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What types of bits to try?

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  • What types of bits to try?

    I am having a hard time finding the right bit for my new mare. She is very green. She tries to hang on the bit (we are working on forward and not working on contact at all), and working on whoa and walk/trot/walk transitions without pushing through the bit and keep going right through.

    I want to keep her in a gentle bit as I know its not the bit persay, just her lack of training.

    The problem I am having is the vet commented she has a low palate as palates go, and a very small mouth. Thick bits I think are uncomfortable for her. I have so far tried her in a french link snaffle, which she fusses with a lot, and most recently a D ring snaffle, but with the "nutcracker" effect and her low palate she doesn't seem to like this one either.

    I would like to stay with a 3 piece bit, but any suggestions? I can't buy 100 bits to try and find the right one, and unfortunately everyone I ask doesn't have an array of bits for me to try. Are there any bits that any of you have had more success with in low palated, small mouthed horses?

  • #2
    https://marystack.com/ovation-curved...BoCIFoQAvD_BwE

    This is the bit I use. I don't know if the metal thickness is thin enough for what you need, but I find it to be on the thin-average side myself. I believe I've heard that a low-palate requires a curved 3-piece bit.
    "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

    Comment


    • #3
      If she fusses with the french link, perhaps try a mullen? I went through my bit library recently with a new to me gelding, he fussed dramatically with every bit, even rubber and wrapped. I went to a gently curved mullen and he's been quite happy. He has a relatively low pallet and small mouth for his size.

      When I can catch a break from work and get back to riding, I intend to try him out next in my driving horse's in-hand bit, a Glory Bit with hanging cheeks. Its basically a mullen but its curved in two directions to be extremely comfortable.

      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

      Comment


      • #4
        You might also pay careful attention to whether she prefers loose ring versus fixed ring (D or Eggbutt for example). That can make a huge difference. I went through a lot of bits trying to please my pony - I feel the pain. If you have horse friends that are out of the area, you might offer to pay shipping back and forth to try any bits they have? I spent several hundred $ on bits before finding one he went better in - interestingly, it was a single link - a Novocontact single link, eggbutt.

        Neue Shuele and Sprenger bits can be trialed through Dressage Extensions - it is $15.95 to try the bit, so it can add up, but it is a way to try a $150 to $200 bit without buying it.

        http://www.dressageextensions.com/bi...center/c/2030/

        Comment


        • #5
          Try a double jointed Baucher bit.

          3 pieces and hangs lower in the mouth.

          As for the training : « Hanging » on the bit is not a bad thing, especially in a young horse. You want that they seek for the bit - contact will lighten up when she’ll carry more weight behind. You have to offer a stable following hand.
          IMMHO, you shouldn’t work without contact because you are kind of teaching your horse that forward is ok when there is no contact and that contact is mainly for stopping/slowing down.
          ~ 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
            I think Mary's Tack also offers bit trials. I use a bit bank here in the UK and it's great! Fantastic idea.

            I have a horse that gets fussy with anything double jointed. He is going well in a single jointed thin eggbutt at the moment. He plays way too much with a double jointed lose ring. A more stable bit is better for him. So you'll have to find out your horses preference for stable bits or those with more movement. His mouth is a bit small, so I use a thinner mouthpiece as mentioned.

            If you can find a thin double jointed boucher, that may be best for her mouth anatomy.

            And a side note: If the horse is green, it may not be the bit and it could just be greenness. I'd just choose a thin mild snaffle and see if you can work through it. IMO it is quite common for a green horse to go through a bit of a heavy stage as they figure it out.

            Comment


            • #7
              It is bAucher.

              Not bOucher.

              I don’t care if that’s how some company name their bits. It is bAucher, from the French riding master François BAucher.
              « BOucher » means in french : butcher.
              ~ 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


              • #8
                What about a myler? They are thinner, which can be nice for the horses with less space in their mouths, and mild. You could try the eggbutt or loose ring version. The level 1, MB02 mouthpiece is dressage legal.
                Reasons I'm crazy, #37: I went out shopping for a pony and came home with a 17hh OTTB
                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~

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                • #9
                  Also don’t forget about the diameter/ thickness of the bit itself. Maybe try a smaller thinner piece. As long as it’s within legal measurements. I was able to put a pony bit on my guy because well.. he’s a pony. It made him much happier. And yes he’s in a double jointed French link Baucher. Best bit he’s ever liked.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use the MB02 with my young horse. It gives him a nice cross between stability and movement, and the mouthpiece is thinner than many double jointed bits.

                    It is great to have access to a friend or trainer with a big collection of bits, but even if you don't have that, do see if you can find a few to try. Try to narrow the choices down a little (mullen vs 3pc, or eggbutt vs loose ring for example) before you have to invest money.
                    "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I second trying a baucher or a mullen mouth.

                      When my horse was very green, we went to a mullen mouth happy mouth and she loved it. As her training as progressed, we are not in a baucher french link. She likes the baucher quite a bit but I am not too sure if she loves the french link part of it as much. She really seems to prefer a more stable bit.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would try a thin Herm Sprenger. You can find them on eBay or Facebook pretty cheap sometimes. I paid $20 for a used KK Ultra, but I am also 'lucky" that my mare has a large mouth and sometimes people just want to get their odd sized bits gone.

                        My mare also has a low pallet, a thick tongue, and fat lips and cheeks. Keeping her mouth happy is a struggle. Going to a Micklem bridle that doesn't put pressure on her cheeks has also helped. I really want to find her a baucher. I haven't found a 6 inch at a price I am willing to pay yet though. I use to ride her in one shortly after she was broke out and I think she liked how steady the bit was in her mouth. Also, don't let anybody tell you that it puts pressure on the poll of the horse. There are multiple studies out there indicating that it doesn't, and not only that but according to NS it alleviates pull pressure.
                        RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                        2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                        Western Dressage
                        Draft Mare blog

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          She is a little bit better in the d ring snaffle which is just single jointed, she is worse in the French link (absolutely hates it) so thinking I might try a boucher or Mullen mouth? Also I worked with her today (in the d ring) and when she got heavy I asked for more forward and she started seeking contact, heavy at first and then got lighter for a stride or two (she is just starting basic dressage concepts and has no conditioning or experience with it so I have been doing short rides with lots of praise. We spend most of our time on the walk and maybe 15 or 20 minutes trot work). Alibi_18 I kept a steady contact and she did get lighter after that initial heaviness. I feel stupid now because every time she would come round and get light, I was releasing my reins a bit as a "give" and essentially dropping her on the forehand and leaving her with no support.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a horse with the same issue, and he's done well in the Neue Schule Verbindend and the HS Novocontact.
                            Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
                              She is a little bit better in the d ring snaffle which is just single jointed, she is worse in the French link (absolutely hates it) so thinking I might try a boucher or Mullen mouth? Also I worked with her today (in the d ring) and when she got heavy I asked for more forward and she started seeking contact, heavy at first and then got lighter for a stride or two (she is just starting basic dressage concepts and has no conditioning or experience with it so I have been doing short rides with lots of praise. We spend most of our time on the walk and maybe 15 or 20 minutes trot work). Alibi_18 I kept a steady contact and she did get lighter after that initial heaviness. I feel stupid now because every time she would come round and get light, I was releasing my reins a bit as a "give" and essentially dropping her on the forehand and leaving her with no support.
                              With the Myler, even though there are two joints, they are less flexible than a typical link, so they fall somewhere between the double jointed and the mullen in terms of stability, imo.
                              "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I agree with Twigster and MissAriel about the myler being worth a try. Not as fashionable as a baucher, but thin, curved to the mouth and stable.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  KKUltra, small diameter with an eggbutt end rather than loose ring.
                                  IMO, it is normal for green horses to kind of lean on the bit at first, so don't let that worry you.
                                  Jeanie
                                  RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Myler and Baucher are not mutually exclusive. Myler makes a Baucher bit, but my mare at least preferred their MB02 loose ring. They also make a Mullen bit that swivels but doesn't collapse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I found one of these snaffles useful for a horse that hated fat bits. It was the skinniest one I could find. The center section rotates so the horse can play with it and put it where it suits her.
                                      ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        When did a Baucher become fashionable??? I used to ride in one and people were always like, "why???"

                                        That said, I love them. Stubben makes a nice one, and you can find them floating around the used market pretty frequently. I love them for starting horses.

                                        The Verbinden from Neue Scheule is nice because the shape of it doesn't give the horse much to hang onto, but if you are trying to teach the horse about contact, that might not be the best choice.

                                        I did a bit fitting clinic with my horse. It's a thing where you pay an outrageous fee to try out a bunch of different Neue Schule bits, and then you buy the one the horse goes best in. My horse has sounds like your horse (he has a teeny tiny mouth and a low pallet) and loved the Turtle Tactio. However, that bit is not competition legal so I also bought the bit that he like the second most, which is the Tranzangled Losenge. I haven't used it yet because the Turtle Tactio has made the most incredible change in my horse. Its unreal. And it makes the nearly $600 that I spent on the whole ordeal worth it. They better legalize that bit because he is so happy in it and I expect that he will have a tantrum if I try to change it.

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