The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Bit Ideas for distracted XC mount?

    Hi All! This will be my first thread here.

    I have an 8yr old Appy/Hanoverian gelding, self-started, currently going training level. He has a tendency to avoid true contact by either curling (nose towards chest) or locking on the bit and pulling. With work, we have been able to achieve pretty nice contact on flat and in stadium. He is very responsive to seat aids.... but I lose his brain on XC. I enjoy a spunky horse, but I'm im beginning to question my safety.

    He starts by being way too forward, grabbing the bit and running. Gaining before the fence, then throwing in a chip stride, and finishing out by throwing his head down and mini bucking after the fence. He also will try to spook at a full gallop, and usually he doesnt spook. Not focused at all. He doesn't refuse, but we've missed a jump or two with him just blowing past it. I've mainly tried to stick with a dee jointed snaffle, but I have to use my whole body for brakes. I tried a waterford once on course, but still had similar issues.

    The problem I have is that after holding him back so much, he starts curling, switching leads, and not moving forward freely.

    I need something that I can use as needed. As a "check-in", not something to hang on. But also something that doesn't cause him to suck back too much. I know bits are trial/error, but some suggestions would be great! I'm also open to non-bit solutions as well.

    Thanks Everyone!
    (sorry for the long post, it was twice as long before editting)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu951wn57fc

    Unfortunately I don't have XC video, but this video does show some of our issues.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2012
    Location
    Taft, TN
    Posts
    289

    Default

    After watching the video, I think you need to release a little more in the air- I think part of the bucking/head-diving after the fence is in reaction to the fairly tight hold you have over the fence. Also, make sure you're backing up your half halts with your leg- it looks like you may get the chip when you're trying to slow him down solely off your hand. The fences where you keep your leg on and keep him up in front of you are much better and you don't have the chip stride.

    As far as him being distracted cross-country, what is he like schooling in the open? Can you do the same quality of dressage in the open as you can in the arena? If not, start there- by making him realize that being outside is still work and the same obedience is expected there. Bit-wise, if he continues to curl you'll want to go for something with a little leverage so you can get his head back up before he curls completely behind the contact and the bit does nothing (I've been there). I ended up in a gag on my guy, but again, you HAVE to back it up with the leg- just adding bit and relying on that to slow him down won't work.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    I have a mare that gets faster, stronger before stadium jumps. She sometimes would rip the reins out of my hands and bolt to the jump if I was in a snaffle. I tried a cherry roller, doctor bristol, and reg. saffle and then a 3 ring elevator. When I used a 3 ring elevator, she would get bouncy in front of the jump because it was a little too much bit.

    So, after reading the many threads on COTH, I got a 2 ring myler combination bit...and wow, it has changed things for the better.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2012
    Posts
    71

    Default

    I'm going to be stalking this thread, as I have been contemplating a new bit as well. I currently ride my mare in a KK Contour Herm Sprenger for all three phases and other than her tendency to get very heavy on the right rein at times, I like it and feel with more training on the flat, she'll continue to get softer. But when she goes into a ring with jumps, she's a different horse, running around in her excitement and getting increasingly fast to the jumps. I don't want to hang on her mouth (we have done many exercises to improve this but she seems to be at a wall) so I want something that she will respect a little more...

    Rthnor, is this what you were talking about?
    http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/tokla...l#.UIaBzZG9KK0

    My friend just switched to something like this and she said it helped her horse with a similar problem. She also started using a running martingale and said that also had a big improvement, but I don't quite see how the martingale would fix the problem and I don't want to start using a bunch of "stuff."

    Okay nbahlam, this is your thread and I don't mean to hijack...I shall now vanish quietly into the background.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    Location
    too far from the barn
    Posts
    5,653

    Default

    If your hands are educated enough, a pelham with 2 reins can work really well. I have a holsteiner/TB/appy who went in a Kimberwicke when he started going training, although curling was never an issue, he was happy to ignore the bit. The chain made the difference for him. The combo bit could also be an option as could potentially a kineton or lever noseband.

    I almost always use a running martingale on my young horses. It doesn't really have any effect if they are being good and it saves my face if they aren't.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    That is the bit that I bought and use on her. My mare came from the jumper world, and sort of think she knows it all, lol. She was used to a running martingale, but I do not use one.

    The bit allows me to have enough control to get her back when needed, but the way I understand, it really works off of nose and jaw pressure, until you need more. My mare really likes that and has figured it out fairly quickly.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,018

    Default

    I agree with scubed about the running martingale...it's a safety net if you need it and doesn't bother the horse if you don't.

    My current horse is very ADD and can bolt/change directions rapidly, especially while spooking I have found through lots of trial and error that it isn't so much about the bit, but more about having him listening to my aids (especially leg/half halt) before we head out on XC. I do a lot of shoulder fore and leg yielding in the warmup to start with, then adding canter-halt-trot transitions to keep him sharp. If he is listening to me, he can't be thinking about the monsters hiding around every bend and is more likely to "stay with me" mentally. Some of these horses are too smart for their own good and they definitely use it to their advantage!

    I also agree about being a little softer in the air and maybe a stride or two after the jump - it's amazing how they will relax if they know you aren't going to pull on them right away. Think about taking a deep breath as you land and then softly close your knee and thigh/ask for a little sideways movement to get the horse to come back without pulling. Good luck!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I have an 8yr old Appy/Hanoverian gelding, self-started, currently going training level. He has a tendency to avoid true contact by either curling (nose towards chest) or locking on the bit and pulling. With work, we have been able to achieve pretty nice contact on flat and in stadium. He is very responsive to seat aids.... but I lose his brain on XC. I enjoy a spunky horse, but I'm im beginning to question my safety.

    He starts by being way too forward, grabbing the bit and running. Gaining before the fence, then throwing in a chip stride, and finishing out by throwing his head down and mini bucking after the fence. He also will try to spook at a full gallop, and usually he doesnt spook. Not focused at all. He doesn't refuse, but we've missed a jump or two with him just blowing past it. I've mainly tried to stick with a dee jointed snaffle, but I have to use my whole body for brakes. I tried a waterford once on course, but still had similar issues.
    If scubed hadn't gotten there first I was going to say this sounds a LOT like the horse she was talking about, who now lives with me and keeps me smiling. Keebs doesn't lose his brain, he just has a larger-than-average one with an entire lobe dedicated to self-entertainment. He doesn't really see why straight lines and going in numerical order are all that important sometimes, particularly when he hasn't been out for a while.

    He goes XC with me in a 2-ring Myler combination bit and a fairly loose running martingale that never deploys unless he decides flinging his head is a good idea. Which he generally does once per ride. I have used a Pelham on him a time or two but the Myler is sort of the best of both worlds: you have initially some snaffle action, then if you need to escalate the noseband/chinstrap deploys and you get poll pressure. His chinstrap has two holes: the "good boy hole" and the tighter "asshole hole". Thankfully it's been all "good boy hole" the last couple of years.

    I use this bit on all of my horses XC, to be honest--it gives one so many levels of option in how to use it, and on a quiet, steady horse it really is nothing more than a snaffle, with some "muscle" there if you need it.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    delta wave, can you show us a picture of the myler combo that you use?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I am on my iPad and can't copy and paste photos (anyone know how?) but if you do a google images search for "2 ring myler combination bit" you should get lots o' pictures of the one I have. Mine is just the regular snaffle mouthpiece with their typical roller, not ported, and instead of the rawhide-type noseband (which I don't like) mine has just a plain fake leather noseband and chinstrap. Most of the Mylers I see are three rings, but I've never found it necessary to use more than the one below the bit, and sometimes I even put the rein on the plain "snaffle" ring if it's a quiet-horse day.

    Here is a picture of Keebs wearing said bit (set on "good boy"). I had bit guards on it at the time because the bridle was being shared and my other horse has fatter lips and the bit would rub her sometimes.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...size=720%2C480
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    I use the 2 ring myself, and just wondered if we were using the same one. Sounds like it. Do you use that string from the nose band to the browband? I haven't used it yet....but wondered if others did. thanks,rt



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    4,216

    Default

    If you want to try the Myler, I cannot recommend the Horse-Rider Etc. bit rental program highly enough. Not affiliated, but I have used it to find the right bit for my horse without going broke:

    http://www.horse-rider-etc.com/tack/bits/mylerbits.html



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    6,128

    Default

    Imho this has NOTHING to do with needing a different bit, but in style and approach. Horses do not pull, people do. Ask why the horse is curling or pulling: they feel a need to avoid contact or need freedom to jump. Part of the cure is the rider using a different style, and the second is training the horse. When galloping on it can become worse, esp if the rider tries to hold the horse more and more.

    First start with trotting caveletti to a jump. Keep light contact, and have an auto release. Next, jump courses; be in two point, only use light seat three or so strides out. IF the horse is 'getting a head of steam', go back to trot, circle/figure eight until horse is again relaxed. He is chipping in because of the gripping to fences and the need for more bascule...if you sit and drive to a fence and then only have minimal bascule he WILL crack his back/flee on the off side of the fence. (I would bet the flat work is too low/closed as well...rather than up/open). Use half halts which are pulsed, do NOT hold. If the rider changes their riding, the horse will change its behavior.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rthonor View Post
    I use the 2 ring myself, and just wondered if we were using the same one. Sounds like it. Do you use that string from the nose band to the browband? I haven't used it yet....but wondered if others did. thanks,rt
    String from noseband to browband?

    The string connects the noseband to the chinstrap, through the ring of the bit so that when enough rein pressure is applied there develops a hackamore-like effect.
    Click here before you buy.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    IDEAYoda- I completely agree and have been addressing the issue on the flat. This is a new horse to me...and she was sort of trained like that- to go faster to the jumps. I to think she is trying to avoid the anticipated pull that she is accustomed to. In the mean time, I need a bit that I can atleast go over an x with and not have her lock on to it and bolt over it. She has responded well to this bit and I am slowly beginning to have great rides over very small jumps



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    ok, I must have misread that on the brochure ...I thought it was to keep the nose band from sliding down. I do have that a thicker string that runs through the ring on the bit to the chin strap that connects the nose band. I do have a very thin string attached to the top of the noseband and I have just left it alone.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Huh, never seen a string there, but since the nosebands do slide down a bit I can see where that would come in. I am not one for fiddling with a lot of parts so I would have probably gotten rid of any extra bits of string. This bit, as wonderful as it is, offends my general "anti-gadget" sensibilities horribly, but since all my horses seem to really like it I can live with my sensibilities being offended and my horses happy.
    Click here before you buy.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,905

    Default

    Rubber mouth straight Pelham with both reins. Worked well with multiple horses who ran through a variety of snaffles but were backed off by ported Pelhams.

    They seem to be comfortable with the straight mouth bit + snaffle rein. As needed the curb rein is used to correct, then immediately released.

    This bit kept my 1st horse from grabbing the bit and running like a madman and an OTTB from worrying and again running away. The curb was suficient to get their attention without making them frantic.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2001
    Posts
    4,710

    Default

    I know you asked about bitting, but the one thing I noticed from the video is that when the horse is starting to get rushy, you are also sitting and pumping a bit with your seat. On horses that like to rush, I would try lightening my seat and jumping from more of a two-point.

    As far as bitting, I've had a lot of luck with a bit similar to the myler combo above. We use it *with* a flash noseband, though... the hackamore part sits a little lower than in deltawave's photo, so it is below the caveson, and goes over the top/on the outside of the flash. Once they get the idea to stay at the same tempo and not drag through your hand, it's pretty easy to keep moving down to a nice snaffle.



Similar Threads

  1. RANT: Distracted Checkers
    By dressagetraks in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: Oct. 30, 2012, 03:27 PM
  2. Distracted Horse-Sometimes
    By Parrotnutz in forum Dressage
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Sep. 7, 2012, 11:26 AM
  3. Distracted horses -- looking around etc
    By ToTheNines in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Apr. 17, 2012, 10:45 PM
  4. Replies: 11
    Last Post: Jan. 24, 2011, 03:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •