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Double bridle for the short mouth?

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  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    Thank you for your report 2tempe.

    I had been wondering how that mouthpiece would work in practice, and whether the new types of Fager's curb bits would be worth my money, eventually.

    It would be cheaper for me to buy bits for just one horse. But with riding school horses I've run into mouths generally 4 3/4" on up to 5 3/4". I just like being prepared with bits that do not irritate the horses since I never know when the horse I ride will change.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2tempe
    replied
    I have a Neue Schule (sp??) that is designed much like the Fager Sofia curb. When in the horse's mouth the port tilts forward towards the lips so well out of the snaffle way. My Lusitano has been going very nicely in it. It gets me a bit more respect when I say "dont use that stallion neck to pull me forward" and yet he is comfortable and generating a bit more spit too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    I am limited to riding in the ring, at the walk and trot, for 30 minutes, and right now I can only ride my lesson horse once a week. I simply cannot ride for longer, though in the winter sometimes I can go 5 minutes longer. I cannot give the horses more variety like going out on the trails galloping or jumping, and there is no pasture that is safe for me to ride in because the pastures are well stocked up with horses. I am just limited to that boring ring.

    After a while the horses start getting BORED with me riding them, the same old thing every ride. One way I combat the inevitable boredom is to occasionally change the snaffle bits. But then I finally find that the horse greatly prefers ONE snaffle, the horse gets lighter in hand, keeps contact better without fussing at all, and obeys my rein aids better. Then the horses sort of resent me trying other snaffles they do not like as much.

    The double bridle is a break from the boredom for the horse.

    Most of the school horses I ride have come to the stable with some problems with the bit and contact. On most of these horses I can use their preferred snaffle bit to explain contact and the rein aids but it sometimes takes a while, especially when they are ridden by other people in lessons (like MJ was twice last week.) This has not been a problem with me when I ride Arabians, they tend to understand what I am "saying" to them quickly and we progress quite satisfactorily even when they had been ridden previously with riders with elementary level hands, like in a normal hunt seat stable that teaches riders who are mostly beginners who then progress in their lessons. The Arabians quickly understand that I am different and that I have slightly different expectations for work at the walk and trot, and usually they readily cooperate with me.

    However this horse, and my previous lesson horse are QHs, and these two do not have the Arab brain. They know that they were trained one way and they do not seem to understand that I am truly different from their normal riders. Both of these QHs came to me with either HARD mouths (Bingo) or slightly hard mouths (MJ), and both of them have shown me that they never really got to UNDERSTAND that a bit can be used for a higher level of communication between horse and rider.

    Take Bingo. He was SUPER resistant to any rein aid. He improved on the snaffle but I could tell that he really did not UNDERSTAND the bit. So I asked Debbie, my teacher, if I could introduce him to the double. Bingo has an extremely wide upper neck, around 1/2" wider on each side than his jowl bones. Bingo will never, ever be able to give his rider a graceful head carriage. He is the most unsuitable horse for dressage I have ever ridden in 50 years. I discussed this with Debbie, gave her my reasons (I wanted to see if I could teach him to be lighter in the hand and stop setting his jaw) and she told me to go ahead. Back then I just had the stainless steel double bridle bits, a normal ported curb bit and single jointed bradoon (he did worse in the double-jointed bradoon.) He started improving, stopped resisting the bit, started listening to my light hand aids, and he became more cheerful because he was finally able to figure out what the bit meant. On contact I could feel him comparing the bradoon to the curb bit, and somehow that lessened his confusion about the bit and rein aids. Then I got the Fager double bridle bits and he improved further, accepting contact, not resisting at all with his mouth, and obeying me much more cheerfully than before.

    When I went back to the snaffle with Bingo he was SO MUCH LIGHTER in hand, he stopped setting his jaw to HARD and started yielding to the rein aids. I finally found the snaffle bit he really likes (Fager Bianca double jointed snaffle with a roller, titanium) and he continued being responsive to the bit, responsive enough that I really did not "need" a double bridle any more. I was thinking about using the double bridle again on him this winter but his moon-blindness got a lot worse and Debbie took him out of being a riding horse until his eyes settle down (yes, he is under veterinary treatment.)

    So I had to change lesson horses. Debbie asked me to ride MJ, since I do not jump any more (my MS) and since MJ cannot jump any more (navicular disease) we have complementary disabilities. MJ started off rather hard in the mouth, not as hard in the mouth as Bingo was, but it was obvious that nobody had really taken the time to explain the bit to him in spite of having been ridden for 20 years or so. I also used the Fager Bianca snaffle on him, he really liked that bit but he did not soften his lower jaw much even though his tongue started relaxing more. I am sure that with a year or so more of riding him just in the snaffle that I could improve stuff satisfactorily, but by that time both of us would probably be bored beyond all reason.

    But, and yes it has just been one ride, he's started to see the bit as more than just a method of control (sometimes a brutal method of control). Today he started to "see" that there is more to the bit that the relatively crude hand aids he's been subjected to for decades. He became lighter in hand, he never "set" his mouth to hard, and Debbie said that at no time during the lesson did he seem upset with having two bits in his mouth. He stopped better, he backed up MUCH better, and when I asked him to slow down his walk I did not have to get into an extended discussion with him. Most of the time the curb rein was sagging and I rarely tweaked the curb rein so it was not because the curb bit hurt him more, it was because stuff was different and he was listening better to me.

    Also with MS and my age my brain is shrinking. I am trying to build new connections within my brain. Sometimes one of my nerves will just stop working and it really helps if there is another nerve pathway I can use. By using the double bridle I am building up my shrinking brain and increasing my coordination. Also, I have learned that if I use different tack than the lesson kids that the horse has an easier time remembering that I am not their usual type of rider. They find it easier to remember that I am weaker, more in-coordinated, have worse balance, I am a bit more demanding in my expectations for obedience, and at the same time they also remember that I do not go around hurting their mouth. No one else at my lesson stable uses a double bridle so they KNOW that the game is a little bit different when I ride with the double bridle.

    The next time I ride MJ he will not be bored. We will be exploring new knowledge together.

    My teacher likes the results I get from her horses. She likes that I teach her horses some new things. She likes that the horses I ride tend to get more obedient for her other riders. She enjoys seeing her lesson horses move better under me than a lot of her other riders. She also likes that I will happily take on horses that the vast majority of her better riders think will be a total waste of their time. And she REALLY likes that I spend each of my 30 minute lessons training the horse to become a better riding horse, one that can be a joy to ride instead of just a riding school shuffler who never has learned to enjoy being ridden.

    Leave a comment:


  • blue_heron
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post
    Oh, I forgot. I also worked MJ at the three speeds of the walk. I used collecting aids for the slowest walk just to see how he reacted and all he did was to slow down properly, no fussing.

    I do not ride dressage, I do not ride saddle seat, therefore I do not use the double bridle like dressage or saddle seat riders. I ride Forward Seat, I want that nose stuck out and the horse reaching fearlessly for the bit. Since I am so crippled with my MS it is the only way I can ride with the double bridle without abusing the horse and causing problems down the road.
    This is off topic to the thread but I am interested. I guess I don't really understand your reasoning behind using the double on these horses. It might just be a difference in understanding between disciplines (you said you don't ride dressage, and I know a number of hunter riders who ride their equitation horses in doubles), but what is "the point" of using the double on this wide variety of school horses? Is it just an ongoing science experience? Is it related to your health?

    IME, the double is used in two situations:
    1. The horse has reached a level of education where the double is used to add the extra bit of finesse that takes a seven in a movement in the snaffle to a 9 in the double by allowing for greater control of the riders aids. If the rider is not already well-schooled and doesn't have good proprioception, the double is an inappropriate choice for the rider/horse combo, IMO.
    2. A rider educated in using the double wants to help a young/inexperienced horse though a difficult learning stage and uses the double as a tool to help the horse understand. A dumb example, the horse is having a hard time staying truly through and tends to get in front of the leg when training the extended trot-- the double goes on to remind the horse to stay on the aids for one or two rides, and then the movement is confirmed again in the snaffle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    Oh, I forgot. I also worked MJ at the three speeds of the walk. I used collecting aids for the slowest walk just to see how he reacted and all he did was to slow down properly, no fussing.

    I do not ride dressage, I do not ride saddle seat, therefore I do not use the double bridle like dressage or saddle seat riders. I ride Forward Seat, I want that nose stuck out and the horse reaching fearlessly for the bit. Since I am so crippled with my MS it is the only way I can ride with the double bridle without abusing the horse and causing problems down the road.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    I have not yet conquered photos on line, and with the Covid-19 pandemic I cannot rely on my sons like I usually do, lol. Sorry.

    I have a NS 4 3/4" Mullen mouth curb. It is HEAVIER than the Fager ones, even the Fager ones which are wider. The mouthpiece is thicker than the mouthpiece on the Fager Weymouth curb bits. I have not used the NS Weymouth yet, and right now it looks like I won't have to.

    When I used a double bridle with stainless steel bits (curb and bradoon) I always noticed how heavy the bridle was with the two bits, curb chain, lip strap, bradoon hanger and extra reins, heavy enough that I had some difficulties lifting it high enough to bridle (I am really weak physically). The double bridle with the Fager bits is so much lighter. When it comes to me having to put it on I should not have many difficulties.

    Leave a comment:


  • blue_heron
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post
    My Fager bradoon came, a single jointed fixed cheek Madeleine, 130mm to go with the 135mm Weymouth. I know that is the opposite of usual, with a narrower curb than the bradoon, but I had some minor problems with Bingo when I tried a 125mm snaffle with a 120mm Weymouth, I e-mailed Louise Fagerson and she wrote back that she had found that many horses went better with a wider Weymouth as it did not interfere with the bradoon as much. I do not know if I would try this with a ported Weymouth, especially with my MS hand problems, but the Fager Weymouth I use, the Victoria, is a nicely arched Mullen mouth.

    The horse I am using the double bridle is a QH, probably Appendix, with a rather short smile, with the corners of his mouth probably 1/8" or so further up than his curb groove. He has some problems with his front navicular bones and is shod properly for his problems. Lately he has been SUPER itchy all over his body, especially his butt (yeah, she's treating him for pin worms.) He has never had a double bridle in his mouth before, he has been a school horse for many years in a hunt seat stable. Debbie was able to get him because of the navicular disease, he is not used for jumping any more.

    I put the bits on my Micklem bridle (the chin strap is cut off the Micklem), with the bradoon hangar going through the browband loops and over the crownpiece. The curb is attached as normal with the little bit straps to the headpiece of the Micklem. I used a regular curb chain and a lip strap too. The curb hooks from Fager are slightly different, they are called "non-swivel". The hook part is shorter and the part that goes over the top curb ring is FLAT. It looks like it would be harder for these hooks to get caught up by something by accident.

    I had to guestimate putting the bits on. After a little bit of confusions (my teacher forgot about the bradoon the first time--the lady does not ride with a double bridle so is not used to it) we finally got both bits in the mouth and properly adjusted, the curb mouthpiece vertically above the curb groove and with one wrinkle for the bradoon. This was the only way I could fit both bits with his rather short smile.

    After that--zero problems. On the walk to the ring he investigated both bits with his tongue, no gaping or head flinging. By the time I mounted having two bits in his mouth was more of an interesting new sensation rather than something to get excited about. Riding I kept contact with the bradoon and the curb rein was sagging slightly.

    His contact was somewhat tentative at first but he quickly relaxed. My first two halts, heading away from the gate, were wonderful, he responded immediately, better than ever before with me. The later halts, headed toward the gate, took a few more rein aids with me twiddling my little fingers on the sagging curb rein at the proper time in his stride as a "Yes, I mean it" aid. He responded with a halt with fewer hand aids than I had to use with just a snaffle in his mouth.

    Then, because it felt alright to me, I asked my teacher if I could ride him keeping contact just with the curb bit. I got permission, we walked off on contact with the curb (LIGHT contact), he kept his nose stuck out, his throatlatch open and his mouth closed. I like doing contact with just the curb bit early on when I introduce the double bridle, it reassures the horse that the curb bit is not an instrument of torture and that I can control him quite well with just the curb bit. MJ, the horse, did not seem to mind this at all though we had a minor discussion about turns at first (cured with using my legs for turning aids).

    The rest of the ride, all at the walk, went well. His turns in place were tentative at first, he had to figure out how to move his feet properly with two bits in his mouth, but he improved. His regular turns around the jumps were also a bit tentative at first but he quickly improved. Halts were easier, especially when I tweaked the sagging curb rein with my little fingers in time with his stride.

    It was hot. I got sweaty in spite of my ice vest and I had a few problems keeping track of my right lower leg. Even so with all my deterioration from the heat we had a very successful introduction to the double bridle without him getting offended or terminally puzzled with having two bits in his mouth.

    My riding teacher was pleased with the lesson and how MJ reacted to his first ride in a double bridle.
    Great update! Thank you! I choose to do a hack day when I first introduce them to the double as some are more sensitive to the two bits than others. The PRE have a tendency to curl behind instead of coming thru the contact (each horse is an individual, but this has been my experience) and sometimes the introduction of the curb is too much metal to immediately have a lesson or a real schooling ride.

    Is there any way you would be able to take pictures? I haven't jumped the gun on the Fager bits yet. I am familiar with the NS selection so will try to go that route first but I will definitely explore the Fagers if I don't find something suitable from NS.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    My Fager bradoon came, a single jointed fixed cheek Madeleine, 130mm to go with the 135mm Weymouth. I know that is the opposite of usual, with a narrower curb than the bradoon, but I had some minor problems with Bingo when I tried a 125mm snaffle with a 120mm Weymouth, I e-mailed Louise Fagerson and she wrote back that she had found that many horses went better with a wider Weymouth as it did not interfere with the bradoon as much. I do not know if I would try this with a ported Weymouth, especially with my MS hand problems, but the Fager Weymouth I use, the Victoria, is a nicely arched Mullen mouth.

    The horse I am using the double bridle is a QH, probably Appendix, with a rather short smile, with the corners of his mouth probably 1/8" or so further up than his curb groove. He has some problems with his front navicular bones and is shod properly for his problems. Lately he has been SUPER itchy all over his body, especially his butt (yeah, she's treating him for pin worms.) He has never had a double bridle in his mouth before, he has been a school horse for many years in a hunt seat stable. Debbie was able to get him because of the navicular disease, he is not used for jumping any more.

    I put the bits on my Micklem bridle (the chin strap is cut off the Micklem), with the bradoon hangar going through the browband loops and over the crownpiece. The curb is attached as normal with the little bit straps to the headpiece of the Micklem. I used a regular curb chain and a lip strap too. The curb hooks from Fager are slightly different, they are called "non-swivel". The hook part is shorter and the part that goes over the top curb ring is FLAT. It looks like it would be harder for these hooks to get caught up by something by accident.

    I had to guestimate putting the bits on. After a little bit of confusions (my teacher forgot about the bradoon the first time--the lady does not ride with a double bridle so is not used to it) we finally got both bits in the mouth and properly adjusted, the curb mouthpiece vertically above the curb groove and with one wrinkle for the bradoon. This was the only way I could fit both bits with his rather short smile.

    After that--zero problems. On the walk to the ring he investigated both bits with his tongue, no gaping or head flinging. By the time I mounted having two bits in his mouth was more of an interesting new sensation rather than something to get excited about. Riding I kept contact with the bradoon and the curb rein was sagging slightly.

    His contact was somewhat tentative at first but he quickly relaxed. My first two halts, heading away from the gate, were wonderful, he responded immediately, better than ever before with me. The later halts, headed toward the gate, took a few more rein aids with me twiddling my little fingers on the sagging curb rein at the proper time in his stride as a "Yes, I mean it" aid. He responded with a halt with fewer hand aids than I had to use with just a snaffle in his mouth.

    Then, because it felt alright to me, I asked my teacher if I could ride him keeping contact just with the curb bit. I got permission, we walked off on contact with the curb (LIGHT contact), he kept his nose stuck out, his throatlatch open and his mouth closed. I like doing contact with just the curb bit early on when I introduce the double bridle, it reassures the horse that the curb bit is not an instrument of torture and that I can control him quite well with just the curb bit. MJ, the horse, did not seem to mind this at all though we had a minor discussion about turns at first (cured with using my legs for turning aids).

    The rest of the ride, all at the walk, went well. His turns in place were tentative at first, he had to figure out how to move his feet properly with two bits in his mouth, but he improved. His regular turns around the jumps were also a bit tentative at first but he quickly improved. Halts were easier, especially when I tweaked the sagging curb rein with my little fingers in time with his stride.

    It was hot. I got sweaty in spite of my ice vest and I had a few problems keeping track of my right lower leg. Even so with all my deterioration from the heat we had a very successful introduction to the double bridle without him getting offended or terminally puzzled with having two bits in his mouth.

    My riding teacher was pleased with the lesson and how MJ reacted to his first ride in a double bridle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Goforward
    replied
    My short smile guy likes the NS Transform weymouth and a Verbindend bradoon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    I do not think my riding teacher would let just anybody ride with a double bridle. By the time I ended up at her barn I had introduced 3 horses to the double bridle, and rode two of them for months in it.

    Plus, this July 4th was my 50th anniversary of buying my first horse, so I have a lot of experience riding. My first horse (an angel from heaven) was the first horse I introduced to the double bridle, after I had owned him for around 10 years. Through the years when we got bored with regular riding I would change to the double bridle and the boredom would disappear for a while, then when he got bored with the double we would go back to the snaffle bridle until the next time we got bored, usually years later.

    Since I have MS I try to have my own bridle (the Micklem), bits, reins. saddles, girths and saddle pads so the horses KNOW that I am not their normal lesson riders. I've been riding with this teacher over a decade and she has ended up watching with great interest when I try new types of tack--saddles, bridles, saddle pads and bits, on her horses. She trusts my hands and so far has let my try out any bit I want to try on her horses, though once she told me I was the only rider at her stable that she would let use the particular bit.

    I had to teach myself how to ride with the double bridle. I did ask my then sporadic riding teacher if my hands were good enough and she said yes (she did not own a double bridle and did not offer me any lessons with one), so I went ahead on my own with my horse teaching me what he would accept and what he would not accept. My first horse was an excellent teacher even though he was just green-broke when I bought him and he had never had a double bridle in his mouth before I made mine up. I owe A LOT to my first horse, he taught me how to be a good rider.

    I most definitely post my experiences with this horse in a double, but it will probably be when it is cooler and my hands work better. But then this horse has NOT learned how to deal with a bit properly so it might be earlier, for a short while. More than once I have found that a double bridle can help a horse finally figure out what the snaffle bit MEANS and they are much better with their mouths when I go back to just the snaffle bit.

    Leave a comment:


  • blue_heron
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post
    I like the Fager double bridle bits I used. It was on a horse with an extremely thick throat-latch. Earlier in his life my riding teacher thinks he was abused with a Tom Thumb Western curb.

    When I ordered my double bridle bits Fager only had the Victoria, the Mullen mouth Weymouth curb, I got the 115mm one. I used a loose ring Fager single-jointed bradoon which was 120mm wide. I was expecting this horse to throw a fit over having two bits in his mouth, much to my surprise he accepted them without any problems or resistances. This horse has long lips so the double bridle bits were well separated in his mouth, so much so it sort of freaked my riding teacher out when he yawned! This horse lightened up considerably as far as reacting to my hand aids was concerned, and his lower jaw started relaxing, even when I changed back to a Fager snaffle bit.

    Months later I and this horse both got to really like the Fager Bianca double-jointed with a roller snaffle. This horse immediately lost most of his resistances to bit action. On the Fager site it is mentioned that some people had used regular Fager snaffles as a bradoon. I tried a 125mm Bianca snaffle as a bradoon with the Fager 115mm Weymouth curb. He was not as happy. I e-mailed Louise Fagerson and she suggested that the set up would work better with a WIDER curb bit, that she found that often when the Weymouth curb is narrower than the bradoon that the curb bit interferes with the bradoon.

    So I ordered the wider Victoria Weymouth curb bits. Unfortunately by the time I got them the horse started repeated attacks of moon-blindness and my riding teacher has taken him out of being ridden until his eyes finally settle down (yes, he is being treated by a veterinarian.)

    Now my new lesson horse has short lips. I have been reading this thread with great interest! Since I figured out how to turn my Micklem bridle into a double bridle (I cut off the chin strap and I run the bradoon hanger over on top of the crown piece, looks weird) I will be ordering the 130mm Fager bradoons. I already got the wider Fager Victoria Weymouth curbs so when the bradoons come I will be ready.

    Then I have to convince my riding teacher to let me use the double bridle on my new lesson horse. If she lets me do this it will be third horse at her stable I introduced to the double bridle. My riding teacher trusts my hands, it is just that she has not ridden in a double bridle so she has to get used to the difference between a double bridle and a Pelham, a bit that she does have experience with. She was impressed with the positive differences she saw with the double bridle on the two previous horses I used it with, so I have some hope.

    I generally try to avoid wrinkles at the corner of the horse's mouth, but if I do a double bridle on this horse there WILL be wrinkles with the bradoon.

    Between me, the horse, and my riding teacher we will work all of this out, probably in the fall when it gets cooler and my hands work better.

    I have noticed that, at least at the hunt seat stables where I've ridden, that modern hunt seat stables do not have double bridles. They do not have suitable bits (Weymouth and bradoon), they don't have bradoon hangers, and they do not tend to have a set of two reins, one thinner and slightly longer, to go with the double bridle bits (the bradoon can use the normal snaffle reins.) This means that if I want to ride with a double bridle at these stables I have to provide the bridle and bits myself.

    So I end up with a collection of double bridle bits. Yes, it is expensive, but when my lesson horse gets changed on me I WILL BE READY to indulge my odd passion for riding in a double bridle while riding Forward Seat in a jumping saddle.

    When I get the rest of the Fager double bridle bits I will be consigning all the stainless steel ones I got, of many sizes. My local tack store will be inundated with my stainless steel double bridle bits!

    ALL the horses I've ridden with titanium/titanium coated bits have tell me that they greatly prefer the titanium bits to the stainless steel bits. They forgive me for my hand faults better while, at the same time, telling me that I could improve my hands even more. With stainless steel bits they just "cuss me out" with precious little room for improvement (though I always tried, usually successfully.)

    If you can't tell I really like the Fager bits, and I have paid full price for every one I own.
    Wow! this is quite the experiment! I will also admit I am somewhat stunned that your instructor lets you use a different bitting set up in your lessons that her other students... I think that would be a no no around here.

    Yes, the double is very telling about your hands. Can you update when you find what works/what doesn't work for your short-smiled horse?

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackie Cochran
    replied
    I like the Fager double bridle bits I used. It was on a horse with an extremely thick throat-latch. Earlier in his life my riding teacher thinks he was abused with a Tom Thumb Western curb.

    When I ordered my double bridle bits Fager only had the Victoria, the Mullen mouth Weymouth curb, I got the 115mm one. I used a loose ring Fager single-jointed bradoon which was 120mm wide. I was expecting this horse to throw a fit over having two bits in his mouth, much to my surprise he accepted them without any problems or resistances. This horse has long lips so the double bridle bits were well separated in his mouth, so much so it sort of freaked my riding teacher out when he yawned! This horse lightened up considerably as far as reacting to my hand aids was concerned, and his lower jaw started relaxing, even when I changed back to a Fager snaffle bit.

    Months later I and this horse both got to really like the Fager Bianca double-jointed with a roller snaffle. This horse immediately lost most of his resistances to bit action. On the Fager site it is mentioned that some people had used regular Fager snaffles as a bradoon. I tried a 125mm Bianca snaffle as a bradoon with the Fager 115mm Weymouth curb. He was not as happy. I e-mailed Louise Fagerson and she suggested that the set up would work better with a WIDER curb bit, that she found that often when the Weymouth curb is narrower than the bradoon that the curb bit interferes with the bradoon.

    So I ordered the wider Victoria Weymouth curb bits. Unfortunately by the time I got them the horse started repeated attacks of moon-blindness and my riding teacher has taken him out of being ridden until his eyes finally settle down (yes, he is being treated by a veterinarian.)

    Now my new lesson horse has short lips. I have been reading this thread with great interest! Since I figured out how to turn my Micklem bridle into a double bridle (I cut off the chin strap and I run the bradoon hanger over on top of the crown piece, looks weird) I will be ordering the 130mm Fager bradoons. I already got the wider Fager Victoria Weymouth curbs so when the bradoons come I will be ready.

    Then I have to convince my riding teacher to let me use the double bridle on my new lesson horse. If she lets me do this it will be third horse at her stable I introduced to the double bridle. My riding teacher trusts my hands, it is just that she has not ridden in a double bridle so she has to get used to the difference between a double bridle and a Pelham, a bit that she does have experience with. She was impressed with the positive differences she saw with the double bridle on the two previous horses I used it with, so I have some hope.

    I generally try to avoid wrinkles at the corner of the horse's mouth, but if I do a double bridle on this horse there WILL be wrinkles with the bradoon.

    Between me, the horse, and my riding teacher we will work all of this out, probably in the fall when it gets cooler and my hands work better.

    I have noticed that, at least at the hunt seat stables where I've ridden, that modern hunt seat stables do not have double bridles. They do not have suitable bits (Weymouth and bradoon), they don't have bradoon hangers, and they do not tend to have a set of two reins, one thinner and slightly longer, to go with the double bridle bits (the bradoon can use the normal snaffle reins.) This means that if I want to ride with a double bridle at these stables I have to provide the bridle and bits myself.

    So I end up with a collection of double bridle bits. Yes, it is expensive, but when my lesson horse gets changed on me I WILL BE READY to indulge my odd passion for riding in a double bridle while riding Forward Seat in a jumping saddle.

    When I get the rest of the Fager double bridle bits I will be consigning all the stainless steel ones I got, of many sizes. My local tack store will be inundated with my stainless steel double bridle bits!

    ALL the horses I've ridden with titanium/titanium coated bits have tell me that they greatly prefer the titanium bits to the stainless steel bits. They forgive me for my hand faults better while, at the same time, telling me that I could improve my hands even more. With stainless steel bits they just "cuss me out" with precious little room for improvement (though I always tried, usually successfully.)

    If you can't tell I really like the Fager bits, and I have paid full price for every one I own.

    Leave a comment:


  • CanteringCarrot
    replied
    Originally posted by blue_heron View Post

    I'm a mechanical engineer, and I'm not sure I agree with their short/long shank debate-- their physics are a bit off... But it's not worth debating and I like the short shanks so Im going to keep them.

    My bridoon is the NS veribend loose ring with the small rings. It is a half size bigger than his curb. The "upward" port on the Fager is interesting and might make a difference in how it interferes with the snaffle but I wonder how it interacts with the tongue once you touch the curb rein.

    ewells Do you think you could report back/take pics when you have try the Fager?
    Ah, well, you know, everyone is an expert I went back and forth on shank size, and actually, a fair amount are available in the shorter shank option. Especially with NS. I was constantly looking in my horse's mouth. Fortunately he stood while pressure was applied so I could see how everything sat in there. I thought a port might be too much, but it was actually better for him. Assembling a double is such an expensive and stressful endeavor at least for over thinkers like me!

    theresak my horse's bits are also close. But this is the only way it works. It's a lot of metal in there for a small space.







    ​​​​​​​

    Leave a comment:


  • theresak
    replied
    I settled on a HS double jointed bradoon and NS mullen curb, with the bits closer together than ideal. He just didn't have enough room to raise the snaffle and lower the curb so they didn't touch. Both bits were also the same size.

    Leave a comment:


  • blue_heron
    replied
    Originally posted by CanteringCarrot View Post
    I've been wanting to try some bits from Fager, so I am quite intrigued about those. NS does make a few options, as mentioned, for the "short smile" horse. If you're bradoon is a loose ring, it should typically be a size bigger than the curb. Mine is an eggbutt and my curb and snaffle are the same size. This works, and they fit.

    I went back and forth about the short shank. Many argue it is not more "kind" or super beneficial to a sensitive horse as due to the shanks being shorter, the aids actually come quicker/sharper. This explains it: https://www.bitbankaustralia.com.au/...of-the-shanks/

    Of course you may already know this, and with educated hands, this isn't a huge concern. If you and your horse are happy with the shank length, then by all means stick with it.

    Are there any bit fitting consultants in your area? This could be an option too. As I said, I was surprised by what ended up fitting in my horse's mouth and being comfortable for him. You can try for the thinnest set-up and NS has a good variety. Also a good variety for ported and non ported. I did find some decent options from Stuebben too. If you do go the Fager route, I'd be interested to hear what you think!
    I'm a mechanical engineer, and I'm not sure I agree with their short/long shank debate-- their physics are a bit off... But it's not worth debating and I like the short shanks so Im going to keep them.

    My bridoon is the NS veribend loose ring with the small rings. It is a half size bigger than his curb. The "upward" port on the Fager is interesting and might make a difference in how it interferes with the snaffle but I wonder how it interacts with the tongue once you touch the curb rein.

    ewells Do you think you could report back/take pics when you have try the Fager?

    Leave a comment:


  • DressageChic2
    replied
    Originally posted by ewells View Post
    I am having similar difficulty with Double bridle bits for my PRE he has a short smile a full tongue and a low pallet he seriously has a tiny mouth especially for his size. What’s even worse for me is my PRE dosn’t like a broken snaffle at all he goes in a Mullen snaffle which used to be a legal option for a bradoon but rules have changed and now it is no longer allowed 😞.
    I have been searching for quite a while and recently came across Fager bits https://fagerbits.com/store/double-bridle-bits
    I have ordered the Sofia Weymouth and It’s only just arrived but I have a gut feeling it’s going to be a very good fit. I love the feel of it the diameter and it’s weight. The bradoon we’ll have to see but small legal diameter I think can also help your horses comfort when there isn’t much room to work with.
    some of the mylers and the Bomber ported barrel are FEI legal as a bradoon. are they options? not a broken snaffle but not quite a mullen either, maybe worth a try?

    Leave a comment:


  • CanteringCarrot
    replied
    I've been wanting to try some bits from Fager, so I am quite intrigued about those. NS does make a few options, as mentioned, for the "short smile" horse. If you're bradoon is a loose ring, it should typically be a size bigger than the curb. Mine is an eggbutt and my curb and snaffle are the same size. This works, and they fit.

    I went back and forth about the short shank. Many argue it is not more "kind" or super beneficial to a sensitive horse as due to the shanks being shorter, the aids actually come quicker/sharper. This explains it: https://www.bitbankaustralia.com.au/...of-the-shanks/

    Of course you may already know this, and with educated hands, this isn't a huge concern. If you and your horse are happy with the shank length, then by all means stick with it.

    Are there any bit fitting consultants in your area? This could be an option too. As I said, I was surprised by what ended up fitting in my horse's mouth and being comfortable for him. You can try for the thinnest set-up and NS has a good variety. Also a good variety for ported and non ported. I did find some decent options from Stuebben too. If you do go the Fager route, I'd be interested to hear what you think!

    Leave a comment:


  • ewells
    replied
    I am having similar difficulty with Double bridle bits for my PRE he has a short smile a full tongue and a low pallet he seriously has a tiny mouth especially for his size. What’s even worse for me is my PRE dosn’t like a broken snaffle at all he goes in a Mullen snaffle which used to be a legal option for a bradoon but rules have changed and now it is no longer allowed 😞.
    I have been searching for quite a while and recently came across Fager bits https://fagerbits.com/store/double-bridle-bits
    I have ordered the Sofia Weymouth and It’s only just arrived but I have a gut feeling it’s going to be a very good fit. I love the feel of it the diameter and it’s weight. The bradoon we’ll have to see but small legal diameter I think can also help your horses comfort when there isn’t much room to work with.

    Leave a comment:


  • blue_heron
    replied
    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    Check out the NS Transform curb. Seems to make a difference for mine. We paired it with the Turtle Top bradoon.
    I will look at the NS curb. It does come in short shanks. I don't really want to change the bridoon because I want it to be the same mouthpiece as his regular snaffle.

    Has anyone tried going up a size in the bridoon?

    Leave a comment:


  • joiedevie99
    replied
    Check out the NS Transform curb. Seems to make a difference for mine. We paired it with the Turtle Top bradoon.

    Leave a comment:

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