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Need opinions from upper level dressage riders/trainers.. no offense to the lower g

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  • Need opinions from upper level dressage riders/trainers.. no offense to the lower g

    I have a 3rd and 4th level dressage horse being ridden in a double bridle. The scores are down and I noticed the bits are too big.. My horse rides in a 5 1/2 but the bits being used in the double are 6".. What kind of impact would this be in training, riding, flexion etc?? I have my thoughts but would love to hear from others thanks

  • #2
    When the bits are too big, they floats and the pressure points won't be at the right places. Like too big shoes, the arch won't be at the right place, your toes will float and no matter how much you tighten them, you'll have problem walking with them and finding your balance.

    Same if the bits are too small.

    Depending on the type of weymouth you have, it would be less noticeable if it is a bit too big, but a too big bradoon would not be really good. The horse will be less willing to stay on the contact. The action of the bit won't be as precise as it's design for.

    If it is for a few rides, it won't be traumatic for your horse but on the long run,
    your horse would feel better in a 5 1/2 bradoon and a 5 1/2 or 5 1/4 for the weymouth.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app

    Comment


    • #3
      Why is your horse being ridden normally in bits different than at a show? I find the biggest mistake in showing is to switch something up last minute.

      Comment


      • #4
        normally the bridoon is longer than the curb.... so there will be differences in the widths from just riding in a snaffle. what is important is how does it fit?

        i dont really think .25" would make much of a difference one way or another.... ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mbm View Post
          normally the bridoon is longer than the curb.... so there will be differences in the widths from just riding in a snaffle. what is important is how does it fit?

          i dont really think .25" would make much of a difference one way or another.... ?
          It is not .25" it is .50".

          What matter is how it fits? If it's too big or too small, how can the fit be good?

          There is a reason why bits are made of different lenghts.
          .25 too small will pinch the corner of your horse's mouth
          .25 too big, the bit will have space to move from side to side and if the bit has a curve, it won't conform the horse's mouth like it is supposed to be.

          We cannot stress over more for a good fitting saddle and there would be no problem putting ill fitted bits in our horse's mouth? Their most sensitive part!
          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

          Originally posted by LauraKY
          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
          HORSING mobile training app

          Comment


          • #6
            Sometimes the top shanks of the Weymouth curve in, meaning you have to go wider than usual to prevent rubbing. My horse takes a 5" bit in his snaffle bridle but for the Weymouth dressage trainer said we had to go up 1/4".

            Then often the bridoon needs to be a 1/4" bigger than the Weymouth, so the rings have room to move around.

            Either way the double is not required at third and fourth so if he goes better in the snaffle just do him in that.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
              It is not .25" it is .50".
              A bit that is 1/2 inch longer is 1/4 inch longer on each side.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alicen View Post
                A bit that is 1/2 inch longer is 1/4 inch longer on each side.
                1/4 inch too big on each side yeah I know.

                The horse snaffle is a 5 1/2. But the bradoon is a 6".

                If the snaffle fits correctly, there is a bit of room already on the side like it should be. Then you had the 1/4" extra on each side.

                I don't care, not my horse. But I wouldn't put a too big bit in my horse's mouth, because I believe it should fit properly, like everything else.

                People could put the bit too low or too high for a 1/4". What would it change?

                @Meupatdoes: I've always seen weymouths with the top shank that are straight or curved out but if your horse needs a tad bigger to fit, by all mean so be it!
                And you see, your trainer said your bit was too tigh for 1/4". Meaning 1/8" on each side! According to Mbm and Alicen, it shouldn't have been a problem. Was your trainer wrong? If you go buy a bit that is 1/2" bigger than what you had, would your trainer be happy?
                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                Originally posted by LauraKY
                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                HORSING mobile training app

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your curb bit should be the width of your horse's mouth. The bradoon should be slightly longer. A good curb bit will have the top "shank, for lack of a better word" curved outward so the bit doesn't press on the sides of the face. Some horses have a lower palate or a larger tongue or both, so height/width of port (or lack of) needs to be considered. Sometime a smaller diameter bit is needed if the horse's mouth is small or shallow. Height of the bits in the mouth also need to be taken into condsideration too. Adjustment of the noseband is important to assure that there is no pinching between it and the bits. There are many factors to correctly fitting bits. I would suggest that you find a good FEI trainer in your area and take your horse there for a lesson and suggestions. I say a good FEI trainer because not every trainer is as knowledgeable about bits as they should be. Good Luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                    @Meupatdoes: I've always seen weymouths with the top shank that are straight or curved out but if your horse needs a tad bigger to fit, by all mean so be it!
                    And you see, your trainer said your bit was too tigh for 1/4". Meaning 1/8" on each side! According to Mbm and Alicen, it shouldn't have been a problem. Was your trainer wrong? If you go buy a bit that is 1/2" bigger than what you had, would your trainer be happy?
                    I don't think my trainer wants to get dragged into your pissing contest with mbm. Please don't try to use my trainer as your internet trump card. What does your FEI trainer say?

                    I was just relating a story that might explain why OP's horse goes in larger bits in the double. Whether it applies to other horses than just mine I don't have enough personal experience to say.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The bradoon (snaffle) should always be wider than the curb (bit/weymouth). Usually by 1/4" but if the lips are very fleshy (pouting ones) the curb might be slightly wider. And the shape/size of the bradoon vs a normal larger ring snaffle plays into the mix as does the weymouth, and its shanks (both on the top and the bottom), as does its port (or not).

                      What happens if it is too wide? It can easily slide more to one side, depending upon how it is used/how stable it is. The bits have specific purposes in balance and bearing, too often we see both bits being used to close the horse's throatlatch/lower the neck/compress the horse/as bits of longitudinal flexion rather than refinements in what is allowed in carriage. Perhaps that is more the problem?

                      Is that a reason scores go down? The (owner's?) question is why the full bridle is being used, and how. If the bridle is being used (by another rider I take it) strictly to enforce longitudinal flexion (rather than a bit of nuance/specificity) and to enforce collection, that would be problematic. So, it is a performance question. Also, the scores generally are not quite as high (as a group) as horses go up the levels.

                      Imho there are two different questions being asked.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought I'd replied to this thread, but don't see my post. Oh well. Anyway, I agree with Maude's answer. Curb to fit the width of mouth, bradoon might be as much as 1/2 to 3/4 inches wider, depending on the horse's mouth conformation.

                        For instance, my gelding's muzzle is quite narrow, but his cheeks and the corners of his lips demand a quite wide bradoon. And yes, I did consult an FEI judge/trainer/rider about the fit!

                        IMO, finding the right combination of bits for a double is right up there with saddle-fitting. Deciding on the right widths of bits is one thing -- then there's the dizzying array of mouthpieces and shank options.

                        AAAAAGH!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Want to add the question: why not just show the horse in a plain snaffle? Were the horse's scores higher in a snaffle than they are in the double?

                          I rode our first year at Third in a snaffle. Got my scores for the Bronze that way. I might switch back and forth between the snaffle and double this year to see what works best. Doubles are optional, after all.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just my two cents, but when I fit the last three doubles I opted to keep the bradoon the same size as the snaffle and subtract 1/4" from the curb. So, my little guy rides in a 5 1/4" snaffle so in the double he's in a 5 1/4" bradoon and a 5" curb. Two of the three had previously been ridden by the "add 1/4" method" in their doubles and went better when I did it the other way.

                            OP, did this horse show at the 3rd/4th level previously in a snaffle and now that the double has been added the scores are down?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                              What matter is how it fits? If it's too big or too small, how can the fit be good?
                              it was question - ie the actual measurement doesn't matter - the important part is - how does it fit the actual horse in question? that is what matters.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Width is important in fit, but also look at length of shanks, port shape and size - all of these make a difference in the horse's response and comfort in the curb. As already noted, too wide, and the bit shuttles back and forth in the horse's mouth. Depending on the port, there may be discomfort in the horse's palate as well - if a higher port is used AND it is sliding back and forth, the widest point of the palate is the center - as it slides from side to side, it is more likely to cause contact w/ the horse's palate. If the horse has a thick/fleshy tongue, you may have too much contact side to side on the tongue. There are so many variables in curb bits and horses' mouths.

                                My FEI horse preferred a thinner curb w a low port - but some horses prefer a high port, some prefer a thicker curb. Length and shape of shanks (top and bottom!) also vary the effect of the curb.

                                There is just not enough info here to really answer your question. Although I agree with Beenthere - why change bits for showing? I far prefer to show in the same bits I ride in every day!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  I don't think my trainer wants to get dragged into your pissing contest with mbm. Please don't try to use my trainer as your internet trump card. What does your FEI trainer say?

                                  I was just relating a story that might explain why OP's horse goes in larger bits in the double. Whether it applies to other horses than just mine I don't have enough personal experience to say.
                                  ??? Not a pissing contest at all...
                                  I was actually saying that your trainer did the right thing by having you get a bit that was fitting properly instead of using the one that was 1/4'' too small...no need to be upset.

                                  My trainer say my bits fit fine thank you. My snaffle/bradoon are the same 5 1/2and my weymouth is a 1/4'' smaller, since it is lower in my horse's mouth and she is more rafine there. Maybe your horse is larger there. I don't know. But your trainer picked/or you did, the right bits that fits your horse. Point.

                                  The OP states that her horse's bits are too big.
                                  and I noticed the bits are too big..
                                  and is asking what is the impact of riding with bits that are too big.

                                  She is not asking if her bits are fitting good. They are not, according to OP.
                                  I don't care about the sizes mentionned. I just care about the importance of riding with bits that fits.

                                  On the other hand, if the horse is going well in a 5 1/2 snaffle, I don't see how a 6'' bradoon and a 6'' weymouth would fit properly. Maybe, maybe one of the two. But both? I think that the trainer is using what s/he has already.
                                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                  HORSING mobile training app

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OP, how are you checking the credentials on your respondents? Self-policing is, at best, bad.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OP, how are you checking the credentials on your respondents? Self-policing is, at best, bad
                                      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by DukesMom View Post
                                        Just my two cents, but when I fit the last three doubles I opted to keep the bradoon the same size as the snaffle and subtract 1/4" from the curb. So, my little guy rides in a 5 1/4" snaffle so in the double he's in a 5 1/4" bradoon and a 5" curb. Two of the three had previously been ridden by the "add 1/4" method" in their doubles and went better when I did it the other way.

                                        OP, did this horse show at the 3rd/4th level previously in a snaffle and now that the double has been added the scores are down?
                                        Horse has been in a double for a couple of years .. different trainer and different bit size being used. scores were down with comments from judges that horse shows signs of being tense and stiff, poll and jaw stiff..

                                        Comment

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