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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    8,188

    Default Trail/endurance folks! What bit/hack do you ride in?

    I've always been really curious about bits and bitting, and why folks choose what they do when riding. I think trail riders are one of the most interesting to look at when it comes to bit/setup choice, because there's SO much variaton.. and we have no rules/regulations as to what we can use!

    So! Trail and endurance people! Fill out my fun little survey, and let's talk bits n hacks!

    Trail or endurance? Or both?:
    What kind of horse?:
    English, western, or other?:
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?:
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?
    Why do you use that bit/setup?:

    If ya wanna elaborate on anything, feel free! This is more for fun and because I'm curious than anything. I see some trail riders riding in halters, and then I see some in ported correction curbs, and basically EVERYTHING in between.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    I'll go first.

    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
    What kind of horse?: QH/Paint, old-style bulldog type.
    English, western, or other?: English or Aussie.
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: w/t/c, with an occasional hand-gallop. Pretty straightforward for us.
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: The typical western mechanical hackamore, or occasionally a double-jointed snaffle with a copper bean in the middle and it's curved to fit in the mouth better. Eggbutt cheeks.
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Fleece noseband on the hackamore for comfort, otherwise nope.
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: I tried about a zillion bitless setups, and for whatever reason, maresie likes the "big hack" with longer shanks more than anything else. And we occasionally ride in the snaffle just to refresh her memory on it, so she can still be ridden in one if the need arises ever.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sublimequine View Post
    Trail or endurance? Or both?:
    What kind of horse?:
    English, western, or other?:
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?:
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?
    Why do you use that bit/setup?:

    :
    Started trail riding, went endurance, lost my partners, back to trail.
    Arabs. Are their anything else????
    road trooper for 17 years then got bucked off my a new horse and switched to light weight western
    What do I ask. Very complex manuvers. I want next to a dessage horse out there. One that pivots, sidepasses readily and quickly, backs, responds to verbal commands, can be steered with the knees, ground ties, hobbles, stakes out etc etc. I spend 2 years doing intensive training before I consider him totally trained for the trail. Forgot to include alot of trailer exercises.
    I run a mild western bit. It neck reins better, has a better stop in the event of a accident, long western reins again in case we go head over heals in the bush, I have something to hang onto or something for him to step on.
    I rode for years with sidepulls but they actually weight more then a bit and rub the nose if used alot
    He wears back ankle boots on narrow trails since they are little more then one foot wide and he tends to interfer in this situation. On the open areas I wear nothing.
    I believe strongly in shoes, no barefoot. I run about 50 miles each and every week as an average. I always carry a 10 foot neck rope in case I find a stray horse, has happened a few times and if I for some reason want to tie my guy or someone elses.
    I set up or look for different tasks for him to learn each time I head out and work alot of water, deep ditches, anything that makes him more handy.
    Training is a big part of my riding.
    He must feel free to drop behind any horse, leave any horse, never kick and never pull or resist what I want. Must also be handy at working gates.
    I believe in a good set of spurs, not used often but there if I need to back anything up.
    I have soft gentle hands, use the reins to suggest , not pull but suggest but in the event I need to back that suggestion up they are also there as a tool.
    Voice, body and suggestion are my means of steering and control. Spurs and reins back up the suggestion a little more aggrssively if he fails the suttle hints.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Posts
    255

    Default

    Trail or endurance? Or both?:Endurance
    What kind of horse?:Morab
    English, western, or other?: English
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
    W/T/C , during long cool off walks, leg yielding, stop/backing
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?:S Hack by Partrade
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Will apply breastcollar and crupper for hillier rides
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: If he got anxious about wanting to burst ahead, he would pull his head up to avoid the bit. I am not comfortable with a martingale, so I tried an S Hack and got better control.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
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    13,787

    Default

    Endurance and Trail

    I use an S-Hack on all my horses. The Arabian's hack now has the Hought Tack beta noseband. It is flat and smooth and she does fine in it. She did NOT do fine with the typical rawhide noseband though.

    I use this because I want my horses to be able to eat and drink freely along the trail without me worrying about choking, or them getting discouraged. Also because I just plain do not like bitting up horses. Just my personal preference.

    No extra stuff. No martingales. Just a breastcollar. No crupper. No spurs. No whip.


    English or Western?
    I have a dressage background and ride with all those basics in mind, in a treeless saddle.

    What asked for on trail:
    I ask for w/t/c/g, and also leg yielding or turn on the forehand or haunches as needed. I do very little schooling in the arena, but when I do, I work on ground basics a little jumping for fun, bareback, and just developing good response to subtle cues. More dressage basics coming through I guess.

    What kind of horse?
    ~Arabian
    ~Pony of the Americas/Quarter Horse/Shetland Pony cross
    ~Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross

    I love Norval's comment - Arabs, is there anything else? I agree. I love my other two, but darnit, if the sheeeet hit the fan, give me that Arab any day over any others.

    And also, always ALWAYS A MARE! Never a gelding. (And now I shall prepare to eat these words. hehehe) Seriously though, I really dislike geldings. I want the attitude, dominance, and opinion of a good strong alpha mare. That's my kind of horse. The whole "clean the sheath" thing freaks me out. And you never know when they'll decide to um.."get comfortable." No thanks. I want mares. I have 3 mares and god willing will never have a gelding. My second choice would be a stallion (only if the vet did the cleaning!). I owned one of those too and he was great. A superb gentlemen. But I just cannot feel the mental connection with a gelding. I'm sure it's ME and not the horse, but still.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
    Posts
    3,719

    Default

    Trail or endurance? Or both?: TRAIL

    What kind of horse?:APPALOOSA

    English, western, or other?: I RIDE ENGLISH, HORSE IS VERSATILE

    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: REGULAR TRAIL RIDING WITH W/T/C AND JUMPING ON THE TRAIL

    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: MYLER COMFORT SNAFFLE

    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? THE LESS TACK I USE, THE BETTER- I WANT MY HORSE COMFY.

    Why do you use that bit/setup?: COMFORTABLE BIT FOR THE HORSE, NOT HARSH.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,556

    Default

    HORSE A:
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: - Trail

    What kind of horse?: Clydesdale/Standardbred Cross

    English, western, or other?: English

    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Simple wtc, sidepass occasionally

    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Eggbutt french link

    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope.

    Why do you use that bit/setup?: Had a fat snaffle on her but she HATED the nut-cracker effect. Tried going with a BB but had no whoa.

    HORSE B:

    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail.

    What kind of horse?: Percheron! (The Equine Sofa )

    English, western, or other?: English

    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Walk, trot with the very rare up-the-hill canter.

    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: English mechanical hackamore

    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope.

    Why do you use that bit/setup?: I believe she had been terribly over-bitted prior to my acquiring her. Consequently there was nothing I could get in her mouth....and when Miss 17.3 hh puts her head up, ain't no way litte 5' 6" me is gonna win. Sooo, I tried a halter with reins clipped on. She went fine and that was that!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
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    Default

    Edited to add - when I was trying to figure out what kind of hack or bitless the Arab would like - I was riding her in a Myler comfort snaffle, or an Argentine snaffle. The Argentine was used only for about 2 months while she was in this super hot, top fuel mode. No clue what that was all about, but thank the lord she grew out of it. Then I went back to the Myler snaffle, and now back to the Little S Hack.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2007
    Location
    Harrisburg PA
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Trail or endurance? Or both?:

    Trial

    What kind of horse?:

    Qh and a MFT

    English, western, or other?:

    Western and Aussie

    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:

    QH WTC Half pass small jumps. Mft All his Gaits

    What bit or bitless setup do you use?:

    QH.. Likes his Full cheek snaffle. MFT... Argentine snaffle

    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):?

    Nope

    Why do you use that bit/setup?:

    QH was a HUS in a former life and likes the full cheek. He will go in the Argentine too. MFT likes the Argentine so why switch



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Endurance.
    What kind of horse?: One purebred Arabian, one Half Arabian/Paint.
    English, western, or other?: Endurance Saddle. So more like western.
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Pretty much just w/t/c.
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: On my full Arabian, I use a french link eggbutt. On my half arabian, I use just an eggbutt with a copper mouth
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? Nope. Just my halter/bridle combo
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: Because snaffles are pretty easy bits, and I want my horses to be soft mouthed. I used to ride with shanked bits when I was younger, but I have more training knowledge/patience than I did when I was 16, so I switched all my horses to snaffles.
    (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,963

    Default

    HORSE A:
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: - Trail

    What kind of horse?: Morgan/Black Lab Cross

    English, western, or other?: English

    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Simple wtc, pop over fallen logs, over the river, thru the woods...

    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: french link snaffle, kimberwicke on the beach/ in parades (just in case)

    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc breastplate. fat pony. .

    Why do you use that bit/setup?:

    After much trial and effort, found out horse has a low palate. Kimberwick is too rough for everyday use. Regular snaffle is too soft



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,485

    Default

    Horse #1
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
    What kind of horse?: Morgan
    English, western, or other?: English
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Schooling 2nd Level Dressage
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: In the ring, french link snaffle. On the trails- wonderbit.
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? On the trail- running martingale
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: Because he's very competitive and can go like a run away frieght train at times

    Horse #2
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Trail
    What kind of horse?: TWH
    English, western, or other?: English
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?: Regular trail stuff
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: He goes in a level 2 Mylar curb with a roller
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: He sets up beautifully for his gait in it


    Horse #3
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: Both
    What kind of horse?: Morgan
    English, western, or other?: both
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:schooled through 1st level dressage
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: either a loose ring french snaffle or rope halter with reins
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? running martingale
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: she's a low maintenance gal and doesn't need much
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    And also, always ALWAYS A MARE! Never a gelding. (And now I shall prepare to eat these words. hehehe) Seriously though, I really dislike geldings. I want the attitude, dominance, and opinion of a good strong alpha mare. That's my kind of horse. The whole "clean the sheath" thing freaks me out. And you never know when they'll decide to um.."get comfortable." No thanks. I want mares. I have 3 mares and god willing will never have a gelding. My second choice would be a stallion (only if the vet did the cleaning!). I owned one of those too and he was great. A superb gentlemen. But I just cannot feel the mental connection with a gelding. I'm sure it's ME and not the horse, but still.
    Vickey what's with this????
    We all know that the male species is the stable one. No mood swings week to week, no hot flashes, always reasonable, can always be counted upon.
    I don't want another mare, had one once and never again.
    I even had one on my shoing cycle that we had to change the date on because when in heat she was unmanagable.

    No a good male can always be counted on to be the same day after day.

    Afterall we have one thing on our mind and nothing else gets in the way


    Remember the old saying??
    How can you tell the difference between a lady with PMS and a pit bull???
    Answer.
    The red lipstick.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    LOL Good one Norval.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    i'll take my gelding any day. Or any other gelding over most mares. notice i said MOST. there are exceptions.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,202

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    Trail or endurance? Or both?: trail only
    What kind of horse?: Jake the QH and Chip the TWH
    English, western, or other?: western
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
    Both are broke to death: lateral aids, seat bone cues, good on leads, work gates, hop logs, etc...sharp as tacks.
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Jake gets a Little S or plain eggbutt snaffle, Chip gets an Imus bit for gaited horses- he hates the poke of a normal snaffle and this has independent shanks- quiet in his mouth and gentle
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: Jake could go in a halter so I like the Little S. Sometimes a snaffle just b/c. Already answered re: Chip. Anything on his head must be silent and quiet in terms of motion, too. The Imus bit does that really well.

    I do like a simple, easy going Little S hack for trail riding. the short shanks won't catch on limbs, buckets, etc...and I'm not in their mouth should I choose to let them eat. But it's too much motion for Chip so he gets his bit. I hope to graduate him to a hack, I think he'd like it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    Looks like most of the folks here are all about comfort for the horse when choosing their equipment. That's really neat.

    For the endurance folks, it seems out of all the hackamores, the s-hack is the most popular for endurance. Why is that? I've thought about trying one for my mare (the only thing I don't like about the one I use is if she tries to graze/drink, the shanks hit the ground!), but she HATES having a lot of stuff on her face, and goodness forbid the slobber/stabilizer bar between the shanks TOUCH her chin for .00001 second... she HATES that too.

    Although I've never really looked.. do s-hacks use a stabilizer/slobber bar? The shanks are fairly short on them, so perhaps it's not needed?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    Trail or endurance? Or both?: trail only
    What kind of horse?: Jake the QH and Chip the TWH
    English, western, or other?: western
    What do you ask of your horse? Simple w/t/c? Or more complex maneuvers?:
    Both are broke to death: lateral aids, seat bone cues, good on leads, work gates, hop logs, etc...sharp as tacks.
    What bit or bitless setup do you use?: Jake gets a Little S or plain eggbutt snaffle, Chip gets an Imus bit for gaited horses- he hates the poke of a normal snaffle and this has independent shanks- quiet in his mouth and gentle
    Use any extra 'stuff' with it (martingales, tiedowns, special nosebands, etc, etc):? nope
    Why do you use that bit/setup?: Jake could go in a halter so I like the Little S. Sometimes a snaffle just b/c. Already answered re: Chip. Anything on his head must be silent and quiet in terms of motion, too. The Imus bit does that really well.

    I do like a simple, easy going Little S hack for trail riding. the short shanks won't catch on limbs, buckets, etc...and I'm not in their mouth should I choose to let them eat. But it's too much motion for Chip so he gets his bit. I hope to graduate him to a hack, I think he'd like it.
    Have you ever tried a "big hack" on the guy that likes the stuff on his face to be real still? My mare is the same way, she doesn't like things to move around too much on her face. So I use the big hack with a fleece noseband and leather curb strap; it keeps everything quite still and she's a happy camper.

    That's why she's not a big fan of sidepulls; too much movement.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    LOL when I say quiet I mean reallllly quiet. Something as simple as nylon cord reins slight floppage on slight slack) vs my good heavy leather reins (no flopping, they are heavy)bothers him. Long shanks that would flap with his head nod? no way.

    the little S is going to be the quietest I can find...but the nose band 'bopping' him at ALL, is an issue with him. I hope as he settles more (he's Supah Dupah sensitive) we might - maybe- get there. remember - TWH=head nod.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 30, 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by katarine View Post
    LOL when I say quiet I mean reallllly quiet. Something as simple as nylon cord reins slight floppage on slight slack) vs my good heavy leather reins (no flopping, they are heavy)bothers him. Long shanks that would flap with his head nod? no way.

    the little S is going to be the quietest I can find...but the nose band 'bopping' him at ALL, is an issue with him. I hope as he settles more (he's Supah Dupah sensitive) we might - maybe- get there. remember - TWH=head nod.
    I forget about the head bobbing thing.. shows how much I know about TWHs.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



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