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Bit suggestions for small pony?

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  • Bit suggestions for small pony?

    I am 35 years old and I recently aquired my first pony! I grew up riding horses and I always wanted a pony, but my parents insisted on horses because they thought ponies were naughtier. Now I am a grown up and I can have whatever I want.

    Steve (as my husband insisted on calling him) is a 4 year old 12.2hh grey section A welsh pony. I got this little guy because he was terrorizing his very clueless owners who had spoiled him rotten. He only tried me once when I went to pick him up - he quickly learned the consequences of such behaviour and has been a little saint with me ever since. I really could not ask for a better little pony. He is still full of pony devilish charm - but he minds his manners when being worked with.

    So we started him under saddle this week, but the bit we have is too big (he was very good though) - so I need to buy a new bit for him. I hope to also drive him as well. I can't decide between the loose ring JP copper mouth with bean (the one I use on all of my horses) or the D-ring JP with copper bean.

    Which would make a better bit for both driving and riding? I prefer a loose ring to ride in, but with a pony I may want the added security of the D for the smaller people who will eventually ride him, and for driving. Thoughts?

    Also he seems to measure for a 4" bit but this seems really small? Is it common for a 12.2hh welsh to use a bit that small?

    I feel a bit like a fish out of water having no previous experience with ponies. I am curious to see how he compares to the Friesians I use to drive.
    Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.

  • #2
    If it were me, I would choose a different bit for each task. Neither of the ones you mentioned are really driving bits - loose ring can pinch and the D ring is the wrong angle; go with a simple half-cheek snaffle, mouthpiece dictated by mouth conformation, not what is 'correct' and that applies to the riding bit as well.

    4" sounds about right but take a piece of dowling (small diameter), mark a line around it at one end, put it in his mouth with the mark at the ouside of his lip and mark the other side. FWIW, I raced a 14.1 Standardbred in a 4.5" bit that I had to search all over hell for because the standard 5.25" was huge on him even with thich bit guards. By the same token, raced a huge (17.3hh) that wore a 5" bit and a much smaller mare that wore 5.75", so horse size doesn't equal a specific bit width.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles


    • Original Poster

      go with a simple half-cheek snaffle
      I was looking for one but I can't find one with the curved mouth, bean centre and the copper mouth piece. Well except the the HS Baucher - but that is far more $ than I was looking to spend on a bit.

      How would a full cheek be for driving?

      I used the dowling method to measure him - I was just surprised to see it came out to be 4" but he does have a very dainty muzzle. Of course for the loose ring I will go up a size to 4.5" if that is what bit I go with.
      Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.


      • #4
        Dainty Schmainty - most of that has to do with lip thickness. Where are you besides Canada. Close to a Greenhawk store or can you order from them?
        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

        Member: Incredible Invisbles


        • Original Poster

          My husband would answer that I live far too close the Greenhawk Store. I was already there and they don't carry any pony bits with the mouth peices I want (except the expensive HS bits) - not in any style.

          I had planned to order from Equestrian Collections in the US or Foxhunters in Ontario.
          Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.


          • #6
            Good plan. I thought Greenhawk had pony bits....
            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

            Member: Incredible Invisbles


            • Original Poster

              D ring is the wrong angle
              Can you explain this too me - sorry I no very little about driving and I was curious what you meant?

              I thought I had found one I could work with at Just for Ponies:

              But it doesn't come in a 4".

              Greenhawk does have pony sized bits - but none with a mouthpiece like this:http://www.justforponies.com/johnpat...naffle-45.aspx

              Greenhawk only had the old fashioned single jointed bits (which I personally abhor) & mullens in copper, and the all the triple jointed bits have no copper.
              Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.


              • #8
                D rings are meant to be 'pulled on' (I know, bad terms but best way to explain) in roughly a straight line from the mouth to the hands of a rider; in otherwords, an upward direction. When you drive and run the lines through the turret rings, that line is changed to a line from mouth to backpad a straight back towards the hip 'pull'. When you change that pull direction drastically, it causes the bit to try to rotate and being a D ring, it just doesn't, just pinches the horse.

                Good luck bit hunting
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles


                • #9
                  Also when looking for a bit for driving remember that you are stronger than the little people who will be riding him. Long lines add to the weight. I find that using a jointed bit does tend to encourage the driving ponies to lift their heads to evade. Found this over the years ling reining saddle ponies too.
                  Last edited by phoebetrainer; Jul. 22, 2012, 03:32 AM.


                  • #10
                    Iowa Valley Carriage has a good selection of 4" driving bits. I like Butterfly and Liverpool bits for the choice of settings/severity.

                    You could also look at some of the online mini tack sites, as 4" is a common mini bit size. Ozark MiniTack and Star Lake are two good ones.
                    They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                    Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                    • #11
                      Is this what you are looking for?

                      http://www.ponyandcarriage.co.uk/car...h_Driving_Bits (scroll down a bit).

                      I have this bit for my mini and he loves it
                      Home of well loved ponies...