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Yes, I'm going to ask a bit question, but he's a particular pony

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  • Yes, I'm going to ask a bit question, but he's a particular pony

    I've had my OTTB a little over a year, he's now at Novice. Shockingly (not) he gets excited when going XC and wants to run -- he raced for 3 years, I don't hold it against him. We just have to be able to communicate "HEY, check yourself before you wreck yourself!" so he can't run in a snaffle for this phase - I only tried that once.

    So I put him in the elevator that was perfect for my downhill Appendix -- it would elevate and half halt with just a light touch and he graduated up the rings with training.

    Not so with young'un. He just bears down on it and clearly is not a fan -- I can at least slow him down enough so we stay out of the danger zone, but until he is more seasoned, I need to be able to pick him and rebalance him more easily. Even with the elevator, I have to wrestle with him sometimes to say "racehorse terminal velocity is not appropriate for Novice, my dear."

    Yes, we will continue with our schooling and training so you can skip that lecture. But I would rather be able to touch something once lightly than have to lean back and wrestle over and over and so, I am sure, would he.

    So, being a woman of very limited means, I'm thinking carefully about what I should try that he might like better. Kimberwicke? Gag? Pelham w/ converter (sorry, purists, I'm NOT going XC with two reins, I'm just not that coordinated)? He has a fairly small mouth so he doesn't like anything fat or with a lot of motion. Appendix wouldn't abide a curb chain, so I haven't really felt out exactly what kind of reaction they get from a horse. And I hate hackamores -- I need more steering right now.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo

  • #2
    I had the same problem with my mare. She would get out there and think she was awesome and haul around. A zillion half halts later and I was so tired it wasn't fun anymore! I put her in a loose ring snaffle with a double twist. I would ONLY ride her XC in this and within a few rides she wasn't hanging on me anymore and would quickly check herself with one half halt. Now I have her in a D Herman Sprenger one joint and she goes around just fine.


    • #3
      I love Pelhams for this kind of situation. Ride most of the time on the snaffle rein, but you have that curb rein for the occasional necessary come to Jesus meeting.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks -- and Master, that is EXACTLY the problem. And the reason I'm not willing to risk it anymore is he was spending too much focus trying to go fast, not listening to me trying to balance him, he slipped on a turn, pulled his SI ligament and it cost us our entry to the ATC's (ouch) this fall - and we had a kickass team that finished 3rd.....without us, snif.

        We can show jump in the snaffle as long as the rider remembers to keep thinking, ahem. Please keep thoughts coming - I am leaning towards the pelham; is there such a thing as a double-jointed pelham or are they all mullen mouths?
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
        We Are Flying Solo


        • #5
          you might try this (sometimes just that fixed very slight leverage works wonders) http://www.bitofbritain.com/St_bben_..._Bit_p/381.htm

          You might try a jointed kimberwicke http://www.smartpakequine.com/happy-...x?cm_vc=Search

          Let me know what size your guy needs. I own approximately a million bits that I am not using and would be happy to lend to you (although I realize you may not need them for a little bit, just let me know).
          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


          • #6
            Originally posted by scubed View Post
            Let me know what size your guy needs. I own approximately a million bits that I am not using and would be happy to lend to you (although I realize you may not need them for a little bit, just let me know).
            Ditto that (and I am in NC, close to the CHP). PM if needed, buying bits without trying first is exhaustingly expensive.
            Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

            The Grove at Five Points


            • #7
              Yes pelhams come double jointed. Many people think an non-mullen mouth bastardizes the action of the curb, but I have used them with out ill effect.

              Too bad you don't want to use 2 rein xc (and I get why!) myler combo is PERFECT for this type, aka young horse who likes to go but doesn't have the muscle development to hold a better shape.
              The combo can help you lift and slow down. Use it like a double bridle. I had my young horse in one until he got more broke and built muscles. Now he goes in a myler D w/ hooks. Just enough bit.

              I have also used a double twisted wire XC on a horse. That bit is better (IMO) for a keen horse who's a bit dead in the mouth.
              Unrepentant carb eater


              • #8
                I have new horse that gets very strong and after reading numerous threads on COTH regarding this, I bought a Myler Combination Bit and I have a lot more control with it. It has been a life saver for me.


                • #9
                  What if you tried a double twisted wire or similar snaffle with a no pull/lever noseband? Maybe leverage isn't his thing. I have a 5" single joint pelham I'm not using right now that I could lend you as well if that's the route you want to go.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ahorwith View Post
                    What if you tried a double twisted wire or similar snaffle with a no pull/lever noseband? Maybe leverage isn't his thing. I have a 5" single joint pelham I'm not using right now that I could lend you as well if that's the route you want to go.
                    This. My OTTB can get very heavy (although he is not a run-away, just heavy on the forehandish) and I wanted to use a 3-ring elevator - he hated it! And made his opinion VERY clear. I have had luck with a slow twist full cheek. Several people told me to try one and I didn't think it would work because of the no-leverage thing but it works quite well.
                    Our journey - http://charlieandmeeventing.blogspot.com/


                    • #11
                      I have found a bit that I really like and it is not used much in the eventing world. It is actually more of a reining bit. It combines mild elevator with the action of a chin strap or chain. I noticed that an ULR who I much admire had this on a couple of her horses and asked her about it. You can find this bit in Western stores for much less cost that in this link:



                      • #12
                        How is he strong? Does he pull or just not respond?

                        My mare didn't need a ton a bit normally but she would get going (not pulling) and just tune me out but if I put too much bit in her mouth...she reacted rather violently! She loved a loose ring cherry roller. She listened in it but didn't over react.

                        You might just need to play around. Maybe a slow twist or corkscrew or a wedge--if more sharpness seems to be what he needs. I like pelhams but do typically ride with two reins (it really REALLY is not hard on xc).
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                        • #13
                          A PeeWee bit? Google PeeWee they are made in Australia and look a bit like a Springsteen but with a thin mullen mouth


                          • #14
                            Wonder Gag with a waterford mouth maybe? Double twisted wire full cheek worked well for me or if you dont want that sharp of a mouthpiece then a smooth double mouth full cheek.

                            Have you tried him with a curb chain bit before? Some like them, some dont. I ride in Pelhams, mullen and single joint, and two reins isnt bad. Just get used to it before and ride in it when you jump and flat to get the feeling. Totally understand that not everyone likes the two reins, my ULR trainer being one of them, but I personally like it.

                            I love my cherry roller snaffles and someone else on the thread mentioned them. My fave bit on something that lays on the bit. Absolute fave even more so then the waterford. My guy has one on now and he will run in a loose ring, but he gets a bit too heavy through the gallop stretches.

                            Good luck.
                            I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.


                            • #15
                              I was thinking waterford or something with rollers also. For very sensitive Miss Brigitte that type of bit worked well when just used for those times she might feel like getting rolling a little too strongly.


                              • #16
                                If he doesn't like a lot of motion, there's a good chance he won't be pleased with anything waterford, and maybe not even double jointed. I've ridden quite a few TBs (usually smaller ones) who thought french likes were the work of the devil.

                                Two bits I have LOVED for similar situations have been a Happy Mouth straight bar pelham (this is one of my all time favorite bits) and my Nathe wonder bit. The pelham, obviously, offers more power, but between converters and what you do with the curb chain (crank it, don't crank it, change it to leather, or cover it, etc, etc, etc), you have a lot of options for how powerful it is, IF your horse likes it. I love my Nathe wonder bit, though. It was the PERFECT bit for Vernon, who hated metal bits for a long time, needed more than his Nathe snaffle, but also hated a three ring/elevator/pessoa (even with two reins for subtlety).

                                The Nathe wonder bit is nearly impossible to find in the states...I ended up buying used from a fellow COTHer...and, no, I won't sell mine It is one of my all time favorites, and even though Toby hates it with a fiery passion from hell, it will remain a permanent fixture in my collection!

                                I would look into plastic, straight bar type bits with various leverage, though. If he's like a lot of TBs I know, he might REALLY like that mouth (less movement, fits well in smaller mouths, encourages contact without hanging). Happy Mouth offers a lot of variety, and they aren't TERRIBLY expensive. Too bad you aren't local to me...I have quite the collection (inherited when the now former boss semi-retired from the horse business last year).


                                • #17
                                  Don't underestimate your powers to ride in two reins. Honestly, I am a complete moron, and I can do it just fine.


                                  • #18
                                    I hunt in either a Waterford snaffle or a Kimberwicke (with a quarter moon mouth). They both make my OTTB polite without backing him off the bit.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Oh, thank you thank you, so many good thoughts!

                                      He's going now in a Myler D -- sort of double jointed. Tried boucher and Nathe and loose ring, too easy to ignore at the run. I think his mouth is too small for single joint, I think it would poke his palate the way they do on my other horse, I know exactly what his reaction to that would be!

                                      BFNE, you are exactly right, he's not pulling on me, he's just ignoring me (his mouth has been compared to, ahem, a brick, lol), so I don't think a Waterford would really do anything that I don't already have.

                                      And thank you, seema and ACME, for your lending offers! I may well take you up on that. And I'm not a stealer, I always give things back as good or better as when I borrow.

                                      I'm going to think on it some more -- I won't be experimenting full on till I get further along in knee rehab, but I can see what his reaction to a curb chain is since we now board at a walking horse training farm!

                                      Thank you all, this is a great great help b/c I know so many have to ponder this issue and each horse is so different!!
                                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                      We Are Flying Solo


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Deleted duplicate.
                                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                        We Are Flying Solo