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View Full Version : Throwing Out the 3-Ring in Exchange For....?



*Trinity*
Jul. 14, 2012, 04:29 PM
My (well-known) coach suggested to me this weekend to scrap my 3-ring for XC and try a Segunda, instead. Having never seen a Segunda, I thought, 'sure.' I did some research online today and am realizing it's a pretty strong bit. I don't particularily want to put that in my horse's mouth and am hoping for other alternatives. Anyone else have suggestions? Here's the low down on my horse and I:

Going Intermediate successfully. Horse goes very easily in double jointed, round center snaffle for dressage. Very straightforward on the flat. Jumps and schools XC at home in same bit with some effort on my part, but we get it done. For jumping, he goes in a 3-ring with the same mouthpiece and the reins on the 2nd ring. He tends to get hollow and against my hand and takes a lot of kicking to get his legs stepping under and going FORWARD without running. This is x10 at a show. This is not to say he is lazy; in fact, he gets going quite quickly when jumping, he just takes some effort to get him engaged. On XC, he gallops very well, but when it's time to take a half halt and set him back, he YANKS down/out on my hands and it's a bit of a wrestling match to bring him back. Or, if he's settled in a combo and I just need to take a tug, I feel like it's too much bit. I've taken an average half halt sometimes to set him back just a touch and he's practically sat down.

Coach does not like the 3-ring at all, on anything, and says that some steering is lost with it. I agree, as my horse typically turns on a dime, but I have a bit more trouble with the 3-ring. He suggested the Segunda, because of the yanking down/out on me when we come into jump on XC. I've never been particularily happy with the 3-ring, but like that it has the same snaffle mouthpiece. I'm also from the school of, 'everything goes in a snaffle, except at a show' and don't know much to switch him to. He has a fairly sensitive mouth. For example, if I feel he's a bit wound up jumping at home, I'll put a French Link on him (yeah, scarey, right?).

Any alternatives? Please do not reply with any 'do more flatwork' type comments. As stated, he is very straightforward and lovely on the flat. And yes, I have asked coach for other options, I'm waiting to hear back. :)

crosscreeksh
Jul. 14, 2012, 04:57 PM
Personally I like ( ONLY use) the 3-ring with two sets of reins. One on the "loose ring snaffle" and the other on the bottom ring. I refer to it as a "snaffle with clout"!! I put the 3-ring on my kamakazi TB jumper once and he was so backed off I had to kick him around the whole course. You should want to control him, not scare him.

Sister7
Jul. 14, 2012, 05:17 PM
I would try a myler combo bit. It is essentially a 3-ring plus has a hackamore noseband. I had very good luck with it with my sensitive yet strong TB. Also, maybe it's worth trying a kineton noseband with your snaffle bit.

OneMoreForTheRoad
Jul. 14, 2012, 06:08 PM
I second trying a kineton or a lever noseband with the snaffle. Or a waterford, which is one of my favorite bits. It could defintily help you with the pulling, without being overly harsh.

Twisted River
Jul. 14, 2012, 06:27 PM
It sounds like the current 3 ring is both not the right bit (yanking), and is maybe too much bit?

If your trainer suggest a segunda, and has one you could try I would certainly do a xc school with the bit. I've never ridden in one, or even seen one in person. But I personally ride with people who's opinions I respect, so if trainer says try something then I'll usually give it a go. I would think the port on the bit would eliminate the yanking.

If he almost always rides in a snaffle and goes well, what about a slow twist snaffle? I had great success with a hot, forward jumper in a slow twist D-ring with a running martingale. I tried several complicated, "fancy" bits before trying the slow twist. And it was perfect. Not too much, not too little. And the D gave me all the necessary steering.

Blugal
Jul. 14, 2012, 06:43 PM
My "move-up" bits from a snaffle are usually a slow twist, then a cherry roller. After that, a 3-ring.

sunhawk
Jul. 14, 2012, 07:09 PM
or check out a level 2 or 3 myler snaffle

FLeventer
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:04 PM
If he is pulling on you I would use a waterford or a cherry roller. Cant get a good grip with them. If he still is not backing off I would try a double mouthpiece with a smooth surface. Scissors together and backs them off quick.

Maybe also a combo bit would help like others suggested. Try a few and see what he goes best in.

Highflyer
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:21 PM
I like a slow twist or Dr. Bristol, and if you aren't already using one, a figure eight.

yellowbritches
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:34 PM
I am with your coach on the 3 ring. I find that most horses are over bitted in them and tend to go hollow and high. There just isn't a lot of finesse in them. And obviously it isn't working.

I'm not a huge fan of Segundas, but I also have no real reference to them. It has been my understanding that they are pretty mild until the horse pulls or acts belligerent, and then they do whatever it is they do (I would literally have to go play with the one in the barn to figure it out). I would at least TRY it and see what you both think. If it goes badly, you just stop and go back and regroup.

I think you need to get past the idea that only appropriate thing is a double jointed mouth piece...at least until your horse gets more broke. Don't be afraid the try various sharp bits and different mouths. You are obviously pretty educated if you are jumping around Intermediate, so you will understand how to "use it and lose it" with a sharper bit.

Personally, I am a huge fan of pelhams with two reins. I've ridden some big, tough, strong horses in them, and have had (usually) enough brakes and respect, but also the option to be soft with them. They also give you lots of options because you can go looser or tighter on the curb and fine tune it a bit.

Do you know anyone with a good bit collection? It might be time to just experiment. Too bad you're in the Great White North. I "inherited" a freaking ridiculous collection last year when my long time coach semi-retired from the horse business. It's VERY extensive (but no Segunda! :lol:).

*Trinity*
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:42 PM
[QUOTE=Twisted River;6437413]It sounds like the current 3 ring is both not the right bit (yanking), and is maybe too much bit?
QUOTE]

Exactly.

Tried a slow twist a few years ago and it didn't go very well. I tried a Dr. Bristol and it's just not enough. Need something in between... sigh.

The Segunda I picked up has points on the bottom edges of the port, but I've heard that some don't. I think this would be a perfect bit without the edges. Does anyone know where to find one? I should clarify that the bit I picked up is a 'broken segunda;' the middle port swivels.

deltawave
Jul. 14, 2012, 09:47 PM
Myler combo. LOVE them. Loathe three-ring bits. :dead:

IFG
Jul. 14, 2012, 10:44 PM
Another Myler option with a port:

http://www.doversaddlery.com/myler-ported-kimberwicke/p/X1-01200/?tid=froogle&eid=X1814001&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PLA&zmam=1460880&zmas=1&zmac=114&zmap=0001200000054X1-01200&gclid=CI3M2qHHmrECFYeo4AodVXpdeQ

SonnysMom
Jul. 15, 2012, 12:07 AM
I sometimes use a three ring on my horse to foxhound but always use two reins. However I use a happy mouth mullen mouth. One rein is on the mullen and the other rein is on the second ring.

I have also used a Myler Combo bit once again with two reins. If he is behaving I have a snaffle but the second rein is there if I need it. The hackmore actions keeps him from flipping his nose to evade.

Be careful using either of these too much as my trainer feels it can make horses a bit sore in the pole. I found that true with the Myler so made sure I was switching bits around regularly. I really only ride in the Myler for hunting. I sometimes trail ride in the spring on a cold windy day with the 3 rings or depending on the company- just in case.

First year foxhunting with him I used a rubber pelham and he did okay in it but seems to prefer either the three ring or the Combo. I think the pelham was too fat for his mouth. I decided to try the 3 ring before finding a different pelham mouth piece. Mostly because I already owned a 3 ring.

FlamingoRider
Jul. 15, 2012, 01:03 AM
The Segunda I picked up has points on the bottom edges of the port, but I've heard that some don't. I think this would be a perfect bit without the edges. Does anyone know where to find one? I should clarify that the bit I picked up is a 'broken segunda;' the middle port swivels.

I used a segunda years ago when I borrowed an old stock horse and turned him into a jumper. That was a fixed mouthpiece, with snaffle rings. Was a nice compromise between what he was used to (half breed spade) and what I was comfortable jumping in.

The bit Dover calls a Jointed Segunda looks to me like a snaffle version of what the western people call a 'correction' mouthpiece. Very different action from an unjointed segunda.

And just to complicate things further, segunda is a mouthpiece rather than a bit style, so with a bit of looking you can find segundas in snaffle, kimberwicke, and pelham, jointed and unjointed. I suggest you ask your trainer to clarify which bit she meant for you to try.


Fixed mouthpiece Segunda bits:

http://www.bitofbritain.com/Full_Cheek_Segunda_Bit_p/761.htm

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Full-Cheek-Segunda-Snaffle-Bit-Stainless-Steel-5-New-/221062781522?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33785e5a52

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Full-cheek-snaffle-forward-mouth-segunda-mouthpiece-4-3-4-USED-/300708227858?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item46039b6b12


A whole page of "jointed correction" mouth snaffles

http://www.sstack.com/english_correction-snaffles/_/showAll/1/?productView=grid

Wellspotted
Jul. 15, 2012, 02:16 AM
I am with your coach on the 3 ring. I find that most horses are over bitted in them and tend to go hollow and high. There just isn't a lot of finesse in them. And obviously it isn't working.

I'm not a huge fan of Segundas, but I also have no real reference to them. It has been my understanding that they are pretty mild until the horse pulls or acts belligerent, and then they do whatever it is they do (I would literally have to go play with the one in the barn to figure it out). I would at least TRY it and see what you both think. If it goes badly, you just stop and go back and regroup.

I think you need to get past the idea that only appropriate thing is a double jointed mouth piece...at least until your horse gets more broke. Don't be afraid the try various sharp bits and different mouths. You are obviously pretty educated if you are jumping around Intermediate, so you will understand how to "use it and lose it" with a sharper bit.

Personally, I am a huge fan of pelhams with two reins. I've ridden some big, tough, strong horses in them, and have had (usually) enough brakes and respect, but also the option to be soft with them. They also give you lots of options because you can go looser or tighter on the curb and fine tune it a bit.

Do you know anyone with a good bit collection? It might be time to just experiment. Too bad you're in the Great White North. I "inherited" a freaking ridiculous collection last year when my long time coach semi-retired from the horse business. It's VERY extensive (but no Segunda! :lol:).

I too am a Pelham fan. I'm NOT an expert But I agree with Yellowbritches. Good bits.

ElisLove
Jul. 15, 2012, 03:14 AM
What kind of mouthpiece does the three ring have?
My horse can be both a brute in the mouth by "yarring" on me, but is also sensitive in the mouth and choosy about bits. He is better with a soft mouthpiece then leverage sides.
I just had a great lesson on him today in a Nathe 2 ring. He likes the soft mouthpiece but it's a bit stronger than a snaffle. Plus you have a fair amount of options with the bit. You can use one rein, 2 reins, and even add a curb strap or chain.
Also, don't forget to use leg when bringing your horse back, this is something I forget about sometimes!

*Trinity*
Jul. 21, 2012, 12:50 AM
UPDATE: I did some gallop sets and a few basic Training XC jumps in the broken segunda. So far, I like it. He was really stretching into it, galloping rounder with a longer stride, and I didn't have any fight checking him before a jump. Overall, he seemed much better balanced. It definitely feels like a stronger bit that requires more subtle movements, but I feel like it's much more 'gradual' than the 3-ring. The 3-ring gives a feel of 'practically nothing' to 'a whole lot' with just a little half halt and it could be difficult for me to figure how much my horse needed sometimes. I certainly don't have bad hands with the 3-ring, but he seemed much more confident in the broken segunda. I'm taking him out to XC school a bit more this week before I give it a go at the 2* next weekend.

FoxChaser
Jul. 21, 2012, 08:30 AM
Thank you so much for the update. I have similar problems with my horse and have followed this thread with great interest. Keep us posted! :)

*Trinity*
Aug. 2, 2012, 03:54 PM
Ran a 2* in the broken segunda this past weekend. Love it!! My horse is much, much more confident in it and it's easier to not interfere with him unintentionally, as it is the more 'gradual' contact I described in my last post. His gallop just keeps improving and we had the second fastest time of the day, as he was galloping long and was very easy to sit back on his haunches. There was only once time that I really had to take a strong half halt and it was after a long gallop stretch. I never felt like I was fighting him and we were much more in tune. I could ride with more subtle aids and he was very responsive without being afraid of the bit. Of course, my coach was right... again! ;)

We had a run-out in a log drop-corner-corner combo at one of our last Intermediate runs, which is very unlike my horse. It was a combo of me thinking too far ahead in the combination and also the 3-ring's loss of steering. I had a more difficult double corner combo this past weekend, running in the segunda, and had no problem whatsoever. I was a bit stressed about it, due to our mishap at the last run, but my horse was turning really well through the whole course and we soared through that combo with no problem. I love the steering in the segunda!

goodmorning
Aug. 2, 2012, 11:21 PM
It's a bit more common in the hunter ring, I think. I have a couple hanging around.

If you have good hands, they are very useful. I've used one on my TB, who is very sensitive in the mouth, can lay on his right shoulder, and jumps best with his nose poked-out. The bit is great for getting a response without causing the reaction that a 3-ring, or even pelham, may cause. Can shorten, and set back on the hocks, without curling behind the bit, and ultimately interfering with the jump. (Interestingly enough, mine has done a drive-by when I've used this type of bit, he gets all angry & in a ball, and oops! totally missed the jump while arguing with the horse).

These days I jump in a french-link, but I wouldn't hesitate to dig it out of the bit-box ;)

Twisted River
Aug. 3, 2012, 06:43 PM
Ran a 2* in the broken segunda this past weekend. Love it!! My horse is much, much more confident in it and it's easier to not interfere with him unintentionally, as it is the more 'gradual' contact I described in my last post. His gallop just keeps improving and we had the second fastest time of the day, as he was galloping long and was very easy to sit back on his haunches. There was only once time that I really had to take a strong half halt and it was after a long gallop stretch. I never felt like I was fighting him and we were much more in tune. I could ride with more subtle aids and he was very responsive without being afraid of the bit. Of course, my coach was right... again! ;)

We had a run-out in a log drop-corner-corner combo at one of our last Intermediate runs, which is very unlike my horse. It was a combo of me thinking too far ahead in the combination and also the 3-ring's loss of steering. I had a more difficult double corner combo this past weekend, running in the segunda, and had no problem whatsoever. I was a bit stressed about it, due to our mishap at the last run, but my horse was turning really well through the whole course and we soared through that combo with no problem. I love the steering in the segunda!
Awesome, congratulations! Trainer is always right :winkgrin:

whbar158
Aug. 3, 2012, 09:25 PM
Funny how horses can be different! My horse I did hunters with and he was by in far much better in a french link 3 ring, I showed him in a broken segunda since 3 rings aren't hunter approved and it worked, but schooling and at home always rode him in the 3 ring and it certainly worked better for him. But my horse was a little special, his mouth was not particularly soft and he was use to the action of the 3 ring more (prior barrel horse run in crazy combo bits). He liked to lock his jaw and just drag me around and the 3 ring prevented that more for him. But I do love my segunda as well and it is a go to bit for the show ring for some of the stronger horses that need a reminder. At home I try to ride in snaffles or the softest they will go in, but I can take the time to really school them at home, at shows you don't have that luxury and need them to respond right away.

Judysmom
Aug. 3, 2012, 10:34 PM
Glad you found something that worked!

I like segundas too, I have a mullen mouth fixed cheek that I have had for ever and they work really well on some horses. Not a huge fan of the 3 ring gag, always found it to be too much or not enough.

FoxChaser
Aug. 13, 2012, 12:33 PM
Thank you so much for having posted on this. I have been riding in one of the simple Myler Combo bits. Found that the second ring is good for stadium, but not enough for xc, and while the third ring works for xc, the steering leaves a something to be desired, not to mention that it is kind of all or nothing. When I have to half-halt with the third ring, I get a big reaction and my horse's head in my face, but at least he does slow down and get his head up. I'd been using it with two reins- one snaffle and one on the third ring. He leans heavily on the snaffle, but comes up if I engage the other rein. I also have brakes if I need 'em. It is a whole lot of knitting though, especially if I'm hunting and carrying a hunt whip :( After reading this thread, I went bit shopping and tried the broken segunda for fitness work today. My horse was light and lovely through our cross-country trot sets and when we did our gallops (he is notoriously strong half-way through) I was able to bring him back easily without feeling like I had shut the door in his face. I really like the bit! :)