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Mimi La Rue
Sep. 22, 2010, 01:20 PM
Ok I will admit I am bit clueless. I know my types of bits but just clueless about how they really function. With all my horses, I’ve just used what they were going in when I bought them unless a trainer suggested something else.

I have a 15ish year old WB who is currently going in a hunter dee corkscrew snaffle. I had a friend recently ride him who commented if he really needed that much bit. I really never thought it was that harsh but if it is pretty harsh, I don’t think he needs it. He is a very well schooled horse. He is a more whoa than go kind of guy – sometimes he will get a wild hair up his butt but it’s not that common or a problem. The only time he can get kind of strong is when he hasn’t jumped in awhile and is excited. I am currently trainerless right now so I haven’t been jumping him that much lately. If I do, I pop him over a crossrail. When riding him he tends to want to go behind in the bit, not in a bolt off with you kind of way though. I usually have to work at getting him more forward (he is lazy) and keeping his head up and out a little more. I was wondering if a softer bit might help out with this? I know it will be pretty much by trial and error but I don’t even know where to get started, so please suggest some bits to start with.

He loves to have stuff in his mouth like his leadline, my clothing :lol:, etc. I am thinking maybe he might enjoy something with a roller?

Does the Dee sizes on the sides make a difference? I noticed some are larger than others.

Also he goes in a 5.25 bit. Kind of hard to find a selection of bits in this size.

EmJ628
Sep. 22, 2010, 01:52 PM
I am sure that others will comment and can add more expertise about how certain types of bits work with the shape of the horse's palate, etc. But I have always gone by the K.I.S.S. principle when it comes to bits! :-) So maybe take it back to a plain snaffle and if you feel like he's strong in that, take it up to a french link or a Dr. Bristol. Save the corkscrew if you ever need it at a show or on a cross country hack. Those are all common enough that you should be able to find in a 5 1/4. See if friends have some that you can borrow if you don't want to invest in a lot of hardware.

Good luck! I am sure you will get a lot of feedback from others.

jetsmom
Sep. 22, 2010, 02:47 PM
I'd try him in either a Happy Mouth Mullen mouth, or a KK Ultra. I have a horse who will default, by getting behind the bit, and the HM MM gives him something to reach into, and is stable in his mouth. He didn't like the Loose ring KK ultra, because it was too much movement, and he'd curl under even more, even though it is mild. But many horses love it.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 22, 2010, 08:09 PM
I'd love to try the Happy Mouth but I don't think they come in 5.25 as far as I've seen. :( We will probably go back to a plain ol snaffle and see how he does in that. The corkscrew will be saved for jumping days or shows.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 22, 2010, 08:11 PM
What about this bit?

http://www.marystack.com/aaaaaaadro.html

jetsmom
Sep. 22, 2010, 10:50 PM
They make a 5" or 5 1/2 " HM MM.

Look-
http://www.doversaddlery.com/happy-mouth-king-dee-pro-shaped-mullen-mouth-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01118/cn/1464/

Dover will exchange it if it doesn't fit, and is still in new condition.

sansibar
Sep. 22, 2010, 11:14 PM
I agree try the HM MM :) My horse was in a corkscrew and he now LOOOOOVES his new bit!

My horse is usually a 5 or 5.25 however no one had those sizes in stock so I ordered the 5.5 and put bit guards on it and it works fine.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 23, 2010, 12:48 AM
Which is more bit: a regular snaffle dee or a hm mm dee?

jetsmom
Sep. 23, 2010, 01:21 AM
I'd say a regular snaffle because of the nutcracker action can have a more severe action on the horse.

Peggy
Sep. 23, 2010, 01:27 AM
Which is more bit: a regular snaffle dee or a hm mm dee?Depends on the horse. Mine despised the wavy happy mouth so much it was effectively more bit. His was a pelham, but still. He actually ate thru it. Said horse also doesn't care for "regular" single-jointed smooth snaffles (or pelhams, so I suppose mouthpiece would be more correct than snaffle).

He goes quite happily in the Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS (http://www.SmartPakEquine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=7107&cm_vc=Search) or the Sprenger duo bit (http://www.123tack.com/sprenger-loose-ring-duo-bit-16mm.html?productid=sprenger-loose-ring-duo-bit-16mm&channelid=FROOG), tho the latter doesn't have quite the braking power of the former. I used to show over fences in a waterford, but just showed in the RS this past year. There's also a flexible rubber mullen pelham (http://www.equusport.com/item.php?item_id=692&category_id=56) in my collection. The mouthpieces are similar in the sense that they flex more over the tongue as opposed to the nutcracker action of a single-jointed bit.

Warning - the last website liked to is kind of dangerous

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 23, 2010, 08:23 PM
Ok, so I went to the tack store to buy just a plain snaffle or happy mouth snaffle and they recommended a dr bristol snaffle dee. They said I should slowly back down from the corkscrew to make sure I have some brakes and control. Would a dr bristol snaffle dee be a step down? They said I can test it on my horse and return it if need be, as long as there are no bite marks.

jetsmom
Sep. 23, 2010, 11:49 PM
A Dr Bristol is several steps up in severity. A French link would have been milder. I"ve known several horses that really disliked the DR Bristol, but are fine in a French link.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 24, 2010, 12:28 AM
Yeah I rode him and I could tell he did not like it all. It's definitely going back. I'm just going to pick up a plain snaffle and see how it goes. I think he will have brakes. Going forward seems to be more of a problem.

I think the tack store got the Bristol and French link mixed up. Grrr!

Simbalism
Sep. 24, 2010, 12:34 AM
I agree that the Dr. Bristol is more bit. We always used to use it on the horses that had a mind of their own and didn't want to stop or pay attention to the rider. My current horse's favorite bit(when we use an actual bit) is the Happy Mouth Mullen Mouth bit. Otherwise, she goes in a short shank english hackamore.

sar2008
Sep. 24, 2010, 08:26 AM
I flat everything I have in a KK Ultra. It's a soft bit, and IMO, you can't really go wrong with at least trying it.

Like EMJ said, start out soft then work your way up. If he is well schooled and only gets a little pully o/f, then if your just flatting a regular snaffle should be plenty sufficient.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 24, 2010, 05:11 PM
Is this bit pretty mild? My local tack store didn't have the KK Ultra. I picked up this one to try instead.

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=7113

Madeline
Sep. 24, 2010, 05:57 PM
... So maybe take it back to a plain snaffle and if you feel like he's strong in that, take it up to a french link or a Dr. Bristol. .

I find this to be an interesting comment. In broadest terms, I find that a plain snaffle (one joint) to be a moderate bit. As far as going up and down the severity scale, a french mouth is just about the least severe bit you can find, where a Dr. Bristol (especially when combined with a drop noseband or flash) is up in the "Would stop a truck" category. Though they look similar, they are worlds apart in severity.

In my old age I'm getting to like this bit:
http://www.toklat.com/dyn_prod.php?p=89-17095&k=87930

The canons are swept back so you don't get the poke in the roof of the mouth, the "c" sleeve prevents pinching, and the rings are big enough that they look really cool.

This one is nice, too, if you have a horse that likes something "quieter" in his mouth.
http://www.toklat.com/dyn_prod.php?p=89-17025&k=87930

I know that the conventional wisdom is that a fatter mouthpiece is more gentle, but I've found that for most horses (or most TB's anyhow) a moderate diameter is all they are comfortable holding, and that the critical element is that the bit does not poke them in the roof of the mouth.

The Mylers with the barrel in the middle, french mouths, bits with curved canons (like the first one above), bits with lozenges as long as they are not too fat, all satisfy that requirement.

Madeline
Sep. 24, 2010, 06:05 PM
Is this bit pretty mild? My local tack store didn't have the KK Ultra. I picked up this one to try instead.

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=7113

Well, if you really want to spend that much money...

I would try this first, if you're married to a D.
http://www.toklat.com/dyn_prod.php?p=89-21025&k=88012 or this one
http://www.toklat.com/dyn_prod.php?p=89-21095&k=88012

or one of the c-sleeve bits I mentioned earlier.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 24, 2010, 06:47 PM
So it is pretty mild? I have a credit at this tack store so don't mind the price too much. Also this bit is just about $15 more. This tack stores sells it way cheaper than SP. The tack store does carry Myler bits so I will check those out too. If I remember correctly though they don't have too big of a selection in a 5.25/5.5.

jetsmom
Sep. 24, 2010, 06:56 PM
Does your tack shop not have a HM MM in a 5.5"?

Try a French link otherwise. Most horses seem to like them. A French link will have the peanut shape in the middle. Not a piece in the center with staright sides on it (Dr Bristol).

Madeline
Sep. 24, 2010, 07:00 PM
So it is pretty mild? I have a credit at this tack store so don't mind the price too much. Also this bit is just about $15 more. This tack stores sells it way cheaper than SP. The tack store does carry Myler bits so I will check those out too. If I remember correctly though they don't have too big of a selection in a 5.25/5.5.

I think that the Mylers I listed are pretty mild ( Now, don't anyone jump in and say that a bit is only as mild or severe as the hands on the end of the reins). It just seems to me that the horses I have used these bits on- 8 or 10- all seem comfortable holding them. No gaping, no resisting, no head tossing, and a predictable, consistent response.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 24, 2010, 07:15 PM
Does your tack shop not have a HM MM in a 5.5"?

Try a French link otherwise. Most horses seem to like them. A French link will have the peanut shape in the middle. Not a piece in the center with staright sides on it (Dr Bristol).

They had one in the wrong size - it was only a 5 and a loose ring. They did have the french link though. I will try that next if this one doesnt work out. Also tomorrow I will drive to a further tack store that has a pretty big bit collection so I will look for the mm.

Is this one pretty much just a plain snaffle? http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=7113

jetsmom
Sep. 24, 2010, 09:58 PM
Is this one pretty much just a plain snaffle? http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=7113

yes

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 25, 2010, 01:08 AM
Thanks! Well looks like I will be keeping this bit because I noticed some my horse left a couple little bit marks on it. He seemed to like it though, was much happier than the ride in that evil dr bristol he seemed to hate so much. He was very relaxed and really stretched out once I got him going. I even popped him over a little jump and when I felt him get a little strong a light half halt brought him back. I will still be going to the other tack store to see if they have the hm mm everyone seems to love. I guess a plain snaffle is a good bit to have on hand even though it was pretty pricey!

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 25, 2010, 08:07 PM
Ok, so I went to another tack store and picked up the hm mm and a kk ultra. I will try these out the next couple of days and see which one he likes best. :)

jetsmom
Sep. 25, 2010, 09:21 PM
Ok, so I went to another tack store and picked up the hm mm and a kk ultra. I will try these out the next couple of days and see which one he likes best. :)

I'm interested in hearing what your horse thinks of them and how he goes. The HM MM is my go to bit when I want a horse to relax and not get behind the bit. I haven't found a horse yet, that didn't like them. (Doesn't mean they get to use them all of the time though...Jet uses the HM MM at home, but a corkscrew at shows the first couple of days, then a French link, after he's settled down somewhat.)

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 26, 2010, 01:45 AM
Well I rode in the Ultra KK tonight. He was pretty good, just on the pokey side. That is another issue in itself. He tried his best to be a good boy but a lot was going down at the stables so he was being a looky loo at stuff. After the ride though he had a foamy mouth and a nice foamy butt, so that is a good sign right?

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 27, 2010, 01:53 AM
I rode tonight in the hm mm and out of all the 4 bits I've tried he seemed to like this one best. I rode in the arena he hates the most and gets spooky in because it was the only open arena and I think this bit made him feel more secure and he listened to me, not what was going on in the spooky corner like he normally does. He was a good boy but still horribly pokey. When I got off and was untacking him I noticed he was cranking the bit forward with his tongue and/or teeth. He didn't do this when I was riding him, only when there was no contact on the bit with the reins. Is this normal?

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q280/kirsten627/photo-1-1.jpg

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q280/kirsten627/photo-2-1.jpg

This is how he would crank the bit forward

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q280/kirsten627/photo-3.jpg

jetsmom
Sep. 27, 2010, 01:58 AM
I wouldn't worry about the playing with the bit when you aren't riding. It probably just feels different to him. Just make sure he isn't chewing it up and causing it to get rough. If he does, you can wrap it in Sealtex.

Glad he liked the bit!

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:11 AM
Ok, so he is just playing with it? He was very quiet with it when I was riding him. I looked at it after I took off his bridle and didn't see any teeth marks. Thanks for the suggestions! I think this one is the winner. :)

Madeline
Sep. 27, 2010, 07:42 AM
If this is the bit
http://www.doversaddlery.com/happy-mouth-shaped-mullen-mouth-racing-dee-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01675/cn/1464/
give it a few days. He may be just playing with it, or he may be trying to get the bumps away from his tongue. If he continues to like it, stick with it. If he gets increasingly sensitive you may want to try a similar bit without the bumps like this one http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-01679&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=66&zmap=X1-01679&re=viewbuyrec

You may also want to drop the bit down a hole or so.

Mimi La Rue
Sep. 27, 2010, 12:49 PM
Yup, that is the one. I think he was playing with it and hopefully trying to get a good bite out of it. He loves to put everything in his mouth. Hopefully he won't destroy this bit too quickly.

Audacity
Nov. 3, 2010, 11:00 PM
Mimi do you have an update?? :)

SnicklefritzG
Nov. 4, 2010, 01:00 AM
Bits and like trying on jeans. Sometimes you have to try a ton before you find just the right kind.

Mimi La Rue
Nov. 4, 2010, 01:10 PM
I stilll am alternating between the KK Ultra, HM mullen and plain copper snaffle. I think he prefers the KK Ultra the best though. We do use that the most.

I haven't put the corkscrew dee back in his mouth since and he has been just fine. :D

naters
Nov. 4, 2010, 01:35 PM
Great thread, and this is how the bit trading forums (now known as the bits and barter board) got started!!!

RugBug
Nov. 4, 2010, 03:27 PM
Oops nevermind. Didn't realize this was an update.

I'll add my two cents, though:


I stilll am alternating between the KK Ultra, HM mullen and plain copper snaffle. I think he prefers the KK Ultra the best though. We do use that the most.

The KK Ultra and the HMMM are my two bit for my sensitive mouthed horse. The KK Ultra is actually is "Harsh" bit...only comes out when I need some extra Whoa. He loves his HMMM...and yes, he does tip it forward sometimes, especially when I'm going to longe him in the bridle and have take the reins off.

I like Greg Best's bitting philosophy, which is to bit to the horse's sensitivity level, not to their speed level. Basically, you can make a hot, sensitive mouthed horse harder to stop by putting too much bit on it. You've got to have a bit you can USE, not one you have to be perfect with. If the slightest mistake is going to upset your horse...you've got too much bit. Use less bit so you can actually use your reins correctly when need be.