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Need a bit recommendation- please help!

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  • Need a bit recommendation- please help!

    Here's the background.

    6 yr old arab gelding, spent 1 yr doing LDs in a short hackamore.

    He started getting stronger and harder to stop- very forward and strong.

    Completed a 50, realized we need more brakes, using an S- hack!! This horse is a powerhouse.

    I've been playing around with what I have. Here is what DOESN"T work.

    He seems to have a low, flat palate too,

    Doesn't work:
    T Touch bit (too much in his mouth)
    Myler Eggbutt with hooks (used reins on lower hook)
    Myler Combination bit (doesn't fit properly or on the headstall)
    Full Cheek Snaffle (needs more brakes, but steers go with it.)
    Regular hackamore (too strong- throws head straight up when pull back)

    I feel like I need something with leverage, but easy in the mouth. Any ideas? Thanks so much, I've racked my brain and can't keep buying $100 bits every week.

  • #2
    I knew a horse that had a shallow palate, and also preferred leverage bits (for whatever reason, I wasn't familiar with her history. She was an odd thing all around, though). A tom thumb mullenmouth pelham worked best for her - she really liked that bit. No joints to poke her in the roof of her mouth, and the shanks are very short. Assuming the rider's hands are good it's a nice bit.


    That being said... be careful that you don't end up going to stronger and stronger bits... if it's a training issue, rather than a bit-hatred issue, he'll just eventually end up blasting through anything you put in his mouth.


    • #3
      Have you tried JohnPatterson bits?? They might be more agreeable for your horse, and they don't break the bank
      Riding the winds of change

      Heeling NRG Aussies
      Like us on facebook!


      • #4
        I agree with a mullen mouth pelham. That mouthpiece generally works with a horse who has a low palate.

        I also used an LG bitless bridle on a horse with a thick tongue and low palate. It has a curb option so you can adjust the severity.
        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


        • #5
          Originally posted by KonaPony View Post
          That being said... be careful that you don't end up going to stronger and stronger bits... if it's a training issue, rather than a bit-hatred issue, he'll just eventually end up blasting through anything you put in his mouth.
          Yes, please consider this first. If you can eliminate training/rider issues as the cause, you might want to try the Pee Wee Bit. I use it for my horse who has similar issues. It has really solved a lot of problems for us.


          Chick's carries it, and I think I just saw it in the latest Dover catalog.
          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


          • #6
            There's the Imus Training bit, you can use it either as a plain snaffle or add a curb strap for leverage.



            • #7
              Any one know of a bit trial program for some of these bits? I am also considering the Mikmar combo bit - but that is a good chunk of change to drop one!
              RIP Traveler & Tesla <3


              • Original Poster

                Anyone else ever use a peewee bit? It sounds pretty cool. I like how thin the mouthpiece is- not too much to fill up the mouth.


                • #9
                  Yes, I used one for a horse with a low palate and a thick tongue. It's a nice bit.

                  Originally posted by IrishKharma View Post
                  Anyone else ever use a peewee bit? It sounds pretty cool. I like how thin the mouthpiece is- not too much to fill up the mouth.
                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                  • #10
                    I have an Arab with a mouth much like the one you're describing and I use two different types of bits on him; a Bozo hackamore with sheepskin on the nose and curb chain (for western and gaming) and something called a "chain snaffle" loose ring bit for english sports (anytime I need to have contact on his mouth). The bit mouthpiece looks like this: http://www.lwbits.com/Mouthpieces.html (number 7) and the Bozo like this: http://www.thetackstop.com/bozosidepull.htm


                    • #11
                      This is a training issue. Go back to square one, in an enclosed area and teach the horse to respect the aids. You'll keep going stronger and harsher until you have nothing left to upgrade to and you'll be on a dangerous run-away.

                      No, not every horse likes every bit. But not liking a bit is different than being a headstrong powerhouse running through the rider's aids.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                        This is a training issue. Go back to square one, in an enclosed area and teach the horse to respect the aids. You'll keep going stronger and harsher until you have nothing left to upgrade to and you'll be on a dangerous run-away.

                        No, not every horse likes every bit. But not liking a bit is different than being a headstrong powerhouse running through the rider's aids.
                        Agreed, wholeheartedly. But you have to have the right bit before you can teach this, especially on a sensitive horse with a small mouth and low palate. When I got him, my horse was used to having his head tied down with a standing martingale to keep him from throwing his head up because the regular jointed bit was hurting his mouth. There was no way I was going to be able to teach him anything until he wasn't in pain anymore. Using the peewee bit allowed him to understand that rein contact didn't have to be a painful experience, and only then could I start teaching him to listen to my aids.
                        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                        • Original Poster

                          In the ring he is perfect, no matter what aid I give him. He will half halt, stop with your seat, slow with your seat. He will move away from leg pressure, bend, flex, get his hind end under him. However, I do not work him "on the bit" b/c I don't travel like that on the trail.

                          On the trail , he is strong the first 10 miles or so. After that, he settles and gets to work.

                          At an endurance ride, he is strong the first 25 miles. Then will settle. Surely there is something I can use instead of pulling/ seesaw on his mouth to hold him back. I am not about to let him "run it out". I settle for a strong extended trot and I am ok. But I want control too.

                          he is way to nice of a horse to let get burned out.

                          I can ride with large groups (6-8) people and he requires stronger bitting unless we are in the lead. But most other people ride QH and it's not fair to make an entire group go faster than they desired b/c my horse has a go button.

                          I don't really think it is a training issue, he is just a very fit, well conditioned machine that is getting too big for his pants!
                          Last edited by IrishKharma; Jul. 3, 2010, 07:14 PM. Reason: spelling


                          • #14
                            I like the mullen mouth pelham. The one I use has a shank about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. If you use reins with a snap on the end you could use the reins on the shanked part for the start of the ride 'till he gets the tickle out of his toes, than switch to the snaffle end. Or if you are co-ordinated you could ride with double reins.

                            Some horses are very partucular about their headgear. I have one of those that has the "fat tongue, no room in the mouth for much" and since we don't show we finally started riding him in a hackamore. He is MUCH happier, that makes us happier.


                            • #15
                              I've got one that was happiest for a time in a heavy, scary looking shanked western bit with an almost billy allen sort of mouth--a little play in it, but not exactly a roller. He'd hold that thing in his mouth like it was some kind of treasure he'd picked up, and was very responsive. I dont like riding him in it because I dont think my hands are good enough for a bit like that (we're talking like seven inch shanks).

                              He was a fool in a normal snaffle and if he didnt like a bit he'd pick it up and slam it against his teeth repeatedly.

                              Right now I am riding him in a very short-shanked walking horse bit with a very low curb copper mouth piece. He's pretty happy in a three piece snaffle and a mullenmouth snaffle, too. He just cannot tolerate a "normal" snaffle at all. He'd probably do okay in a hackamore for that matter.

                              I made the mistake of riding him once with a bunch of horses he'd never seen before and had to fight him for hours--no opportunity to "train" that out of him during the ride, and I sure wished I'd brought a shanked bit with me that day. (What was bothering him was not being in the lead, when he finally got up front he was a little angel for the rest of the ride, just as happy as could be, and gaiting along at the head of the parade.)


                              • #16
                                If you really don't think it's a training issue - you could try a leverage bit on endurance rides. Sweets loves the stupid Charmayne James Chappy barrel bit. Acck. She goes so light and soft in that thing, even though it looks horrible. Mostly I ride her bitless, but if I need a little extra for a high energy environment, I'll use it occasionally. http://www.bitsnmore.com/images/cata...dy/cjb201b.jpg She likes that SIGNIFICANTLY better than any ordinary snaffle. She has a tiny mouth and needs a tiny mouthpiece that has no weight to it. She can't tolerate anything with any weight at all. She will flip her nose and chew constantly. She goes so quiet in this bit, you wouldn't know anything was in her mouth. But the brakes are there, "if" I need them.


                                • Original Poster

                                  I never thought about the weight- that is probably what is causing the issue. Going to look into a thin mouthpiece that is lightweight. Thanks- great idea!!