View Full Version : Bit suggestion

Apr. 10, 2011, 09:25 AM
My TB gelding gets a bit strong in the jumper ring and over cross country fences. I normally ride him a thick loose ring but have been using a happy mouth 3 ring when he gets strong jumping and it really gets him paying attention. It's a bit too strong though and I've been putting the reins on the big middle ring to get less leverage. I was wondering if there is a bit with a similar action but a little less leverage (like the effect I have when I place the reins on the big ring). I thought a boucher might work but the shank part is just as long when you compare them.


Apr. 10, 2011, 09:31 AM
A Baucher doesn't have any leverage. You can use the 3 ring with two reins.

Apr. 10, 2011, 10:45 AM
A few options are:
http://www.equusport.com/item.php?item_id=651 (I find it a bit softer than the 2nd ring of the happy mouth 3 ring)

This bit adds just a touch of leverage: http://www.smartpakequine.com/productclass.aspx?productclassid=7990

This is a similar idea in the Mikmar line: http://www.arcolafeed.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=16931&vmcchk=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=56

And the Myler bit with Hooks: http://www.123tack.com/myler-eggbutt-with-hooks-comfort-snaffle-wide-barrel--mb-02-.html

Neue Schule does some and the shape seems to make them a bit milder: http://nsbits.com/global/index.php/sport-horse-collection/loose-lever.html

I heard good things about this one from a British friend: http://www.horsebitbank.com/curved-round-lozenge-dalehead-short-305.phtml

If you think your hands are steady enough and you know how to use it, a mild gag is another option

Apr. 10, 2011, 10:49 AM
When you say it is a bit too strong what do you mean? What is he doing?

Apr. 10, 2011, 11:15 AM
The "wonder" bit (second link scubed gave) is what I went to when I needed a little bit more bit on my horse and a ring bit was WAY too much (I had it set up with two reins and the bottom rein only on the second ring and he still climbed and overreacted). The wonder bit gave me just a little bit more than a snaffle without the overreaction of the ring bit. He tends to pull down and wants to gallop with his head between his knees a little, but is VERY particular about his mouth (prefers plastic bits- his wonder bit has a Nathe mouth).

HOW he is strong can dictate what you try, however, I find that the horses don't read the books. While certain bits are supposed to help with certain behaviors, that isn't always the case!

Apr. 10, 2011, 11:33 AM
My retired horse could get pretty strong, but he was also very easily offended by strong bits.

3 ring was way too much and caused extreme mental meltdown. Rubber. The rubber pelham incited the same reaction. We had very good results with a Waterford (http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=5197&cm_vc=Search), the balls keep the horse from being able to take hold and bear down/run, but it is soft enough for the hypersensitive horse.

Apr. 10, 2011, 01:33 PM
I also use the wonder bit and it's a very nice step up from a loose ring. Neither of my guys reacted negatively to it at all but it does provide a more effective aid than the snaffle - no more whole body half halts!

Apr. 10, 2011, 06:47 PM
I have had the same problem with my mare. I tried a happy mouth 3 ring, but that was way too harsh for her, but I she really likes the Stubben golden wings gag http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/GAG/SGWGB.htm. It really helps her not get on the forehand and pull. You can get pretty much the same action with just adding bit guards to a wonder bit without the "wings". http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/GAG/CRLRGB.htm.
She also goes well in a D-ring Waterford, which also really helps with this, but without the bit of leverage you get with a wonder or gag style bit.

Apr. 10, 2011, 07:44 PM
I also found the wonder bit a nice step up in terms of adding some "umph" but not too much. With my current guy, it unfortunately wasn't enough so we had to go up to something else. We figured out that he really does not like loose rings (after trying a 3 ring and I had remembered a loose ring on the flat didn't make him happy either), so I tried the Myler with the hooks since he has a Myler D ring for flatwork- voila! enough "umph" and something he seems happy with.

Apr. 10, 2011, 07:51 PM
I also recommend the "wonder" or "Beval" or "loop ring gag" (it, like a 3-ring, has more names than you can shake a stick at). I liked it for my guy who will also react dramatically to more leverage.

Apr. 10, 2011, 08:06 PM
How about a Kimberwicke? I use one on my TB when out hunting. He has respect for it but doesn't curl behind it.

Mine has a quarter moon mouth piece which leaves room for his tongue.

My horse hated the two ring bit that I tried (even with a soft rubber mouth).

I tried a Waterford on a previous horse but he found it too strong.

A lot of bitting is trial and error, I'm afraid.

Apr. 10, 2011, 09:17 PM
I am a purist. IMHO you should fix your dressage. Get your horse to respond better to you. I rode with Jimmy Wofford for many years. He wanted everyone in a snaffle on cross country and I almost always was on 5 different horses.

I have done a lot of bridleless jumping. That takes a responsive horse!!

Fancy That
Apr. 11, 2011, 02:22 PM

Just posted about this :)

Apr. 11, 2011, 04:30 PM
I am a purist. IMHO you should fix your dressage. Get your horse to respond better to you. I rode with Jimmy Wofford for many years. He wanted everyone in a snaffle on cross country and I almost always was on 5 different horses.

While it's true that the answer often lies in flatwork or fixing training holes...since we are on the internet and have no idea how the OP rides, I think "fix your dressage" is a bit unkind.

I, too, have ridden with Jimmy, and he's never suggested I "fix my dressage" because I ride my 17.2h 1500 lb horse in a wonder bit.

After the beast bounded enthusiastically (but somewhat on his head) down the hill to a max Training coffin one year while I struggled in vain to penetrate his brain with urgent requests for a coffin canter, my coach (also rode with Jimmy for many years and NEVER skips even the tiniest of training steps) told me it was time for more bit.

I did ask if it was my riding, and she said "no, it's the fact that he outweighs you by almost 1400 pounds" :lol:

All snaffle, all the time is a laudable goal, but it can be foolhardy to cling to it under all circumstances, and without seeing the pair in question.

Apr. 11, 2011, 04:31 PM
Anyone have that Tranz Angled Lozenge Universal bit??? I'd LOVE to try it!