Well I have posted once before about trying to find the perfect bit for my big guy. A little back ground for you .. He is a big 17hh 7yro TB gelding. I have had him for a year and a half, but before that he wasn't in work terribly long (maybe a year), and before that sat in a field. He can be quite the handful at times. I am only 5'6 and 102lb. Needless to say, when he acts up, he REALLY drains me. I am quite capable of handling him skill wise, its just the strength that I am lacking. I am working on that now by trying to build up my upper body, but it seems to be taking FOREVER!
Now when my guy is good, he is GREAT. But his "moments" are frequent enough that I think I need some help with it.
He explodes often when he can find an excuse to (e.i. scary things), I can normally handle it and get him going back nicely within a few moments, but it doesn't always look so pretty.
Jumping is our downfall at the moment. He will start off beautifully, but once we get into the jumping (4th or 5th fence we take) he gets SO heavy and just throws his weight forward, and I have to fight him all the way to get him back under me. It feels A LOT worse than it looks, but I know him very well, and I know that if I don't fight him back to get him under me, he will take full advantage of me and explode. (I don't mean try to stop him, I mean get him off his forehand and using his big booty, I want to keep him moving for the most part. Although stopping after fences is something we work on, and he is quite good at; the problem only happens when he is allowed to continue and especially while jumping lines)
Through riding him I have become a very defensive rider. On anything but ponies I am just expecting the fight after the fence, and can get picky with my hands. I am working very hard to rid myself of this habit with my trainer, and we have fixed it mostly on the flat, but still working o/f. But having a horse like mine isn't exactly the best for the situation
Money is not abundant, so putting him in training is not an option. I ride with my trainer as much as possible, but anything more is just not feasible at this time.
I know this is partially my fault. I am realizing now that I really don't think he is the right horse for me. But at the same time I cannot sell him (long story, but its not an option at the moment) . So before he got hurt we were discussing bits for him to try to help me get the leverage to get him back under control. He was going in a chunky hollow loose ring snaffle which suited him just fine until he acted up. Our first step was to try a thinner, regular D ring. He HATED it, constant head tossing, chomping, he NEVER settled. We tried a few variations of them, slow twist, double joints, rubber bits, rollers, elevators, full cheeks, D rings, eggbutts, loose rings; all with the same result; I had more control, but he was incredibly unhappy. The only thing he is happy with that I had in my "inventory" was the thicker hollow snaffle. But alas, I need more control than that.
So I am continuing my hunt elsewhere and am going to start searching for new bits in hopes of finding something that works. I just do not know where to start. He is just a baby, so I really don't want to bit him out the wazzoo, I just need something more at the moment. Any ideas on what to try? I am at a loss here. I am waiting to talk to my trainer for my lesson later this week. But I was hoping I could have some ideas already in mind to mention to her so we can brainstorm together.
*ETA* there is no pain here, his teeth have been done, and he has had a thorough evaluation to prove there is no pain, this is all behavioral.
True love is taking their pain away and making it yours ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~ ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~