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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Out in The Country

    Default Cross Country Bit Question

    I have a WB cross who goes in a KK in dressage and he actually does well in it jumping. He is not green and we do fine XC but he can be a little bit of a bully and all my other horses go in snaffles. He only gets this way XC - he just gets excited and he seems to be having a lot of fun - he has schooled a ton and shown a bit.... more dressage only than eventing though he is really more event horse than dressage.

    Point is - for those of you on big boned, strong horses that tend to get up for XC - what bits do you switch to? I like to ride in light soft bits all the time. He did go in a full cheek Dr. B XC at our last event but he made no difference. I thought about putting him in a running martingale but again, I am a less is more person - so I am asking what you all do first.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Triangle Area, NC


    add a kineton noseband?
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004


    Does he throw his head up and scoot or pull down on the bit?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    North Carolina


    Agreed with BMU's question. I loved an elevator for my front-heavy appendix, I could lift him very lightly and he graduated up the rings as he got mileage; french mouth so not severe. MY OTTB though, just bears down on it and it does nothing except allow me to stop in less than the 1/2 mile it takes in snaffle (only running XC), so trying a pelham on him.

    Point: there are different solutions depending on the type of resistance encountered.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2009


    Agreed it depends if he's pulling and getting heavy, or just throwing his head up or to his chest and running. My friend with a heavy horse is having good luck with a myler combination with a port. My horse prefer to throw his head up, lock his neck and run. I recently switched to a soft rubber pelham and it seems to be working nicely. I can ride off the snaffle, and then have the curb if he gets strong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006


    My mare used to lean and just refuse any downward transitions. I use a slow twist and it works very well although I am hoping to transition to a french link sometime soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    too far from the barn


    Again, depending on the bad habit, my next move tends to be one of:
    running martingale
    Kineton noseband
    KK elevator
    Soft gag or
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2011


    My horse is usually very light in his mouth and I also prefer lighter bits. Once he got confident on xc and really started enjoying himself, he started getting down and heavy. I tried a French link Boucher (with a figure8) and it made ALL the difference. Not a strong bit, just sits differently and we love it

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