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Myler Combination bits...a couple questions

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  • Myler Combination bits...a couple questions

    For those who use them...what do you like about them?

    From what I've read lately, mostly from YB, it sounds like a bit that would work well for my TB. He can be feather-light and soft, but he can also range from "dump my body weight in your hands" to "OMG DON'T TOUCH MY FACE!!!!", the latter usually accompanied by a bay head almost hitting me in the nose.

    As of now, in SJ, he is pretty easy, if you can stay with him. A light half halt a couple strides out, soften, and he's like butter...just be prepared for a buck if you A. Hit a rail B. Put your butt in the saddle a nanosecond too early or C. Remind him not to buck by half halting before he thinks its appropriate. If you don't do any of those things, you're fine and dandy with a lot of power under you. We haven't been on XC in a while, but he definitely has the "GO!" part down.

    He also tends to want to grind his teeth on the bit, both on the flat and while jumping, but its between jumps. His teeth are getting done this week, so hopefully that fixes it. He goes in a flash for dressage, and a regular caveson while jumping. He also goes in a running martingale due to the head flings.

    So, questions are:
    1. Does a Myler combination, preferably a 2 ring, sound like it may be suitable for him?
    2. YB said she used a caveson with hers...is this common practice? I think he may need one even if the bit works well.
    3. Would using it with a running martingale be too much?

    I figure since I'm biting the bullet and getting him a nice new saddle, we should have a nice new bit that actually works.
    runnjump86 Instagram

    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

  • #2
    two things: have you checked his mouth for occlusion or hooks and what is his saddle fit like?

    you mentioned the dentist is coming, that's great - but grinding teeth with headflipping and bucking after jumps are all typical symptoms of saddle soreness.

    i'd be more inclined to review those options before going to a myler - a bit is not a miracle cure in most cases, and it already sounds like your guys is pretty sensitive. imho, the sensitive ones don't got too well in mylers and myler combinations because they can be quite forceful. of course, there are always exceptions to the norm.

    ETA: what bit is he in now?


    • #3
      I don't know about combinations bits, but I'm just started using a Myler on my hot headed yet sensitive Ottb and she has gone amazing in it. It's a dee ring with a wide port wi a roller, and it also has curb chain. She seems to really like it and doesn't seem to open her mouth to get away from it as much.


      • #4
        My daughters very sensitive pony jumper went in a myler combination bit, after trying pretty much every bit on the market, and she loved it. It was just the right mix of bit and nose pressure to get her attention without being too much. She also had a tendency to buck if things were not exactly as she pleased, despite her custom saddle, so I know just what you are going through!


        • #5
          I used a Mikmar Combination successfully on my pony for stadium at Novice and Training. It was a miracle bit for a good while and then became too much as he became more sophisticated. He went from leaving out a stride to doing the add very nicely. Also from running thru gymnastics to soft and balanced. This bit requires a really good rider with educated hands and excellent balance. I don't think it is a good bit for XC. From your post, it doesn't actually sound like the right bit for you and your horse to be perfectly honest.
          Last edited by Shortstroke; Sep. 10, 2013, 10:10 PM. Reason: Corrected Myler to Mikmar


          • #6
            I use one for foxhunting for Finnegan and the occasional reminder in the ring. But Fin tends to lock his jaw and root. The combo bit seems to really help with the rooting. I would not say he is sensitive.

            I do use two reins when I ride with the combo bit.

            I just trail ride in a waterford snaffle and generally flat in the ring in a KK loose ring.
            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


            • Original Poster

              His current saddle fit is fine...literally just had a fitter out, and his new saddle is on the way. He doesn't buck after every jump, and once he settles down and isn't all "WAHOO WE'RE JUMPING!" all is usually well.

              I do have good balance and soft hands, or at least that's what three different people have told me recently. This horse has forced me to have softer elbows.

              He flats in an eggbutt Dr. Bristol, and we have played around with his jumping bit. We tried his flatwork bit (no brakes), a slow twist full cheek (too much), a two ring elevator (didn't like it), and he jumps now in a loose ring Waterford, but I'm just not crazy about it. I get the feeling he would work well off nose pressure because he's so sensitive, and having a slight gag action with a mild mouthpiece would be good.
              runnjump86 Instagram

              Horse Junkies United guest blogger


              • #8
                I have a horse who is quite similar to yours- add to that he can be strong and heavy on xc. We started out with the Myler 3-ring combo bit and while I really like that bit, I found it to be a bit too "all or nothing". When I half-halted in it, he would throw his head up and threaten to break my nose. After reading *Trinity*'s thread, I opted for the broken segunda and have never looked back. My horse goes so soft in it (I too have soft hands) and I never have the whole head-in-my-face issue since its effect seems more... gradual? We both love that bit


                • #9
                  Originally posted by runNjump86 View Post
                  His current saddle fit is fine...literally just had a fitter out, and his new saddle is on the way. He doesn't buck after every jump, and once he settles down and isn't all "WAHOO WE'RE JUMPING!" all is usually well.

                  I do have good balance and soft hands, or at least that's what three different people have told me recently. This horse has forced me to have softer elbows.

                  He flats in an eggbutt Dr. Bristol, and we have played around with his jumping bit. We tried his flatwork bit (no brakes), a slow twist full cheek (too much), a two ring elevator (didn't like it), and he jumps now in a loose ring Waterford, but I'm just not crazy about it. I get the feeling he would work well off nose pressure because he's so sensitive, and having a slight gag action with a mild mouthpiece would be good.
                  i love waterfords for jumping - it sounds like your horse has a preference for tongue pressure. maybe it is worth a try? have you ever tried a kineton?
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                  • #10
                    Not an eventer- but I use one on my endurance mare (think XC without the jumps and everyone on course at the same time LOL!) who is very hot and has a very sensitive mouth. She does really well in it and seems to be very happy with the pressure being spread out to different points rather than just her mouth
                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                    So you might as well have a good time"


                    • #11
                      the sensitive ones don't got too well in mylers and myler combinations because they can be quite forceful
                      I disagree.

                      My super hot cowhorse (hotter than my TBs have ever been) goes well in a Myler combo bit. It is a Myler 3 ring with a comfort snaffle. I about never use the third ring. (Mare is now in a plain smooth snaffle, due to my better education. But I'm not X-C jumping her.)

                      The bit effectively slowed the hand down. If you just grab hard for a half halt, yes you're going to upset the horse. But if you pick up a rein quietly, the ring slides through the bit cheek well before you get nose and then curb/bars of mouth pressure, and that pre-signal was very helpful for a hot horse. You also have to make sure that you release completely, it can be tempting to hold the rein just tight enough that it will engage right away...don't!

                      So unless you've got the curb/hackamore adjusted really tight, the bit is the opposite of forceful...it says, here comes the rein...before it engages. So if the horse responds before you have to engage, and you release that 'pre-pressure' well, the horse will get better.


                      • #12
                        I have a 3 ring combo with the mild mouthpiece and I really like it for a horse that gets down in the shoulder. I always used it with two reins and I find the action is similar in some ways to a full bridle. I have never used it with a running martingale. And, I have found that most horses can transition out of it.

                        ETA: OP if your horse goes well in the Waterford, why not try it with a kinton noseband? I've used that combo before with success.
                        Unrepentant carb eater


                        • Original Poster

                          I haven't thought about the kineton noseband before. Definitely worth a shot, right??

                          I'm just not thrilled with the Waterford. He goes pretty well in it, but he still either dives or throws his head whenever he gets offended. I can deal with it, but since he tends to be hot when we first start jumping anyway I'd rather not have those issues to deal with as well. The combo seemed like something that may make him happy.

                          But, I'm willing to try that noseband with his current bit. Judysmom, do you think a different type of Waterford would make a difference too, like a full cheek or D ring? I've pretty much raided my trainer's bit bucket, and the only bit I haven't tried yet is a pelham. I would rather stay away from having to use two reins...I can do it, but since he's still green on XC I think one rein would be easier to deal with right now.
                          runnjump86 Instagram

                          Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                          • #14
                            @ fillabeana -- having made a small career for myself by riding sensitive, difficult, and overdramatic horses, i can say it is my experience none of them went well in myler and myler combos. i am not the type to "yank" on their face, which is why these "difficult" and sensitive horses have been endowed to me. i personally contribute their dislike of the myler line to the fact that mylers are designed to gag and put pressure down the tongue, and the very sensitive horses do not appreciate this action. your experience may be different, but it doesn't change mine.

                            OP- i would try a D ring waterford next, and maybe a kineton if one is in your tack drawer. a kineton applies nose pressure, and to me would be the next "reasonable step up" before dunking into the paycheck to get a myler combo. it is my go-to bit (D ring waterford), tbh, for the horses who are a little "up" when it comes to the jumping phase. because it is not a straight bar or a true joint bit, the horse has difficulty "grabbing the bit and running" -- and when idle in the horse's mouth, conforms quite nicely with certain mouth confirmation, but not all.
                            AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                            • Original Poster

                              Ok, but why the D ring vs. the loose ring??

                              No kineton noseband in the tack room, but I may be able to track one down from another barn.

                              ETA - I have ridden him on the flat in a Myler single joint D ring and a loose ring three piece and he wasn't too traumatized. In fact, he really didn't care, lol. I tried him in a plain loose ring with a lozenge today, hoping he wouldn't grind as much...fail. It's not a constant grinding though. My idea is that he does it when he has to think. That way the marbles don't fall out.
                              runnjump86 Instagram

                              Horse Junkies United guest blogger