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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    557

    Default Another bitting question-- dressage-legal bit with same action as jumping bit?

    Sorry the title was so long! I hoped you all could help me choose a new dressage bit. We've been playing around with different bits, and while he goes well for professionals in just a regular D-ring, I seem to have the most success with him in his jumping bit.

    You're going to think I'm stupid for asking, because his jumping bit is a Myler with hooks. "Just get a version without hooks!" right?

    What purpose do the hooks serve in stabilizing the bit or providing more pressure? If I get a plain Myler D-ring with the same mouthpiece will the action be different as a consequence of the cheekpieces/reins sliding around?

    If his jumping bit is this, should I get the same version without hooks or would I be better getting a Boucher (Baucher??) with the same mouthpiece?

    In fact, while I'm at it, can anyone provide some insight for me on the difference between the Mullen mouth version (as seen above) and the MB02 as seen here?

    Sorry for being a pain...!! But to sum it all up: Why do you think my horse goes well in his jumping bit? What kind of dressage-legal bit would have the same action?
    The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    13,554

    Default

    The hooks give a very slight gag type of action. I don't think you will find a legal dressage bit that gives you the same action.....and yes, typically easier to get them "round" with that gag action but not always truly through. It is a stronger bit with the gag action than it is without...and probably why you have an easier time with it.

    I'd stay with the myler mouth piece if he goes well in it....but for dressage, the only legal one is the comfort mouth snaffle....wide barrel. I think the mouth pieces are generally the same between the two bits you showed.

    I'd probably try a loose ring comfort mouth for dressage....or try the D-ring without rings but a lot depends on what he does that you have trouble with. I've just had horses who jumped in a myler with rings who went well in the loose ring for dressage.

    Good luck...unfortunately...there is rarely a quick fix with the bits.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,655

    Default

    ^ agreed. Its the gag action that makes it easier for you to get his head down, and you wont find a legal bit with a similar action. If a pro has no problem riding him in a plain snaffle, I think thats a hint that its you that needs to make some changes to your riding, and not to the tack.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthehorse View Post
    ^ agreed. Its the gag action that makes it easier for you to get his head down, and you wont find a legal bit with a similar action. If a pro has no problem riding him in a plain snaffle, I think thats a hint that its you that needs to make some changes to your riding, and not to the tack.
    Yep, that's what I figured. I was just hoping for a little more help (from the bit), perhaps, and not a quick fix type tack change. Granted, he's not perfect when the pros ride him either.

    But it's sort of a vicious cycle in that when I attempt to ride correctly, I feel as though I'm not getting a result and I revert back to trying those sneaky, bad "fix" behaviors... and when I have that bit of leverage from his jumping bit it's so much easier for me to be correct because I can feel a result. My leg goes on better, my hands are steadier, my shoulders stay back. Does that make any sense?

    I mean, he's not in pain or anything, so what's the harm in having a little mechanical backup as I'm learning?
    The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2009
    Location
    Northeastern PA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by piccolittle View Post

    I mean, he's not in pain or anything, so what's the harm in having a little mechanical backup as I'm learning?
    Because you are not learning to create correct movement from your horse, your tack is? And it is only the seeming of correctness, not true back to front connection because the gag is rounding him up, not his butt and back.

    I will admit, that while not a fan of 'extras' on tack, I will use something if I feel it really is needed--I have competed exactly one horse in a figure 8 noseband for dressage, everyone else I have ever evented or done straight dressage with has been a plain cavesson. The same mare also went better in a running martingale and slow twist; that enabled me to be soft with her. So I am not out with my lynch mob in the snaffle snob, no tack helpers get up. BUT you are not really getting your horse correctly connected when using a gag-action bit to get him steady and having the look of a dressage horse--you are packaging him.

    It's a long process to learn how to really get a horse on the aids, or at least it was for me. Can you ride a school master in some lessons to help you learn what you are trying to feel for? Do you have a friend who can longe you once a week as you do nothing but work on your seat and independent balance (boy, that helped me tons!)?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2009
    Location
    The Mitten
    Posts
    1,282

    Default

    PL, you have a PM.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Posts
    226

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    I tend to agree with all the above comments. I'm a snaffle puritan on my horses, my favorite is french link - when I need more control I use a jumping hackamore, but I don't turn up my nose when other people bit up. To each his own! It's your horse, right? But no one addressed the Baucher? I think they're legal as long as the shanks are under a certain length (not sure on this one)? And they do provide a slight gauge action, though it won't be nearly as strong.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2006
    Location
    The Bluegrass
    Posts
    5,056

    Default

    If the Myler with hooks is fairly stable in his mouth, maybe he likes that aspect of it, and maybe the Baucher will also be to his liking. Just a thought-- I have little experience with Mylers w/ hooks.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,459

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    If I were you, I would try some experiments with your current bit.

    First try it with the cheek-pieces in the "slots", but the reins connected conventionally. If that works well, I would try a Baucher or a full cheek with keepers.

    Then try it with both cheek pieces and reins attached conventionally. If that works well, then try a loose ring or D ring.

    WRT changing how you use the aids, I would SUSPECT the gag effect is effective for you is because it is clearer to the horse when you are giving an active aid, and when you are not.

    IF that is the case, then you need to learn to make the distinction clearer without the gag effect. There are two aspects to this.
    - The first is to work on keeping your hands REALLY still when you aren't giving an active aid, so the horse can tell the difference.
    - The second is to make the aids clearer. A first, that may mean making the aid a little "sharper" and shorter than before, but with a more pronounced release.

    The way my instructor puts it is that "you can make the aid as strong as you need to, but you MUST NOT HOLD."
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyChrome View Post
    I tend to agree with all the above comments. I'm a snaffle puritan on my horses, my favorite is french link - when I need more control I use a jumping hackamore, but I don't turn up my nose when other people bit up. To each his own! It's your horse, right? But no one addressed the Baucher? I think they're legal as long as the shanks are under a certain length (not sure on this one)? And they do provide a slight gauge action, though it won't be nearly as strong.
    Baucher bits do NOT provide a gag action.
    The rules do not have any restriction in the length of the bit. There are no "shanks" on a Baucher, as the reins attach directly to the part attached to the mouthpiece.
    The extension above the bit, connected to the cheek pieces, simply limits the extent to which the mouthpiece can rotate in the mouth.

    NO leverage.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2008
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    631

    Default

    FWIW the Myler comfort snaffle is pretty much the bit of choice at my barn. A variety of horses go in it and they all seem to go really well. I ride my guy in one, and he stays pretty soft. I used to ride my old ISH in a baucher because I thought it would give me leverage. Everybody's right though, that bit does not have any gag action whatsoever. I didn't notice any difference in his heaviness. I finally settled on a French Link full cheek for him, and that worked pretty well.



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