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Ponio
Jan. 1, 2003, 09:39 PM
Now, I am certain I will be flamed for this, just because there are so many varying and strong views on this but...here goes!

I do not understand why as soon as someone hears the words "bike chain bit" or any other "harsh" bit they begin to freak out. Is the bit not only as harsh as the hands it is in? This is what I have always been taught, and yet when people hear I am using this said "bike chain bit" to soften my ex-saddleseat horse's mouth and make him more controllable in a french link snaffle (which is our ultimate goal) I get very mixed reactions.

I do not use this bit for every ride. It only serves as a reminder of how he should behave. When I use this bit I am essentially riding on the buckle. It sits in his mouth doing nothing, and why? Because he respects it. This does not mean I beat him up with it once before, it means he has hit it once (maybe when he lunged into the canter without me asking, or maybe when he threw his head in the air while prancing around doing little rears) and he knows it is in his best interest not to do those things again.

This does not, by any means make it a shortcut to use this bit. It does not mean that I am getting quick results. Maybe if I were using it as a mean "weapon" I would have gotten what I wanted quickly, but it has taken me a long time to get him to this point. The point where I can reintroduce his snaffle and have him behave as a perfect angel. Sure he does not behave perfectly every ride in his snaffle, but then again either does any greenie (in this case green to his training as a hunter, non saddleseat, maniac).

I'm sorry if I offended or irritated anyone but this is just my two cents.

[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 02, 2003 at 12:05 AM.]

Ponio
Jan. 1, 2003, 09:39 PM
Now, I am certain I will be flamed for this, just because there are so many varying and strong views on this but...here goes!

I do not understand why as soon as someone hears the words "bike chain bit" or any other "harsh" bit they begin to freak out. Is the bit not only as harsh as the hands it is in? This is what I have always been taught, and yet when people hear I am using this said "bike chain bit" to soften my ex-saddleseat horse's mouth and make him more controllable in a french link snaffle (which is our ultimate goal) I get very mixed reactions.

I do not use this bit for every ride. It only serves as a reminder of how he should behave. When I use this bit I am essentially riding on the buckle. It sits in his mouth doing nothing, and why? Because he respects it. This does not mean I beat him up with it once before, it means he has hit it once (maybe when he lunged into the canter without me asking, or maybe when he threw his head in the air while prancing around doing little rears) and he knows it is in his best interest not to do those things again.

This does not, by any means make it a shortcut to use this bit. It does not mean that I am getting quick results. Maybe if I were using it as a mean "weapon" I would have gotten what I wanted quickly, but it has taken me a long time to get him to this point. The point where I can reintroduce his snaffle and have him behave as a perfect angel. Sure he does not behave perfectly every ride in his snaffle, but then again either does any greenie (in this case green to his training as a hunter, non saddleseat, maniac).

I'm sorry if I offended or irritated anyone but this is just my two cents.

[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 02, 2003 at 12:05 AM.]

Daventry
Jan. 1, 2003, 10:38 PM
Unless you're doing western pleasure, you shouldn't be able to ride on the buckle, especially if you're planning on doing any jumping.

Whether dressage or jumping, the horse needs to move off the leg and 'come into' the bit, not shy away from it because they're scared that they'll get zapped in the mouth. Your mistaken if you think he isn't scared of your bike chain bit. This has nothing to do with the bike chain bit being too harsh though. Harsh bits are appropriate for the right horse but NOT for a horse that's afraid to take the contact!

Getting a horse to behave doesn't come from putting them in a harsh bit, it comes from relaxation, submission, impulsion, confidence, attention and respect of the rider.

CrossedWings
Jan. 1, 2003, 11:49 PM
A 'harsh' bit is only as harsh as the hands it is put in. Even a simple D-ring snaffle can turn into a 'harsh' bit with bad hands or an angry rider that takes their problems out on their horse. I do believe that these 'harsh' bits can be used to educate a horse further, especially those horses which have been ruined by poor riders with bad hands. (I have ridden some of those horses that literally have their 1200 lb body weight in their mouth... Which they eagerly pull away on your hands with! Now in such cases do you really think you can steer a horse or have a hope of stopping it any time soon (Without having to run into a solid wall) with a nice, lovely, 'non-harsh' bit? I don't think so.) I do not believe you should use a 'harsh bit' just for the sake of it. I think these bits should be used only in the hands of knowledgable riders that know how to use them without scaring their horse, and can further train and 'fix' 'bad mouthed' horses. I have used them with few problems and have been able to graduate several 'rock hard mouthed' horses to fat D-ring snaffles!

That being said I do believe harsh bits should stay out of the mouths of most horses because a large portion of riders tend to unintentionally hit their horses in the mouth (which is what causes the pulling in the first place).

Just my opinion.

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. " - Henry David Thoreau

* * * "To wherever it may lead." - Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Liverpool
Jan. 2, 2003, 07:54 AM
There are strong bits, and then there are harsh bits.

The difference, to me, is that a strong bit, whether through leverage or whatever means, offers a rider more control - which can be necessary to ensure both the rider's and horse's safety. Nothing wrong with that. In the right hands, of course.

Harsh bits, are those whose application is likely to cause damage to the horse if used in the manner they were designed.

You could NOT convince me that any rider, no matter how talented, could soften a horse's mouth with a bike chain. The fact that you cannot pick up contact and have the horse go willingly forward into a sympathetic contact with this bit is proof of this, in my opinion.

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

rileyt
Jan. 2, 2003, 08:00 AM
I agree with Daventry.

I would never use a bicycle chain to "retrain" a horse. It may be necessary, and even justifiable (I'm just leaving the possibility open), for CONTROL and SAFETY of the rider... but you will never teach him anything that way.

In order to have a well trained, responsive horse,... he must TRUST the bit, SEEK it, and RELAX on it. You will never get this with a bicycle chain. If anything, you're teaching him to FEAR the bit, stay the heck away from it, and protect himself from it.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

findeight
Jan. 2, 2003, 08:25 AM
Riding on the buckle IS used as an exercise and reward, at least in my barn.

5mgn I think you are trying to use this thing to encourage the horse to stay backed off while snaffles are designed to be ridden on contact.
Many Western Horses are taught this way as they need to work independent of any leg or rein pressure. The bit is only used to correct with a bump then the reins are dropped. That does not translate well to the Hunt Seat arena or jumping where constant contact is a must. In fact GM has a little thing he preaches about how many pounds of pressure you feel in your arms-don't remember the numbers but the point is there is always pressure there, softening does not mean no pressure on your hands it just means less.

Now I learned Western many years back and have had a devil of a time learning that I am NOT PULLING it's just what contact feels like with a snaffle. I still have the urge to chuck the reins at times.

I don't think there is anything wrong with what you are doing but if you are trying to soften a horse that jumps there are better ways then putting him on the buckle with a stronger bit. Several posters above are right to talk about using more leg and supporting with contact.

That "bicycle chain" bit-we used to call them Mule Bits-long as its not really off a bike and has no points on it...little different then the multi part mouthpiece snaffles so popular today.

You might try a couple of Dressage lessons to help with the whole leg to hand thing.

Good luck and take care.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Ponio
Jan. 2, 2003, 08:52 AM
I'm sorry. Apparently I phrased it incorrectly when I said "I am essentially riding on the buckle". I meant that he was behaving like a gentleman without me constantly holding him back in the snaffle and needing ridiculous amounts of pressure. If you are going to tell me that constant heavy pressure from a snaffle will soften his mouth faster than little pressure at all from a bike chain then I have been seriously misinformed in my previous experiences with horses.

If someone had asked me to put a bike chain bit in my horse's mouth 9 months ago I would have just died laughing. I wouldn't come near one of those things. When my horse and I were having serious problems and I was making excuses for why I wasn't ever riding I became very desperate. It was suggested that maybe I try a bike chain bit. After my trainer showed me in several lessons how to use it carefully, without hurting him to get the desired results I began to use it.

Now, this is just a thought, I'm not trying to start an arguement, but maybe it is not as harsh as people like to think. I mean how many of you "I would never ever touch one of those things. EVER!" people have actually used one to know the effects of it. I mean my horse, oddly enough, is more willing to let me stick the bicycle chain bit into his mouth that his plain old french link snaffle. He isn't avoiding it either when it is in his mouth; he mouths it and chews it, etc. and I have always been told mouthing the bit was a good thing.

findeight
Jan. 2, 2003, 09:10 AM
ok well thanks for adding more info here.

If you feel like you are holding up a building when you ride a different bit is called for.

Try switching around to keep him guessing and I would try gag for sure. That way you can keep the snaffle but get some help from a new pressure point-his poll. See if you can't borrow one and give it a try.

I have no problem with what you are using assuming there are no sharp points on it.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Cognac
Jan. 2, 2003, 09:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daventry:

Whether dressage or jumping, the horse needs to move off the leg and 'come into' the bit, not shy away from it because they're scared that they'll get zapped in the mouth. Your mistaken if you think he isn't scared of your bike chain bit. This has nothing to do with the bike chain bit being too harsh though. Harsh bits are appropriate for the right horse but NOT for a horse that's afraid to take the contact!

Getting a horse to behave doesn't come from putting them in a harsh bit, it comes from relaxation, submission, impulsion, confidence, attention and respect of the rider.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We found this to be completely true with my 'cement mouth' horse. After everything I've been through with him, in hindsight I feel that beening hard mouth means that they are actually very, very sensitive in the mouth. At first we tried a variety of harshish bits, and he would do everything in his power to evade the bit. Then we went to a thin snaffle, he accepts it, and I found that he responds being seat and leg driven. I also have to constantly roll the bit, and he is a happy responsive horse who in now 'happily on the bit'.

'...she speaks to the horse through her movements and her spirit. In the exchange, she regains her wonder, and her wonder replenishes her...' M.D. Midkiff She Flies Without Wings

SBT
Jan. 2, 2003, 06:38 PM
With bits, sometimes "less is more." True, there are some freight-train horses who can't be safely controlled with anything but a double-twisted wire, but they are rare...especially in today's world of specialty bits.

Your horse does not sound like a freight train. Therefore, I would throw away the bicycle chain and put a plain snaffle (though not a fat one) on him. My mare was an OTTB with a tough mouth, and I tried every bit under the sun, finally discovering the bit she went best in was a plain hunter dee.

It may be true that barely having to touch a harsh bit is better than having to constantly haul on a mild one. But more to the point, IMO, and more consistent with good training, is the idea of "Let's find the mildest bit this horse will safely go in."

So, instead of experimenting with harsh bits in your horse's mouth, I would be experimenting with milder bits. How does he like a Waterford? A loose-ring bradoon? A hunter dee? IMHO you should give these a try first, before you whip out the big guns. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~Sara
*Charter member of the GM Fan Club*
*Member of the Dirt Divers 78th Airborne Unit, ATH Squadron*

Ponio
Jan. 2, 2003, 07:04 PM
I can deffinately see where all of you are coming from, as I was strongly against them myself less than a year ago. However, I now have difficulty believing they are as terrible as they are cut out to be, considering it has helped to get my horse going in a french link snaffle.

All last week I was riding him and he was controlled, on the bit, and in his french link snaffle. After several rides with him deciding he was no longer going to listen to the french link snaffle and he was going to hop around and burst into the canter again (he is too smart for his own good and he is always trying to find ways to get out of doing what I ask) I reintroduced his bike chain. I rode him in it last night because he was really fighting me. When we could canter both directions and walk around the ring four times in each direction without a fit from him I got off. Today I rode in the french link snaffle and he behaved perfectly.

I know you are going to tell me it is because he is afrain of the bike chain and such, but the french link snaffle is not a bike chain...who knows, maybe I have no idea about what I'm talking about...

childrens jumper
Jan. 2, 2003, 08:35 PM
The KK bits are really great for your type of horse..those bits work on a lot of different horses!

creseida
Jan. 2, 2003, 09:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 5mgn:

After several rides with him deciding he was no longer going to listen to the french link snaffle and he was going to hop around and burst into the canter again (he is too smart for his own good and he is always trying to find ways to get out of doing what I ask) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just curious, but have you investigated any further to find out *why* he is trying to "get out of doing what [you] ask"? Is there a pain issue? A boredom issue? A turnout issue? A too much high energy feed issue? An "I don't like what I'm doing, I want a different career" issue?

Not knowing you, or your horse, this is only a guess, but it sounds like he might be trying to tell you something.

You really shouldn't have to put him in such a strong bit so often if his training is truly progressing. You said he went for a week before reverting to his old self, and I'm taking a guess here, but it sounds like this is a normal routine and the "effects" of the harsh bit only last so long, and whatever is bothering him is overcoming his dislike of the chain bit. Horses shouldn't need such strong tune ups that often. Please, look into some of the other possibilities with an open mind. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

Sparky22
Jan. 3, 2003, 07:56 AM
Just to clarify with everyone http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A bicycle chain bit (unless it is all sharp or covered with spikes) is not a harsh bit. The reason *most* horses won't pull on it is because all of its joints don't allow them to.

Any bit is harsh if it is used incorrectly. If anyone with me yanks a horses face off, they are kicked out of the ring and putting the horse in its stall right away. No matter what a horse does, there is no justifying ripping their face off.. it doesn't do the horse or the rider any good. Yanking a horses face off with ANY bit is uncalled for.

If you want all the mechanics of a bike chain bit and why they aren't harsh give Jay Shuttleworth a call. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You said he went for a week before reverting to his old self, and I'm taking a guess here, but it sounds like this is a normal routine and the "effects" of the harsh bit only last so long, and whatever is bothering him is overcoming his dislike of the chain bit. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If this were the case I would certainly agree with you; however, everytime we have to go back to the bike chain the effects on his work in the snaffle lasts a little longer.

And as for the "issue" we have done everything. Originally his hips and back were really bothering him because of all that time working in a saddleseat frame. After months and months of just working to make him comfortable by stretching his back and neck by doing various excercises and corrective shoeing he is finally comfortable. And let me tell you, he has changed so much because of it. I am sure that is part of the reason we are all of a sudden making so much progress in the snaffle.

I like to believe he is happy doing his job. He was uncomfortable doing saddleseat (I have no problems with the discipline, it just wasn't right for him) so we "rescued" him and started him doing something more suitable for his conformation/mindset. This thing was hunters. When I got him he had never seen a pole on the ground before but in no more than seven months he has taken to jumping so well that it has even been suggested we do jumpers instead and he clearly likes it. He really will jump anything you stick in front of him (2'9" and under but it can look like who knows what). And please, don't get worried, I would never ever jump him in the bike chain. God forbid he should trip or I don't release just on time.

buryinghill1
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:12 AM
.......A bicycle chain bit (unless it is all sharp or covered with spikes) is not a harsh bit.......

It's also known as a "mule bit." There was an exciting thread on this subject a few months ago. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:14 AM
And about what Hick Chick said, I have never ever ever drawn blood with it! My goodness. If he ever started bleeding with that bit (or any bit) I would switch it right away.

I guess its a little bit like when you carry a crop on a horse that you know you don't ever have to use it on, they just know its there, so they behave and go forward. I don't have to use the bike chain, he knows it is there so he will behave. Same idea.

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:24 AM
A mule bit has spiked edges. A bike chain bit does not.

I could not find a picture of an actual bit from this angle, but here is a picture of a bike chain compared to a mule bit.

buryinghill1
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 5mgn:
A mule bit has spiked edges. A bike chain bit does not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh. OK. In our world we call 'em both mule bits. Thanks for the clarification from the H/J world.

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:35 AM
I could be off too. This is how we tell them apart at my barn and in a couple of driving supply cataloges. You know what though, you're probably right. But just for the record: the bit I've been using is one of the ones with smooth edges.

Beethoven
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:
_Just to clarify with everyone http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif_

A bicycle chain bit (unless it is all sharp or covered with spikes) is not a harsh bit. The reason *most* horses won't pull on it is because all of its joints don't allow them to.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My suggestion is to use a waterford because as this person above pointed out why the bike chain bit works is the same reason that a waterford works. A waterford has lots of joints so they can't pull against it! I included a pic of it in case you have never seen one and you don't know what I am talking about. You can see all the joints is has too!

~Jenna & Beethoven~
Proud Member of the Thoroughbred Clique & the Children's Jumpers Clique & the GA Clique & TS Clique "We ride and never worry about the fall, I guess thats just the cowboy in us all" ~Tim MaGraw

SBT
Jan. 3, 2003, 10:52 AM
A big thumbs-up for trying the Waterford. I loff this bit because the ball links are gentle on the mouth, yet the horse can't lean on it. All those joints just give way, so there's nothing TO lean on. Additionally, it's a heavier bit than most, which encourages the horse to lower its head. I've used the full-cheek variety on a couple of horses, and they went well in it. They seem to like chewing and rolling those balls on their tongue. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Give it a try!

~Sara
*Charter member of the GM Fan Club*
*Member of the Dirt Divers 78th Airborne Unit, ATH Squadron*

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 11:09 AM
I've actually been looking at those. I was thinking that might be a good alternative. I'll mention it to my trainer.

Janet
Jan. 3, 2003, 12:26 PM
No bit, harsh or otherwise, can "soften" a horses mouth.

If the mouth itself is insensitive due to rough handling, the only thing that will "soften it" is time with NO bit in the mouth, so the tissues can heal.

But mostly what we think of as a "hard" mouth is simply the horse ignoring (either deliberately, or through ignorance or counter training (think OTTB)) the signal we are sending, and resisting with the MUSCLES of the jaw and/or neck.

Think of the horse's mouth as being like your hand. It is very sensitive, it can feel very small changes in pressure, texture, or whatever. Even if you have calouses. But at the same time (unless the skin is actually damaged in some way) it is incredibly tough. It can be used to hold onto a heavy weight by an abrasive or otherwise "uncomfortable" handle while the arm muscles lift, or brace against, the weight. Yes, your arm can exert more force (lift a heavier weight) with a comfortable handle than with an uncomfortable handle, but that has very little to do with how sensitive your hand is.

Unless the mouth is physically damaged, if the horse isn't responding to the signal, it is becuase it either doesn't understand, or choses not to respond. The best way to fix it is by addressing those aspects, not by making the signal more uncomfortable. Generally, you want to make the bit MORE comfortable, not less.

However, sometimes a harsher bit is necesary for saftey (You would be a whole lot less likely to lift up a 5 gallon bucket of water with a baling wire handle than one with a foam covered handle).

[This message was edited by Janet on Jan. 03, 2003 at 02:39 PM.

[This message was edited by Janet on Jan. 03, 2003 at 02:41 PM.]

Janet
Jan. 3, 2003, 12:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Unless you're doing western pleasure, you shouldn't be able to ride on the buckle, especially if you're planning on doing any jumping. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I STRONGLY disagree with this statement. Every horse I own (and ESPECIALLY the one that is most advanced in dressage) has to walk trot, and canter on the buckle. I won't even start to ask them to accept steady contact until they can maintain a steady and consistent, reasonably balanced, pace with no contact. And I will consistently come back to work on the buckle to confirm that the horse is not learning to lean on my hands.

And that includes jumping too. I do "no hands" gymnastics (reins knotted on the neck) both for my benefit, AND for the horse's benefit.

It also includes galloping in the open- maybe not literally "on the buckle", but definitely with slack in the reins.

This doesn't mean I don't also ride "on contact" a lot, probably most, of the time . But riding "on the buckle" (or at least with slack in the rein)is an important part of every horse's education

Spunky
Jan. 3, 2003, 01:20 PM
It does sound like your horse is coming along nicely. But I would try backing off the severity of the "reminder" bit -- that is a big leap between french link and bike chain! I like the waterford too, you might try one of those as the double-jointed action will be very similar to the FL. I have found it to be very useful on horses that lean on the bit, it might not work for your problem, but you won't know until try it.

The Myler bits are also very innovative and make a lot of sense to me intellectually.
http://www.toklat.com/myler/mbits_select.html

"If you feel you had a bad ride, how do you think your horse feels?"

Goofy TB Mare
Jan. 3, 2003, 02:27 PM
Yea, i do kinda think a bicycle chain bit is harsh. I don't get how a bit like that would soften a horse's mouth. It would make my horse afraid of the bir. I have a really strong horse and she freaks out if i use a double twisted wire. have you thought of using a pelham on her or him? gives you more control without the harsh mouth piece.

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 03:30 PM
We did use a pelham on him for a little while, but oh boy, did he hate that curb chain! We tried the little gel thingy over the curb chain and I also tried a leather curb chain. He just hated the pressure under his chin. So I don't know what to tell you.

[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 03, 2003 at 06:14 PM.]

PTDeaconHP
Jan. 3, 2003, 04:52 PM
One of our green horses goes in a bike chain bit. It is very smooth, yet flexible. It is softer than a snaffle, and that is why he wears it. He is very sensitive and this bit does wonders for him. It's hardly there, and is completely flexible, and it helps bring his head down, becuase he likes to carry is as high as he possibly can. No sharp edges or places for skin to get caught. I don't know where this whole "bike chain bit is harsh" thing came from, becuase its softer than a snaffle, at least the one I have is.


**Member of the Mighty thoroughbred clique**
***"There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse."***

PTDeaconHP
Jan. 3, 2003, 05:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Unless you're doing western pleasure, you shouldn't be able to ride on the buckle, especially if you're planning on doing any jumping. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I STRONGLY disagree with this statement. Every horse I own (and ESPECIALLY the one that is most advanced in dressage) has to walk trot, and canter on the buckle. I won't even start to ask them to accept steady contact until they can maintain a steady and consistent, reasonably balanced, pace with no contact. And I will consistently come back to work on the buckle to confirm that the horse is not learning to lean on my hands.

And that includes jumping too. I do "no hands" gymnastics (reins knotted on the neck) both for my benefit, AND for the horse's benefit.

It also includes galloping in the open- maybe not literally "on the buckle", but definitely with slack in the reins.

This doesn't mean I don't also ride "on contact" a lot, probably most, of the time . But riding "on the buckle" (or at least with slack in the rein)is an important part of every horse's education<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I totally agree with you!
I think riding on the buckle or even no hands is great for training you and your horse! Riding with no hands at all makes you work more with using your legs, seat, and weight to control movement! My trainer has us work no hands when jumping sometimes, to make us work on balance and guiding, and using our seat and weight! I think It's very important to work on the buckle. If you always are holding their mouth, they won't learn anything about balancing themselves.
Also, they learn to be more independent. Like with school horses. They are so well behaved becuase they are LET to learn. You need to let them figure things out sometimes, and like Janet said, it's good for them to be consisent!


**Member of the Mighty thoroughbred clique**
***"There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse."***

[This message was edited by PTDeaconHP on Jan. 03, 2003 at 07:13 PM.]

PTDeaconHP
Jan. 3, 2003, 05:08 PM
MY RANT! lol!

Bike chain bits ARE NOT HARSH AT ALL! Unless it has spikes or sharp edges or anything like that!

It is SOFTER than a snaffle!! It backs them off the bit, NOT because it is harsh, but because with all the joints, there is nothing to pull AGAINST!!!

alright, I'm done with my rant lol! I just want you all to know that, because some of you seem to think it's a harsh bit for some reason!


**Member of the Mighty thoroughbred clique**
***"There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse."***

Goofy TB Mare
Jan. 3, 2003, 07:50 PM
if it backs them off of it, wouldn't it do the same thing as a waterford?

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 07:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> if it backs them off of it, wouldn't it do the same thing as a waterford? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In which case there is nothing wrong with it because the waterford has been recommended several times as a wonderful, gentle bit. Right?

*In Your Dreams*
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 5mgn:
Is the bit not only as harsh as the hands it is in?


[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 02, 2003 at 12:05 AM.

Originally posted by CrossedWings:
A 'harsh' bit is only as harsh as the hands it is put in.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I Completely Disagree

Think About It. If you let a rider with harsh hands ride with a snaffle, it would be a lot less painful for the horse then having that same rider with a pelham.(or other harsh bit)

So-
Rider With Harsh Hands + Snaffle = Not Too Bad For Horse

Rider With Harsh Hands + Harsh Bit = Bad Combo, Way Worse then the snaffle.

~Andrea and Dream~
*Challenge Everything*

*In Your Dreams*
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:37 PM
Part Number TWO For Me

ALL horses should go on the buckle walk/trot/cantering when they are first trained. It gives them balence, and makes them carry themselves. You can not ask a horse to accept the bit if he can not even carry his weight or you will make him lean on you for support which is why this thread is here in the first place.

I really am not a believer in any bit besides a snaffle but that is just MHO. I do think the waterford, if nessesary, would be better then the bike chain. But go back and school with a snaffle and no contact and see where it gets you.

Good Luck. Remember - A horses back end is what controls everything. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
~Andrea and Dream~
*Challenge Everything*

Goofy TB Mare
Jan. 3, 2003, 08:46 PM
No, the waterford is a softer bit than a bicycle chain, but the purpose of a waterford is to back a horse off the bit.

Ponio
Jan. 3, 2003, 09:01 PM
Well I'm not quite sure what to think since we have two very extreme views of the bike chain bit. One says its terrible and too harsh and the other says it is softer than a snaffle.

Can I pick the middle? I don't think it is a cruel device that is going to cause him serious damage (as I know from experience that it has helped us) but I will agree that it is a little bit "stronger" than a snaffle.

My description of a bike chain bit (for those of you who have never held one):

Because of the way it is made/shaped it eliminates the nutcracker action associated with most snaffles (yes the french link is supposed to help with this too but I'm just talking snaffles in general now) and it prevents the horse from leaning on it because when they do it flexes and moves away so they cannot lean/pull. It has smooth links, similar to the waterford, although it does not have the up and down flexion that the waterford gives you, only side to side. A good quality, well fitted bit will not pinch or catch on the horses mouth. So tell me, those of you who are still convinced it is super duper harsh, where does the cruel abusive part fit into this description?

CrossedWings
Jan. 3, 2003, 09:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by 5mgn:
Is the bit not only as harsh as the hands it is in?


[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 02, 2003 at 12:05 AM.

Originally posted by CrossedWings:
A 'harsh' bit is only as harsh as the hands it is put in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I Completely Disagree

Think About It. If you let a rider with harsh hands ride with a snaffle, it would be a lot less painful for the horse then having that same rider with a pelham.(or other harsh bit)

So-
Rider With Harsh Hands + Snaffle = Not Too Bad For Horse

Rider With Harsh Hands + Harsh Bit = Bad Combo, Way Worse then the snaffle. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry, but I am honestly failing to see how this one applies to my post, and what exactly you are completely disagreeing with me about. ?? Let's see, I said that a harsh bit is only as harsh as the hands it is in. (I'm sure you would agree with this, or maybe you don't?) But really, how can a harsh bit be harsh if a rider has good, quite, and forgiving hands? It's like a 'gun' - it doesn't kill people, it's the person who pulls the trigger that kills people. (Sorry not a pretty picture, but you get the idea).

I agree with your last two sentences regarding the easy snaffle + bad hands, etc. I would most definately NOT advocate 'bad hands' with a more severe bit. Still I do stand by my statement that even a simple, 'soft' bit can be 'harsh' in the wrong hands. Of course because of it's mildness, most horses will soon learn to ignore the 'lesser' pain from it, but you will still be able to see the results of the 'mild bit' and poor hands (stiffness, hard-mouthed, dragging riders around/pulling riders forward, hollow-backed, etc). Of course the results of a severe bit in the hands of a poor rider would be even worse. Still, even a nice bit can be 'mean' in bad hands. So I guess the only thing to do is give those horses the mildest bit possible to reduce the severity of the riders hands!

So, I'm agreeing with you (At least I think I am), I'm just not sure what you are disagreeing with me about. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Perhaps you misunderstood my post , or did I mistakenly give the wrong impression with my post? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

No worries either way! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. " - Henry David Thoreau

* * * "To wherever it may lead." - Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

lindac
Jan. 4, 2003, 01:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>A bicycle chain bit (unless it is all sharp or covered with spikes) is not a harsh bit. The reason *most* horses won't pull on it is because all of its joints don't allow them to.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I used to ride Saddleseat years ago. The bicycle chain bit was the second harshest bit we used.The harshest bit was the mule bit which is sometimes called a saw mouth bit. It was VERY harsh.
I have to disagree and say that the bicycle chain bit is very harsh. I have seen it draw blood on more occasions than I could count. I have even heard of it almost cutting a horses tongue in half. The whole purpose of this bit is to keep the horse totally backed off the bit and "light". Saddleseat trainers even stall bridle a horse in this bit to keep them sore in the mouth so the horse will be very "light". My old ASB pleasure horse had scars in the corners of his mouth to prove it.
I eventually re-trained him to go in a smooth full cheek snaffle and to accept contact with the bit.
I think any horse that "needs" a bicycle bit, really needs to start over in their training in a smooth snaffle and start at the very beginning
with ground work and understanding exactly what is expected of them.

creseida
Jan. 4, 2003, 01:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BooBear90:
No, the waterford is a softer bit than a bicycle chain, but the purpose of a waterford is to back a horse off the bit.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not exactly. You never want a horse to back off the bit. That means he is not seeking or accepting contact. The waterford balls make it difficult for a horse to grab the bit and run with it (known as running through the bit), which is not the same thing as backing off the bit.

If this is a matter of the horse leaning on the bit, well, the only reason he is leaning is because the rider is giving him something to lean ON...their hands. Drop the contact when he leans. You should not be supporting the horse; they should be carrying themselves. If they speed up, half-halt with one or both reins, then release. they can't very well pull against you if you won't pull back now, will they? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

Goofy TB Mare
Jan. 4, 2003, 04:44 PM
OK, I think I said that wrong. What I meant is that a horse is not supposed to be able to lean on a waterford because their is nothing to lean on. Personally, my horse hated it, but i know alot of horses that go well in it, including my sister's horse. We've tried the dropping the contact on him, and he'll fall over.

PTDeaconHP
Jan. 4, 2003, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lindac:

I have to disagree and say that the bicycle chain bit is very harsh. I have seen it draw blood on more occasions than I could count. I have even heard of it almost cutting a horses tongue in half. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

WHOA! Well your bike chain bit must be VERY different than any I have seen, becuase it CANNOT cut a horse! There are no sharp pieces on it anywhere!!! The one you used must have been a scary spikey one!


**Member of the Mighty thoroughbred clique**
***"There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse."***

lindac
Jan. 4, 2003, 08:24 PM
<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> WHOA! Well your bike chain bit must be VERY different than any I have seen, becuase it CANNOT cut a horse! There are no sharp pieces on it anywhere!!! The one you used must have been a scary spikey one!
</pre>

No, this is a plain bicycle chain bit. I know the difference between mule (spiked chain mouth) and regular bicycle chain mouth. The horses were ridden in their double bridles only about once a week and to show in. The curb did not do the mouth damage. The curb hangs lower in the horses mouth and does not act on the lips. It was from the bicycle chain in the corners of the lips where the snaffle lies and on the tongue.
The rest of the time the horses were ridden in a bicycle chain bit with a running martingale and 2 sets of reins.One to lift the head and the 2nd pair of reins running through the martingale to tuck the nose.

Trust me, the bicycle chain mouth can and will cut or sore a horses mouth. Even a milder bit like a twisted wire can cut a horses mouth.

Hold that bicycle chain bit in a loosely clenched palm. Then have someone else pull on the reins, right,left,hard and soft. Now imagine that the bit is in a sensitive mouth and being pulled over and over again for 30 min to an hour.

Here is a link about harsh bits. The kind of bicycle chain bit I am talking about is like the one in the picture. (except that technically is a driving bit)

http://www.horse-country.com/jriders/jrbits.html

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daventry:
Unless you're doing western pleasure, you shouldn't be able to ride on the buckle, e)5{e planning on doing any jumping.

Whether dressage or jumping, the horse needs to move off the leg and 'come into' the bit, not shy away from it because they're scared that they'll get zapped in the mouth. Your mistaken if you think he isn't scared of your bike chain bit. This has nothing to do with the bike chain bit being too harsh though. Harsh bits are appropriate for the right horse but NOT for a horse that's afraid to take the contact!

Getting a horse to behave doesn't come from putting them in a harsh bit, it comes from relaxation, submission, impulsion, confidence, attention and respect of the rider.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've always wondered why if it really matters if a horse is 'on the bit' or whatever. If a horse slows down when you pull and speeds up when you kick, then does it really matter?

Obviously you can't have a horse dragging its head on the ground, but if a horse is broke enough to go at one speed and slows and and speeds up (stride gets longer and shorter, whatever... don't get stuck on terms, big words don't make you smarter.... and how many horses really keep the same 'speed' while being pulled or kicked on).

Oh yea, and this thread is about big bits. If a horse is broke but goes better in a bike chain or a wire, then why not use it. If a horse is hurt by a big bit you get a big response, ie horse sticking its head up in the air, stopping in the middle of a canter step, and you getting a broken nose from the horses poll.

Anyone would want a horse in a snaffle, but I guess thats stating the obvious..

You talked about relaxation, submission, impulsion, confidence, attention and respect of the rider. I think we must be talking about the same thing, but why does a horse have to be flexed at the poll to have those things (please don't start with the whole frame is bad, its not just flexing at the poll, I know you don't mean just that). I think it is more simple to say a broke horse slows down, speeds up, and goes at a steady pace when the rider pulls, kicks, or does nothing. Harsh bit or not.

Woah, another novel from me. Not sleeping for like 5 days or something has really made writing on the chronicle fun for some reason ;P

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The fact that you cannot pick up contact and have the horse go willingly forward into a sympathetic contact with this bit is proof of this, in my opinion.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You were talking about a bike chain...


That's not true. You can get a horse in your hand and have contact. If you can't, what's the point in riding a horse in one?

Saddle horses go in MULE bits which are bike chains with spikey things. They are acatually pretty broke and stuff and don't act like their mouths are being cut or hurt. I guess it depends on the horse and the rider.

To say a horse that goes in a bike chain can't EVER get into your hands is just plain wrong. I know for a fact it isn't true for a lot of horses.

Obviously a horse that goes in a fat, rubber snaffle won't go right in a bike chain- but who would be stupid enough to put a bike chain on a horse like that.

And, if someone has a bike chain and their horse goes well, they aren't going to open their horses mouths and point and shout over to you about it.

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:
Please, look into some of the other possibilities with an open mind. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Why NOT do the easiest thing first. If a medical issue or turnout blah blah blah issue isn't dead obvious, why not stick a bigger bit on the horse and see if it fixes it. If it doesn't you aren't worse off than before, yaknow?

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shadowz:
.......A bicycle chain bit (unless it is all sharp or covered with spikes) is not a harsh bit.......

It's also known as a "mule bit." There was an exciting thread on this subject a few months ago. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Real mule bits are mean and have spikes. Bike chains really aren't mean and don't have spikes.

Mean is a rather subjective term though.

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by *In Your Dreams*:
Think About It. If you let a rider with harsh hands ride with a snaffle, it would be a lot less painful for the horse then having that same rider with a pelham.(or other harsh bit)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

WOW. Pelham, Harsh? Could be mean, but far from 'harsh' (compared to other bits).

Does this mean that dressage riders are mean and should only use a snaffle?

I think a double bridle can do MUCH more damage than a bike chain! If you want a harsh bit, they make it hard for a horse to pull much.

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 12:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by maggymay:
Oh boy.

I personally hate waterfords.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yay, I felt like some kind of a feak (only for a second, but then my normal love of myself came back (LOL)).

I thought I was the only one in the world because everyone else likes them.

I think I understand what you mean, but I'm not sure. Here is what I think in my own little 'eubonic' version. Tell me if its kinda sorta the same http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I don't like it when a horse won't pull on me the right way, like when I can't kick a horse into my hand or keep a feel of its face- yea that made no sense. A waterford feels to me like it just makes the horses overflex a bit and it makes a horse not 'slow down' when you pull back. They just flex and don't pull against you at all. Is that 'impulsion' or whatever? I think it is.

I am not explaining this well

Let's try another way. If you are showing a hunter and your going up to a single where you have a long canter after your turn and the horse is a bit fresh, you need it to slow down. You see a distance and your only option to make it work well is to slow down a bit, but you can't in this bit because when you pull the horses head goes down and there is nothing to pull against. It is flexed at the poll and not pulling back, therefore it doesnt slow down at all and you get too close to the jump. Even if you used lots of leg and acted all dressage it woudn't make some horses slow down, but who wants to act all dressage in a hunter class, right?

Uh oh, I forgot why I was posting this. Oops.

I am still on my writing a novel and piss people off mood from not sleeping for 4 days, but it is kinda fun http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

Tucked_Away
Jan. 5, 2003, 01:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:...why not stick a bigger bit on the horse and see if it fixes it. If it doesn't you aren't worse off than before, yaknow?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah. I think the concern is more, what if it does work? Or more than that, what if it only seems to work?

Sometimes changing gear will solve a problem. Bad saddle fit can cause misbehavior out of pain, frex. Sometimes, though, especially with bits, the change is made to address a training problem. If a horse is running through your hands in one bit and you change to a bigger one, maybe he stops running away. But has he stopped because he's learned it's unacceptable, or has he stopped because it hurts? And if the latter, what happens when he learns to evade the action of the new bit and starts running away again -- do you bit up once more?

In a case like that, I'd see bitting as a temporary fix. Give the rider (with educated hands) a stronger way to say "no," but don't leave it at that -- also work on why the horse is running away and why he's blowing off the rider's aids. If you fix the underlying training issue, then you can get the problem fixed as well. If not, then what happens when it reoccurs -- and humane issues aside, what happens when you run out of bits to move up to?

Sometimes a stronger bit is a reminder -- at a show, say, or out hunting, when you may need a bit more to remind your horse of his training -- and that doesn't bother me. I don't have any problem with doing the easy thing when it's also the right thing, but often bitting up is used in place of fixing the real problem, and if that's the case it isn't going to be the most effective and easiest thing in the long run.

Tucked_Away
Jan. 5, 2003, 01:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
I've always wondered why if it really matters if a horse is 'on the bit' or whatever. If a horse slows down when you pull and speeds up when you kick, then does it really matter?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sure others here can and will give you theory more effectively than I, so I'll only offer my experience. My greenie and I have been learning about this on the bit stuff. He's a high-headed sort who would prefer I do as little as possible. One evening ride, though, for reasons unknown to me, he lifted his back and went on the bit of his own accord. It was very strange, and the best ride I've ever had. Balanced, forward, and responsive, obedient to the max. Lovely bend. Lovely circles. Good lateral work. Super extensions even at the trot, a bugaboo of ours. Power and precision. I've been trying to recapture that ever since, and I'm convinced he was so good because he was using himself correctly.

Our current work is much spottier; I'm learning it myself, and we tend to get discombobulated and only have true "on the bit" for a stride or two at a time. But even with what we get, he's so much better than he was before. We aren't perfect, but we're more correct, and more easily.

I was reading Steinkraus today, the section about "on the bit," where he talks about going on the bit as being similar to asking the horse "what's one plus one?" and getting "two" as an answer. I really like the analogy, not least of all because it emphasizes riding as a conversation. And that's what I'm finding to be the real value of having a horse on the bit -- it suddenly becomes a whole lot easier to ask the right questions and and judging from my horse's response, it's also a whole lot easier for him to give the right answers.

DarkerHorse
Jan. 5, 2003, 01:51 AM
Tucked_Away's post made me realize that you guys might be talking about a horse that runs away and acatual bad stuff like that.

I was thinking more along the lines of stick on a big bit at a show to make a horse more soft- like a quick fix thing.

If you all were posting about how a big bit was mean to use on a horse that is running away and is borderline dangerous for the person riding it, what is your take on big bits for shows or lessons or whatever when you want something to make the horse softer?

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

Goofy TB Mare
Jan. 5, 2003, 10:11 AM
This means your horse is not balanced. Putting a strong bit in a horse's mouth will not _teach_ him to carry himself. You are only making him more unbalanced by holding him up. Lots of flatwork, with transitions, cavaletti, half-halts, bending and leg yielding will help him develop self-carriage, which is necessary in any discipline. You need to teach him to walk before you let him run... or jump http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

My horse is perfectly balanced. I can canter her on the buckle all day long and she doesn't care. That was my sister horse. I said he did that, but then we put the waterford on him so he would have nothing to lean on. He doesn't do it anymore. My arguement is using the waterford instead of the bicycle chain bit.

Ponio
Jan. 5, 2003, 02:41 PM
In response the the "quick fix" idea, which I'll admit was my first reaction when my trainer suggested a bike chain bit, my trainer brought up the fact that horses are creatures of habit. If you develope the habit of behaving well then they will continue to behave well later on. I have seen this to be true in most of my horse's training. The purpose of the stronger bit is to keep every ride the same. No matter what. Slowly he starts to understand behaving wellis how he should always behave. Why would he bother acting up if behaving better is easier?

editted because I made stupid mistakes...thats what vacation does to you...

[This message was edited by 5mgn on Jan. 05, 2003 at 07:58 PM.]

Spotty Horses
Jan. 5, 2003, 09:10 PM
A good rider with a good seat and good hands should be able to ride 98% of all horses in a loose ring snaffle.

A good seat and good use of the half halt should keep you from resorting to bits that will not fix your problem.

findeight
Jan. 5, 2003, 09:36 PM
Well this has disintegrated into semantics and definitions that are not the same for all.

When I was a youngster,freshly out of the caves, a bike chain bit was...a bike chain-taken off of a bicycle. Most guys could do a little bit of welding so welded a ring on each side and you had a bicycle chain bit. Also called a mule bit since these chains were tough and it was thought mules were too stupid to respond to anything else.

Flash forward to the twenty first century. Somebody uses the term bicycle chain bit referring to some fancy and expensive multi part mouth snaffle they bought at the tack store.
Somebody else posts referring to a chain taken off the bike and tinkered into a bit,a severe one with sharp edges.

So many are talking about the same bit..........but they are not.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

CrossedWings
Jan. 5, 2003, 11:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Spotty Horses:
A good rider with a good seat and good hands should be able to ride 98% of all horses in a loose ring snaffle.

A good seat and good use of the half halt should keep you from resorting to bits that will not fix your problem.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Great point! I agree with you, and I'm also glad to see that you have allowed for the 2% of the horses which do actually require 'more severe bits' even for the really good riders! (When you get to fix some of those fun ones that have had 'bad hand riders' well... They have mouths of steal, and your arms feel it after a couple rounds! 1200 lbs of their body weight in the mouth.. Ugh!).
Of course the other 98%, I would agree, can go in a loose ring snaffle or some easy going bit with a good rider!

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. " - Henry David Thoreau

* * * "To wherever it may lead." - Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

buryinghill1
Jan. 6, 2003, 08:13 AM
IMHO, bits are as harsh as the hands on the end of the reins.

I've seen the likes of Nick Skelton, Harvey Smith, the Beerbaums, McLain (and dad), Ian Millar, Conrad and Joe, and scads of others "hack", train and show in more hardwear than the Brooklyn Bridge. Lauriep's dearest Balbuco showed in a "train stopper." I kinda wish she'd post a picture of that bridle (I loved it!!). In the wrong hands anything can do damage.
McLain wouldn't gallop down to 8'2" in an eggbutt. Would you? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Most of the "heroes" I see mentioned on this BB ride daily in less bridle than they would use in the ring. Daily exercise generally doesn't require a lot of stopping or turning power. But, on Sunday afternoon, out comes the more serious hardware. God love a horse that can show in a $100K class with a loose ring. You really think Kursinski would climb aboard Eros in his "work bridle?" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Next time you venture out to the barns, take a peek at the tack hooks. Especially on Sunday.

I realize few H/J riders will use a mule bit, or one of it's cousins. Still, you'd be surprised to see some of the gadgets that keep these riders safely in the saddle.

MeanderCreek
Jan. 6, 2003, 01:31 PM
Weeeellll, if reschooling the horse to the point that he is the happiest and most obedient camper of them all REALLY is the objective... go in the ring by yourself, close the doors, get on the horse, reach up and remove his headstall and ride him with the reins around his neck http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

You'll have a few hairy moments at first, but they will ALL benefit from it http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

www.meandercreekstable.com (http://www.meandercreekstable.com)

Spotty Horses
Jan. 7, 2003, 01:14 AM
There are some great photos of Rodrigo P. showing in big $ Grand Prix classes in Egg but smooth snaffles. That is because he is a good rider.

AAJumper
Jan. 7, 2003, 08:58 AM
But didn't Rodrigo also ride Baloubet in a bit/hackamore combination?

visit www.victorianfarms.com (http://www.victorianfarms.com)

buryinghill1
Jan. 7, 2003, 09:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AAJumper:
But didn't Rodrigo also ride Baloubet in a bit/hackamore combination?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes. A true train-stopper bridle. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Can you imagine riding THAT ONE in an eggbutt snaffle? haha. He and his dad always strive for the mimimum (don't we all?), but they're reasonable... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

buryinghill1
Jan. 7, 2003, 09:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Spotty Horses:
There are some great photos of Rodrigo P. showing in big $ Grand Prix classes in Egg but smooth snaffles. That is because he is a good rider.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Just curious.. what makes a bad rider??

Sparky22
Jan. 7, 2003, 09:54 AM
Thank you arf for getting to that before I did http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I agree whole-heartedly with what arf has said. I would love to be sitting on a string of horses who I can take in the ring with a plain snaffle, but I can tell you that this year, I sat on one horse that hacks in a snaffle and shows Prelims in the same bit (or sometimes a change in its thickness). That one is good in it only because if you pull on her mouth she will likely either a: run away with you and screw up your winning jumpoff, or b: start throwing her head all over the place and throw a hissy-fit http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif She is a wonderful mare, she just always wants to do her own thing (which is fine, because she is good at it http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif).

I had one other I did this summer that I would hack and school in a KK, but usually showed him in a double jointed loosering with a copper roller in the middle. On the rings were little gag loops. I put one rein in the loops and left one as a snaffle rein. If you can get on "Mr. I'm 18hh amd have a HUGE stride and an even bigger attitude" and get him collected enough to jump around and fit the strides in.. than by all means, please show us how it's done http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. I basically rode around on the snaffle rein and had the other one in case of one of his brain farts http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif Fabulous horse, but his stride is just too damn big http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A good rider is a person who can get on a horse and get the job done by adjusting to the horses body, style, difficulty, and of course.. their quirks. A good rider isn't necessarilly one that can make a horse go around. He/she is the person who gets on the horse, works with it, and through adjustments in their own riding, they make the horse look better than what it was before they got in the saddle.

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

buryinghill1
Jan. 7, 2003, 11:27 AM
This discussion is an endless loop, but I have to add one comment... same one from previous threads...
I had to ride [Olympic showjumper] for [3x Olympian] while she was off horse shopping between WPB and Tampa. She used to hack this horse in a trainstopper. Her coach rode the horse in the same bridle. The horse showed in a gag (actually less bridle).
Day 1: loose ring
Day 2: loose ring with draw reins
Day 3: trainstopper
Day 4-7: trainstopper with figure-8 noseband

When she came back I told her she could "ride that monster in anything she wanted." She laughed for weeks... That horse was certifiable. But damn, he could jump. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

creseida
Jan. 7, 2003, 04:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:
If you can get on "Mr. I'm 18hh amd have a HUGE stride and an even bigger attitude" and get him collected enough to jump around and fit the strides in.. than by all means, please show us how it's done http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. &lt;snip&gt; Fabulous horse, but his stride is just too damn big http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which begs the question why so many people (I'm speaking in general terms here http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )want these 18h monsters. They have HUGE strides. This isn't a disobedience or a training issue; it is a matter of the horse physically being too big to do the job, and to compensate, humans using a strong bit to compress this horse to "make him fit". Bits should not be used like shoe horns, IMO.

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

DarkerHorse
Jan. 7, 2003, 09:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:
If you can get on "Mr. I'm 18hh amd have a HUGE stride and an even bigger attitude" and get him collected enough to jump around and fit the strides in.. than by all means, please show us how it's done http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. &lt;snip&gt; Fabulous horse, but his stride is just too damn big http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which begs the question why so many people (I'm speaking in general terms here http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )want these 18h monsters. They have HUGE strides. This isn't a disobedience or a training issue; it is a matter of the horse physically being too big to do the job, and to compensate, humans using a strong bit to compress this horse to "make him fit". Bits should not be used like shoe horns, IMO.

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh god, horses aren't meant to jump either. But.. It is the horses job, and that's just my take. And if we used other people's logic in this situation, one could argue that a 'better trained' horse could 'shorten its stride'

I'm just....
Sliding through life on charm?

forums.catchride.com

Sparky22
Jan. 7, 2003, 09:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:
If you can get on "Mr. I'm 18hh amd have a HUGE stride and an even bigger attitude" and get him collected enough to jump around and fit the strides in.. than by all means, please show us how it's done http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. &lt;snip&gt; Fabulous horse, but his stride is just too damn big http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which begs the question why so many people (I'm speaking in general terms here http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )want these 18h monsters. They have HUGE strides. This isn't a disobedience or a training issue; it is a matter of the horse physically being too big to do the job, and to compensate, humans using a strong bit to compress this horse to "make him fit". Bits should not be used like shoe horns, IMO.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But if you saw this animal *effortlessly* jumping around a GP as if he were in a Working Hunter class, you too would want this beast http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif And that is exactly what it looks like when he goes in the ring.

The bit I referred to gave me a bit of leverage, not severity on his mouth. When the jumps get higher, even the best horses and riders can need a bit of help to adjust their horse properly for the course. Why is a bit with a little leverage (that one does not have to use, so the leverage is not constant due to the snaffle rein) so different from a spur? Or perhaps a stick? Why have a horse who needs spurs or a different bit? The answer is this: without some of these horses, we would be missing out on some of the best jumping horses in the world. To prepare myself for the inevitable argument that they need more training: horses are like people, they don't always change, and if they do it is often much past their prime.

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

creseida
Jan. 8, 2003, 09:18 PM
Your original post sounded very much like the only reason you put a strong bit on this horse was because his stride was too big, because HE was too big. From that perspective, the horse is being punished for simply being "too big".

Ponio
Jan. 9, 2003, 05:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Your original post sounded very much like the only reason you put a strong bit on this horse was because his stride was too big, because HE was too big. From that perspective, the horse is being punished for simply being "too big". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wait, was this meant for me? Or whoever first posted about big horses? If it was for me, my horse is 14.3.

Sparky22
Jan. 9, 2003, 07:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:
Your original post sounded very much like the only reason you put a strong bit on this horse was because his stride was too big, because HE was too big. From that perspective, the horse is being punished for simply being "too big".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif No worries.. I thought the part about riding him on the snaffle rein implied that, but I guess not http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Then again, it was adjustable leverage, not severity on his mouth.

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

mcmIV
Jan. 9, 2003, 10:44 AM
I see a lot of comments like this:

"I am using more leverage, not more severity"

"A stronger bit will allow me to shorten his stride to make the distance"

and more...

I have a general comment that I hope will change some attitudes about training, educating and riding.

A horse can feel a fly on his skin. A horse is sensitive.

Do you honestly think he cannot *feel* a minute tug on a snaffle?

The problem is not that you are enhancing your communcation because he needs more bit to hear you.

The problem is that your horses (mine included) are not educated enough to interpret your request with a simple, comfortable bit. And in fact, most of us are not educated enough and sensitive enough to consistently use the bit in a such a subtle and comfortable manner.

You are making excuses for your horses' (and your) lack of attention to subtle and sensitive details in your riding. This is a matter of education, not equipment.

So while many of us (me included), need a stronger bit to communicate, do not fool yourself into thinking this is the only thing the horse *feels*. The reason this works is because it is sufficiently uncomfortable or painful for him to respond.

The problem with horses is that there are many many more sloppy, harsh or insensitive riders out there then the handful of those who are precise and consistent. So our horses are all educated over time to not *know the difference* between subtle tugs and harsh pulls... it becomes a big blur of pulling and thus we graduate to stronger bits until we each find a happy medium that horse and rider can live with.

Maybe it's unrealistic, but as individuals we all the chance to educate any horse to be light and responsive in any bit and even no bit, if we are patient and ambitious enough. The fact is, there is not time, inclination or talent enough for the majority to follow through with that ideal.

So, while it might be reality that you need a stronger bit to be safe and have fun (I do), don't pretend like this is the way it has to be, or this is "the only way to communicate so he hears me". He hears you. You just can't be subtle enough to talk to him with a soft bit.

This applies to leg aids, voice aids and anything else.

And education goes beyond a horse knowing cues from a bit, it goes to a horse having a work ethic to respond to this training in all situations.

This was directed at all. Even myself. Just something to know in your mind when working with a horse and making decisions about things like this.

martha

Dementia 13
Jan. 9, 2003, 10:52 AM
You know Martha, when I read comments like the ones you just posted, it makes me want to bite. No matter how correct you might be, I took your comments as just a touch condescending. How can you judge someone or their riding or their choices in bits simply on the basis of a post on a bulletin board?

Please, help me understand! I don't mean this as a flame but I have to admit, from a personal standpoint, I was a little put off.

mcmIV
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:19 AM
Well I apologize for coming off that way - I tried to include throughout it that I was also faced with the reality of needing a strong bit to be safe and do the job.

But I said at the beginning:

"I am using more leverage, not more severity"

"A stronger bit will allow me to shorten his stride to make the distance"


This is a feeling throughout the horse world. People don't ever think that the truth is all of our gadgets, spurs, whips, harsh bits, etc.... are all just there to compensate for lack of the horse's education.

I know there are many horses that are difficult to work with simply because of their individual personality and attitude, not to mention we have no control over who worked with these animals before us. I know that exceptions to my above post have to be made in order to advance to any level before a ripe old age. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

But I take exception when I hear people making excuses for 'overusing' aids, "shortcuts" in training, and strong bits. "It isn't more severe, it just works better.." Why does it work better?! Because the horse feels more action when you use the same force!

As with anything, training/riding horses is a compromise between safe and the most correct way to do it. Weigh your options... choose safety above all, be sure it's still worth it, and then acheive that end as subtley as possible.

I hope that makes sense.

martha

Dementia 13
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:23 AM
Yes it does and I am in agreement with ya there!

Sparky22
Jan. 9, 2003, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mcmIV:
::snip

I know there are many horses that are difficult to work with simply because of their individual personality and attitude, not to mention we have no control over who worked with these animals before us. I know that exceptions to my above post have to be made in order to advance to any level before a ripe old age. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

::snip::
As with anything, training/riding horses is a compromise between safe and the most correct way to do it. Weigh your options... choose safety above all, be sure it's still worth it, and then acheive that end as subtley as possible.

I hope that makes sense.

martha<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I too, initially wanted to bite your head off http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif That is an answer I like better http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I meant that I wasn't using something severe in that I wasn't sticking my horse in a three-ring with the rein on the bottom ring so he is in constant leverage (or anything to that nature) and I wasn't sticking him in a double-twisted wire or anything of that sorts. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It's true, this as a business doesn't usually leave us with enough time to get the horses perfect because of attitude, willingness to cooperate, or because of who sat on them before us. I'm very "anti-strong bits," and/or too much leverage. That is why when leverage may be needed, I use a bit that allows me to ride solely on a snaffle rein, while only using the leverage rein if needed. When you are in the horse show ring, most horses are different than they are at home. Along with that.. it is expensive to show, so you want to make it as good as possible. If making it good means having a little safety net in case the horse has a brain lapse, I wouldn't call it harsh.. I think of it more as a reinforcement of your regular aids (like a touch with a spur to say, "hey you.. pay attention!"). Unfortunately, unless you have oddles of dough, most of us can not take a couple of circles in the ring to get the horse back between their hands and leg (even the best horses have brain farts http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif). They are like a two year old kid.. unpredictable and often needing a bit of encouragement (no pun intended) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

Coca-Cola
Jan. 9, 2003, 04:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:

The bit I referred to gave me a bit of leverage, not severity on his mouth. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

All else being equal, a leverage bit IS always more severe than a snaffle bit.

FWIW, I fully agree with Martha. She has hit it right on the head.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> by Darkerhorse:
Why NOT do the easiest thing first. If a medical issue or turnout blah blah blah issue isn't dead obvious, why not stick a bigger bit on the horse and see if it fixes it. If it doesn't you aren't worse off than before, yaknow? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because, it isn't about what is easiest or most convenient for YOU, it is about what is BEST for the horse. Having read a few of your other posts, especially the one on saddle fitting, I have my suspicions that you rarely keep that in mind. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

DarkerHorse
Jan. 9, 2003, 10:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> by Darkerhorse:
Why NOT do the easiest thing first. If a medical issue or turnout blah blah blah issue isn't dead obvious, why not stick a bigger bit on the horse and see if it fixes it. If it doesn't you aren't worse off than before, yaknow? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Because, it isn't about what is easiest or most convenient for YOU, it is about what is BEST for the horse. Having read a few of your other posts, especially the one on saddle fitting, I have my suspicions that you rarely keep that in mind. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/QUOTE]

Enlighten me then.. HOW is doing this bad for the horse and not in its best well being? Changing bits is the first line of action if you think it can be helped by changing a bit. I don't know anyone who woudn't consider putting on a 3 ring or corkscrew instead of a snaffle before calling up the vet and getting charged for a prob. pointless visit.....

It is a lot safer than drugging the horse for the vet to look at- not that I consider anything wrong with it in the least- but there is always that slight slight chance it might die from a reaction!! Better yet lets just not rid them

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

creseida
Jan. 9, 2003, 10:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:

Enlighten me then..
-----
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Because it isn't about *dominating* the horse and bending it to our will, it is about forming a partnership where the horse wants to please us. This is achieved with patience and training, not strong bits, sharp spurs or gadgets. You should try it sometime... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

DarkerHorse
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Because it isn't about *dominating* the horse and bending it to our will, it is about forming a partnership where the horse wants to please us. This is achieved with patience and training, not strong bits, sharp spurs or gadgets. You should try it sometime... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~[/QUOTE]


How is putting a stronger bit in a horses mouth dominating it? It simply employs a 'different' signal from the softer bit. Yes it can be more harsh, but It can also make the horse more light and cause less struggle.

Are you telling me that every horse you ride goes in a snaffle? Because you would never 'dominate' a horse would you?


If you follow this logic than a maringale of any kind is bad, because it restricts the horses head and doesnt let you gain that extra bit on control if it sticks its head up..

So, unless you only use a snaffle and never use a martingale, then you are 'dominating' your horse- (who still bucks and plays like EVERY other horse from time to time, i'm sure.. therefore it isn't quite so dominated is it?)

You guys seem to like to refrence what you do to what others say, so I will try to express my viewpoint. I read the George Morris book a couple of years ago, and I remember he said something about bits that applies to my viewpoint in this thread. He wrote something along the lines of on school horses he likes double wires because extra bit is better than too less bit.

And, IMO, why would you want a horse that might be pulling on you with '20 lbs' of pull and be on forehand and thus jumping badly? Why not put a little extra bit, be able to pick it off its front end with using a little less leg to achieve a good 'frame' and have the horse pull on you with the '5 lbs' of pull that you get when you have a soft horse in a good 'frame.' When this 'proper frame' happens the horse will jump much better. On a lot of horses it can be close to impossible to get the horse 'right' for every single jump if you are doing a course at a show in a huge rubber snaffle or whatever. Train all you like, it won't happen. You may have a few good jumps and a few 'ok' jumps and win the class, but it could have been better if the horse was softer to the 'ok' jumps.

I really don't think I know anyone who only will do their horses in a snaffle. Do you truly know a rider who is good enough to get ALL of their horses 'broke' enough so they can do everything in a snaffle?

Sure if that is the right bit for the horse you use a snaffle. If it isn't, try something else. If you don't try something else, you never will fix the problem.

If there was a cookie cutter recipe for all horses there woudn't be any shows.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

Tucked_Away
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
Changing bits is the first line of action if you think it can be helped by changing a bit.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As you noted in your horsemanship thread, something's being the usual practice doesn't mean that it's the best or most effective method. Who is this "you" that you're referencing here? I think there've been people aplenty in this thread who made it clear that bitting up is not their first line of action at all.

I have no idea what you're talking about with the vet references. Or rather, I think I have some idea, but seriously hope I'm misunderstanding you. Are you really saying that if you suspect a medical problem, you would rather bit up and/or drug the horse than call the vet? That's going to solve your medical problem...how, exactly?

No one's suggested "let's not ride them," but rather, "let's ride them correctly and try for mutual respect." I hope you aren't saying the things here that I think you're saying. If you are, well...I wouldn't want to be a horse in your barn is all.

Your last post? Where you say,

&gt;I really don't think I know anyone who only will do their horses in a snaffle.

I think this is where I raise my hand. I've ridden school horses in the past in pelhams and gags and I do believe that in educated hands, sometimes something other than a snaffle may be a useful tool -- that's my caveat.

But I ride at a barn where every single horse schools in a mild snaffle and the vast majority show in them as well (I only know of two who don't, and they both go to snaffles with a bit of twist). Are we all superior riders? Heck, no; we're all still learning, but we're learning how to get the job done without a big bit. Your mileage may vary, but please don't tell me it can't be done.

[This message was edited by Tucked_Away on Jan. 10, 2003 at 01:24 AM.]

DarkerHorse
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tucked_Away:
[quote]something's being the usual practice doesn't mean that it's the best or most effective method. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Right, but now prove how it is more effective to not use a bigger bit when you think it is warrented? Why not fix a problem in a few days rather than take a few months when they result will be the same?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Who is this "you" that you're referencing here?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your imaginary friend..... or whatever...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I think there've been people aplenty in this thread who made it clear that bitting up is not their first line of action at all.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A few. I don't understand how it can be called abusive to use a corkscrew, pelham, 3 ring, blah blah blah.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I have no idea what you're talking about with the vet references. Or rather, I think I have some idea, but seriously hope I'm misunderstanding you. Are you really saying that if you suspect a medical problem, you would rather bit up and/or drug the horse than call the vet? That's going to solve your medical problem...how, exactly?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, I wasn't clear. Let me clarify- some people suggested a medical reason for a horse not performing optimally. I am asking, why get a vet to check out the horse when another avenue that can be explored is different bits. I would rather try on a few bits I had in my tack trunk before I called a vet if there is equal chance of it being vet problem or bit problem.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
No one's suggested "let's not ride them," but rather, "let's ride them correctly and try for mutual respect." I hope you aren't saying the things here that I think you're saying<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, but if using a stronger bit is dominating a horse, then using a martingale is dominating too. It restricts the horses head. A stronger bit uses a stronger signal via the mouth.

Is dressage wrong if it uses a double bridle? A double bridle is about the most harsh bit I can think of. You can break a horses chin if you pull on the curb bit too much.

Is western wrong with its huge shanks?

I think not... personal opinion though.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

Atypical
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:47 PM
Wow Darkerhorse, we've been on a bit of a rampage as of late, haven't we? I find it rather disturbing, (and that's me being polite) that if you really think the horse may have a medical problem you'd rather try switching bits than calling the vet. I suppose this falls in line with the saddle fit isn't important thread.

Personally I try to use a snaffle on most everything I ride, and have succeeded, for the most part, in doing so. I have in the past, and still jump a horse or two in something with a twist or a 3-ring, but that's only when unavoidable. I'm small, the horse is large and pulls like a frieght train to jumps over 3'. Anything under 3', or when he's flatting (you know, useless dressage?) he goes in an eggbutt snaffle. It's taken a long time to get him this calm and soft, but I find the effort well worth it.

But no, let's just take this horse, slap on an ill fitting saddle, bute it up stick something harsh in it's mouth and go for a nice, pleasant hack....

Ahhh!! I'm sorry, snippy again. But back to topic, have you considered doing some groundwork with your horse? Lord knows this is controversial enough, but I've had a lot of success getting horses to relax to pressure and give through their throatlatch by doing ground excersises.

Tucked_Away
Jan. 9, 2003, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by Darkerhorse:

&gt;Why not fix a problem in a few days rather than take a few months when they result will be the same?

I already tried to answer this once. Guess it didn't sink in or you didn't buy the answer. Unless you correct the flaws in training or riding, the result most likely won't be the same. The horse will respond for a while and then he'll figure out how to evade the bigger bit. Then do you bit up again? What happens when he learns to evade that one?

&gt;Let me clarify- some people suggested a medical reason for a horse not performing optimally. I am asking, why get a vet to check out the horse when another avenue that can be explored is different bits.

Yoinks. You were saying what I thought you were saying. How about because, if it does turn out to be a medical problem, a bigger bit isn't going to make that problem go away or keep it from getting worse?

But the horsemanship thread indicates that that prospect doesn't really bother you, so long as you get your riding time in...

&gt;No, but if using a stronger bit is dominating a horse, then using a martingale is dominating too. It restricts the horses head.

Yes, well. My high-headed horse doesn't go in a martingale, either. (Though that's actually not a political statement -- he just didn't wear one when I started riding him and I never saw any reason to add one.)

A martingale correctly adjusted doesn't restrict a horse's head about 99.9% of the time. If he's going normally, it isn't coming into play. If it's tying his head down, it's probably too tight. As I said, I don't use one -- I'm sure someone else on this thread can go into more detail.

&gt;Is dressage wrong if it uses a double bridle? &gt;Is western wrong with its huge shanks?

This would be the educated hand caveat. As I understand the double bridle, it's to be used by seriously superior riders who mostly ride from leg and seat in order to allow extremely subtle, refined aids. As I understand western riding, the reins are generally loose; the horses neck-rein and contact with the mouth is absolutely minimal.

I guess this is my position on the more potentially severe bits. I really don't mind them in the hands of a very good rider who can use them effectively. By effectively, I mean minimally. Frex, your gag should be set up with an ordinary snaffle rein as well as a gag rein, so that the gag need not come into play. If someone can use that option as to school and improve the horse so that he ends up not needing it, then I don't really object to that. If he ends up relying on the gag action instead of trying for the snaffle and/or the horse keeps going wrong or getting worse and/or if it's a substitute for a vet check or correct training or whatever, well...that's not right to my eye.

Double bridle? I'm willing to bet that the best dressage riders are using it in quite a different fashion than the rider would who pulls it out of the tack room to use on a horse that's not doing what he wants.

Kachoo
Jan. 10, 2003, 12:10 AM
Partly because I am a weenie, and partly because I am lazy http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif, I'm not going to get involved in the debate that's been raging through much of this thread. I am going to respond to the first post, however, which I took as something of a vent to the tune of, "Why do people give me so much grief because I ride in a bit that's considered harsh?"

My dear, trust me, over time, you will find that it is truly pointless to address this issue, because as with the virtues and/or evils of lunging and other such things, everybody you talk to about it will have a different opinion, and as you've probably already noticed, you will die of old age before you see any group of horsepeople come to some sort of an agreement on this topic. So okay, most of us compete at a low to moderate level - what the heck do we know, right? Surely, there must be SOMEONE who has the right answer!

Nope. I just read an article called "Gebisskontrolle" (Bit Control) in my favorite German publication, "St. Georg" a couple of months ago, and it drove home the point mentioned above. Interviewed in this article were a number of famous German jumper riders, a number of whom are or at one time were in the world top ten. Let me summarize it for you:

Otto Becker: At home, he rides most of his horses in a simple jointed snaffle, but at shows, he uses sharper bits as required by the needs of each horse. Cento wears a hackabit.

Mylene Diedrichsmeier: Rides her jumper Clover in a pelham, at home or at the shows.

Holger Wulschner, Lars Nieberg, and Markus Ehning: All try their darndest to ride every horse in the simplest bit possible - normally some sort of snaffle. Even in competition.

Franke Sloothaak makes a statement some would consider outrageous: "Kein Gebiss ist zu scharf," which translates directly to *gasp* "No bit is too sharp."

The only consensus between them seems to be that if you're going to use a "harsher" bit, be damn well sure that you can use it skillfully.

And really what's the point of arguing about it, anyway? In the end, each and every one of us is going to write down our own opinion and think, "Geez, I am the ONLY ONE on this board who knows what I'm talking about!" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

On a totally unrelated note - did you know some French riders have started riding without the drop noseband? My friend Qabs who trains with Jean-Marc Nicholas says they believe that it makes feisty horses fight less. Hmmm.

DarkerHorse
Jan. 10, 2003, 12:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Ahhh!! I'm sorry, snippy again. But back to topic, have you considered doing some groundwork with your horse? Lord knows this is controversial enough, but I've had a lot of success getting horses to relax to pressure and give through their throatlatch by doing ground excersises.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Um that isn't the topic- yea being snippy too. I'm going to the doctor because I can't sleep blah..

My horses are fine the way they are. I've never had a problem making them flex at the poll, or get in a frame, if that's what you mean by giving at the throatlatch- but flexing at the poll isn't really like important, its a result of getting the horse in a frame, IMO.

One of my horses always goes in a snaffle. The other horse hacks in a 3 ring at home and shows in a portish bit at shows. Fairly simple. I woudn't see a problem switching bits around if it helped, though.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

DarkerHorse
Jan. 10, 2003, 12:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>&gt;Let me clarify- some people suggested a medical reason for a horse not performing optimally. I am asking, why get a vet to check out the horse when another avenue that can be explored is different bits.
Yoinks. You were saying what I thought you were saying. How about because, if it does turn out to be a medical problem, a bigger bit isn't going to make that problem go away or keep it from getting worse?
But the horsemanship thread indicates that that prospect doesn't really bother you, so long as <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Am I really not being clear? If you analyze something long enough every problem can come up with a possible solution that a vet can do, however it is usually a waste of money. Why would you try something that almost has no possibility of working instead of bumping up a notch in bit?

Here is an example. Your horse is rooting down. You analyze and analyze and try to decide what you need to change to fix the problem. You could change bits/equipment, lunge the horse, turn it out longer, or find something for the vet to inject or say is the cause of the problem. One idea which you think may be plausible is the horse might need its lower left hock joint injected. This possibly could be why the horse is pulling, but seriously it is a long shot if you are not fairly certain.

Why not try something else, switching bits is a fairly simple thing to do- if it works than problem solved. If not, try something else.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

mcmIV
Jan. 10, 2003, 08:10 AM
As much as your attitude disturbs me on some levels, darkerhorse, I do admire your willingness to pursue somethign you believe in without becoming rude or starting personal attacks. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The real problem here is not the use of stronger bits to get the job done safely when all else fails, I think the majority agree thats a reasonable decision.

The thing many of us are objecting to is your reasoning behind switching. You skipped a step in your leap. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"How is putting a stronger bit in a horses mouth dominating it? It simply employs a 'different' signal from the softer bit. Yes it can be more harsh, but It can also make the horse more light and cause less struggle."

The reason your horse does not respond to a snaffle bit is one of three things:

1. He does not understand the precise cue you are giving and there is not sufficient discomfort for him to make a dramatic change. You make it more uncomfortable and he will change his way of going, he is not being educated, he is being confused and probably becoming a little bit resentful of his job over time.

This equals: stopper, rusher, run-outs, bolting, rearing, head tossing, bad approaches and probably a horse who isn't interested in participating anymore if he has any kind of stubborn attitude.

It might not happen now, and it might take a few years, but what kind of a life is that? How much did you miss out on taking the shortcut?

2. He is in some discomfort due to hocks/stifle/back and finds it uncomfortable to stop - it's easier to propel forward and stop slowly. Soon his head is shaking, he's on his forehand and its downhill from there.

3. He is simply a really forward go-getter who cannot stay focused on his rider and takes his into his job own 'hands'. Like a super talented ADD horse. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I think this attitude is more rare then we think.

You currently are more of a "hired ride" and less of a "horseman" IMO. You may be a nice rider, and may be knowedgeable, but you do not go at this sport with a partnership in mind, and sympathy for the horse's physical and mental responsibility.

martha

DarkerHorse
Jan. 10, 2003, 08:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mcmIV<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


So you really consider my 3ring and a little port bit a 'big bit' that is going to turn my horse into a stopper or one that runs at the jumps? I really really think not.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

barnie
Jan. 10, 2003, 08:45 AM
Kachoo- I am so impressed with your intelligent post...and all in the middle of the night!!! You really have summed it all up so well...and I thought that I was the "only one" who really knows what they are talking about!!!!!

Stay warm! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

barnie
Jan. 10, 2003, 08:48 AM
And as an interesting aside...the Mylers think that snaffle bits are harsh!

Sparky22
Jan. 10, 2003, 09:03 AM
there<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lady cottington:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sparky22:

The bit I referred to gave me a bit of leverage, not severity on his mouth. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

All else being equal, a leverage bit IS always more severe than a snaffle bit.

:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No kidding, I KNOW it is more severe. But I think you are missing the point of that leverage... "aka in case of emergency in front of 4'9" square oxer at horse show, give little reminder tug here."

Perhaps you all have you own horses that you work with. A lot of people (and especially a lot of trainers) are paid to get on horses and ride them. They may have the horse for a day (get a ride at a show, hop on ride.. bye horsey, maybe I will see you tomorrow), quite a few aren't given the time to really work the horse and get it going correctly. Then of course, you have the horse's mommy getting on him every other day, who makes them a raging lunatic http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

Maybe, you are never in this situation.. or that you jumped on the "leverage is more severe" bandwagon without reading the rest of the posts, but horses have different personalities, they are unpredictable, and I daresay that they are not always the brightest bulbs in the box http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. They have brain lapses, just like pretty much all the people that will ever sit on them! And throughout my posts I wasn't saying to RIDE RIDE RIDE in the leverage, I'm talking about schooling outside the ring in a snaffle where ytou have the room for correcting it, and having some adjustable leverage when you go in the ring in case you suddenly need it.

Kachoo is right http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~~Kate~~

--------------------------
I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest
-- John Keats

creseida
Jan. 10, 2003, 09:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
Are you telling me that every horse you ride goes in a snaffle? Because you would never 'dominate' a horse would you?


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
To answer your question, yes. Every horse I am riding is going in a snaffle. And in the past 25 years, I've ridden some really looney horses. Bitting them up isn't the answer. My mare, a strong ex-event horse goes in a French Link. One TB hunter at the barn goes in a copper roller Dee; another jumper mare goes in a copper full cheek, the very green OTTB goes in a plain hunter dee, the older Appendix QH hunter also goes in a roller dee.

I don't need to dominate a horse; I prefer to train them properly, rather than stick something harsh in their mouth. To elicit a response from a horse in reaction to pain is domination, not training. It is much easier to work with a horse who wants to do their job because they enjoy it, rather than one who does something as a response to pain stimuli.

Why get a vet check instead of bitting up? Because if there is a problem, it will only get worse. (Oh, wait, you'll just drug them to mask the pain http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif) The stronger bit may mask the problem for a bit, but how far do *you* go before getting the vet check? Do you wait until you've run out of nasty bits? Why force a horse to work while he hurts?

You'd rather ride a horse in a badly fitting saddle because it isn't convenient for you to find one that fits. You'd rather slap a strong bit in a horse's mouth than take the time to train it. You'd rather throw a horse at fences than take the time to train it on the flat first. You'd rather mask a horse's pain than find the cause of it. Why do you steadfastly refuse to address the PROBLEMS and only look for quick fixes to the SYMPTOMS? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif The only solution I can fathom is you only care about yourself, and not the animal whom you expect to put in a good performance. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

barnie
Jan. 10, 2003, 09:26 AM
I do not agree that all things being equal, leverage is more severe. I hate to get into the meaning of "is", but....having some leverage over a horses head is not the same thing as using a double twisted wire snaffle.

But, still being in agreement with Kachoo"the bright" I'm sure launching into a diatribe about training and it's tools will be at best unappreciated! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

rhymeswithfizz
Jan. 10, 2003, 10:10 AM
Okay, I always ride in a snaffle, and I don't use a martingale, and I'm not getting into this debate. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

That said, to the original poster, I totally understand the unique issues you must be having with your formal saddleseat horse -- not just with his mouth, but his muscling (or lack thereof, making what you ask of him physically difficult) and his old training (leg on = run away as fast as you can, and contact = stick your head up in the air). My eventer was a former saddleseat horse as well (national show horse, 3/4 saddlebred). It was a long hard road to retrain him, but he was a fearless little jumper and evented up to Training.

Anyways, sounds like you have a great prospect on your hands. Do email me if I can offer any help or suggestions. And I'd love to see pictures!!!


where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

ride2hounds
Jan. 10, 2003, 10:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:


I'm going to the doctor because I can't sleep blah..

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting how you will go to the doctor because you cannot sleep, affecting your performance as a human, yet you won't call the "doctor" for the horse when there is something affecting its performance.

~*~Tally Hoooooooo!~*~

Spunky
Jan. 10, 2003, 10:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
Here is an example. Your horse is rooting down. You analyze and analyze and try to decide what you need to change to fix the problem. You could change bits/equipment, lunge the horse, turn it out longer, or find something for the vet to inject or say is the cause of the problem. One idea which you think may be plausible is the horse might need its lower left hock joint injected. This possibly could be why the horse is pulling, but seriously it is a long shot if you are not fairly certain.

Why not try something else, switching bits is a fairly simple thing to do- if it works than problem solved. If not, try something else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Richard, you are really funny. I never knew that longeing a horse or turning him out more could make him stop rooting . . . http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"If you feel you had a bad ride, how do you think your horse feels?"

Atypical
Jan. 10, 2003, 11:51 AM
Ah, my resposne about ground work wasn't directed toward you DH, but toward the original poster. I feel only educated hands should handle harsh bits, and that the ideal is to ride in as light a bit as possible. As for the shank bits used in Western riding, it is true that most of the time contact is frowned upon. Example, a reiner doing a sliding stop, pulling on the reins is considered incorrect. the horse is supposed to stop from your seat.

cbv
Jan. 10, 2003, 12:30 PM
I couldn't agree more.

DarkerHorse
Jan. 10, 2003, 05:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Spunky:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
Here is an example. Your horse is rooting down. You analyze and analyze and try to decide what you need to change to fix the problem. You could change bits/equipment, lunge the horse, turn it out longer, or find something for the vet to inject or say is the cause of the problem. One idea which you think may be plausible is the horse might need its lower left hock joint injected. This possibly could be why the horse is pulling, but seriously it is a long shot if you are not fairly certain.

Why not try something else, switching bits is a fairly simple thing to do- if it works than problem solved. If not, try something else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Richard, you are really funny. I never knew that longeing a horse or turning him out more could make him stop rooting . . . http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

_"If you feel you had a bad ride, how do you think your horse feels?"_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


It can. If it is fresh it surely will. And, don't get caught up in minor details.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...

*In Your Dreams*
Jan. 10, 2003, 06:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Because it isn't about *dominating* the horse and bending it to our will, it is about forming a partnership where the horse wants to please us. This is achieved with patience and training, not strong bits, sharp spurs or gadgets. You should try it sometime... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



Are you telling me that every horse you ride goes in a snaffle? Because you would never 'dominate' a horse would you?


If you follow this logic than a maringale of any kind is bad, because it restricts the horses head and doesnt let you gain that extra bit on control if it sticks its head up..

So, unless you only use a snaffle and never use a martingale, then you are 'dominating' your horse- (who still bucks and plays like EVERY other horse from time to time, i'm sure.. therefore it isn't quite so dominated is it?)



And, IMO, why would you want a horse that might be pulling on you with '20 lbs' of pull and be on forehand and thus jumping badly? Why not put a little extra bit, be able to pick it off its front end with using a little less leg to achieve a good 'frame' and have the horse pull on you with the '5 lbs' of pull that you get when you have a soft horse in a good 'frame.' When this 'proper frame' happens the horse will jump much better. On a lot of horses it can be close to impossible to get the horse 'right' for every single jump if you are doing a course at a show in a huge rubber snaffle or whatever. Train all you like, it won't happen. You may have a few good jumps and a few 'ok' jumps and win the class, but it could have been better if the horse was softer to the 'ok' jumps.

I really don't think I know anyone who only will do their horses in a snaffle. Do you truly know a rider who is good enough to get ALL of their horses 'broke' enough so they can do everything in a snaffle?

Sure if that is the right bit for the horse you use a snaffle. If it isn't, try something else. If you don't try something else, you never will fix the problem.

If there was a cookie cutter recipe for all horses there woudn't be any shows.

-----
I am a Fabulous Beast, and as such, I should only be glimpsed very rarely, through the forest, running away for dear life.

Just ask Amy, its true...[/QUOTE]

All the horses I ride go in snaffles, no leaning, bucking, or playing. I do NH groundwork first, learning how to accept pressure, and when they do, it is released. For about 6 months. Then, when they give to pressure, instead of pull against it, I put the snaffle in their mouth and everything works out. If Josie can go in a snaffle, any horse can. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~Andrea and Dream~
*Challenge Everything*
http://www.geocities.com/eventingdreams/EventingDreams.html?1041827280020

creseida
Jan. 10, 2003, 10:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Spunky:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darkerhorse:
Here is an example. Your horse is rooting down. You analyze and analyze and try to decide what you need to change to fix the problem. You could change bits/equipment, lunge the horse, turn it out longer, or find something for the vet to inject or say is the cause of the problem. One idea which you think may be plausible is the horse might need its lower left hock joint injected. This possibly could be why the horse is pulling, but seriously it is a long shot if you are not fairly certain.

Why not try something else, switching bits is a fairly simple thing to do- if it works than problem solved. If not, try something else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Richard, you are really funny. I never knew that longeing a horse or turning him out more could make him stop rooting . . . http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

_"If you feel you had a bad ride, how do you think your horse feels?"_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Many horses root because their backs hurt, either from poor saddle fit or being held in a frame with a strong bit too long.

~&lt;&gt;~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~&lt;&gt;~

barnie
Jan. 11, 2003, 08:43 AM
Yeah, and they root for 10 other reasons...and no reason...Kachoo is still right! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Kachoo
Jan. 11, 2003, 08:59 AM
barnie - thanks http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. And really? They think snaffles are harsh? Just goes to show you . . . here's another - my German friends think it's cruel to trim the horse's whiskers http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif.

Cheers,
Susie
http://www.kachoom.com

"That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!" ~Homer Simpson

barnie
Jan. 11, 2003, 09:02 AM
What I have learned so far in my life....there are lots of ways to do things besides the way that I think is right! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

Jennasis
Jan. 11, 2003, 03:55 PM
wow...this thread continues huh? I wouldn't dream of riding a horse in a bicycle chain bit. Are there people who do? Sure....Are there horses who "need" to be ridden in a bicycle chain bit? Probably. HOwever, I would either invest in the training needed to make such a horse ridable in a much kinder bit, or find a new horse. But that's just my opinion.

The bit is a harsh as the hands holding the reins. I DO own a three-ring elevator bit. Once or twice a month I ride my horse in this bit as a tune-up. He tends to be very heavy on his forehand, but is learning to carry himself. When I bought him, his previous owners had him in a double twisted wire. With patience and care, I was able to train him into a loose ring snaffle with a French link. It took 3 years to get him that way.

I have a half-boarder...she is never EVER allowed to use the elevator bit. Her hands are too heavy for it.

"All Hail President Kang!"

..."Don't look at me...I voted for Kodos..."

Spunky
Jan. 11, 2003, 04:31 PM
Creseida,

Thanks for clarifying what Richard may have meant. I guess I would notice that my horse's back was sore -- and DO something about it ! -- before it would ever cause a rooting problem.

And Richard, if by requesting me not to "get caught up in minor details" you mean for me to ignore most of what you write, I will most certainly oblige you! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Britney
Jan. 12, 2003, 11:36 AM
I am most definately NOT going to get involved in this debate but, I was just wondering, could someone please clarify to me why a 3-ring is so harsh? I see it as a very versatile, multi-purposed bit. It has probably the second kindest mouth peice (next to a french link) and you aren't required to use your curb (lower) rein at all if you feel so inclined, which would basically mean, you can ride your horse around on the flat in a regular snaffle all you want but when jumping or if your horse needs a little extra when you half halt, you have another rein for more leverage and you also have two options for that other rein to decide the degree of leverage you need. Heck, some people only ride with one rein on the bottom ring. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~Rush Hour~
*Children's Jumper Clique*Thoroughbred Clique*NH Clique*

"He has galloped through young girl's dreams, added richness to grown women's lives, and served men in war and strife." ~Toni Robinson

Jennasis
Jan. 12, 2003, 01:45 PM
Sure Brit! Any bit with "shanks", as an elevator bit has when the rein is on either of the bottom two rings, acts with significantly more pressure than a loose-ring/egg-butt/d-ring etc...

Using an elevator on the big ring is like having a normal snaffle. More the rein down and now you have a curb type shanking action.

Again let me say that when I do use the elevator, i DO have the rein on the bottom rung. I also ride with very VERY giving and soft hands as I am very concerned about my horse's mouth and comfort. Having been a western horse for many years, my horse is very accustomed to wearing a shanked bit and enjoys the elevator immensely (As it keeps me from hauling on him).

"All Hail President Kang!"

..."Don't look at me...I voted for Kodos..."