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  1. #61
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    Tamara - You're not wrong but I would point out that an important element of driving a 2-wheeler is understanding how to use one's own body to affect the weight coming down on the horse's back...

    Also, it is incumbent upon any trainer of horses to be aware of his and his horse's limitations. Nobody sensible, for example, would enter a TB that has nothing but early speed in a distance race and expect to win it.

    Avery's *one* limitation as a driving horse is that I really don't think I can trust him with a 4-wheeler - he *is* too quick. A more experienced whip might want to risk it... I do not. I always joke that Avery is permitted "One TB moment per year" - which is usually all I get - but when I get it, it's almost invariably a quick pirouette. 4-wheelers can jackknife and flip in those circumstances. His 2-wheeler keeps us both safe b/c it simply pivots on the inside wheel.

    Last time he did it was about 4 months ago, when the neighboring attack dog trainer moved his 25 German Shepherds from Dog Run A where they were when we left to Dog Run B (around a hidden corner) when we came back. Neither one of us saw that one coming and when they all jumped up barking we both went "GAH!!" and he spun - but did NOT bolt (never does). We both felt pretty silly after we reassembled our wits, and he walked on past without a further thought about it any more severe than "dadgum dogs!". A 4-wheeler in similar circumstances could have led to a nasty wreck.

    One could (and I'm sure some here will!) argue that a horse is not a "real" driving horse unless it is trustable with a war wagon. Others would point out that you suit the work to the horse, and not vice versa, and that it's rash to put a horse to a vehicle for which that horse is not suited.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post

    One could (and I'm sure some here will!) argue that a horse is not a "real" driving horse unless it is trustable with a war wagon. Others would point out that you suit the work to the horse, and not vice versa, and that it's rash to put a horse to a vehicle for which that horse is not suited.
    no argument from me....only mentioning that the two are "held" differently at rest in harness by the horse

    Tamara in TN



  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    ...responsibility and a challenge and exciting. You're always on the edge of brilliance or disaster.
    I have nothing important to add about driving, or anything else, but I really like this comment. This sums up exactly how I feel about my TB (riding) mare.



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Haha, no, I'm afraid it would only lead me to think that the person saying it has never studied the career of Podhajsky - probably the greatest classical dressage master who ever lived - and who competed nothing BUT full TBs to Olympic level until he took over the SRS.
    Of course when Podhajsky got his bronze medal he was beaten by 2 warmblood breeds and rather than the t/b changing since then, I'd argue its the warmbloods that have been developed.

    And please appreciate I keep droning on that I'm a fan and competed myself at fei level with them. But its not the norm and you can't look at an exception and think it makes a rule and you're kidding yourself if you think it does.

    And Auventera your wedding experience is 'interesting' but nothing to do with the driving forum or the matter in hand. Having a horse under saddle at a wedding bears NO comparison to having a horse in harness with a carriage on the back of it when a wedding is going on.

    One could (and I'm sure some here will!) argue that a horse is not a "real" driving horse unless it is trustable with a war wagon. Others would point out that you suit the work to the horse, and not vice versa, and that it's rash to put a horse to a vehicle for which that horse is not suited.
    No argument from me. Horses for courses



  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    That's a neat point you made. My friend and I always talk about this girl she knows with western pleasure QHs. She gets on and immediately sets the head, gets them in a tiny circle and walks 10 steps, backs 10 steps, walks 10 steps, backs 10 steps. She'll do this for 30 minutes or more before she ever lets them jog or get off the little circle.
    .
    How does she do that with a carriage horse?



  6. #66
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    "We are not likely to find ourselves in agreement on the most pleasing coach-horse and we anticipate conjecture and thought with our readers and debate amongst them on this very subject.

    Any gentleman coachman will know that for stamp of horses for a long days work, there is nothing that can beat a thoroughly blood bred one. The more hot blood you have in your horses, the better you will be able to complete a long and trying journey. Still such high bred horses are not what the common mass will consider and designate coach horses. For those with limited means their best hot blood horses are most often preserved for sport. For a true gentleman they would always be the choice of coach-horse.

    The old-stage coachmen used to say they desired a big heavy horse for a hill team and the small compact quick-stepping fast-galloping little horse for a flat stage. Readers must remember that in those days the loads were heavy and drivers were common men and no doubt the big heavy plodding cold blood horse put his shoulder well to it and suited that ilk.

    In these days when the road coach only carries dignified passengers and no luggage to speak of, we should prefer for all sorts of travel and terrains the shorter stepping and small, more refined, though thick warm blood horses. They are definitely more pleasing to drive than the slow, big lolloping team of under bred cold blood horses who are very tired and will accept hanging on the driver’s hands for miles.

    Study the old pictures and stamp of horse used formerly for a flat stage and in France and other foreign places. It is not all disagreeable amusement trying to find horses of decent stamp and with some hot blood. Of course they had short tails and hence that oft alters the appearance of the stamp to a horse and renders it more difficult to determine the true stamp. The well-practiced eye of a gentleman very conversant with thoroughly blood bred horses will see its exact shape and can make out that though its appearance has been altered by the circumstances of a short tail, it may please him to have this sort of horse in his stable.

    Remember though a warm blood is neither a hot blood nor a cold blood. These terms do not refer to body temperature but to the quality and temperament of the horse. They are a curious mix. Sangoine froid translates as cold blood but really it means phlegmatic and so is best for the common working man. Warmblut means a management temperament that is easy and is needed for a general coaching horse neither intended for racing and sport by the gentleman nor agricultural work by the common man.

    A great difficulty with regard to coach-horses in a gentleman’s establishment, so different from public coach-horses, who run their twelve miles every day, is the want of work. The gentleman will have other sporting interests which detract his attention.

    Therefore either the master or his ostler or groom must try to exercise what sense has been given each in apportioning the necessary amount of exercise to make up for the want of work. One great difficultly to contend with is that if his master is at home he dare not fitten the horses too much or give them too much exercise in the morning for fear he be ordered out in the afternoon and have a long journey before him. So reader you must remember to say whether you want the horses tomorrow and so the groom can accordingly give them their exercise.

    It is these sort of establishments that benefit from coach-horses with a little less hot blood. The warm blood will look better than the round dray-horse and will thrive better than a thoroughly blood bred horse whose work is so irregular.

    If the stamp of horses are chosen wisely they can look pleasant and may still be used for such as hunting on wheels or to drive to hare coursing and even perhaps to bring the victor home."

    A Sporting Tour through England and a Great Part of Scotland - Colonel Thomas Thornton 1804



  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    Of course when Podhajsky got his bronze medal he was beaten by 2 warmblood breeds and rather than the t/b changing since then, I'd argue its the warmbloods that have been developed.
    Oh I agree... The WBs were still almost pulling beer drays back then!

    And please appreciate I keep droning on that I'm a fan and competed myself at fei level with them. But its not the norm and you can't look at an exception and think it makes a rule and you're kidding yourself if you think it does.
    Have I ever, in ANY post in this thread, said that it did? Go back and re-read: "IF you can find the right TB and IF it is appropriately trained" is all I've ever said. But I do fancy I have enough experience in the horse biz to know that "NEVER" is a very strong word and should be used with caution.


    EDIT: Thanks SO much for taking the time to type that out, Thomas - truly appreciated. Fascinating reading!!!
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  8. #68
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    War Admiral,

    You're welcome. I've found a load more and will get those done when I've some more time.....

    I don't know if you're aware of the works of Colonel Thomas Thornton? He was mad as a hatter! I've a lot of his books and they're terrific reading. He was the epitomy of an English Sporting Gentleman. A falconer and a master of fox hounds and he indulged his passion for sport to the day he died. It seems he ordered his horse and hounds to the front door and dropped dead on the steps!

    Did you put your t/b to harness yourself? How old was he when he was done? Have you known many other t/b's in harness as pleasure driving horses?

    You're right that NEVER is a strong word and as a trainer there's some things I'd NEVER do either and I'd NEVER put a t/b to harness for a novice or even intermediate driver.



  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Have I ever, in ANY post in this thread, said that it did? Go back and re-read: "IF you can find the right TB and IF it is appropriately trained" is all I've ever said. But I do fancy I have enough experience in the horse biz to know that "NEVER" is a very strong word and should be used with caution.
    My comments regarding TBs were aimed at exactly what you're saying here. Each horse is an individual and should be evaluated as such. This thread started with a post about a trainer who flat refuses TBs, no matter what simply on pretense that they are TBs.



  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    You're welcome. I've found a load more and will get those done when I've some more time.....
    How lovely of you - many thanks! I think I have read *of* Col. Thornton but have never read his books. I'll see if I can find any!

    Did you put your t/b to harness yourself? How old was he when he was done? Have you known many other t/b's in harness as pleasure driving horses?
    Yes, I did, with LOADS of help from many kind and generous people. He was 16 when first hitched, is now 22. The 2 Price Story mentioned further up the thread are the two that I've seen - I know there are a couple more doing CDEs... I knew of one other here in GA a few years back, but again like Avery a much older TB and I'm not sure if that one is still driving or not. I don't think they ever did CDE's with it. Two that I know of on the West Coast (one does parades, Thomas! ) and plenty in coaching in Kentucky and Virginia. Gothedistance on this forum had one she drove for a while.

    So they're rare or at least rare-ish, but not completely unheard of by any means.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  11. #71
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    Just found this -

    Thoroughbred Exhibitor's Association:

    "Thoroughbred Exhibitors Association will promote Thoroughbred and Half-Thoroughbred horses in all ways possible; in shows in both English and Western equipment, in endurance and distance riding, in dressage and pleasure driving, in pleasure and trail riding, and wherever they can be used and enjoyed. "

    Spring show bill - Pleasure Driving Class #20
    http://www.thoroughbredassoc.org/200...7%20Spring.pdf



  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcloisonne View Post
    Marvelous, informative post, Thomas! As an Arab fancier, try as I might, I can't disagree with a thing.
    Ditto from (as a TB fancier) . Excellent post.



  13. #73
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wellspotted
    Are most "Cleveland Bays" used in driving nowadays actually CBxTBs instead of pure CBs?

    Not sure what you mean or which ones specifically you've seen or are thinking about?

    But there's plenty of purebred Cleveland Bays driven and there's also t/b cross and not just with C/B. I've got a mass of t/b crossed with connemara and irish draft and cleveland bay and friesian
    I was thinking about the Yorkshire Coach Horse (CBxTB, I believe), and the Duke of Edinburgh's CBx team (actually CBxOldenburg, not CBxTB, so I was wrong about that), and remembering how when I was looking for purebred CB a few years ago over here, almost all the ones I saw for sale were CB/TB crosses, 1/2 or 1/4.
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wellspotted View Post
    I was thinking about the Yorkshire Coach Horse (CBxTB, I believe), and the Duke of Edinburgh's CBx team (actually CBxOldenburg, not CBxTB, so I was wrong about that), and remembering how when I was looking for purebred CB a few years ago over here, almost all the ones I saw for sale were CB/TB crosses, 1/2 or 1/4.
    Most of the US Purebred Clevelands are being bred to produce more Pure Cleveland Bays. There are some Pure CB geldings out working for a lliving, a few mares, often older. There just are not that many Pure Clevelands in the USA, and what are here, may be widely spread out in the nation. I think the biggest USA breeder only has 20 some foals a year, mostly Partbreds. Most breeders have only one or two foals a year, don't breed every year. Stallions have small books compared to many spoken of on COTH threads. AI helps make them more available, but they are not big breeders.

    Partbred Clevelands are just more available to find. One stallion can cover a number of mares, get more foals on the ground. There are some interesting breed crosses, but the majority produced are TB crosses. A tried and true recipe for nice horses over many years.

    We drive our Partbred Cleveland Bays. Most are 1/2 Cleveland x 1/2 TB, with a couple who are Cleveland, TB and Oldenburg. Two of ours are the official old proportions of 3/4 CB and 1/4 TB, to make them qualify as Yorkshire Coach Horses. All are registered with the Cleveland Bay Horse Society of the UK, which tracks breeding and pedigrees of the Pure and Partbred Cleveland Bay horses.

    The Duke's Team of 4, Cleveland Bay x Oldenburg crosses are pretty old now. I do think there are a couple still alive. He competed them in the 1980's. His recent driving Team was Fells ponies, easier on his arthritic hands, was my understanding.

    I love looking at a good Cleveland Purebred, but we need the speed of the crossbred horses. They usually have the big motor, power needed for higher levels of CDE needs. The Pures are just too deep-bodied, too slow for our demands on them. They don't cool well in heat, have a huge heart girth area. Lovely for Carriage driving, not cross-country. We still have to do very aggressive cooling, to bring down temps in Vet check of CDEs. They are just LARGE horses.

    We love the brain of the Cleveland, which usually tempers the fast reaction of the TB side, very forgiving in a crisis. They do give you "the look", when you mess up! They might as well say, " Are you ready to do this again, CORRECTLY NOW?"

    And even with Clevelands having driven for their over 200 year history, some don't, won't drive safely. You have to respect the animal when he warns you ahead, he is not enjoying this work. We ask so much of them in our family driving wants/needs, horse must be quite happy in his work. We have very high expectations so the standards of acceptance are way up there for us. We drive both mares and geldings, prefer mares. Just seemed to breed or run into more CB geldings that worked for us the last few years.

    A TB driving horse is not something I would want to drive. Not my favorite breed to begin with. Being that sharp, prepared for reactions at all times, would take the fun out of driving him. I do seem to only hear about bad ones who wrecked. Skilled drivers I respect, had good training, solid basics, horses were not new to driving. Just lost it one day for a variety of reasons. Both singles and multiples. The folks on here are the only drivers who still like driving the TBs. I will leave driving the TB to you folks.



  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    Being that sharp, prepared for reactions at all times, would take the fun out of driving him.
    Haha, I completely understand what you mean. But when you've pretty much spent your entire 50 years working with nothing BUT TBs, "Be ever vigilant" gets to be so much a habit that you don't even really think much about it any more!

    I once had the chance to take a draft cross used for hilltopping on an extensive trail ride over challenging terrain. For the first 45 minutes or so I was like "Wow, I can see what the fuss is about - you can actually relax and enjoy the scenery!" But then the novelty wore off and I found myself... really quite bored... And I started nitpicking at his carriage and my riding position and doing two-point and crossing my stirrups over and riding without, just to give myself things to think about!

    Yes, I'm weird.

    I honestly have to say that every bad situation HRH Avery and I have ever ended up in has been directly caused by pilot error. It has never been the fault of the horse, and he has pulled off some real miracles to save our fat from the fire.

    And again - NO they are NOT all like that. I know perfectly well I'll never have a horse this good again. Which is why I treasure our every day.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief



  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    Most of the US Purebred Clevelands are being bred to produce more Pure Cleveland Bays. .
    here there's incentive scheme grants available for producing pure breds and as part of the breed recovery programme

    We drive our Partbred Cleveland Bays. Most are 1/2 Cleveland x 1/2 TB, with a couple who are Cleveland, TB and Oldenburg. Two of ours are the official old proportions of 3/4 CB and 1/4 TB, to make them qualify as Yorkshire Coach Horses. All are registered with the Cleveland Bay Horse Society of the UK, which tracks breeding and pedigrees of the Pure and Partbred Cleveland Bay horses.
    Sounds like just the right type for fantastic carriage horses to me. You'll presumably know of Tom Ryder who was responsible for the development of the Yorkshire Coach horse and then the hackney horse? I was chatting to him not so long ago. I bet you'd find his tales absolutely fascinating. Despite being a grand age, his recall of equine breeding lines is formidible.
    The Duke's Team of 4, Cleveland Bay x Oldenburg crosses are pretty old now. I do think there are a couple still alive. He competed them in the 1980's. His recent driving Team was Fells ponies, easier on his arthritic hands, was my understanding.
    He's only competing pony teams now.
    I love looking at a good Cleveland Purebred, but we need the speed of the crossbred horses. They usually have the big motor, power needed for higher levels of CDE needs.
    I absolutely agree with you. The Cleveland Bay purebred though IMO can't be beaten in coaching classes.

    The Pures are just too deep-bodied, too slow for our demands on them. They don't cool well in heat, have a huge heart girth area. Lovely for Carriage driving, not cross-country. We still have to do very aggressive cooling, to bring down temps in Vet check of CDEs. They are just LARGE horses.
    I've a cross cleveland bay. Enourmous and 18 hands!!! So we suspect the cross was a limousin bull!!

    We love the brain of the Cleveland, which usually tempers the fast reaction of the TB side, very forgiving in a crisis. They do give you "the look", when you mess up! They might as well say, " Are you ready to do this again, CORRECTLY NOW?"
    Yes I can entirely relate to that. Indeed the horses I use for novice lessons turns to look at me or my staff and says " for goodness sake, take the reins"

    And even with Clevelands having driven for their over 200 year history, some don't, won't drive safely.
    You clearly know the breed VERY well.

    You have to respect the animal when he warns you ahead, he is not enjoying this work. We ask so much of them in our family driving wants/needs, horse must be quite happy in his work. We have very high expectations so the standards of acceptance are way up there for us. We drive both mares and geldings, prefer mares. Just seemed to breed or run into more CB geldings that worked for us the last few years.
    The only point I would disagree with you so far. I prefer geldings.

    A TB driving horse is not something I would want to drive. Not my favorite breed to begin with. Being that sharp, prepared for reactions at all times, would take the fun out of driving him. I do seem to only hear about bad ones who wrecked. Skilled drivers I respect, had good training, solid basics, horses were not new to driving. Just lost it one day for a variety of reasons. Both singles and multiples. The folks on here are the only drivers who still like driving the TBs. I will leave driving the TB to you folks.
    To be honest, though T/B'S are my favourite breed and I would always choose one to ride over and above anything else and I drove them most successfully, I would never actually describe it that I "liked" driving them. It worked for me, it was successful, they won, it was exciting and challenging ALWAYS but "liked" ??? No way, it seems too benign a description for the experience ......... it was rarely if ever an "enjoyable, relaxing or pleasurable" experience.

    And yet riding them, I love it and that is enjoyable.
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Jun. 12, 2007 at 01:02 PM.



  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    I once had the chance to take a draft cross used for hilltopping on an extensive trail ride over challenging terrain. For the first 45 minutes or so I was like "Wow, I can see what the fuss is about - you can actually relax and enjoy the scenery!" But then the novelty wore off and I found myself... really quite bored...
    I totally, , TOTALLY relate to that. I've had the opportunity in the last couple years to ride a real quiet, "nice" QH, and even a Lippizann(sp) in a lesson or two. They were nice, but just not my cup of tea. I have one QH here as a boarder and same thing - he's nice and pleasant, but just not exciting enough for me . I love the big personality and opnion of the TB. I love being challenged to match that and come to certain terms with a personality like that. I tend to like people like that too...go figure .

    I love, love love the TB...and I'm falling in as much love with the STB. My experience with those though are limited to a single horse that I have now though - and while she is well mannered and a very smart thinking horse, she doesn't bore me to tears. She makes me think and I LOVE that in a horse.



  18. #78
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    Originally posted by Goodhors:
    We love the brain of the Cleveland, which usually tempers the fast reaction of the TB side, very forgiving in a crisis. They do give you "the look", when you mess up! They might as well say, " Are you ready to do this again, CORRECTLY NOW?"
    That sounds EXACTLY like a schoolmaster who was at a previous barn. The day I met him I fell head over heels in love with him. I thought he looked EXACTLY like a Cleveland Bay (mind you, I'd only ever seen pure CBs in photos). He is a Warmblood, but he certainly could give that "look" you've just mentioned, Goodhors. And he had told previous owners that he did not like driving at all (so maybe somewhere he had some CB ancestry).

    And I am currently giving this thread that CB look Goodhors mentioned, because I knew the Duke of Edinburgh had driven the CBx team quite some time ago, not currently; I wasn't posting re his current team, but about what I'd read about non-pure-CBs. Seems that point was missed entirely in the effort to point out that HRH's more current team is Fells. I myself have thought about driving a Shetland 4-in-hand, if I could find 3 others to match my family's 1.


    As to TBs for anything, I love to watch them, and have had a few as ground-friends. I once got up on one, however, and he and I were both quite anxious that I should get off again ASAP. My trainer loves them for eventing. I hope never to get on another one, even though I love the ground manners of MOST of the OLDER ones I have known.

    Speaking of which, may I divert this thread for a minute? These TBs I have known (most of them OTTBs) have been retraining as dressage horses and ridden in some type of very mild snaffle (single or double joint, no twist or anything). They went quite well in these bits. A friend of mine e-mailed me that he and one of his riding friends were discussing OTTBs at brunch this weekend. The riding friend said that OTTBs "never" know how to go slow, or stop quietly, and therefore they "all" have to be ridden in fairly harsh bits. That is not my experience (which is limited). What is your experience?
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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wellspotted View Post
    Speaking of which, may I divert this thread for a minute? These TBs I have known (most of them OTTBs) have been retraining as dressage horses and ridden in some type of very mild snaffle (single or double joint, no twist or anything). They went quite well in these bits. A friend of mine e-mailed me that he and one of his riding friends were discussing OTTBs at brunch this weekend. The riding friend said that OTTBs "never" know how to go slow, or stop quietly, and therefore they "all" have to be ridden in fairly harsh bits. That is not my experience (which is limited). What is your experience?
    Not my experience either, and I seriously question that person's knowledge or experience if they claim TB's need to be ridden in harsh bits.

    I evented at OTTB (who had competed through the * star level). We schooled all three phases in a French-link snaffle. For events, we did dressage in a loose ring French-link (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/12290...55731734vfQNde) and used a "wonder bit" (plain snaffle mouthpiece, you can see it here: http://hoofclix.smugmug.com/gallery/1682922#82580204) for cross country and show jumping.

    Many friends also have OTTBs and almost all of them go in some version of a snaffle.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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    Those are beautiful pictures, KellyS. Beautiful horse!
    The bits you mentioned are the same ones a friend of mine used to use when she competed her OTTB-turned eventer. He is a very nervous, high-strung horse, also very brilliant, and he went really well in those 2 bits.
    I personally would think a TB would be driven mad by a harsh bit!
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