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Bit suggestions?

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  • Bit suggestions?

    My slightly still green tb/perch cross has no respect for a snaffle bit and falls very heavily into the bridle. He has no respect for it at all and refuses to have any form of self carriage. After the suggestion of a local dressage trainer we put him into a pelham mullen mouth for a short period of time. I normally only ride with both reins for about 15 minutes and once he comes off the forehand and carries the bridle nicely i use only the snaffle rein. Now, I would like to put him back into a bit I cant actually ride him in at a show. Any suggestions?

    He didn't like a snaffle or bouche at all.

  • #2
    I don't know. I can suggest some things which might get you closer though.

    1 - find a good equine dentist if you don't already have one, not a vet, but the equine denstists really are schooled in a horse's mouth. See if you can get the conformation of the horse's mouth evaluated. Narrow jaw, shallow palate, wolf teeth, etc, all make a horse miserable with the wrong bit. My dentis also suggested filing the first molars a bit for a bit seat for my particular horse. The bit is hitting his teeth, and taking the top front corner off helps the bit not to hit his teeth quite so badly.

    2 - make sure the bit is seated up high enough in the mouth. I think sometimes we want to make sure we don't stretch the hors' mouth and the bit is too low. When it is up high, it doesn't move around so much. It may be why the boucher was not liked - try the bits up one or two holes higher.

    3 - try a curved/conformed style of snaffle with a bean (double jointed) and with a different metal, copper, german silver, whatever. I may help him move into instead of avoid the bit.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


    • #3
      I don't think there is a way to recommend a specific bit without more information on your horse's mouth anatomy.

      That said, falling on the forehand and leaning on the bit are (duh) from a horse not using their hind end correctly. The easiest way to correct this is to insist on straightness in travel. I'd be willing to bet your horse is locking his back when he does this too.
      To correct it, EVERY time your horse falls into your hands immediately ask for a lateral movement. Shoulder in, shoulder fore, haunches in, leg yield... SOMETHING other than straight forward in a line.
      That lateral movement forces the horse to put the engine and weight back on the haunches, loosens the back and the jaw. If you ask for a lateral every time pretty soon your horse will get the idea.
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        I would agree with the other posts we need to know a little more and that his teeth have been checked and that he does not have a strange shaped mouth. One of my horses that I showed to Prix St. George had a strange mouth shape to the point that I had to have custom made double bridle bits for him. His big problem was that his face on the side was very wide and nothing fit correctly. I had eliminated all the other issues prior to going down that route becasue to have a mold made is expensive and have all the measurements made but in his case it was well worth it and made a huge difference.
        "Ask often, demand little, reward generously"
        " Every horse has a chocolate side"


        • #5
          These aren't dressage "legal" but can be super helpful for training purposes on those horses that aren't naturally talented in self-carriage...



          • #6
            Originally posted by Arminda99 View Post
            My slightly still green tb/perch cross has no respect for a snaffle bit and falls very heavily into the bridle. He has no respect for it at all and refuses to have any form of self carriage.
            You are asking the question (of him) wrong. He doesn't simply "refuse" to have any form of self-carriage (do not take it personally!), you are not asking or riding him in such a way that induces or encourages self-carriage.

            If he has no respect for a snaffle, 1) evaluate mouth conformation, 2) learn about bits and how they work (ie, single versus double jointed snaffles, low ports that offer tongue relief, etc) and 3) teach him to be lighter and more responsive. Teach the basics and establish a foundation.

            If he falls heavily on his forehand and into the bridle, he is not working off his hind. Using a different bit might increase lightness in the mouth but it will not teach him to work off his hind if you continue to ride him the same way. Bits do not teach a horse to work from behind. Teaching them to work from behind does.

            Countless threads on this topic but basically you need to use progressive schooling exercises that increase his strength for self-carriage and that increasingly cause him to have to carry himself and work from behind. Lateral work, hills, ground poles, circular work (inside leg to outside rein), transitions, changes in pace within a gait, spiraling circles (again, inside leg to outside rein), etc.
            ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


            • #7
              Try a Dr. Bristol.
              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


              • #8
                My perch/TB goes very well in a Dr. Bristol. I've been trying to find a full cheek one, actually, with no luck. Nonetheless, the eggbutt Dr. Bristol is great for him. He hates single-jointed bits and laughs at french links. It's a nice, steady bit and is actually a lot milder than most reviews make it seem.


                • #9
                  dr bristols are great when there isn't a lot of room in their mouth for a bit.
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jonaprag23 View Post
                    These aren't dressage "legal" but can be super helpful for training purposes on those horses that aren't naturally talented in self-carriage...

                    I have a shire x paint - we were having some issues with bits and tried the Myler Combo. My horse has gone really well in the bit. I would rule out other problems first, but the tongue relief helped.