After trying every bit I could get my hands on, I found that my mare's favourite bit, whether flatting or jumping is a slow twist dee. It makes little sense to me as it is not the softest bit out there, but whatever works, right?
Last edited by Maya01; Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM.
I usually jump in a copper mouthed pelham and flat in a waterford d ring (for the mare, my gelding just goes in the waterford so I can use the same bridle for both). I use the curb rein on the pelham as sparingly as possible, but my mare likes to build throughout courses and my gelding gets heavy on his front end. I'd like to eventually transition them out of the pelham for hunter classes, but for now, that extra leverage really helps when they don't respond to lighter aids first.
I generally flat and jump in the same bit, a french link D ring. He doesn't need more. For fitness work cross-country, if I suspect he may want to gallop more than I want to gallop, he wears a double-jointed Sprenger "peanut" mouthpiece on a three-ring gag, or a Dr. Bristol with slow-twist shanks.
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I sometimes flat in a d-ring french link, but wouldn't jump in it - my guy likes to bomb around and we both know he will ignore the frenck link if he really wants to. He jumps in a jointed pelham or a slow twist loose ring. I sometimes flat in either one too (usually because I don't want to change bits every ride).
I am obsessed with the german silver french link loose ring snaffles. Even the the hottest horses respond well to them. My current TB is a little feisty and gets hot at times but I have found that every horse I ride in this bit does very well. My guy does tend to rush fences but using a soft bit forces me to ride him off the seat and legs versus being dependent on his mouth. He also relaxes better, accepts contact and gets a beautiful frothy mouth after all our rides. I have NO idea what I will show him in for hunters because this bit really works well.
Another french link snaffle lover here. But to answer your question, the best bit is the most mild one that's effective. I don't change bits when jumping, but sometimes have found it necessary to up the bit at shows.
We recently changed up. Previously I jumped in a dr Bristol happy mouth but found it wasn't really enough and I flatted in a loose ring snaffle. Now I jump in a pelh and flat in a slow twist loose ring.