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Bits: Overwhelmed by options Update!

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  • #21
    The horse chooses the bit, not you. You make suggestions, the horse tells you which one is best. Every horse is different about which one is the best choice for each individual horse. You need a selection to try to find what suits your horse best. Obviously, and already pointed out here, soft and comfortable for the horse is what you are looking for. So I start out with various mullen mouth straight bars, loose ring snaffles, eggbutt snaffles, single jointed, double jointed, different metals or plastic or leather mouthpieces. Sometimes cheeks are OK, sometimes not. Often, you never have to change from this "first" bit, there is no "progression" in types of bits needed. Depends on the horse. Straight bar bits have less "nuance" in their use than broken mouthpiece bits do, they are more "obtuse", because you can not work one side of the bit separate from the other. But sometimes that's OK, it doesn't matter to the horse, they like the straight bar better, and respond to it adequately. Straight bars are "simple", no moving parts, sometimes a horse appreciates this, sometimes they respond better to a bit that has each side able to be used independently. It is entirely the horse's decision which bit is the one you had best use. Listen to your horse.

    Once accustomed to the bit, the horse should carry the bit quietly, his mouth still. If he can't keep his mouth still, excess chewing on the bit, this would indicate a bit change is needed, due to lack of comfort with the current choice. He should respond to light pressure for steering and pace regulation. You want him to want to contact you through the reins, and you wait for him to do that. The horse initiates the conversation through the reins, he takes up contact with you. The reins are used by the rider for basic navigation only. The rider's leg asks the horse forward, and into engagement from behind. The first step of the training pyramid is "Free forward relaxed motion", that is your goal at this point. This, and only this, nothing else. At all gaits.
    www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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    • #22
      We can all sit here and discuss the differences between single jointed, double jointed, full cheek, D ring, happy mouth vs metal vs nathe vs black rubber... and yes there are differences but they are very very slight and the horse is a baby. He is not anywhere near understanding the nuances of these differences or needing one vs the other. Don't go using a double twisted wire or a gag bit. You can relax

      Find something that's comfortable in his mouth with some steering help. My go to is a full cheek double jointed snaffle. Your happy mouth bit is fine. Everyone else's suggestions are also fine. We're trying to go, stop, and steer here. You can't go wrong as long as the bit is comfortable. As you get farther in his training he will tell you what direction to go with bitting.

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Update!

        Precious has been bridled a few more times since the original post. I have not yet tried another bit. The loose ring turned out to be far too small to be a good experiment. I took some video clips of him wearing bridle and chewing intensity is dropping with each session. I free lunged him while he wore his bridle for the first time today! His lunging work was the same excellent quality he has been offering me. I felt that was very encouraging! He chewed a lot less when he was working. He remains pleasant and willing for bridling.

        I will stick with his current bit for now. I am ordering a dbl jointed full cheek to have as an extra option. Thank you to everyone that shared their knowledge and experiences!

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        • #24
          There's a new line of rubber coated bits out. Centaur ecobit. I found one in a tack shop while traveling and liked it so much i bought it even though i didn't have a horse that needed it right then.

          https://www.equestriancollections.co...ng-jointed-bit

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          • #25
            I like to start them in a double-jointed KK snaffle. I'll go straight to the loose ring if they're very solidly lounging and long-lining (i.e. steering is installed). If not, I prefer a larger side piece, like the D ring version.

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