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View Full Version : Yet another post about bits...



tdomino2
Apr. 12, 2011, 02:49 PM
I have always, always been really curious about the various types of bits out there...can remember poring over a Miller's catalog while sitting in a swing on the swingset at recess....

Anyway, I've gone pretty much my entire life riding everything in jointed snaffles, have used elevators for training at home and did show one really gelding-brained horse in a Pelham. Also, everything I rode went in a standing martingale with a regular noseband on the bridle. Now I'm in grad school in a different (less hunt-seat oriented) part of the country. I was here, riding, for probably 10 months before I even SAW a standing martingale in anyone's tack trunk, and the flash nosebands are much more common. Just seeing the variety has again raised a lot of questions in my mind, so I'm posting here just to see what opinions are out there.

1. Jointed Kimberwicke: Read in my copy of Practical Horseman's Book of Horsekeeping (c. 1970) that putting a jointed mouth in a Kimberwicke negates the curb action, because when the rider pulls the reins, the bit breaks at the joint rather than rotating to engage the curb. Thoughts? Would this also mean that a jointed Pelham is equally useless?

2. Saw a bit at the tack store last weekend labeled "Lightweight Racing Dee." It had barrel Dee rings, the mouthpiece was jointed, but the bars were perfectly straight and the same diameter from cheek to center (not tapered at all), and they were fairly narrow compared to other snaffles. Is there a reason for having the straight bars? I was looking for a Barrel Dee (for no reason other than I prefer that shape over the Hunter Dee for the rings), and it was the only one this shop had. BTW, is there any difference in the action of a Barrel Dee vs the Hunter Dee?

3. Difference in effect between figure-8, flash, and dropped noseband?

4. Dr. Bristol: Discuss.

Finally, on a somewhat unrelated note, why is it so darn hard to find plain, not raised, strap goods anywhere?? :o)

Fancy That
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:15 PM
You'll find out everything you want to know about nosebands and alot about bits and how they work in your horses' mouth here:

http://sustainabledressage.net/tack/bridle.php#noseband

Madeline
Apr. 12, 2011, 03:26 PM
1. Jointed Kimberwicke: Read in my copy of Practical Horseman's Book of Horsekeeping (c. 1970) that putting a jointed mouth in a Kimberwicke negates the curb action, because when the rider pulls the reins, the bit breaks at the joint rather than rotating to engage the curb. Thoughts? Would this also mean that a jointed Pelham is equally useless?

Absolutely. If you want to guarantee that the message your horse is getting is garbled and inconsistent, use a jointed curb. They're currently in fashion in hunter land, so you see them all over. (usually accompanying really tight standing martingales)


2...."Lightweight Racing Dee." BTW, is there any difference in the action of a Barrel Dee vs the Hunter Dee? )

Not really. The difference in jointed snaffles is usually based on the number, location and function of the joints.


3. Difference in effect between figure-8, flash, and dropped noseband?)

All shortcuts that allow the rider to avoid solving whatever problem is causing the horse to open his mouth in the first place.


4. Dr. Bristol: Discuss. )
A double jointed snaffle with a bit more bite than a french mouth. Combined with one of the mouth-shutting nosebands, a Dr. B will stop a truck.


Finally, on a somewhat unrelated note, why is it so darn hard to find plain, not raised, strap goods anywhere?? :o)

Fashion, fashion, fashion.

Rel6
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:08 PM
All shortcuts that allow the rider to avoid solving whatever problem is causing the horse to open his mouth in the first place.


Really? Bc I'm pretty sure I see tons of Olympic riders who ride in these (Sapphire goes in a figure 8) and I feel like if it was as simple as that they would have taken the time "solve whatever problem is causing the horse to open his mouth in the first place"

I could be wrong, but I remember reading that a figure 8 allows the horse to breathe easier since its by their cheek and not their nose.

danceronice
Apr. 12, 2011, 07:52 PM
I wish our trainer would have put a drop noseband on Old OTTB a lot sooner. He opened his mouth in the first place because he'd figured out it made it even easier to pull.

As for jointed kimberwickes, I've no idea WHY the jointed Uxeter works on New OTTB but it does. He hates the plain jointed Dee (head-flipping and twisting), and since his last float the rubber mullens seem to be just too thick to be comfortable. Since it's only 9.99 at TSC I might try an eggbutt metal mullen mouth, or I might just find something to wrap the mouthpiece on the kimberwicke and let it go. (Leather, or if I were sure it wouldn't come off, tape.)

Late
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:43 PM
... I might just find something to wrap the mouthpiece on the kimberwicke and let it go. (Leather, or if I were sure it wouldn't come off, tape.)

If you want something to "soften" the metal a bit, you can always wrap with Vetwrap (not sure how that holds up, but it would certainly work for the short-term)

Or, much better than tape or vetwrap: Sealtex http://www.rods.com/Sealtex-Latex-Bandage,5758.html
I love that stuff - great for wrapping lots of things, not just bits :)

danceronice
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:28 PM
My only worry about Vetwrap (or tapes like surgical tapes) was have you heard of a horse ever chewing through it and choking on a piece? Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but...

Hm. I know I can get the Sealtex (I actually thought about getting some to do his legs for galloping last year) at the tack shop up in Paw Paw. Same concern--ever had it come loose? I'm sure it wouldn't hold up for a LONG time, but changing it out shouldn't be a problem. He just isn't a fan of joints, but generally tolerates the kimberwicke and if I wrap it, it might work long-term rather than constantly trying to find the perfect mullen mouth. (Small mouth + really bad teeth that needed a specialist to float the first time = tough bitting.)

Late
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:00 AM
My only worry about Vetwrap (or tapes like surgical tapes) was have you heard of a horse ever chewing through it and choking on a piece? Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but...

Hm. I know I can get the Sealtex (I actually thought about getting some to do his legs for galloping last year) at the tack shop up in Paw Paw. Same concern--ever had it come loose? I'm sure it wouldn't hold up for a LONG time, but changing it out shouldn't be a problem. He just isn't a fan of joints, but generally tolerates the kimberwicke and if I wrap it, it might work long-term rather than constantly trying to find the perfect mullen mouth. (Small mouth + really bad teeth that needed a specialist to float the first time = tough bitting.)

As far as the Sealtex... people have been using it for many years to wrap bits without issue as far as I know, it's incredibly common to see wrapped bits in the breed shows (I can only speak for the Arabs but that's just what I'm familiar with).

It actually seals to itself incredibly well - kind of turns into one solid piece over time. I would think vetwrap would do the same but I'd probably only try it short term because, along the same lines you were thinking, I'd worry about it breaking down.

Seal Harbor
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:53 AM
My only worry about Vetwrap (or tapes like surgical tapes) was have you heard of a horse ever chewing through it and choking on a piece? Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but...

Hm. I know I can get the Sealtex (I actually thought about getting some to do his legs for galloping last year) at the tack shop up in Paw Paw. Same concern--ever had it come loose? I'm sure it wouldn't hold up for a LONG time, but changing it out shouldn't be a problem. He just isn't a fan of joints, but generally tolerates the kimberwicke and if I wrap it, it might work long-term rather than constantly trying to find the perfect mullen mouth. (Small mouth + really bad teeth that needed a specialist to float the first time = tough bitting.)

I just cut the Sealtex off a bit my horse was using, it has been on there for nearly a year. He wore it 4 times a week. It doesn't come loose, you have to cut it off.

shedllybip
Apr. 13, 2011, 08:43 AM
[QUOTE=Madeline;5542128]Absolutely. If you want to guarantee that the message your horse is getting is garbled and inconsistent, use a jointed curb. They're currently in fashion in hunter land, so you see them all over. (usually accompanying really tight standing martingales)



Not quite sure what hunter shows you're attending. Quarter horse or 4H maybe.......

Madeline
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:30 AM
Well, they were certainly in evidence last summer at the Vermont Summer Fesrtival (AA), and seem to be pretty much the bit of choice in Big Eq land. If you look at the most recent Dover catalog, jointed pelhams and kimberwickes outnumber unjointed ones about 2 to one. I've seen hunter clinics at Equine Affaire ( GM, Tommy Serio) where all the horses were in jointed pelhams.

Perhaps you can't recognize one without looking in the horse's mouth?

DMK
Apr. 13, 2011, 09:48 AM
maybe if you are talking about a jointed pelham, you might have seen them at a large hunter show, but I am skeptical about the rash of kimberwickes, jointed or otherwise at Vermont or elsewhere.

One person's shortcut is another person's gold medal, apparently. I can't get all hung up on the bit or the training aid until I see the hands attached to it. These days I get to see Hands of Death attached to a nice sprenger bean bit on a regular basis, so it's all relative, isn't it?

Madeline
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:02 AM
maybe if you are talking about a jointed pelham, you might have seen them at a large hunter show, but I am skeptical about the rash of kimberwickes, jointed or otherwise at Vermont or elsewhere.



Yes, the pelhams were in Vt and big eq. I just brought the kimberwickes in when I was looking at Dover. If you eliminate k's, it's 10 to 4 in favor of jointed...

DMK
Apr. 13, 2011, 10:52 AM
eh, I can't get too worried about a jointed pelham, it's back to the hands in charge and a jointed leverage bit has been around for ages, nothing too new about that (talk to the reining folks). It works for some horses and hands and doesn't work for others. If it isn't your cup of tea, but it isn't your horse and the rider of said horse is doing a capable job... for the life of me I can't figure out WTF is the issue?

Bogie
Apr. 13, 2011, 11:14 AM
I guess my horse didn't read the book because I foxhunt in a jointed kimberwicke (quarter moon mouth so it's a double joint) and it works just fine.

Sometimes you have to ask the horse. If they accept the bit (don't lean and don't curl behind it) I use it.