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KK Ultra Loose Ring

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  • KK Ultra Loose Ring

    I was speaking with one of my dressage trainers a week ago regarding a new dressage bit for my horse (for several reasons). She recommended the KK Ultra Loose Ring and uses it for all the horses she rides/trains because of the great success she has had with it. It is for sale at Dover for $120 and while that is more than what I truly want to pay for a bit, I definitely will if it is worth the money (which, from what I have heard, it is).

    I saw that there were other similar bits of different brands. Has anyone had any success with them? I don't want buy a bit just to save a little bit of cash, only to end up buying the KK, because the cheaper ones caused more harm than good.

    These were the others I was looking at:
    Stübben Sweet Copper Loose Ring ($65) -- ideally, this is the one I am leaning more towards
    AlBaCon Elite Loose Ring ($37) -- ?? had 3 great reviews ??

    Any opinions, recommendations, experiences with any of these, or even any other bit with the "bean" in the middle.

  • #2
    I can't tell from the pictures of those, but the advantage of the KK Ultra is that the connections between the long pieces and the short pieces is at an angle that [I'm sure somebody else here can explain the "why" better than me] um... provides softer contact?

    All I know is that when you start comparing the KK to other bits that "Look" the same, what you look for is that angle in the connector piece.


    • #3
      The JP Korsteel loose ring is even cheaper (less than $30). My very small-mouthed, flat-palated horse goes quite well in the eggbutt version.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you both! I wasn't sure exactly what the difference was between the three bits, other than the possible size of the short piece from the pictures.

        Can someone explain if/how an eggbutt effects the horse differently than a loose ring?


        • #5
          Originally posted by hopper20 View Post
          The JP Korsteel loose ring is even cheaper (less than $30). My very small-mouthed, flat-palated horse goes quite well in the eggbutt version.
          I don't remember for sure if I have that or the Albacon (I think the Albacon) but my horse liked both - and hated the KK.

          My trainer uses the KK on most of her horses, and most love it. Put it in my horse's mouth, and he makes the most horrible gagging faces, mouth open as far as he can get it and tongue sticking out, rolling his eyes back in his head. Yes, he's a drama queen, but the point is very clear - even with no rider, he HATES the bits. He's small-mouthed with a flat palate, and the KKs my trainer has were just too thick for him.
          Originally posted by Silverbridge
          If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


          • Original Poster

            Does anyone know Dover's policy on returning bits? If I remember correctly, my horse's current bit (that was custom made.. spoiled brat..) has a pretty decent thickness to it. Now I am starting to think I don't want to spend $120 on a bit when I could have spent much less for something that works better..

            I hate buying new things....


            • #7
              If you buy a new bit, it is yours. You do not have the option to return it (at least that was everyone's policy when I was looking for a bit a year ago).

              Will your instructor let you borrow the KK Ultra for a few rides? A friend's mare goes great in that bit, but my mare? Head shaking and bucking! Yes it was all related to the bit because the head shaking and bucking stopped when I switched bits. I am so thankful my friend let me borrow that bit before I bought it.

              Eggbutts are more "stable" in the horses mouth meaning it does not have the potential to pinch the corners of the horses mouth like a loose-ring and the bit is in a fixed position in relation to a horse's mouth. Loose-rings obviously allow the bit to move around the rings, making it annoying to horses that prefer things to stay. I read somewhere that loose rings can be great for horses that tend to lean because the bit moves making it harder for them to lean, but of course I can not find the reference now.

              FWIW, my mare dislikes loose rings, hates single jointed bit, did ok in the JP Korsteel curved eggbutt french link snaffle (other mare goes brilliantly in this bit!), and is doing better in a french link baucher. If at all possible, really, really try to borrow bits before your buy! Otherwise you will spend a fortune.


              • #8
                There are always some on E-bay.


                • Original Poster

                  THST - Thank you so much! I will definitely see if I can borrow the bit. Going to a KK loose ring will mean going to a complete opposite type of bit for me, and I sure don't want to spend a ton of money on bits I am never going to use.

                  Betonbill - I actually saw several KK's on ebay a week ago for half off that would have fit my horse. But they are no longer there


                  • #10
                    Also, Bit of Britain does a rental program on the Sprenger bits, so you can send them back if it doesn't work out.

                    I have the KK Ultra and love it, but I had to buy the 14mm one, as my mare has a small mouth. I tried the Sprenger Dynamic before and HATED it, my mare was so strong and completely ran through it.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks Tegan! I just might give that a try!


                      • #12
                        Once you use one, you probably won't use anything else. I'm a fan of a bargain, never pay retail.

                        I tried it on both more horses (a friends). I now own 2 KK's (not ultras) and 1 Ultra.
                        All 3 were bought used on Ebay for $70 or less.

                        It's not going to wear out. It is a GOOD bit and holds its value used. If you dont like it, sell it on Ebay.

                        Seriously, I recommend it. My mare hated the regular KK, she was sucking back and avoiding. The Ultra is wonderful on her, she relaxes right to it.

                        My pony has the knock off version, a big fat Korsteel. He LOFFS it. Chomp chomp chomps on it.


                        • #13
                          many tack shops will allow bit returns. just ask. i have been known to buy many and try them all on and return all that didnt work. of course this was a local shop so shipping wasnt a problem.

                          you can also find used bits online peridically at a discount - maybe $75 or so. use a bit of sprenger bit polish and tehyy look literally good as new.

                          sprenger bits are very worth the $$ altho i give them a ding on cred for trying to be so trendy with all the new bit designs... the kk is truly a classic bit that works with almost every horse.

                          and fwiw, the difference between HS bits and others is

                          a) quality of the product
                          b) quality of the workmanship
                          c) they just fit better somehow!
                          d) the angles and different on the links so the bit lies differently in the horses mouth.
                          e) they hold their value very very well


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks everyone!! I have a Dover store 5 minutes from my house (its on my way to the barn ) and just asked the online rep. and they informed me that the bit can be returned I'm definitely going to try the KK and am praying he likes it!


                            • #15
                              I use the KK Ultra for all my horses and it works perfectly!! I would never use anything else. But it has to fit. I returned several bits until I found the right one for each horse... They last if used regularly for about 7 to 8 years...


                              • #16
                                Just another endorsement for the KK Ultra. My mare LOVES it!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Manni01 View Post
                                  I use the KK Ultra for all my horses and it works perfectly!! I would never use anything else. But it has to fit. I returned several bits until I found the right one for each horse... They last if used regularly for about 7 to 8 years...
                                  Manni, I've had mine for longer than that, and it's used maybe 5-6 times per week. What signs do you see when they are wearing out? There's nothing I see on mine that worries me, nor is my horse protesting the bit. Is there anything specific I should be watching for with a KK? This is the first time I've ever heard someone say they wear out so quickly...
                                  The plural of anecdote is not data


                                  • #18
                                    Depends on the horse.
                                    I have one mare that definitely prefers the KK Ultra (strainght arms, angled center oval).

                                    I have another who definitely prefers the JP (curved arms, non-angled, flat center piece) (The JP is also available with the oval center)

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by hopper20 View Post
                                      The JP Korsteel loose ring is even cheaper (less than $30). My very small-mouthed, flat-palated horse goes quite well in the eggbutt version.

                                      Yes, I was just going to post this. Love the JP bits


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SecondInCommand View Post
                                        Manni, I've had mine for longer than that, and it's used maybe 5-6 times per week. What signs do you see when they are wearing out? There's nothing I see on mine that worries me, nor is my horse protesting the bit. Is there anything specific I should be watching for with a KK? This is the first time I've ever heard someone say they wear out so quickly...
                                        Well of course I´m overanxious. but IMO after that time the edges of the hole for the ring get sharp because the rings used up the material of the bit. I made the same observation in the middle of the bit. After I got the new one, I could see a distinct difference.

                                        Actually these bits last much longer than the traditional broken bits we used before. They tended to get sharp edges much sooner....
                                        So I´m quite happy with their durability...