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Bit advice....horse that pulls

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  • Bit advice....horse that pulls

    Hey guys, bit question..

    I have a horse that is a complete puller. She is warmblood and very strong. She gets very forward to jumps and makes a bid at them. She has a sensitive mouth, so something strong (over slow twist) just makes her curl and get into that silly boundcy behind your leg canter, then she chucks her head up in the air and runs to the jump... obviously doesn't make for a good ride.. or good jump.

    I was thinking instead of increasing bitting, trying something like this http://www.bitofbritain.com/Nunn_Fin...ton_p/0467.htm or http://www.bitofbritain.com/Nunn_Fin...and_p/0080.htm which I have used and had good luck with.

    What about a gag? or elevator?

    Thanks for the input...
    http://www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine

  • #2
    We have a mare that sounds similar to yours, none of the nosebands worked. We ended up putting her in a french link, eggbut gag and she is much happier. She will flip her head occassionally, but she did that in the snaffle as well. Mare just thinks she is always queen bee (sorry hon, your low woman on the totem pole)!

    We had to run her once in a 3 ring elevator as she lost her rider and ran back to the barn and killed her bridle and she went well in that too. I would tend to lean more towards a gag though so she can't roll the same way.

    Comment


    • #3
      You might consider a waterford with a Kineton or Lever noseband.
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, I think you have the same horse that we do!

        Same thing, too much bit, curls, tosses head and runs last few strides or keeps his head curled right up to the jump and gives us heart failure.
        Anything with a curb chain makes him curl. A slow twist and kineton worked fairly well, no curling but still strong. A 3 ring elevator, no curl but still strong.

        We have yet to find a really good happy medium between too much and curling and enough to slow him down while jumping. The Kineton probably worked the best.

        Haven't tried a gag yet, tho....

        Comment


        • #5
          I've used a Waterford with a Kineton noseband on a similar horse with good results.

          Jennifer
          Third Charm Event Team

          Comment


          • #6
            I have my guy who pulls in a cheltenham gag and a lever. I like this bit on him because he will still hold onto it and stretch into the contact over fences instead of avoiding it, but I still have balance and adjustability on xc.

            I switched to the lever from a figure 8 to help steering.

            Comment


            • #7
              Another vote for trying the waterford. It works like a charm on my mare.

              Comment


              • #8
                Go back to doing little itty bitty stuff, trotting it, making her wait with your body untill she stops charging the jump. Eventually she will get so bored she will just trot them calmly and softly. Then start raising the jump heights slowly. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You may be bored for a few weeks but your horse will learn. My young horse used to do the same thing. I tried a few different but not necessarily stonger bits and just did the A B C till we were both bored to tears. It worked.

                Often our response is to get handsy when a horse gets strong, this only serves to continue or worsen the problem. Lots and lots of schooling jumper shows where you dont worry about the ribbon are a must. Just go in the ring, this is your time. Cirlce between EVERY jump, or HALT in between EVERY jump if you have to. Your horse will get the message. And while this technically disqualifies you, at schooling shows they understand that you are schooling and let you finish the course, you just aren't in the running for the ribbons. My trainer still does this once a month wiht her Prelim horse a very talented, careful and scopy jumper, who LIVES to make bids. Sometimes she cirlcles and halts w a reign back before and after EVERY jump. But it works the horse gets the picture and lets up. At a schooling show you pay for your time in the ring. Take that time

                Sometimes we get so focused on jumping an entire course that we forget to deconstruct it. A course is really just one jump at a time put together. So take it one jump at a time. The half halt is your friend. Half halts work, pulling doesn't.

                I think whatever bit you get will become twice as effective if you used it in combination with other things. Just my two cents
                "A horse!!! A horse!!! my Kingdom for a horse!
                _____________________________________________
                Proud founder of the "Plain Little Brown Mare-nothing Plain or Little 'bout her!" clique

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by flyingtails View Post
                  Go back to doing little itty bitty stuff, trotting it, making her wait with your body untill she stops charging the jump. Eventually she will get so bored she will just trot them calmly and softly. Then start raising the jump heights slowly. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You may be bored for a few weeks but your horse will learn. My young horse used to do the same thing. I tried a few different but not necessarily stonger bits and just did the A B C till we were both bored to tears. It worked.

                  Often our response is to get handsy when a horse gets strong, this only serves to continue or worsen the problem. Lots and lots of schooling jumper shows where you dont worry about the ribbon are a must. Just go in the ring, this is your time. Cirlce between EVERY jump, or HALT in between EVERY jump if you have to. Your horse will get the message. And while this technically disqualifies you, at schooling shows they understand that you are schooling and let you finish the course, you just aren't in the running for the ribbons. My trainer still does this once a month wiht her Prelim horse a very talented, careful and scopy jumper, who LIVES to make bids. Sometimes she cirlcles and halts w a reign back before and after EVERY jump. But it works the horse gets the picture and lets up. At a schooling show you pay for your time in the ring. Take that time

                  Sometimes we get so focused on jumping an entire course that we forget to deconstruct it. A course is really just one jump at a time put together. So take it one jump at a time. The half halt is your friend. Half halts work, pulling doesn't.

                  I think whatever bit you get will become twice as effective if you used it in combination with other things. Just my two cents

                  Thanks, problem is.. we spend HOURS doing trotting small X rails, (this is actually a student of mine's horse so it is her riding, not myself), we do the halt on a straight line and come back at it after rein back.. mare tends to get bent out of shape and behind her leg (very sensitive mouth and feels the need to piaffe) when cantering in to the jump she will pull and take off... no matter how much trotting or polite cantering to the smaller jumps we do, she just ignores it. Rider will wait wait wait with her body until the mare is practicaly cantering on the spot then will charge the fence (so bascially you can't ride a slower more collected pace with her yet)

                  We've tried the circles in between the jumps, we've tried the jimmy wofford rails on the ground with three different fences to keep her on her toes, she is a very experienced dressage horse that knows her weight and will completely take advantage of her rider... The rider is just not strong enough or experienced enough to handle this. WHile I don't want a bit that will be harsh, I do need something to make her safe and let the rider learn to ride her and have a good time.

                  The mare doesn't event, all she does is jumpers and she is fairly green to jumping, so I don't want to over bit (hence the noseband thought).

                  My next step with her is the jimmy wofford gymnastic with a ton of bounces, but the rider isn't experienced enough to really make this super effective.. so I need a happy medium.
                  http://www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In addition to lots and lots and lots of schooling . . .

                    Does she pull UP or pull DOWN?

                    Gwen pulled UP, and was always, always in balance. I could ride her in a snaffle but it was always a tug of war, so if we needed to do a lot of adjusting on course (Preliminary), I used a Waterford with a plain cavesson and she was great in that. For Training at slow speed (420) I would also use that to cut the speed a little.

                    Bonnie pulls DOWN, and it is a "green" thing that's getting better month by month. But her pulling is uneducated pulling, and she'll end up on her forehand in a minute if you don't keep CONSTANTLY balancing her. Exhausting for me, annoying to her, and it wrecks the quality of the canter. Not to mention being counterproductive to a good, forward XC mode. So although I have always been somewhat of a "snaffle Nazi", I very, very, VERY reluctantly agreed to ride her a couple of times this spring in a Myler combination, the one that puts nose pressure on but looks like a medieval torture device.

                    I must say, it was unbelievable. The transformation from obnoxious, pulling to the jumps young horse who'd end up in a heap on the other side to light, obedient, uphill young horse who was happier by far to not have me hauling on her all the time was instantaneous and revelatory. I haven't got the world's best hands, and was so afraid to make a mistake and punish her, but this bit actually protects the mouth--you can only pull so hard and after that it's all squeezing the nose, which she doesn't object to at all.

                    So I now own one, and although I still want to cry about it, I'm learning to get over my foolish dogma and realize that (as others have said forever) each horse is different. I'd never DREAM of riding Gwen in that bit--so unnecessary--but for a horse that pulls and gets heavy on the forehand it's quite wonderful. The goal is to use it occasionally and train her back down to a snaffle. I must say the process is going a lot quicker now and my arms and Bonnie's mouth are much happier for it! Live and learn, even at my advanced age.

                    I will add that this behavior only shows up at competitions--at home Bonnie is quiet as a mouse and very mannerly, but she's beginning to "get it" about XC. The bit is a good reminder and if she gets even a little strong and bullish at home it goes on for 5 minutes and comes right back off. Works wonderfully well. I also have on order one of those new Stubben "spoon" bits with a wonder-bit ring, but it's been backordered forever.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My guy loves to lock his jaw and pull around alos. We put him in a waterford and a crescent noseband and have seen improvements. He hated it at first because he could lock on the bit. We also had the saddle fitter out and found out his saddle of 4 years didnt fit anymore since his topline has developed. With the 2 changes, so far its working. My waterford is a full cheek, I also have a loose ring and they do make a boucher one that is handmade and expensive.
                      Last edited by cabopony; Jul. 14, 2008, 07:48 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nrg View Post
                        Another vote for trying the waterford. It works like a charm on my mare.
                        The only waterford mouth bit I've seen was one with Pelham type sides ( double reins) and a curb. Is there one with plain cheeks ( loose ring, etc) ?
                        Just curious as to the cheek pieces on the waterford that you guys are referring to.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My Waterford is a D-ring
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                            In addition to lots and lots and lots of schooling . . .

                            I very, very, VERY reluctantly agreed to ride her a couple of times this spring in a Myler combination, the one that puts nose pressure on but looks like a medieval torture device.
                            .
                            What type of mouthpiece did your Myler combination have?
                            I've heard others say the same about being reluctant to try it but once they did, they and the horse ended up so much happier without all the fights and pulling.

                            (Sorry, not trying to hijack the thread but these are some great ideas !!)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wabadou View Post
                              What type of mouthpiece did your Myler combination have?
                              I've heard others say the same about being reluctant to try it but once they did, they and the horse ended up so much happier without all the fights and pulling.

                              (Sorry, not trying to hijack the thread but these are some great ideas !!)
                              Yes, inquiring minds want to know.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by wabadou View Post
                                The only waterford mouth bit I've seen was one with Pelham type sides ( double reins) and a curb. Is there one with plain cheeks ( loose ring, etc) ?
                                Just curious as to the cheek pieces on the waterford that you guys are referring to.
                                Mine is a D-ring, but I have also seen full cheeks and loose rings.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I like a gag bit, but if she's a "curler" that might not be your best option. The downward pressure on one that like to curl will generally just make them mad and ball up on themselves more. However, on the ones that want to put their heads up and GO, the gag is nice for a quick reminder that they need to wait. I like that if they're not misbehaving, it acts like a regular snaffle--no need to go to a complicated mouthpiece.

                                  DW, I too want to know about this Myler! (although I must admit they're so complicated looking they intimidate me lol) I know a young horse who might benefit from it, based on your description.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'd try schooling in a slow twist and competing in a waterford for jumping - at least a couple of times. My warmblood/QH was similar and a bit long backed so pushing him into the contact was always a struggle - curling was an instant evasion. Eventually, I could both school and compete in the slow twist, (I used a KK loose-ring for dressage and hacking) but it took consistent work (and a bit of yelling "use your leg first, damnit" from my trainer). JMHO, but snaffles are your best bet in the long run.

                                    edited to add after reading BFNE's post :
                                    USE A RUNNING MARTINGALE and make the goal to have the horse go to the bit...in the long run, as ammy as I am, I really don't think anything else works - just delays the envitable.
                                    Last edited by RunForIt; Jul. 14, 2008, 08:01 PM.
                                    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Waterford isn't a bad idea, possibly with a different noseband.

                                      Have to say, our pulling, curling, bouncing in place guy LOVES his rubber, full cheek gag. He can be ridden more up and light in the front, and doesn't resent it, as he does sharp bits (he was ridden in a double twisted wire in NZ and we DO have one for him, just don't like sharp bits) or the other types of bits with leverage. He also wears a figure eight.

                                      I have a friend who swears by the wonder bit/lever noseband combo. I don't think it is that cut and dry, but both her horses go well in it.

                                      I'm a big fan of a pelham, but I know that isn't always the right choice for every horse. It has been good for me on big, strong horses who know they have an advantage on me.

                                      dw- thanks for the info on the Myler combination bit. We have one, rarely use it, but Bonnie sounds a great deal like our young guy. He's still quite a bit younger and greener than Bonnie, so he'll stick to his french link for a bit longer to see if more education and strength solves his pulling issue, but it is nice to know you had such great results with it.
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        do you have her in a running martingale?

                                        If not, I would...that at least should help a little when she chucks her head up...and gives a nice neck strap.

                                        Had one that was like this....not sure you will find your solution with a bit or gadget. They are tough rides. My one mare that was like this only got ridable when the fences got over 4'....then she'd start waiting...but trying to jump small fences....not fun. If you did put a gadget on her that gave the rider more control....it just pissed her off. She may need a more experienced rider than your student.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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