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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    134

    Default Type of bit for my horse?

    There are a bajillion types of bits, and I'm having trouble trying to determine what I should use on my horse in the field.

    For regular riding, he's in a Happy Mouth Boucher - he only gets a tad stronger in the field, but not by much. So, I only need a bit that's slightly stronger for brakes.

    Can you guys recommend anything? I really don't think he needs anything super harsh, but I just need a starting point right now.
    I've heard elevator and gag thrown around, but I'm not even sure what those do or how they work; and I'm hesitant to use those when I don't know those things.

    Or does anyone know of some sort of bit type diagram that shows what they do and the level of harshness?

    Thanks so much!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2001
    Location
    Rosco, GA
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    Why do you want a stronger bit? What exactly does he do that makes you want one? It is just that it makes a big difference. For example, if he sticks his nose in the air and gets excited that is one thing, but if he roots down towards the ground and runs harder, that is another.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xeroxchick View Post
    Why do you want a stronger bit? What exactly does he do that makes you want one? It is just that it makes a big difference. For example, if he sticks his nose in the air and gets excited that is one thing, but if he roots down towards the ground and runs harder, that is another.
    He's a little more wiley with a group of galloping horses, in that, it's a little harder to slow him down when I need him to slow down.

    Now, someone also mentioned I could try practicing his halting as well, but I know the dynamic is completely different when there's a bunch of horses running around.

    He doesn't get out of control, he's just only slightly more difficult to slow down.

    Does that help any? Hopefully?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2006
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Here is the bit I've used with a nice, light, soft horse who tended to get a bit strong in company: http://www.bitofbritain.com/St_bben_..._Bit_p/381.htm

    There is an option without wings, but I forget where to buy it.

    My current horse is in a french link snaffle for hacking right now, but will be in a three ring elevator by the end of Hunt season next April. He's big and strong and likes to show off his massive galloping stride when he's super fit. We need every centimeter of the elevator by the end of Hunt season.
    Alison Howard
    Homestead Farms, Maryland www.freshorganicvegetables.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    15,988

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Katyusha View Post
    He's a little more wiley with a group of galloping horses, in that, it's a little harder to slow him down when I need him to slow down.

    Now, someone also mentioned I could try practicing his halting as well, but I know the dynamic is completely different when there's a bunch of horses running around.

    He doesn't get out of control, he's just only slightly more difficult to slow down.

    Does that help any? Hopefully?
    He will do whatever the other horses do, unless you TRAIN him to do otherwise. Either way there's little point in stuffing gobs of metal in his mouth if you don't know how to use it.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson View Post
    Here is the bit I've used with a nice, light, soft horse who tended to get a bit strong in company: http://www.bitofbritain.com/St_bben_..._Bit_p/381.htm

    There is an option without wings, but I forget where to buy it.

    My current horse is in a french link snaffle for hacking right now, but will be in a three ring elevator by the end of Hunt season next April. He's big and strong and likes to show off his massive galloping stride when he's super fit. We need every centimeter of the elevator by the end of Hunt season.
    I have also heard of the 3-ring elevator, and have been told that it's a little less effective in turning. Have you found that to be true? Also, how would you rate the harshness level on a 3-ring?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    He will do whatever the other horses do, unless you TRAIN him to do otherwise. Either way there's little point in stuffing gobs of metal in his mouth if you don't know how to use it.
    Exactly, I agree; which is why I'm trying to learn about the different bits



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2000
    Location
    Pawlet, VT US
    Posts
    3,801

    Default

    How about a nice tom thumb pelham. Happy Mouth if you like. It will function much like the baucher with the curb rein for additional brakes if needed. Do ride with two reins and do not get a pelham with a joint in it. Something like one of these..
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/hm-spd-...m/p/X1-010034/
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/tom-thu...ko1w450hbhcs45
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/rubber-...ko1w450hbhcs45
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    How about a nice tom thumb pelham. Happy Mouth if you like. It will function much like the baucher with the curb rein for additional brakes if needed. Do ride with two reins and do not get a pelham with a joint in it. Something like one of these..
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/hm-spd-...m/p/X1-010034/
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/tom-thu...ko1w450hbhcs45
    http://www.doversaddlery.com/rubber-...ko1w450hbhcs45
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    But I'm not versed in the 2-rein bits; I think I should stay away from those.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Location
    Orlean, Virginia
    Posts
    3,031

    Talking jmho!

    We've discussed this many times on this forum. Try doing a search here and you'll get some wonderful collected wisdom on many bits we've all tried out hunting.
    Sometimes it's not a new bit you need. Sometimes just a flash attachment will do or a martingale or a good swig off a flask before you move off!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2001
    Location
    Rosco, GA
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    Default

    Wateryglen is right on. It all depends on how they get strong. Some like a pelham, some grab that pelham and go. Two reins are really very easy to get used to, and most are surprised at just how easy it is, so don't be afraid of it.
    I am not a fan of three ring bits.
    I would try a bit that is like what you ride in now, but with a shank so that you can ride normally on your snaffle rein, but use the curb rein if you need it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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    15,988

    Default

    Chill - he will stop when the other horses stop. Why do you think you need another bit ? If you want him to do something else you must teach him to respond to your aids, not the other horses. Doesn't matter what you put in his mouth if he's NOT LISTENING. You are not in control because you allow him to be.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    Chill - he will stop when the other horses stop. Why do you think you need another bit ? If you want him to do something else you must teach him to respond to your aids, not the other horses. Doesn't matter what you put in his mouth if he's NOT LISTENING. You are not in control because you allow him to be.
    Yep, something else to consider.

    Thanks everyone!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,743

    Default

    Indeed there are a bazillion bits out there.

    Been hunting since 1971 and have yet to have one who wouldn't go well in:

    1) A snaffle. Plain eggbutt or more recently french link eggbutt.
    2) A pelham (either rubber, or jointed, or steel mullen mouth)
    3) A kimberwicke (jointed w/copper roller).

    Now, I DO recommend bitting up for hunting as a general rule. But of course try the horse in it first. It's much more pleasant to use a stronger bit lightly than to be hauling miserably on a snaffle all day.

    However, bottom line is, it's true that it's the hands (and seat and legs) not the bit.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wateryglen View Post
    We've discussed this many times on this forum. Try doing a search here and you'll get some wonderful collected wisdom on many bits we've all tried out hunting.
    Sometimes it's not a new bit you need. Sometimes just a flash attachment will do or a martingale or a good swig off a flask before you move off!!
    Thanks! I've gotten some good info!
    I often forget about that darn search function



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    Indeed there are a bazillion bits out there.

    Been hunting since 1971 and have yet to have one who wouldn't go well in:

    1) A snaffle. Plain eggbutt or more recently french link eggbutt.
    2) A pelham (either rubber, or jointed, or steel mullen mouth)
    3) A kimberwicke (jointed w/copper roller).

    Now, I DO recommend bitting up for hunting as a general rule. But of course try the horse in it first. It's much more pleasant to use a stronger bit lightly than to be hauling miserably on a snaffle all day.

    However, bottom line is, it's true that it's the hands (and seat and legs) not the bit.
    Thank you, I appreciate your input



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beverley View Post
    Indeed there are a bazillion bits out there.

    Been hunting since 1971 and have yet to have one who wouldn't go well in:

    1) A snaffle. Plain eggbutt or more recently french link eggbutt.
    2) A pelham (either rubber, or jointed, or steel mullen mouth)
    3) A kimberwicke (jointed w/copper roller).

    Now, I DO recommend bitting up for hunting as a general rule. But of course try the horse in it first. It's much more pleasant to use a stronger bit lightly than to be hauling miserably on a snaffle all day.

    However, bottom line is, it's true that it's the hands (and seat and legs) not the bit.

    Can you tell me the difference in function between a pelham and a kimberwicke? They look similar to me with slight differences.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,951

    Default

    Whatever it is, school in it at home first. You'd think that would be a no-brainer but I completely forgot this past weekend and I think it contributed greatly to our terrible day.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2000
    Location
    Pawlet, VT US
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    3,801

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katyusha View Post
    Can you tell me the difference in function between a pelham and a kimberwicke? They look similar to me with slight differences.
    A kimberwicke functions like a really short shanked pelham without the option of using two reins to separate snaffle/curb functions. Great for small kids on slightly strong ponies. Everyone else should suck it up and use a pelham with two reins. As it was designed.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Katyusha View Post
    Can you tell me the difference in function between a pelham and a kimberwicke? They look similar to me with slight differences.
    Madeline has given you a fairly accurate summary- but I will note that you CAN use double reins- having one rein just in the bit's rings as with a snaffle, for plain snaffle effect, and one in the slot of the ring to be able to apply the curb. Indeed it's very subtle, and I agree, generally speaking, I don't actually have much use for kimberwicks and use a pelham for hunting if curb bit is needed- but the one particular horse did really like the particular bit. And actually later I used it to good effect on an OTTB for some things (though that horse hunted in a plain eggbutt snaffle).



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