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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
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    1,411

    Default Bit Question - Triangle Snaffles

    I've recently been trying different bits on my big, strong OTTB mare and dug a triangle (or what we used to call knife-edge) snaffle out of my attic, and I was really happy with how she went in it. Unfortunately it is a little small on her, but when I tried to get a larger one I found that most tack shops don't carry them and what I see are mostly used bits, so I'm assuming that they've gone out of style.

    Is this true? Are they considered to be too harsh or inhumane? I'm trying to get her to be a tad more respectful of the bit and hope to rotate it with the HS WH-Ultra snaffle that I've been using and eventually not need the stronger bit at all.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2008
    Posts
    75

    Default

    I used to use one of those on my large pony. They are good for showing, because they look like a regular snaffle from the outside. I wouldn't use one for schooling though. I feel that bits like that (and twisted snaffles) can cause the horse's mouth to toughen up over time, and they eventually become "immune" to the knife-egde.

    If a horse is too strong for a plain snaffle, my next step is to go to a pelham, which gives you some extra leverage, without having any long-term effect on the horse's mouth.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
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    1,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoon View Post
    If a horse is too strong for a plain snaffle, my next step is to go to a pelham, which gives you some extra leverage, without having any long-term effect on the horse's mouth.
    I've also tried a pelham. It works really well in that I only have to sit for her to come back to me, and I'll probably use it if we do any hunting, but she doesn't seem to like the pelham and gets a bit inverted with it. I'm hoping she'll be a show hunter, and as she naturally has a nice long, low way of moving I'd rather not interfere with that.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2000
    Location
    Coastal South Carolina :-)
    Posts
    3,948

    Default

    I may still have one in my collection, if I recall it's a full cheek. Will have to check the size, if I still have it. PM if interested.
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 24, 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    165

    Default

    Don't use it. A friend of mine used one for a little while on her mare and she didnt notice that it was digging into the sides of her horse's lips. I guess they call it knife edge for a reason. I felt the bit and it wasn't really sharp, but maybe her horse has sensitive lips.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2006
    Posts
    2,468

    Default

    I believe they were also called fish-back or fish-beck snaffles. Perhaps try searching those names.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    96

    Default

    The tack shop in my area carries them.
    Maybe give them a call and see if they will ship you one.
    http://www.foxcreektack.com/



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2000
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    Coastal South Carolina :-)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastjofast View Post
    Don't use it. A friend of mine used one for a little while on her mare and she didnt notice that it was digging into the sides of her horse's lips. I guess they call it knife edge for a reason. I felt the bit and it wasn't really sharp, but maybe her horse has sensitive lips.
    Are you sure the bit wasn't too small and causing the problem?
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2004
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    Not sure what size you are looking for, but here's a brand new one (from my favorite tack store no less!) on sale for $17.95!

    http://woodsongtack.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=482



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2000
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    5,704

    Default

    I think this bit is still pretty commonly used. I use it on my gelding at shows, and a plain snaffle at home.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2007
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    155

    Default Try Equusport

    This one might work... expensive but great bits
    http://www.equusport.com/item.php?it...category_id=59



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    16,302

    Default

    The fishback, triangle bit is good on some horses. If being ridden quietly and the horse is going well, the flat part of the bit sits on the bars. When he starts throwing his head around, he gets the sharp side. The horses I knew who used this bit were both the type with thicker jaws, (not TB types) and were horses with a bit of go, used for eventing and hunting. I'd say they would not be good for those horses who "lose it" when excited.
    I don't think you want to have jerky hands with this bit!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    CT
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    733

    Default

    sorry to hijack and sound completely ignorant...but what is a "triangle snaffle"?



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
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    3,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADD526 View Post
    sorry to hijack and sound completely ignorant...but what is a "triangle snaffle"?
    Instead of the mouthpiece being round, it's triangle-shaped, and the thin edge rests against the corner of the mouth. So it has a little more bite than a normal snaffle. Imagine a bit shaped like this: <| and the part on the left side is what rests against the corner of the mouth. It's not actually sharp like a knife, but because it's thinner, it is stronger.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
    Posts
    1,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katie16 View Post
    Not sure what size you are looking for, but here's a brand new one (from my favorite tack store no less!) on sale for $17.95!

    http://woodsongtack.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=482
    Unfortunately I need a 5-1/2" and they only carry 5" ones.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    2,083

    Default

    So funny this topic came up...I was just looking at mine and thinking how many years it was since I used (or needed) it. It has to be almost 25 yrs!

    I was concerned back then as it is sharp, and it does have to be used carefully. Also keep checking the corners of your horse's mouth as the sharp edge lays right there...



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
    Posts
    1,411

    Default

    I've had a bit more luck searching under fishback snaffle, but most of the results that I get seem to be for gaited horses and driving. It seems particularly hard to find these bits in 5-1/2" and I'd prefer a D if I can get it but that appears to be even less likely.

    As these bits do not seem to be a bit of choice for hunter trainers, perhaps I would be better off with something different. I've tried her in a Dr. Bristol and a slow twist, but these didn't seem to have any impact on her. How would a corkscrew compare to the triangle bit?

    Also, as I prefer the softer way she goes in her french-link (until she gets strong) I was thinking of riding her in the stronger bit for schooling and the french-link for shows, which I realize is opposite to what many people do. Perhaps I need to start a new thread to address this, but does anyone else do it this way?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by MintHillFarm View Post
    I was concerned back then as it is sharp, and it does have to be used carefully. Also keep checking the corners of your horse's mouth as the sharp edge lays right there...
    My bit does not seem to be particularly sharp but I will keep an eye on her mouth. But having said that, there must be a reason why she seems to respect it.



  19. #19

    Default

    Big and strong Tb? Leans down or just runs off? How about a 3 (or 2 ring) for schooling at home? You can get a Dr.bristol or french link mouthpiece on this too.... how about a mylar bit with a little port? or a jointed segunda? (that'll stop a freight train but without making them afraid of their mouth,or possibly cutting it, like a triangle can. . .



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by EAY View Post

    Also, as I prefer the softer way she goes in her french-link (until she gets strong) I was thinking of riding her in the stronger bit for schooling and the french-link for shows, which I realize is opposite to what many people do. Perhaps I need to start a new thread to address this, but does anyone else do it this way?
    I used to ride my jumper in a plain snaffle (or slow twist if I hadn't ridden him in a while) at home, and switch to a rubber snaffle at shows. He always had brakes, but at shows he tended to run out of gas. I also would have to borrow a crop or else I couldn't even get the engine running. He'd say, "Trot? Nah. I think I'll just walk this course. Canter? But whyyyyyyyy?" He came in dead last in the only race he ever ran, too.



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