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Combo-type bit that goes to nose pressure first?

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  • Combo-type bit that goes to nose pressure first?

    Ok, so... my horse is brilliant to showjump in a hackamore. We found this out when she needed to be without a bit for two weeks as we had the roots of her wolf teeth removed.

    She's always been fussy, we worked to find the bits that make her most happy and have stuck with them. Yes, training will improve the situation, but she's a top 8 finisher at every T horse trial we've been to, so we're not talking about a heathen here, just a sensitive, opinionated mare.

    Anyway, she is perfect in a hack. We've had our best showjumping rounds ever in it. She puts me right where I need to be to ride to a perfect distance. Adjustable. It's just easy.

    It is just a simple mechanical hack- the kind with the fuzzy leather nose band and the little shank. It is not enough for her on XC, though. And this weekend, since we've been jumping her in the hack, she made it pretty clear that she was not terribly thrilled with her bit on XC. She goes in a loose ring waterford- it's always made her reasonably happy.

    So anyway, I'm looking for a combo or hackamore that is slightly more than the plain mechanical hack but not too much- and acts on the nose first. I'm probably going to have to create it myself since she's a 6" mouth and fussy about her mouthpiece, but there is a guy who does custom combo bits in my area, so if I can bring him a picture, I can probably get it done. Just an idea of what you all might know of- even if it's some scary looking western contraption, I can customize it with a softer noseband and mouth. Curb strap etc.

    Thanks for any suggestions you have!
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    I've gone back to using a Myler Combination bit on my guy - it really gets the job done for us.

    About 2 years ago, we found out that my boy had a broken molar, which was causing a lot of pain. I started just hacking him out with a western sidepull. After 4-5 months using that, we upgraded to a simple english hackamore, and eventually upgraded to the combo bit. Last summer, I switched him over to a 3 piece snaffle + figure 8, but he started to disrespect that this summer. Put him back in the combo bit a few weeks ago and he is doing much better - He really responds to that nose pressure. Plus, I have the option of 3 different rings for more or less bit if needed.
    I have Higher Standards... do you?

    "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."

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    • #3
      Oh, how funny. I am also owned by an opinionated mare that jumped reasonably well in a waterford but show jumped beautifully in a hackamore. We just had trouble when the turns got tighter, as the steering wasn't always accurate enough. After fumbling along and trying every rig known to man, we've got her in the Myler combination bit that GutsNGlory mentioned.

      It goes to nose pressure first, loose ring bit second, and finally a leverage bit if the first two don't get her attention. It also has a stop on the bit so that it's not a gag action. It's more like a pelham with the pressure going down. That was very important because our attempt with a gag was borderline terrifying. Maresy lost her little mind in the middle of a course because she panicked when the gag action engaged on a regular three ring.

      My girl was a lot more of a heathen than your mare.

      It's a spendy bit, but I've certainly gotten a positive response from her. It doesn't offend my mare's sensibilities and I can still stop and turn as needed.
      http://thoughtfulequestrian.blogspot.com - My Ventures Into Eventing

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Catie79 View Post
        Oh, how funny. I am also owned by an opinionated mare that jumped reasonably well in a waterford but show jumped beautifully in a hackamore. We just had trouble when the turns got tighter, as the steering wasn't always accurate enough. After fumbling along and trying every rig known to man, we've got her in the Myler combination bit that GutsNGlory mentioned.

        It goes to nose pressure first, loose ring bit second, and finally a leverage bit if the first two don't get her attention. It also has a stop on the bit so that it's not a gag action. It's more like a pelham with the pressure going down. That was very important because our attempt with a gag was borderline terrifying. Maresy lost her little mind in the middle of a course because she panicked when the gag action engaged on a regular three ring.

        My girl was a lot more of a heathen than your mare.

        It's a spendy bit, but I've certainly gotten a positive response from her. It doesn't offend my mare's sensibilities and I can still stop and turn as needed.
        My trainer has a myler combo that we are going to try! I'm not sure ANYTHING with a mouthpiece will be the final answer, but I guess we will see. I need to travel down that road first.

        Catie, I laughed, too, because we did a clinic in a three ring one time and IT WAS THE WORST DAY EVER OF MY WHOLE LIFE PERIOD. She was in full on PANIC mode the whole time. *sigh*

        I'm also looking at western combos and see that I might be able to take a simple wonder bit, attach a hackamore noseband to the top ring, reins to the bottom and cheeks on the snaffle behind the nose band and make a very suitable, gentle option for her... may need to weld an attachment point for a curb strap. It's amazing how many HORRIFIC bitting options are out there!! I'm also wondering if I can construct something out of her baucher that she goes in for dressage.

        It's a good thing I love the little heifer! She really is brilliant- I want to make her as happy as possible!
        Big Idea Eventing

        Comment


        • #5
          Also try adding a snaffle on a bradoon hanger and another set of reins. Then ride off the hack rein (like the snaffle rein of a pelham or double bridle) and use the new snaffle rein to supplement when you need extra and to turn. I have had a lot of luck with this arrangement.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
            Catie, I laughed, too, because we did a clinic in a three ring one time and IT WAS THE WORST DAY EVER OF MY WHOLE LIFE PERIOD. She was in full on PANIC mode the whole time. *sigh*
            Oh, I feel your pain. She just started to run sideways with her head so far up and back she almost smacked me in the face. That bit went in a box and never came back out.

            Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
            I'm also looking at western combos and see that I might be able to take a simple wonder bit, attach a hackamore noseband to the top ring, reins to the bottom and cheeks on the snaffle behind the nose band and make a very suitable, gentle option for her... may need to weld an attachment point for a curb strap. It's amazing how many HORRIFIC bitting options are out there!! I'm also wondering if I can construct something out of her baucher that she goes in for dressage.
            I've seen rigs where people just tossed a hackamore on instead of a noseband and either rode in two reins or a pelham converter. That could be an easy *coughcheapcough* one to test and see if she's happier running mostly off of the hackamore but using a bit as the emergency brakes system.

            ETA: Yeah, like fordtraktor said.
            Last edited by Catie79; Jun. 25, 2012, 12:54 PM. Reason: Being a slow typer.
            http://thoughtfulequestrian.blogspot.com - My Ventures Into Eventing

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            • #7
              someone on here did a homemade hack/bit combo with two reins. Looked pretty ingenious to me. I think I had found it before doing a search for hackabits.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                Also try adding a snaffle on a bradoon hanger and another set of reins. Then ride off the hack rein (like the snaffle rein of a pelham or double bridle) and use the new snaffle rein to supplement when you need extra and to turn. I have had a lot of luck with this arrangement.
                This is a pretty common arrangement in jumper-land, and it works really well for a lot of horses. It's pretty simple and inexpensive to try, too.
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agree with trying the Bradoon hanger... it's a nice (much cheaper) alternative to the combo bits. Plus you can use your own go to snaffle instead of the elevator that comes on the Myler bits.

                  VTO has a hanger for 20 bucks. http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...oduct_Code=HBH

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I *loathe* those 3-ring bits. Have never had a horse go better in one of those than anything else, and usually WORSE.

                    Can you use the mechanical hackamore XC with a bit and 2 reins? Just go to the bit when necessary?

                    That said, I really, really like the Myler combination bits. I have one with only two rings (instead of the 3 most of them have) and it is a go-to bit for everyone except sensitive Boscoe, who goes in a baby bit. Even my trainer likes him in the combo, but her hands are WAY better than mine.

                    It is not really "nose pressure first" but depending on how tight you make the nose strap you can make it "nose pressure pretty darn soon" or "nose pressure as a last resort".

                    Have you tried a pelham with 2 reins? A rubber tom thumb might be a nice one to try. That was the correction bit for Bonnie in her opinionated, heavy, boss-mare days. She no longer needs one, but it sure did help!
                    Click here before you buy.

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                    • #11
                      Eponacowgirl--look at what Dan is riding Sparty in on my FB page photos. He's touchy as all getbout in his mouth and it has really helped.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Try an S hackamore with a bit under it. The S hack is a very mild hackamore with swept back shanks used by endurance people for its mild use and the ability for the horse to graze with it on. It shouldn't get in the way of a bit placed under it.

                        You can buy it with a rope nose, leather nose, or the endurance people will swap the nose and chin part out for almost anything you want.
                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've used a hackamore over a regular snaffle with no problems. It is a little awkward at first but it works out. Using a converter is fine with that sort of combo because it actually limits how far back the shank can go so it takes a long shank and makes it milder and you get the bit for steering no matter what.

                          My girl went without the converters but she also went mostly on the hack with only the snaffle for turning and minor things.
                          "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

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                          • #14
                            What about trying a Kineton noseband?

                            http://www.ejeffries.co.uk/product/1...neton_Noseband

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