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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2005
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    CO
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    Default Calling all bit experts!

    I have a lovely but very thoroughbred-minded Oldenburg. He has a lot of trouble relaxing his poll and putting weight in the bridle, and responds to his nerves (particularly at horse shows) by avoiding the bit even more and becoming overly round and raising his poll. Simultaneously he quickens, so adding additional leg to support him sort of fuels the fire! Trainer and I have been experimenting for quite some time and have tried a french link dee, twisted snaffle (AWFUL!), Happy Mouth dee, Dr. Bristol, plain snaffles... it's just a little weird because he won't stretch down in anything but also gets really quick, so super mild bits aren't helpful either. He will not tolerate a curb chain whatsoever. I was thinking of trying a Waterford, which my other guy went great in. I also like the idea of the Pessoa Dee with the round rollers in it. We show in the Adult hunters (hopefully A/O's if we can stay sound...!). Any suggestions out there?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,470

    Default

    Not a bit expert by far but I "DO" have a large collection of them. Over 30 years of horses my bit collection is almost complelte...

    I have a horse that would back of the bit and never truley soften into my hand - - until I tried a rubber bit... HE LOVES IT.

    I figure to try a certain type of bit you can spend about 20 bucks on them and if it works, great, if not then you add it to your collection that you will need at some point or another...

    OR you borrow other "bit collectors" bits. Just make sure to return them. I have loaned bits out and make sure they return to my collection.

    I have one bit that is the fav in the collection. It's a slow twist egg butt snaffle.. and it's HEAVY. It's about 25 years old.. I don't know what it's made of but its a awesome bit.... you cannot find one out there anymore.. they just don't make them like that. I have lent it out and the people that tried it wanted to buy it... NO - - it's a part of my - - - -

    COLLECTION!
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    367

    Default

    You've checked his teeth right? And taken into consideration the type of mouth he has? Sometimes when people ask for bit advice on here, I almost wish they would post pictures of their horse's mouth.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2005
    Location
    CO
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    225

    Default

    Haha I've met people like you at shows! Most awesome bits, completely unwilling to part with them! Too funny. I've tried a happy mouth rubber snaffle but he doesn't seem to like that much. I have a mullen mouth happy mouth to try next, but I don't have too much faith in it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I think you have my horse's clone! I had the same issue with my Oldenburg. We experimented with tons of bits and couldn't find anything to get the job done. We had the vet come for something different but ended up asking about tense/tightness and evading the bit. Turns out my poor boy was SO tight where his neck meets his shoulder which made his back tight- this would get worse when he was nervous because he would do the same thing your horse did. We ended up addressing that issue, and used a happy mouth revolver dee. Not sure if this would help, but we fixed the physical issue and now he's comfortable stretching down and accepting the bit. He's MUCH quieter as well. Have you tried Magnesium? I found that it didn't do much for my old mare but it works wonders for my new guy. Hope this helps some!
    "It's about the horse and that's it" - George Morris



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
    You've checked his teeth right? And taken into consideration the type of mouth he has? Sometimes when people ask for bit advice on here, I almost wish they would post pictures of their horse's mouth.
    Speaking of, I forgot to mention that my guy has a low palate so any bit without some variety of a link in the middle causes him to curl into horsey fetal position
    "It's about the horse and that's it" - George Morris



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Location
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
    Posts
    10,707

    Default

    I'd try a bit with more than one joint a/o curved or curveable mouthpiece. Currently have Star in the HS Dynamic RS (which has two joints and a curved mouthpiece). Was riding in the HS Duo but that was not sufficient braking power when our version of winter arrived. I tend to show in a waterford o/f and a flexible rubber mullen pelham on the flat.

    Unfortunately the HS bits are pricey. Bit of Britain has a program where you can rent them with an option to buy, but I don't think you could borrow the Duo since it has a plastic mouthpiece.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2005
    Location
    CO
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    Default

    Teeth have been checked and he's basically been examined head to toe for any physical issues. He's a thinker and an over-achiever (love how I describe him like a student lol) and gets nervous when he thinks he's made mistakes, leading to more mistakes lol. I'll try a revolver dee too. He has a bit of a low palate too so he tends to be happier in something with a link. I saw this bit but have no experience- anyone used it? http://www.victorycanter.com/product...roductid=17916 Any opinions on a waterford?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by huntereq7 View Post
    Speaking of, I forgot to mention that my guy has a low palate so any bit without some variety of a link in the middle causes him to curl into horsey fetal position
    The horse I'm talking about above has a low palate too!!!

    Very small mouth..... my vet comments about it every time she works on his teeth......

    This is the bit I am refereing to. I am not a fan of the Happy mouth bits for some reason.....

    http://equestrian.doversaddlery.com/...bber%20Snaffle
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
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    California
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peggy View Post
    I'd try a bit with more than one joint a/o curved or curveable mouthpiece. Currently have Star in the HS Dynamic RS (which has two joints and a curved mouthpiece). Was riding in the HS Duo but that was not sufficient braking power when our version of winter arrived. I tend to show in a waterford o/f and a flexible rubber mullen pelham on the flat.

    Unfortunately the HS bits are pricey. Bit of Britain has a program where you can rent them with an option to buy, but I don't think you could borrow the Duo since it has a plastic mouthpiece.

    You can also buy a cheap knock off to see if it works and then if it does, you can get the real deal...
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2010
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
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    1,230

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthFaceFarm View Post
    You've checked his teeth right? And taken into consideration the type of mouth he has? Sometimes when people ask for bit advice on here, I almost wish they would post pictures of their horse's mouth.
    Exactly, and not just the blacksmith or regular vet do a float either. Would you have your shoemaker or GP change your teeth? No, there's a whole sience to how the horse's mouth works, and remember that the horse uses his teeth alot. A person can drink soup for the rest of his life, but a horse with bad teeth will starve slowly.....

    I just had my dentist come out yesterday and foat the barn. We had three horses she had never done before (all had been "regularly floated") and all three were absolute TRAIN WRECKS.

    .....not saying this is your horse....just saying



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Pollie View Post
    Teeth have been checked and he's basically been examined head to toe for any physical issues. He's a thinker and an over-achiever (love how I describe him like a student lol) and gets nervous when he thinks he's made mistakes, leading to more mistakes lol. I'll try a revolver dee too. He has a bit of a low palate too so he tends to be happier in something with a link. I saw this bit but have no experience- anyone used it? http://www.victorycanter.com/product...roductid=17916 Any opinions on a waterford?
    I put linked bits in my horse too.. still couldn't find that connection....... but much to my surprise the rubber bit worked..... I found loose rings didn't work either.. I couldn't get a nice soft feel and connection with the loose ring on this horse in particular...
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2008
    Posts
    916

    Default

    What about a myler bit? They have curved mouthpieces? Although they don't have a ton of flexibility in the bit, some horses like the stable feeling.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2010
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    Purcellville, VA
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    Default

    I would not go with a Waterford. For those riders used to sawing the bit to and fro in the mouth of the horse, this is probably a blessing, since it runs so smoothly, and still causes so much discomfort that the horse will yield. This knobbled and bumpy bit has so many joints that it will easily wrap around the lower jaw of the horse but give him nothing to stretch forward to....you want your guy to stretch foward and down correct? Not curl so much?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Hmm I've never seen one of the "berry" link bits, but I did try a waterford on my guy and found that he got behind that as well. I'd give it a shot though... can't hurt to try!
    "It's about the horse and that's it" - George Morris



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2005
    Location
    CO
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    Default

    Never tried Myler... they seem like so much! I'm definitely a "less is more" person but I do want him comfortable so I'm open to ideas. And yes, he's in a top show barn with excellent care, believe me, it is not his teeth. Just looking for suggestions to try Thanks for all the responses!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2007
    Posts
    822

    Default

    I have a horse in my barn who sounds much like the one you are describing - incidentally, also an Oldenburg I am really liking him in a Waterford pelham. Have not tried a Waterford snaffle yet, but likely that would work well too - he is an eq horse rather than a hunter, and I feel we need the extra control that the pelham provides until he is a bit more relaxed...Love the mouthpiece for him though. It's the first bit we've tried where he actually reaches for the contact.

    May be just this particular horse though - I've had others that quickly figured out how to curl up in a ball and get behind a Waterford...



  18. #18
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    Feb. 17, 2010
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    Purcellville, VA
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    What about trying a hackamore or a bitless bridle? They are a good option for some horses. The most important thing with any control method is that you have brakes when you need brakes...



  19. #19
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    May. 4, 2008
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    170

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haalter View Post
    I have a horse in my barn who sounds much like the one you are describing - incidentally, also an Oldenburg I am really liking him in a Waterford pelham. Have not tried a Waterford snaffle yet, but likely that would work well too - he is an eq horse rather than a hunter, and I feel we need the extra control that the pelham provides until he is a bit more relaxed...Love the mouthpiece for him though. It's the first bit we've tried where he actually reaches for the contact.

    May be just this particular horse though - I've had others that quickly figured out how to curl up in a ball and get behind a Waterford...

    What is with these Oldenburgs? haha
    "It's about the horse and that's it" - George Morris



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntereq7 View Post
    What is with these Oldenburgs? haha
    Hey, mine is also Oldenburg.....
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.



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