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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2003
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    Default Do you train in a bit thats not legal?

    Watched an interesting program the other evening (obviously promoted by a name brand of bit) on correct a mouthing issue in a dressage horse. Horse was in a fat loose ring and was heavy and inverted and opened her mouth. They change the bit to a gag where the horse was definately quieter in the mouth and lighter(well thats not a shock).

    The difference in how quiet the mouth was though was significant. Trainer said do 4 days a week in the gag and one day a week in other bit (which they also changed but to a legal bit, horse was not as quiet in this new legal bit).

    So I'm curious as to how many of you train in non legal bits, which ones, why and how long before you show you change it out.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2008
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    208

    Default

    On the day after my horse's day off, I ride him in a snaffle + draw rein (which obviously isn't legal) just really round and very forward and loose. And the next day, when I ride in my double, he's very soft and supple.

    My horse is a 'special case' horse. His mind was virtually blown from his previous rider, who had hard hands and no leg, and believed in hyperflexion but had no idea how to do it (was also a man.)
    So now his mouth is essentially numb to the snaffle.

    I don't know if that counts... But I train a few times a week in a very soft snaffle and draw rein, and on the other days in the double.
    I show in the double.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2004
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    2,342

    Default

    no illegal bits here- but I would question the "fat" snaffle, most research indicates that the fatter the bit, the less room in the horses' mouth, and a thin bit is not harsh, but actually fits more appropriately



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007
    Posts
    964

    Default

    The WH Ultra (rolling disk in the 'bean') has helped those on the naturally tense/tight back/topline variety for me.

    For showing, would switch to normal KK Ultra.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2010
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    1,443

    Default

    I will often put a dead mouthed horse in a pelham for many reasons. I use the double jointed ones to match the french mouth snaffles they will show in.

    Mostly ride in the loose rings but for safety reasons, to keep them from thinking they can blow through a bit, will drop them into a pelham IF it can be done safely. A few days a month until they no longer need it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2009
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    552

    Default

    I know lots of folks who train in ported bits. Ports do not go to the roof of the mouth, they go off the sides of the tongue and allow the tongue to move freely. Lots of horses resist tongue pressure and resent it.

    I have posted a lot about ports so I am not going to bore you here again, but 99% of riding is training and 1% is showing. If riding in a different shaped mouthpiece makes your horse comfortable, why not? You can slip anything in and ride a test.

    There are lots of top level riders who train in ported bits.
    I believe the Dutch made ports legal last year?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    Even though I don't compete in dressage... yes, I do train in "illegal" equipment. A horse cannot be expected to work at competition level or in competition equipment every day of the year. The purpose of the training equipment it to get him there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
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    8,689

    Default

    I school my horse in gag bit once or twice a month -- mostly for a jumping school but occasionally on the flat. It keeps him light and listening. The rest of the time I ride him in a snaffle.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2010
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    in the woodwork....
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    Default

    About two years ago, I was training in a gag bit, I had done so for about 6 months. And then I switched over to a legal bit about two weeks before a show. The.worst.experience.ever! My horse didn't take kindly to the transition. He became stiffer through the neck, tense in the jaw and the halfhalt was non existent.
    I struggled trying to find the right bit to go back to- the baucher, the WH ultra, plain snaffle. Finally, I went back to a bit I had used several years prior, the KK Conrad shaped bit.

    Ever since then, I've stayed with that bit and worked on riding him with more relaxation and a more honest connection/contact from his mouth to my hand.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
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    616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    Even though I don't compete in dressage... yes, I do train in "illegal" equipment. A horse cannot be expected to work at competition level or in competition equipment every day of the year. The purpose of the training equipment it to get him there.

    The purpose of organizations outlining legal and illegal equipment is to promote the CORRECT and HUMANE methods for training a horse to obtain competition performance. JMHO.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Posts
    205

    Default

    I'm with NorCal, I ride in the WH Ultra with the roller in the bean. Soooo helpful on my horse who tends to get tense and quick. I heard a rumor they were going to make this bit legal, but alas nadda so far. (It is legal for eventing dressage though)



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    Default

    It's extremely rare that I would ride my horse in a bit that's not legal. I've always been of the school of thought that you train in the same gear that you show in for the sake of consistancy. A strong contributing factor to my attitude, I'm sure, is that most of my horses have been the overly-sensitive neurotic types, so putting anything harsher or different on them tends to kind of freak them out.

    Now Stan, my draft gelding, had a very laid-back going easy personality, and could get a little heavy once in a while. The vast majority of the time I rode him in a full-cheek snaffle, but I did drive him in a liverpool. I can see where switching things up now and then might have been beneficial to a horse like him.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly in NJ View Post
    The purpose of organizations outlining legal and illegal equipment is to promote the CORRECT and HUMANE methods for training a horse to obtain competition performance. JMHO.
    If your statement were true than the overbent behind the vertical frame being presented in dressage would not exist. Also, if you statement were true then the GP dressage riders would not be dependent upon the curb.

    I and many others are of the opinion that variation of equipment is beneficial for horse and 'rider'. Even going bitless would benefit the rider by teaching the rider to correctly have extremely light finger contact. Then when bits are used the rider would not be dependent upon the bits.
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  14. #14
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spirithorse View Post
    Even going bitless would benefit the rider by teaching the rider to correctly have extremely light finger contact.
    How exactly is that supposed to work?
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayside View Post
    How exactly is that supposed to work?
    Well, my old school education taught me to never take hold of the bit except for a brief moment and to never let the horse take hold of the bit.
    That does not mean that there is no contact, far from it. The contact must literally be consistently in ounces of pressure rather than in pounds as research shows.
    In SB one must ride with extreme light contact yet the horse is willing to move into the bridle so the rider does not have to be dependent upon firmer rein contact.
    This schooling does transfer over to the bit.
    The rider becomes independent of the reins and dependent upon seat and legs.
    www.hartetoharte.org
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly in NJ View Post
    The purpose of organizations outlining legal and illegal equipment is to promote the CORRECT and HUMANE methods for training a horse to obtain competition performance. JMHO.
    So, martingales, pelhams, side reins, surcingles and other training equipment are not only incorrect but "inhumane"...

    And now I realise I'm crossing the line and poking, but in my discipline, plain snaffles are considered "illegal", yet we train in them a lot.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2006
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    NC
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    Default

    No, my horse goes most of the time in a KK Ultra. Occasionally, to "switch it up", he will go in a single jointed loose ring snaffle, but its still legal.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly in NJ View Post
    The purpose of organizations outlining legal and illegal equipment is to promote the CORRECT and HUMANE methods for training a horse to obtain competition performance. JMHO.
    That's fine in theory, less so in actual practice.

    My gelding prefered a ported snaffle which is illegal. He was most comfortable in it. Because neither the reins nor cheek pieces on a snaffle are fixed there is no leverage, a port simply gives the tongue more room. Now a legal curb bit IS a leverage bit and unless the mouthpiece rotates does have the potential of acting on the palete. Disregarding for the moment that the harshness of a bit is also dependent on the rider's hands why is a ported curb legal and a ported snaffle not?

    Similarly, when I use spurs my first choice is
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_X1-2501

    I like it because I can use it without twisting my ankle. But it is not legal, and this
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=730690031
    is.

    Darned if I understand it but I don't think you can say that my choices are less humane or even less correct
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  19. #19
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    Apr. 29, 2005
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    Default

    LMAO here - I often ride my dressage horse in a soft-wrapped bosal as he has a super-sensitive mouth.

    Didn't realize that was being INHUMANE!!! Oh, the horrors!

    Quick - someone had best report me to the bit police!
    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post

    Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 1, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalDressage View Post
    The WH Ultra (rolling disk in the 'bean') has helped those on the naturally tense/tight back/topline variety for me.

    For showing, would switch to normal KK Ultra.
    Me too. My horse goes in a WH Ultra but will show in a KK Ultra (that I do not own, but borrow from a friend when I need it.) Honestly, right now I do not have the money to buy another bit, I have other financial priorities, but eventually, I will get my own KK Ultra.
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