I'll probablly get flamed... but I have full cheek Dr. Bristol that has a slow twist on the side pieces. It was copper to boot. I rode my mare in a D-ring Dr. Bristol at home but at shows or schooling XC we needed a tad bit more *pop* to get her attention quickly. The copper was a nice trade because when I wasn't whoaing, she quite enjoyed having it in her mouth.
I have this bit too and my horse does extremely well with it, especially when jumping. It gives me the whoa I need when I need it, but when I don't need it I just chuck the reins at him and he carries it nicely.
I alternate with a Myler triple barrel D ring which is what I normally flat in. It doesn't have nearly as much whoa so there have been times I wished I'd used the other bridle but it is another bit that my horse carries nicely.
"Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War Rainy Stash
You mentioned that you tend to pitch forward when you miss at a jump. Is it possible you're sitting down/picking your hand up too quickly on the landing as a result? In my experience, a lot of horses will pick up the pace significantly in a line if that's what happens on the way in because they think they'll need the extra momentum on the way out. Regardless of the bit, try grabbing a fistful of mane coming in and holding it for 2 strides after the fence to see if he's less reactive. Also, I'd recommend a copper french snaffle and lots of canter in, trot out lines.
-Mylar with hooks and ports: Have not tried. There are SO MANY of these. Would appreciate a link if you've had success on a similar horse with one of these.
One. Ride with your elevator the right way. It sounds to me like that might be the answer. He likes the snaffle rein, so you could ride predominantly with that during the flat work. When he starts to bear down while jumping you can pick up the other rein a bit more.
Two. I have had great success using the MB43LP bit on several of my horses. I rode my mare for her entire career in that bit and added a curb chain when I need just a bit more "lift."
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
I didn't read through everything, but I would try a full cheek or Dee ring Dr. Bristol. You say your horse likes the 3pc bits so I would stick to that. If you need a little more while you are working on your seat, etc (which is also a major player here), maybe try the full cheek dr. bristol with the twist (it's a copper mouth piece I believe).
Originally Posted by rustbreeches
[George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis
Should be less action than the three ring, so your guy might not resent it as much.
I have had good luck with this bit for jumping as well as the slow twist Dr. Bristol. I too have a big, solid gelding that can get quite strong and enthusiastic on landing of a fence and I feel like I have zero brakes. The beval or wonder bit gives me just enough leverage. A 3 ring and pelham is TOO much leverage and backs him off too much and he curls.
I would try either of those first as I think they might be less bit than a segunda.
So the thing about elevators and gags, especially if you ride with one rein, is that you have to have really light hands and know when and how to get out of the horse's mouth otherwise you get the curling and the resistance. To use it correctly, you bump the horse up with your hands and seat, then release - repeat as needed - sometimes every stride - but you cannot just hold or you willl get the reaction you have seen. If he is sucking back on the approach to jumps, you are probably popping him in the mouth which is easy to do in those bits and about the absolute worst thing you can do bc it will create a jump-sour horse - fast. I'd only recommend these bits for someone with really independent seat and hands, which judging from your description of yourself, you may not quite have. Even if that isn't your issue, some horses really dislike poll pressure, which yours may do.
I also recently got the EZ control (loose ring) for flat and to use for the occasional hunter class. It functions as a three piece that locks when the horse pulls, turning into a straight bit - the idea is to give a little control while still giving you the finesse of a bit that allows for independent movement of each side. It does give more control because when the horse starts freighttraining, the pressure is applied to the tongue instead of the bars, but you have to have the seat and hands to back it up and drive him into the bit. If you don't have that yet, it won't work for you.
Maybe what you need to try is something with a curb. Is there a reason you haven't tried a pelham with a straight mouth piece? It worked great on my childhood hunter pony who really wanted to be an eventer (I just didn't know it at the time!) That might be a great bit that could give you a little extra control without having to go all the way to twists.
On the non-bit front, doing lots of trot-jump-halt work is a great way to teach a horse to listen after jumping instead of galloping off like a loon.
OP, while my horse doesn't build and build, your horse sounds similar to mine. While he has a responsive mouth, I sometimes need a little extra to lift him after a line. Sometimes it is a little lift, as in get off your forehand and sometimes it is a big lift, as in don't buck me off! I have used and liked a lot of the bits suggested. We rotate through a number of bits and here is what I have found works for him:
Happy mouth double jointed D -- his absolute favorite and works 90% of the time.
Happy mouth double jointed two ring elevator -- with the rein on the bottom ring, he would curl too much and not really use his back side. It works best with two reins. I mostly use it for those times when I know I am going to need to pick him up - like cantering cross country. Sometimes, if he is being good, I will take off the bottom rein and just ride with it on the snaffle.
Twisted Dr. Bristol in either D or Full Cheek -- is generally my show bit, but it works just as well as the elevator, without the curling side effects. He just doesn't like it as much as the happy mouth mouth piece.
Myler level 3 Port bit without hooks (like Ginger Jumpers) -- he prefers the twisted dr. bristol a bit more, but it does really help with the lift and it stays in my rotation.
Waterford -- I have used it a lot on a lot of different horses. I think it works best as a flatwork bit, but I haven't found it effective for horses that like to build on course, especially if you are not able to back it up with your leg.
I have tried the Ridged Mullen Happy Mouth, the plain dr. bristol, and the french link on my guy. They are ok. He doesn't love them like the happy mouth double jointed and he doesn't respect them like the twisted dr. bristol, elevator, or myler.
IME, a pelham is the last bit I would personally look at. I don't know, but the few leaners I've used it on seemed to lean worse.
You might also look into a gag. I have had some success with it and have, gasp, used it with one rein. But again, if your horse doesn't respond well to the leverage, it might not be right for him. Another bit I've kind of wanted to try is the double joined happy mouth snaffle with ridges as a kind of in between the happy mouth snaffle and the twisted dr. bristol.
I know you only asked for bit recommendations and think that's not a problem to change up bits to see what you and your horse are comfortable in - absolutely; but I didn't read if you lesson?
I have consistency issues and with my own horses it's not a big deal because they will jump no matter how I get to the jump - sadly they are retired now and I have a new horse being trained - so I am riding lesson horses - and not all horses like the mistakes I make...
I canter a lot of ground poles on my own thinking quiet after the pole, not making a lot of movement and staying in a soft two point. Making sure the horse is cantering "up" into the bit using his hind end. I also canter a lot of cross rails. I say it's not about the height of the jump, it's how I get there.
I used to ride a horse that would take off after the jump so I sit up quickly - a habit I am working on breaking but what I do now is land and use my stomach muscles to keep me in a two point instead of sitting up too quickly or just leaning forward with my chest.
Some of what is going on may be how you are riding the jumps? If you don't have lessons try video taping and ask people here if they can see what may be causing your horse to move out after the jumps.
"Don't saw on your horses mouth it's not a piece of wood" ~ GM
I have a horse that isn't hard mouthed except when he's bolting. I know that sounds nuts, but this guy is lazy and leans a bit but doesn't pull...except he has a bolt from hell and will.not.stop.
He does amazingly well in a rubber mullen mouth pelham. It keeps him from leaning, but isn't harsh enough that he curls, and when he bolts, I have brakes.
When I am in a controlled circumstance where bolting is unlikely (flatting in the arena), I ride him in a french link boucher. Again, no leaning, and brakes are there (if he bolts in this bit he does eventually stop).
I am sure to rotate between the pelham and the boucher, but the pelham is my "e-brake" bit and he just won't lean in it. I tried him in a waterford and it helped with the leaning but not the bolting.
So my vote would be to try the mullen mouth rubber pelham.
If riding were all blue ribbons and bright lights, I would have quit long ago.
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2014
V, you can shop from my bit collection if you want. I think I have all of the ones mentioned.
Preston can be a lot like the way you describe Frankie, and we have tried it all. What has worked the best for us is a French link elevator with an alloy mouthpiece that he really likes. I ride with the reins on the middle ring, and use a flash noseband for lessons since his favorite evasive maneuver is to open his mouth WIIIIIDE.
But the real key for us has been me wearing a little spur...the rubber rolling ball ones. It sounds counterintuitive on a horse that builds, but if I come to a jump with a quality canter, with him in front of my leg, I am less likely to miss, he is less likely to yahoo through the corners, and we are all much happier at the end of the day.
We horse show in a pelham. But I never ride in that bit at home.
You know how long I've been treading water with this horse...and we jumped 3'3" in my lesson last week in a civilized manner.
I would try a D ring waterford, Dr. Bristol, corkscrew, or even a two ring for schooling. We tried a segunda and it was far too much bit for this specific horse - I have a rider and horse with the same description you have, or very close to it from what I read. We tried those bits above and settled on the corkscrew for flat work and the two ring for jumping. The horse is still finding his niche so the two ring is acceptable unless he enters the hunter ring. By then I would hope my rider is a bit more solid in her riding and understanding the horse, we can adventure into more bits when the time comes.
We also tried a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra Aurigan/SS Bradoon which was a favorite but it seems to have made its way to tack wonderland with all of our missing hoof picks, bridles and miscellaneous items.
Try a Wilson Bradoon. They're pretty easy to find online for cheap, and I LOVE this bit!
It's not harsh at all... it's like a simple snaffle. But the double rings on either side give it a mild gag action, and I think might "squeeze" the mouth a little, and thus you have better brakes. Also the rings help with steering!
I use one of these on my mare at shows instead of her normal eggbutt snaffle because she gets really excited about winning the jumpoff... hehehe! It works like a charm without being harsh or "too much" bit.