Favorite bits to school hunters/eq horses in and why?
I think the title explains it all! I want to save the plain Dee ring snaffle for shows...what is best to get to school hunter/eq horses in to lighten them, help them carry a frame (I know it comes from the leg but sometimes the bit helps) and why?
All of my horses but one school and show in a plain full cheek snaffle. Jumpers and hunters alike. The one exception goes in a loose ring snaffle b/c he doesn't like how fixed the full cheek is...or at least that's what I've concluded when comparing how fussy he is with a full cheek when compared to the loose ring.
I school on the flat in a loose ring snaffle or full cheek for my eq horse. Leg him up to a broken pelham for larger jumps jumping lessons. Otherwise the snaffles suffice.
Jumper gets very nervous in anything other than his ported pelham. Every horse is different though.
I like my horse in a loose ring or elevator. I feel like he relaxes more in the loose ring, and if he gets very heavy, I'll leg him up into my hand, or just change bits. He prefers his Happy Mouth loose ring though. Trainer uses an eggbutt or corkscrew D on her mare, and friend uses a full cheek.
I do the all the 3'6 eq stuff or sometimes hunters and I hack and lesson usually with a bit similar to this except in gag form: French link
My horse can get really, really heavy and my trainers and I have found that this keeps him pretty light and balanced. A trainer that I took a clinic with once recommended using a rubber straight bar pelham at home for a little bit and I found this actually helped a lot when I switched back to the gag. The straight bar in my opinion made him a lot heavier, but after leaning on that for a few weeks/lessons we switched back to the gag and he became a lot lighter and not as heavy on his front end. A lot of the horses, hunters and jumpers, at my barn go in the same gag and I think its pretty versatile.
I've been thinking about trying my horse in some type of loose ring though, I'd love to hear why people use that type of bit.
We ride and train everything in a double jointed KK Herm Sprenger Bit. This bit creates the least resistance, our horses become very light and more easily ridden by seat and leg. In some cases where an individual's balance takes longer to develop, we will show in something a little stronger, but our refusal to train in a heavier bit eventually pays off for the horse's entire career, and they learn to carry themselves without additional influence.
Last edited by MagicRoseFarm; Mar. 9, 2009 at 12:45 AM.
French link egg-butt, either flat or lozenge. I used to school the pony in a slow-twist full-cheek, but she's graduated to a french link.
I'll start the TB in a french link and see how her brakes are
The french-link is a soft bit, and encourages them to go nicely with a soft mouth. Obviously, some horses need a stronger bit, and some horses just prefer it. Really, you should choose a bit depending on your horse's needs and likes.