i would like to try out a different bit for my 6 yr OTTB.he's come a long way and is learning the basics of dressage fast,as all OTTB very willing and trying to please.i have been using a double jointed loose ring sprenger aurigan but my gut feeling tells me he needs something even softer,something that sits maybe more "quietly".he is very soft and sensitive and sometimes seems to be uncomfortable ,opening the mouth or holding head sideways ,also i'd like to see him chew on the bit a little more.of course all of this could be caused by me,my hands,seat etc. but let's suppose it's not... () ...what bit /bits would you suggest ?
I've always had alot of luck with both the Nathe bits and the HS Duo bits. Or perhaps you could try a single jointed version of your current bit. You could also play around with different cheek pieces and see if he might be happier in an egg butt or a full cheek. Ive always found that the double jointed loose rings have alot of movement to them and try as I might to keep my hands as quiet as possible, they transmit every single movement of my hand (intentional and unintentional) straight to the horse's mouth.
Ive always found that the double jointed loose rings have alot of movement to them and try as I might to keep my hands as quiet as possible, they transmit every single movement of my hand (intentional and unintentional) straight to the horse's mouth.[/QUOTE]
nathe bit --- this is new to me,just googled it.can't seem to find one that doesn't have loose rings,something i now want to stay away from since you all pointed out that they don't keep stable .
and yes,i was thinking thinner,too.how thin is good ?the sprenger bit i'm using right now is 160 mm measured at widest point .
Bringing in a really good dentist (one that's CEqD certified) could reduce the guess work involved in bit selection enormously. Not only would s/he find and treat any problems with the mouth which could be causing the problems, but also analyze things like height of palate and thickness of tongue which have a lot to do with what kind/s of bits are likely to fit best and be most comfortable for an individual horse. S/he will also create a bit seat to further improve stability and comfort.
I've tried many bits for my 21 year old TB mare. Nathe, baucher, Myler, loose ring, d bit, single joint, french link etc. etc. I also tried fashionable bits too - expensive metal combinations but never had much luck.
The one she seems to like the best is a JP single joint full cheek snaffle, placed a little high - (tighter on the cheek pieces of the bridle than I normally go). I use the keepers as well - this keeps the bit quiet in the mouth if you suspect you have less than perfect hands.
For what its worth, my trainer taught me to have all the bits handy, ride for a time in each one, then change it, ride in the second one, change to the third one and so forth. The only way I have been able to see a difference is to ride in all bits over a single span of time. When I did try this, it became much clearer which one she went better in.
I also agree with having a dentist take a look at the mouth.
I ride my OTTB in a full cheek soft rubber korsteel bit. He is happy, willing takes contact now so its what we'll keep. I have always been a fan of the KK bits, but when I bought this horse they told me after all sorts of trial and error this is what he likes so I am unwilling to switch just because its not really a traditional dressage bit.
my vet 's speciality is dentistry and he had checked the horse's teeth ,apparently there's nothing wrong there.the horse isn't acting as if he's in pain or discomfort ,he's just young and learning and so isn't always able to do what i'm asking him to do.lots of good advice already , kind of along the lines my gut feeling was telling me....go a bit thinner,no loose rings,keep it simple ,maybe try soft rubber....keep the ideas coming,sounds all good .thank you all already !!!
oh you are quite right about the training issue ! we have a few to deal with,some being deep muscle tensions from his previous career as a race horse,he's also stiff to one side,apparently also a common thing amongst ottb's ,he has problem feet etc etc...BUT he's come a long way and we are making real progress since he is such a sweetheart,smart and loves to learn.changing the bit is,as you say,isn't supposed to be the cure for all but a help.thanks for your comments!
I've been told that a bit with no joints is softer than jointed. Single jointed has more bite than double jointed. Maybe a fixed ring rather than a loose ring. I think the loose ring causes more of the movement than the double joint. JMHO
"The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp
A few of the bits I've tried on Wizard, who is an OTTB and who gets mouthy when he's anxious: KK Ultra, Myler comfort snaffle, Happy Mouth mullen, copper roller, JP with the "bean", rubber mullen, rubber single joint, curved snaffles, Nathe, various loose rings.
The best bits by far for him are a French link full cheek snaffle and a French link eggbutt. For him, a close runner-up to the French link option is the Stubben EZ Control, which he liked, because it has movable joints, but locks into a solid mouthpiece when both reins apply pressure.
The other part of the successful equation for him was a Micklem bridle. It took some of the bit pressure off the bars of his mouth and now he's far less chompy. He likes a bit that sits quietly, but seems to prefer metal to rubber or Happy Mouth material.
We also ride occasionally in a (bitless) LG Bridle. It helps to keep him relaxed and forward.
Last edited by Alibhai's Alibar; May. 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM.
I start almost all of my TBs in the Micklem bridle (although that is a relatively new innovation) and a D-ring or Baucher bit. I like the KK, the JP oval, and the Myler comfort snaffle in either a D ring or a Baucher. I'm currently riding my OTTB (who was 6 when I got him), in a Micklem bridle and Myler baucher http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/MMBL1.htm