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Need some bitting help

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  • Need some bitting help

    I've almost (cross fingers) ironed out Snortapotamous's lameness issues.

    I'm looking for a bit to ride her in during her legging up phase and maybe eventually jumping. She tends to ride on the explosive side of hot and with almost 4 months off and winter weather it's kind of like driving a race car inside a pinball machine.

    Usually I'd stick it out and gallop her around a bit with some one rein stops thrown in and she'd work down after about 30 minutes but I'd like her to take it easy on herself and me to survive the experience and work her up properly.

    I've tried her in her dressage bit which is a loose ring with a bean in the middle and her waterford D ring (which she loves but it doesn't have any whoa) with a running martingale and both had zero effect. I have a loose ring mullen mouth duo type bit which she hates with a passion.

    I tried her in this

    and it seemed to work ok and I kept her down to a dull roar but it was a little bit big in her mouth. I'm not used to plastic bits so I'd have to get someone to look at it to make sure.

    How would this compare? Or would it not have any extra whoa in it? I'd like to find it in a waterford or a french link. She wants to go with her head in the air and clench her jaw. I don't want too much bit but a little leverage would probably work well for her and once you get through to her head she usually behaves.


    Or should I just get a metal 2 ring? This one is a waterford.

    Last edited by enjoytheride; Jan. 11, 2012, 09:45 PM.

  • #2
    What about a hackamore? I find with my guy that's where I get the most whoa.


    • #3

      Honestly. If you want her to take it easy on herself, give her some ace as you bring her back. It doesn't have to be much and it doesn't have to be forever, but a week or two of rides on ace will get her past the "WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!" stage and back to normal behavior. It's one thing to ride out the wild (I do it on a near daily basis), but when they need to be easy on their bodies, drugs are the best way to go.

      Speaking from experience. My horse can be VERY wild, even when in regular work. I can ride him in a loose ring or a gag and he's going to be wild and barely the correct side of manageable no matter what. After I gave him a vacation over the summer, I ended up acing him for about 5 days so I could survive his first few rides back. Same applied while doing his tack walks while rehabbing from an injury this fall- it wouldn't have made any difference if I'd put an elephant stopper in his mouth, he was still going to leap around and be an idiot without chemical help. And because he was rehabbing, I couldn't fix it with forward (giving him a job is usually the best way to cure the wild horse episodes...but not so when forced to stick to a sedate walk). Get him a little drunk, and he was mostly quiet and appropriately behaved.

      Not the answer you were looking for!


      • #4
        I second YB. I'm a big fan of Ace to start them back. I've got 17+ hh of HOT OTTB who requires a little <3/4 cc every time I bring him back from time off. At the end of the day, I want to make it home to my kids!


        • #5
          I would NEVER trust a horse on Ace enough to ride them, sorry but this just sounds like a recipie for desaster. To keep them calm while stalled or handwalking, sure but the effects of the drug are just to volatile to ride under - just IMO of course.

          I'm a big fan of longlining to keep the rider safe - maybe this could be done on Ace.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Far_North_Equestrian View Post
            I would NEVER trust a horse on Ace enough to ride them, sorry but this just sounds like a recipie for desaster. To keep them calm while stalled or handwalking, sure but the effects of the drug are just to volatile to ride under - just IMO of course.

            I'm a big fan of longlining to keep the rider safe - maybe this could be done on Ace.

            We're not talking about serious flatwork or jumping. And we're not talking about massive quantities. A little bit to knock the edge off and keep them quiet enough that they will not hurt themselves in the rehab or starting back up process.

            Ace is a very safe drug and doesn't cause the issues that some of the harder core sedatives do. A LOT of people use it in small quantities for all sorts of RIDING situations with zero ill effects (hunting, etc). And, especially for this type of situation, it really, really helps keep horse and rider safe when you HAVE to ride them and get them through this process.


            • #7
              I would also use ACE rather than find a bitting solution. If your horse is jumping up and down and being wired, it doesn't matter what kind of bit you have in her mouth.

              This is something you should discuss with your vet who can advise you on dosage.

              My vet certainly has no problem with advising a little bit of ACE while bringing back a horse.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Far_North_Equestrian View Post
                I would NEVER trust a horse on Ace enough to ride them, sorry but this just sounds like a recipie for desaster. To keep them calm while stalled or handwalking, sure but the effects of the drug are just to volatile to ride under - just IMO of course.

                I'm a big fan of longlining to keep the rider safe - maybe this could be done on Ace.
                Ever been to a rodeo? Many, if not most, of the rope horses run on a little ace. Lots of peewee horses and barrel horses, too. Just enough to take the 'edge' off.


                • Original Poster

                  If I can put her head where it belongs she's easier to deal with. I've never used ace on a horse before. If I went that route I'd need to use it for 3 weeks at least?


                  • #10
                    I doubt that you would need it for anything like that long. Usually just long enough to get them going well and to remind them that they need to work rather than be silly and you're good to go. For me, riding 4x per week, that might take a week.


                    • #11
                      Never mind the many many fox hunters who start out with 1 cc or more!

                      Honestly...Ace isn't strong enough for my obnox. two on rehab. Used SediVet on them....it is a cousin of Xylazine. Known to keep them steady on their feet....works great for when you are doing trotting rehab on monster horses.

                      That said...the OP probably doesn't need the big guns like I posted.

                      If you are just dealing with a horse who throws their head high and just need a little leverage....I might consider draw reins. Just until you get her yahoos out....but you need to be a rider who knows how to use them. As in you don't use them to get their head down...but to just keep them from throwing their head into your face while bolting
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                      • #12
                        Do you do much walking? Is just a walk OK until the horse is simmered down? Why be in a hurry? Surely dressage has to come before you start conditioning, since it's so much slower and easier on a horse coming back from an injury...

                        My first thought was not doping into submission, or adding controlling tack, etc. but sort of just basic quiet riding. I only use drugs when I absolutely have to, and then very carefully. Not something I use in daily riding! I'm not in that much of a hurry, they will heal given time, we are always rushing horses, I think.

                        Rehabbing is different from conditioning - if your horse is normal and you have rehabbed a lot you will know what I mean. There is always an exception but gees you have to have a barnful for years to have to worry about those, they're rare.

                        Perhaps I'm in the minority, I'm careful about training and riding...I'm not so quick to grab a syringe, I guess....am I way off here or?
                        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                        • #13
                          Some horses don't DO basic quiet riding. Toby HATES hacking if it is just a quiet walk around the fields. He feels like he needs to be DOING something (trotting, cantering). If he isn't feeling challenged enough, he is wild. End of story. Drugs were the only way he was allowed to leave the barn while injured. Not every horse is happy to just stroll along and be quiet. And some are happy to do it...once their initial enthusiasm for being back to work wears off. Until then, you have to get them to that point SOMEHOW without reinjury or the rider getting hurt. Two options: drugs (my preference) or controlling tack.

                          I use draw reins occasionally on Toby to force him to walk during a hack. As BFNE says, I use them to keep his head down and relaxed, not to FORCE it down (if I've lost him and am trying to fight him back down, we're already too far gone). I hate draw reins and I am very careful and I KNOW Toby is comfortable with them and understands them, so using them is actually beneficial when he's a little spun up. I wouldn't use them in this situation if they are a foreign concept to the horse or you've never used them or haven't used them enough to feel 100% confident with them (and know how to throw them away!!!).

                          I've safely used Ace for weeks at a time (Toby got it for well over a month in paste form). I've used other, more hard core stuff, too, but Ace is very safe and easy to use.


                          • #14
                            retread, for some reason I am (was?) under the impression that the OP was bringing the horse back from an injury. Are we talking about something else?

                            I assumed 'legging up' meant getting a horse back to work that has been cooped up on stall rest for an injury. I wouldn't 'grab a syringe and dope them into submission' for normal, everyday riding, and I don't think that's what anyone was advocating? Maybe I'm way off. If a horse is explosive AND supposed to be taking it slowly and easily coming back from injury, I'd rather see a little 'drugging into submission' than the OP thrown into a wall or the horse re-injured.

                            I have sane ones that are more likely to pin ears and grumble at having to work than explode in excitement. No drugging into submission here.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                              Perhaps I'm in the minority, I'm careful about training and riding...I'm not so quick to grab a syringe, I guess....am I way off here or?

                              I'm not quick to grab a syringe (only use it for horses I'm rehabbing). BUT I have owned more than my fair share of crazy horses who when not in consistent work were wild to get back on again. Bolting, rearing bucking monsters. Not always safe on a lunge line either. So I do know that those horses are around...you had to ride them 6/7 days a week....even if one day was just a walking hack...or you would have a wild ride for a few days.

                              I don't own horses like that any more. My current OTTB chestnut mare...I can swing a leg over and go for a calm walk outside after a week off. My other TB mare...same thing after months off. They are pleanty forward enough....but not crazy....I like that type But since I spent years riding the other type....I do understand about needing to survive the first few rides back needed to get the more rideable beast that you can control...for those monsters, I was quicker to grap the draw reins for added control because that was a tool I could use if absolutely needed and not use when it wasn't needed..but it gave me the control without changing to a harsher bit etc. But I do know how to use them....and know how my horses react to them. A lot of OTTBs are fine with them...as they are used on the track...but you do need to know your horse.
                              Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 12, 2012, 11:14 PM. Reason: typo
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                If I can put her head where it belongs she's easier to deal with. I've never used ace on a horse before. If I went that route I'd need to use it for 3 weeks at least?
                                Probably not more than a couple of rides. Just enough to get your horse out there, working and paying attention.

                                If you're going slow, mostly want to walk with a bit of trotting, I think it's worth considering. The whole idea is to keep your horse from getting amped up, rather than controlling him once he's ready to explode.

                                Hey, I never even contemplated ACE when I had my Trakehner. You could hop on him bareback in a bitless bridle after he'd had 2 weeks off. My TB? A whole 'nother story.

                                Ask your vet.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                • Original Poster

                                  She's been off since October (but turned out) with soundness issues. So once she's good to go I need to get her back into her dressage mind as she never seems to be out of shape.

                                  I have a "winter horse" and a "summer horse" and handling the winter horse is always a challenge. If I get trucking right away and put her in the bridle and work her hard with lots of direction changes I stand a beter chance. Handling the winter horse when I don't want her to go like a steam engine and she's had 4 months off is another challenge.

                                  I am awful with drawreins but I do use a German Martingale.

                                  I was thinking that something with a bit of whoa would be perfect to establish that I have control when she decides to frizz out for the 3- 4 weeks I need to get her mind back.

                                  I can talk to my vet about Ace.

                                  Again, assuming that I actually can get her sound. Cross fingers.