biting advice needed re: bits and cheek pieces - loose ring vs eggbutt??
Question for you all. I begin with the confession that I am not a professional rider so there are still lots of things for me to work on. Like my hands. And my feel. I am trying - really, I am - but you can't buy it on ebay or otherwise I would have scraped up enough pennies by now.
I'm riding a big, green boy who tries his heart out. He is currently in a KK loose ring and goes well.
I get the sense that I frustrate him by being inconsistent with my hands. Sometimes we’re behind the bit, sometimes we’re above. I am not looking for a stronger bit – we have good brakes and steering in the KK. But I occasionally wonder whether a cheek piece switch would help him by muffling out some of my bad signals and keeping the bit a little more stable in his mouth.
Do you think this would be a worthy avenue to explore?
If yes, would an eggbutt or a D be more effective/appropriate? I’m not clear on the difference in action between these two and would appreciate your input.
Well, a loose ring is a lively bit that awakens a too quiet mouth. While an eggbutt won't really muffle out your mistakes, but if he's annoyed by the liveliness of the bit , switching to an eggbutt will help.
As for your hands, there's a great suggestion in this'd the Dressage Today to practice transitions holding both reins in your outside hand. Your seat needs an education more than your hands
I agree with the suggestion for Eggbutt Snaffle--has been my experience that with the eggbut some horses really respond to the Stability. They also make rein inserts that might be slightly less $$$ than a new KK--I have never used these or tried them but might be worth testing out.
It wouldn't hurt anything to try. Some horses prefer a fixed ring over a loose, and sometimes a more stable bit can be beneficial to a greener horse.
As far as the difference between an eggbutt and a D-ring? Basically aesthetics. You could make a really nitpicky argument about how they are ever so slightly different, but in terms of action in the mouth, most horses wouldn't notice. I HATE D-rings myself because my reins always slide over and get stuck on the spot where the curve meets the straight at the bottom of the "D" part. Drives me bonkers! Plus, they look all hunter-y.
If you can spare the money, I would definitely try it! One of my previous horses (arab-x) was great in a JP Korsteel curved eggbutt frenchlink snaffle, but was a monster in the KK ultra loose ring french link snaffle. She would head shake and buck in the KK, poor girl must have been being pinched somewhere.
My current horse also does not particularly care for the KK (won't go round, opens her mouth a bit), but does really well in the same JP Korsteel eggbutt bit as the arab-x. I tried the exact same bit (mouth piece being the curved, oval french link) in a D ring instead of an eggbutt and good gravy her mouth was gaping and she would not stop head shaking. D-rings apply more cheek pressure which apparently my little pony could not handle.
I have been told that loose rings help with horses that like to lean on you, with the bit not being in a fixed position it makes it harder to do that. If your guy is not a leaner, he may like the stability of the eggbutt cheekpiece like mine have.
JP Korsteel makes very nice bits. They are well designed and they have a beautiful jeweler's finish. They are incredibly inexpensive for what you get. Korsteel has always made beautiful bits.
The other group of bits I love are the Sprenger Dynamic RS bits ... probably the most expensive bits on the market .
It's kind of funny that the pricing difference between the two is VAST.
I am a fan of well designed jeweler's finish bits.
I have the sprenger RS dynamic loose ring, and a NS loose ring. It was recommended on another thread to try the JP Korsteel eggbutt with lozenge in the middle. My horse loves it and it is very stable in the mouth. She also goes well in both the loose ring bits but is the most steady in the eggbutt.
What a price difference I might add!
Last edited by Octobergirl; Nov. 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM.
Reason: Add text
My young horse goes really well in this bit. In fact, it’s the bit I started her in as a 3 year old, and have been using it ever since.
It’s a JP Korsteel Eggbutt Oval mouth. The bit has curved bars to shape to the mouth, the oval center piece is smooth and very round – does not cause undue pressure to the tongue. The shape of the bit means it will not poke to the roof of the mouth when the reins are pulled like some standard snaffles.
I do not start youngsters in loose ring snaffles as they can pinch the cheeks, and I want the bit to have a solid cheek piece for early, direct rein steering.
Reviving this thread because I'm having similar thoughts. My horse is a typical sensitive & light-mouthed TB who demands to be ridden properly or he impersonates a giraffe. He is currently in a single joint Myler D. He goes alright in it, but I feel that he might prefer a thicker bit because he has a tendency to back off the contact. He will sometimes toss his head for theatrics, but he tries hard to be a good boy.
I've tried a rubber three-piece loose ring, and he didn't seem impressed with it. I started him in a JP Korsteels three-piece loose ring with a copper lozenge, but it seems small, so I quickly went to the D ring. At this point in his education I am wanting him to learn to really stretch down and into the contact. I admit I get braced in my shoulders, but he's such a tattle-tale that I have learned to fix it.
Now, part two, why would you choose a three-piece bit over a single joint? I am trying to expand my bit knowledge, but it's a process.
"All your protestations aside, this has got to be on anyone's Top Ten list of Bad Horse Advice." - Ghazzu
I did spend the $$$ on a D-Ring Sprenger with the KK ultra mouthpiece. Made a world of difference to me. I could hold the bit steadier and felt like we could get the connection with the bit better with less fussing around.
That being said, my dressage coach and my jumping coach both proclaimed that there was no difference in feel to them. Not to be captain obvious, they have better hands than me, a mere mortal amateur. They did both like me riding in the D ring better.
However, since using the D-ring I have now figured out what it should feel like and am more successful with the loose ring (also Sprenger KK). So the D ring has stayed on the jumping bridle and the loose ring lives on the dressage bridle and all is well in the world.
I am glad that I spent the money as it provided me with an (expensive) short cut to figuring out the feel issue.
Get the best of both worlds - a Loose Ring Egg Butt in ONE bit...
Get the best of both - a Loose Ring Egg Butt in ONE bit! I switched my sensitive, up headed, tight through the back young Thoroughbred (schooloing and showing at Training Level) from a traditional egg butt to a traditional loose ring, no change or improvement at all ... Then I learned about this thing called a "Micmar Cupreon Loose Ring Egg Butt Snaffle with a Losenze Snaffle. Amazing - totally new horse! So happy to look for the bit and STRETCH. Its a little funky looking - like an English racehorse because the rings are big, and the egg butt barrel is wide
- but that is the beauty of it. Compared to EVERY other loose ring I have examined, the rings DO NOT STICK at all, and the barrel of the egg butt on this one protects his lips COMPLETELY. Love this bit, won't EVER look for another! And it IS ALLOWED. Got us through our training "plateau" and turned our low 50 % rides into 70 %s instead! And I have always used Rein Aid reins, love those, too.