability). Some how I don't think that is what most people think of if you say your horse is running xc in a snaffle:cool:...but it is big and fat and is a snaffle ;)

ETA: He does dressage in true loose ring snaffle (HS double jointed KK Ultra)

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
I thought this would be a good thread for all the horrible riders out there that don't use snaffles to explain why not :lol:

What led you to decide that your horse couldn't do stadium/xc in a snaffle? What did you do before you switched bits? What bit do you use?

Finally, how did the bit switch change your horse?

my little horse is faster on a x/c or ht course so use a pelham not for her for me as i have bad arthurtic hands

bits some people change bits during a competion if there is more than one dispiline as it keeps the horse more focused by that i mean depends on the horse some horses need a tad a variety to keep there attention on you so if one changes the bit - then it keeps the horse guessing so not to antsipate you as a rider - hence more focused on the job in hand

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:27 PM
I'm mainly a dressage rider, but I love going for hacks and doing some gymnastic jumping with my boy, so here's my two cents:

I ride dressage/in the ring in a big, fat loose ring oval mouth snaffle. I'm not saying it's "superior" to heavier bits, but it works well for my gelding. I had another horse who went best in a boucher. It really depends on your horse, as every one is different.

Now, if I am to leave the arena or go over fences, I use my slightly thinner full-cheek bit. It gives me just a little bit more control, and acts as an attention grabber.
If I'm galloping across a field in my arena bit and my horse decides he wants to keep running, good luck getting him back to a walk or trot with a big, fat snaffle in his mouth.

There's nothing wrong with bitting up for trail or xc, or dressage for that matter. Every horse has different needs and preferences. :)

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:43 PM
I think needing more bit for the adrenaline of xc/stadium/galloping is a completely different ball game than people saying they need big bits to do basic flatwork.

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:47 PM
We can always blame the previous owner! Horses off the track have baggage. Horses ridden by men can become accustomed to a stronger ride than a woman likes to give. (not saying men can't develop lovely responsive horses). Horses ridden by the inexperienced learn bad habits. Then we get them.

The 2 horses I had who needed hardware came to me after long and checkered careers. The 2 with whom I basically did all the work myself go in snaffles. I am NOT the world's best rider/trainer but I have soft hands and the horses never experienced rough ones - no one else rides them. Whoa was an early lesson. (especially after the freight trains, it was important to me!)

Apr. 18, 2010, 05:57 PM
My mare goes in a D-Ring snaffle at home. I grew up riding a lot of ex-racers and we usually left the bit in that they were used to until we knew better.

She goes in a boucher at shows because when she started to get into the whole running around cross country thing, she started pulling down and getting on the forehand. It is just a half a tad more bit than the snaffle and helps my half halt to rebalance. She probably does not need it anymore, but why tempt fate?

Apr. 18, 2010, 06:01 PM
Have never ridden anything in a *fat* snaffle because all my horses seem to have tiny little mouths.

1) all three phases in KK D-ring (hated loose rings). Didn't like contact much, was never great at the dressage, but adjusted in the blink of an eye to the fences.

2) dressage in KK D-ring, jumping in kk butterfly boucher because he wanted to go a little nose to toes and I found the boucher helped with balance at speed.

3) dressage in D-ring snaffle, but still a work in progress. The horse has a genuinely hard mouth (just ask Deltawave). Jumping in a kimberwicke because he respects the chain and it allows me to ride with a very soft hand in between the fences.

4) dressage in a kk full cheek and jumping in a Dr. Bristol full cheek. Didn't have for too long and would grab the bit and run when galloping xc, so liked a bit extra, but basically very quiet. Is now becoming a hunter and happily jumping around 3' courses in a regular (but still not fat, because his mouth is small) single jointed snaffle

5) current, running through possibilities. This guy does not yet like the bit and tries to spit it out and/or get his tongue over it. Have tried with limited success myler comfort snaffle, kk eggbutt, regular aurigian d-ring snaffle, nathe mullen mouth. Rode him today in a this and it seems best so far and pretty good overall: http://www.countrytack.com/Bits/JP_eggbutt_oval.htm. He doesn't jump yet, so can't answer that. :lol: I'm guessing the same bit as he is very quiet.

Apr. 18, 2010, 06:09 PM
Some horses have small mouths and low palates.....they don't like a big, thick bit. I've had several horses off the track that were much happier in thinner bits. I've found that some bloodlines ring true to this preference as well.

Of my three I have now, one goes in a D ring happy mouth.
One goes in the same bit or a loose ring medium weight.
The last is new to me as of friday, one ride so far. He's way too heavy and way too strong in my hands for those bits. So I'll likely put him in something with two joints like my mylar snaffle or a french link.

Case by case, I really have no preference myself as long as my horses are happy.

Apr. 18, 2010, 06:19 PM
My mare goes in a loose ring plain snaffle on the flat and that is plenty. A bigger bit won't get her off her forehand! :)

BUT... Over fences she has gone in a slow-twist eggbutt since she was about 5. We have never had to bit-up from there but she certainly needs the slow twist. She does this phenomenally impressive thing where she holds the bit so firmly between the roof of her mouth and her tongue that the rider loses all control (read: steering, brakes, etc.). I ride with a soft hand and always ask nicely. She needs it because she won't push it into the roof of her mouth.

The funniest part is that when she does this she "runs off" with you but at a seemingly controlled pace. I dared an ULR get on her once when they were mocking me because they said there was no way she was as out of control as I said she was. They picked up the canter, popped over a 3' vertical and then said, "OH... MY... GOD.... I am so sorry I ever doubted you!!"

I briefly went down to a French link due to peer pressure and proceeded to have a rotational fall out foxhunting because she wouldn't balance up before a downhill coop when I asked her to. Needless to say, we are back to the slow twist!!!

Apr. 18, 2010, 06:27 PM
My boy goes in a baucher for flat work and a tom thumb pelham for jumping. He has a hard mouth thanks to being ridden by a heavy handed girl before I bought him, but he hates a lot of contact so he likes a bit that stays still in his mouth. He gets strong jumping and tends to lean on my hands, so I like that the curb on the pelham helps to lift his front end.

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:00 PM
I tortured myself by riding my Intermediate horse from ages four to seven in nothing but a nice, fat snaffle. He was happy, I had no control. He's 17.2 and I'm 5'7" but built quite small.
I went to work for a dressage rider for a year and she started him in a double after a few months. Amazingly, he was much more relaxed and accepting of the double than he ever was of my assortment of friendly snaffles. The dressage rider explained that the double allows us to use more finesse in the half halt and aids that ripping at him for any response through his big meathead lips. We went back and forth between snaffle and double, and as he got better in the double he got better in the snaffle. Certainly he's a hot, strong, big horse so sometimes we have snaffle days and others I go running for my double. I was amazed at how quickly his very incorrect neck became textbook for proper muscling.
He's eight now. I have a collection of pelhams for cross country that he loves. I used to get loads of time at prelim because he pulled my arms OUT and made me ache. Now he is light and responsive in a straight bar pelham and makes time at Intermediate. He gallops in a KK pelham. I vary what variety of twist for stadium at home and at shows, but he is happiest with a very thin dr. bristol slow twist or a full cheek double twisted with the edges (so where his gums are) wrapped in sealtex. He seems much more accepting of both of these than some mild bits. A fatter bit seems to offend him, his snaffle is a very thin Dr. Bristol hunter dee.
So why don't I ride in a snafle always? Happy, now correctly muscled horse and pain- free me!

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:16 PM
"So before anyone has posted anything you get out the popcorn?"

Yep, cause I knew when I got back I'd need sustinence to get through all the answers...and I was right. Great topic.

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:19 PM
Mine do go in snaffles... just not big, fat ones. Both of them go much better in a thinner snaffle.

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:21 PM
As I didn't read all the previous replies, please forgive me if this point has been made.

Besides every horse bring different as to what he likes, there is also the fact that their mouths are different sizes. So fat may not truly be the mildest or kindest choice for a small mouth or low palate, even if he doesn't pull etc.

So, after you find what fits, then find out how much softness/control you have and after some research you might find yourself trying something else.

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:22 PM
I ride one big nasty SOB. Intermediate fences do not back him up. I don't have the stones for advanced. I value my life. Ergo, BIG bit. :D

Apr. 18, 2010, 07:38 PM
I ride my OTTB in a Stubben "wonderbit" with "wings" on the side so it doesn't pinch. He's too darn strong! I just don't want to fight with him the whole way around cross country. It's exhausting.

I rode my ex-advanced horse in a pelham with a converter when we were doing training and prelim. He's a sloppy show jumper. I felt it gave me a little extra "pop" over each fence, almost as if I was able to lift him just an inch over the rails to clear them.

I ride both on the flat in KK double jointed snaffles.

Apr. 18, 2010, 08:03 PM
Easy - if i rode in a big fat snaffle i wouldn't have brakes and therefore my Novice/Training horse would be heading at Prelim fences and i therefore would pee my pants.


Apr. 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
Please correct me if I'm wrong....on a rare occasion I've been known to be. ;) Years ago I seem to remember a George Morris quote something like this. "You'll never learn to have good hands riding strong horses in mild bits"....

Apr. 18, 2010, 09:24 PM
I think needing more bit for the adrenaline of xc/stadium/galloping is a completely different ball game than people saying they need big bits to do basic flatwork.


Apr. 18, 2010, 09:39 PM
B/c he likes a bit that actually fits comfortably in his mouth. It's still a snaffle just not a fat one- its the HS KK Ultra. Best. bit. ever. :yes:

KBG Eventer
Apr. 18, 2010, 10:38 PM
All 5 horses I have evented over the years were/ are ridden mostly in snaffles. Some were fat, and some were thin, mostly loose rings.

I have ridden three horses in something other than a snaffle. One of my first ponies went cross country in a single jointed kimberwicke. I rode another in a Waterford a couple of times going cross country. Ti has a slow twist full cheek (which is technically still a snaffle) for jumping lessons and cross country.

Apr. 18, 2010, 10:42 PM
Because I dont like getting run away with and I value my and my horse's well being.


Apr. 18, 2010, 11:03 PM
My leased gelding was ridden in a KK loose ring for all three phases when he was eventing, and that was fine. He was not prone to running away... he is a big strong horse, though. In my experience galloping him and doing a little X/C he would lean against the bit, but if I pushed my hands forward a couple of inches forward so he suddenly had nothing to lean against, he'd rebalance. He also had good brakes :)

Maresy, well, her former owner used a Myler wide-barrel comfort snaffle** for her in all three phases, but former owner was quite heavy and maresy respected that. With a much lighter rider (me, or the girl who had her for eventing camp etc. for a couple of months), we used a short-shanked jumping hackamore. Brakes were still, um, iffy, especially early in a course (this is the girl's report; I didn't dare try!) but maresy is a catty little horse and could get herself out of trouble. I don't think my hands were really good enough to use that hackamore. When we went to dressage-only, we went to a loose ring snaffle and she's fine in that, both in the ring and on the trail, when she's sound that is. But she could not stand a fat snaffle due to her tiny mouth.

** Please note that the Myler "wide barrel" is not really that wide.

Apr. 18, 2010, 11:05 PM
my horse has a fat tongue and 'normal' sized bits just seem to be too big and makes her fussy. She lovesss her thin snaffle though, hates joints except for Dr. Bristols(french links hit her roof awkwardly) which she also loves! No issue of control, just basic horse mouth anatomy. Think about it-If you were a horse with a small mouth would you like a fat snaffle compared to a thin one/typically more severe bit that fits?

Apr. 19, 2010, 08:07 AM
B/c he likes a bit that actually fits comfortably in his mouth. It's still a snaffle just not a fat one- its the HS KK Ultra. Best. bit. ever. :yes:

Hear, hear, Duramax! Right now all of mine go in this except for my "retired" mare, which horse can pull like a train no matter who is on her. A big ol' rubber pelham makes a ride on the beach pleasant.

I've only had to use more bit (so far) on warmbloods, or like "retired" mare, warmblood crosses. The warmbloods I've had that I started myself really did need a little more bit when learning to control the enormous power of their quarters in the excitement of jumping. After an outing or two in the spring, I could generally go back to the KK.

And I agree with the poster who mentioned double/full/Weymouth/bit and bridoon bridles. We used to use tham all the time for training polo ponies, and I like them for those strong warmbloods because you can use only what you need .Besides, all the best "classical" dressage riders use them at the advanced levels, don't they?

Apr. 19, 2010, 09:17 AM
Years ago I seem to remember a George Morris quote something like this. "You'll never learn to have good hands riding strong horses in mild bits"....

Yes...makes sense. Of course, not an excuse to bit up rather than learn to ride the horse, but I do think that the right balance can include a stronger bit.

Apr. 19, 2010, 09:39 AM
I remember reading in one of many articles that a fat bit snaffle can be just as painful as a twisted wire...

One has to find what a horse likes, and listen too.

17 ottb went through a few bits in his training process, but is back to a myler happymouth snaffle for all 3 phases. flat work has always been that bit, but when he was not quite listening to me on xc, we tried a few bits...waterford, elivator, combination bit (where I found my biggest success). the past few years, he went back to his myler and a fig 8 and is very attentive. due to an tongue injury last fall, i ended up fox hunting him in a hackamore...which he adored. but i can hunt him in the snaffle and he's just as easy, no pulling and is very attentive.

5 year old mare. flat in the snaffle, hunted in a boucher and now is in a d with a slight twist...she can grab a bit, throw her head up and go and it doesn't matter the finesse that a rider has, she can be strong. even with a running martingale. so this bit is enough that she minds it and is getting the point to listen to the rider..a trainer that did that so the mare would learn that light contact is best and pulling is not..and then she'll graduate back to one of her other bits..we'll,she'll have to for dressage....

Apr. 19, 2010, 10:19 AM
My horse goes better in her JP french link versus the fat snaffle. That's all the reason I need.

Apr. 19, 2010, 10:43 AM
One of my guys goes best in a big ol' fat rubber snaffle for dressage. I have tried a bunch of other bits and he didn't like any of them. For stadium and XC, though, he uses a mullen mouth Happymouth three ring because he is an OTTB and still remembers how to dig in with the front legs and go fast :winkgrin:, so the elevator gives me the ability to half halt and get him back on his but without having to rip his face off.

My other guy uses a D ring Myler comfort French link for dressage (although I have been experimenting with other bits and I am leaning towards the loose ring fat snaffle) and a Pessoa French link 3 ring for jumping for the same reasons as my other guy.

My 4 y.o. is currently in a D ring snaffle until further notice ;).

So, I do use the fat snaffle for dressage, but there is no way I would use it XC and expect to have any sembalance of fun. I do use their dressage bits to jump at home in the ring.

Apr. 19, 2010, 11:54 AM
I DO actually ride my horse in a big, fat snaffle...a big fat plastic snaffle. But, if I had MY way, I probably WOULD ride him in something smaller and metal, since he's strongish and likes to hang and my brain says those two things would be remedied by some thin, little, probably french link loose ring. BUT, when I put that in his mouth (and just about anything other than a very select group of plastic bits), well, it's not pretty, so out comes the big fat plastic thing and I've learned how to make the best of it. He jumps in a not quite as fat plastic wonderbit...a compromise between getting run away with in the big fat plastic snaffle and going no where in anything stronger...I only get slightly run away with in the wonderbit ;):lol:

My opinion on bits is that it's THEIR MOUTH. I'm not going to force a horse to go in something that they find uncomfortable or unpleasant just because logically I think they'd be better in something else. Logic and real life don't always go hand in hand.

I am slightly opinionated on big bits for jumping. I DO tend to think people use certain big bits because of some fad and/or they are causing their horses to run away with them because of an issue that needs to be addressed (I find, frequently, a direct correlation between giant ass bits and riders who don't get their asses out of the saddle and do the electric grind in the saddle at every fence, thus DRIVING their horses forward, typically in a panic). I also don't understand the big bits and the horses that are so backed off of the bridle that rider has to beat and scream and holler to get their horse to go anywhere. :confused: Anyway, I have no issues with big bits if big bits are warranted. But I think far too often, people reach for them before analyzing WHY they may need them....ok, I'll stop now....already ranting too much! ;)

I'll just add that we have a horse at the other end of the spectrum. :D The BFG did the show jumping round of his life yesterday in his Micklem Multi Bridle, sans bit, and I convinced his owner to try it xc. While they have some other bugs to work back out, the bitless bridle was phenomenal when everything else was right! :yes: He looked oh so very cool in it, too (it DOES need a better browband, though). :lol:

Apr. 19, 2010, 01:32 PM
Hmmm...with the current horses, none of them go in big fat snaffles, since they all have tiny mouths (even the 18h monster, amazingly enough)...

The old guy (16.3h OTTB) always went in some type of thinner snaffle for dressage at the lower levels. When he got to intermediate, he went in the double at shows, as he loves, loves, loves to haul around on the forehand, and the finesse of the bridle made it much more pleasant for horse and rider. At the end of his career, when he dropped back down the levels, he was doing dressage in a fulmer (loose-ring, full cheek, plain single jointed mouth) and quite content with that (if a bit heavy at times). He always went XC in an elevator (with a plain single jointed mouth) - +/- a lever noseband at the upper levels - as he could pull like a freight train and liked to gallop very low in front (and needed a bit of a reminder to pick up his head and look at the jumps)

The big monster (18h OTTB) has actually undergone a change in equipment over the last year (since coming back from an extended layup for a tendon issue). He used to wear a figure-8 for all 3 phases, with a french-link boucher for dressage and stadium and a boucher waterford for xc. However, he's a tough one to get in front of your leg, and is easily backed off...so we shook things up a bit (no pun intended!). He does have a small mouth, and seemed to prefer a single joint to the french link...so now he does dressage in a single-jointed boucher (still with the figure 8). For stadium, we now use a plain hunter bridle (no flash, no figure 8, no nothing), a full cheek single jointed happy mouth, and ditched the running martingale...and what do you know, he's a much happier, more forward and yet more rate-able creature in stadium. Since his injury, he's been a much more rate-able guy out xc too (gonna put some credit for that on all the dressage basics we re-established during our rehab time...or the portion of rehab time we weren't hopping up and down trying to get rid of me...) and he now goes XC in the same bit/bridle set-up he uses for dressage, with a running martingale added. Funny how after 10-ish years eventing, we've changed up his tack...he was a different horse after his down time...and thus now has different tack!

The very excitable giant pony doesn't wear a snaffle for dressage since he goes much much better in a nathe :D (with a plain noseband, no flash). Out jumping it's a totally different story, as he's super keen and takes you to fences like nothing I've ever sat on. At the lower levels, he does XC and stadium in the same bit - a copper, slow twist Dr. Bristol (with a figure 8). When he was doing intermediate and advanced...he was in more bit than that for xc...if you could see him out on xc, you'd totally understand why :lol:

Apr. 19, 2010, 02:14 PM
I'll play. The big horse apparently has a small mouth; he likes his KK ultra BRIDOON -- it's from a friend's old double bridle, so it's just a thinner version of the regular KK ultra. This is not becuase he "needs" a "harsher" bit - -it's because it's what makes him comfy and foamy. It looks pretty funny, though, those little rings on such a big guy.

We moved to a Wonder bit for jumping as he found his inner go button and began pressing it at will, especially downhill to big fences. As others have said, I'm pretty little, and he's mighty big, and I need to be able to influence his balance in the heat of battle.

Baby horse goes in a fat simple loose ring and can happily jump in it as well, but life is MUCH easier when I use the Wonder bit for jumping -- again, that's a lot of pony (and a very big front end) and I'm a little person. Gets the half halts done.

This is not a speed or control issue but a rebalancing one; I am simply more effective with a small amount of mechanical help. If I were 40 lbs heavier or 4 inches taller, maybe not.

Apr. 19, 2010, 03:33 PM
Because my horse has a small mouth and a low palate and big tongue. He likes the stability of the boucher for dressage, HATES fat bits, and jumps over his shoulder unless he have some pickup in a jumping bits, so we use an elevator there.

I tried the magical KK Ultra on him -- he hated it, locked his jaw. So to each horse should go the bit that suits them best.

Apr. 19, 2010, 03:50 PM
With a past horse...

Because he didn't turn and I was the first person in history not to get bucked off. He was a big horse and he knew it. It took 3 months of working in a snaffle before I could go into the dressage ring and stay in the ring (somehow he managed the first half of the circle, but didn't make the second). I also used fairly long spurs to help me capture his outside shoulder. So we jumped in a rubber mullen mouth pelham. The curb action was enough to get his attention without hauling on his mouth.

His owner was actually able to sell him as a field hunter after I'd been riding him for a few months. He hunts in a kimberwicke of some kind. I don't know what the mouthpiece is though.

Apr. 19, 2010, 06:32 PM
My horse does not go XC in a big fat snaffle because he is larger and stronger than me, and unlike many polite horses out there, he is quite happy to use that to his advantage. Consequentially (is that a word?), I ride XC in a fat rubber gag because I would rather be able to finesse him with some leverage than rip him around with an ineffective snaffle.

Apr. 20, 2010, 08:11 PM
Because my horse has THE tiniest mouth and THE fattest tongue. Big fat bit = very annoyed mare. Same mouthpiece in much thinner form = much happier mare with room for her big fat tongue under that low palate.

Apr. 20, 2010, 08:45 PM
If you ever got a chance to go x-country on that OTTB who can go from a light, balanced novice gallop to a mind-boggling, drop down, lock n' load racehorse gallop in less than the time it takes you to scratch your nose then you can understand the occasional necessity of something other than a fat snaffle. Just ask me how I know!!

Apr. 21, 2010, 01:06 PM
Popcorn anyone.

haha ill take some.

I rode my haflinger in a happy mouth elevator to jump because he is a mini draft, that thing could put his head down and buck when he wanted to. Plus he has on the dowhill side and I was 12 when I was riding him. A little something extra helped.

My next horse was in a snaffle.

My event horse was in a pelham over fences because he was a retired 17h GP jumper that was on the strong side. I could ride him in a snaffle but it just wasnt pretty. lol

My next 3 horses were in snaffles.

My cuurent (hopeful) event horse is ridden in a snaffle at the moment but will move her to a waterford of something to that effect because she likes to grab the bit and run... fast