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Bit advice

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  • Bit advice

    I’m on the search for a new bit for my horse. He is a very difficult horse to bit and I think its time to change it up. I had a pro ride him for the first time ever today (he’s 9 I’ve had him since he was 3) so I know its not just my bad riding.

    He has a hard time accepting contact. After a good decent warm up he can get a beautiful trot going working really well into the bit but he struggles at the canter. He grabs the bit and pulls forward twisting his head. With no contact he either is on the forehand or has his head in the air. My trainer thinks I should try something with some leverage. He has a hard mouth but if I put a strong bit in he just fights it. So I need a relatively soft bit that also has some brakes.

    Thoughts on the shaped Mullen mouth Pelham that happy mouth makes? Any other suggestions? Currently I’ve been flatting him in the neue schule verbindend loose ring and jumping in neue schule Waterford full cheek. I’ve tried a 3 ring jointed happy mouth and he just gets behind the bit and his stride gets shorter and shorter and faster and faster. Not what I want in a hunter.
    Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

    Life is happening for us not to us

  • #2
    Personally he sounds unbalanced to me which is a lot like my mare. A new bit may help for a bit because he won’t be able to lean but he’ll soon figure a way around it.

    Ive been doing a lot of lunging, especially over poles, which is helping my mare to develop a more solid frame in general. She will still lean but I’m getting her more solid.

    But to answer your question, Mullen mouths are good bits because it is *more* difficult to lean on and seem to conform to the mouth rather well. However, I would advise against a leverage type bit.
    Ride with seat and a little less hand, doesn’t matter if you’re jumping a fence or chasing a can🛢

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by cedarlake View Post
      Personally he sounds unbalanced to me which is a lot like my mare. A new bit may help for a bit because he won’t be able to lean but he’ll soon figure a way around it.

      Ive been doing a lot of lunging, especially over poles, which is helping my mare to develop a more solid frame in general. She will still lean but I’m getting her more solid.

      But to answer your question, Mullen mouths are good bits because it is *more* difficult to lean on and seem to conform to the mouth rather well. However, I would advise against a leverage type bit.
      He is very unbalanced. Well not very but yes thats the root of it. He gets lunged once a week. Sometimes on the lunge sometimes in the round pen so he has nothing to lean on. If I keep him on a circle I can keep him fairly well balanced but obviously we can’t just stay on a circle forever. I’m constantly searching for new exercises to help with his balance and build up hind end strength so he can rock back a bit more at the canter. I seem to be building up his stamina but not really his strength. He is big like riding a tank and it takes so much strength to keep himself balanced and packaged.
      Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

      Life is happening for us not to us

      Comment


      • #4
        First, get his teeth done and check his TMJ . Second, make sure his back, hocks, SI and neck are okay (and everything else while you’re at it). Third, find a pro who can put some proper flat work on him in a snaffle - or can suggest some bit options and explain her thought process concerning the overall training process and how this will help achieve the end goal of having a horse who is rideable in a snaffle.
        Last edited by OnDeck; Nov. 26, 2019, 12:59 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Had this with my big lad and the only thing that really helped was lots of schooling... Transitions from trot to canter and within the pace. I also did a fair bit of hillwork to build up his hind end.

          I'd avoid a leverage bit or try two reins with it at least. Ride on the snaffle rein then pick the other one up as needed but you might find he lifts his head more with it.

          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by btswass View Post

            He is very unbalanced. Well not very but yes thats the root of it. He gets lunged once a week. Sometimes on the lunge sometimes in the round pen so he has nothing to lean on. If I keep him on a circle I can keep him fairly well balanced but obviously we can’t just stay on a circle forever. I’m constantly searching for new exercises to help with his balance and build up hind end strength so he can rock back a bit more at the canter. I seem to be building up his stamina but not really his strength. He is big like riding a tank and it takes so much strength to keep himself balanced and packaged.
            So my mare is a cutting reject and is BUILT. Her shoulders are large and she’s got a big booty and a short back. She really likes to get heave on the forehand. What has helped me is hills and lateral work, but more than that is leaving her alone.

            She started using my hands as her balancing tool and when I let her go and stopped helping her with the collection, she fell apart. Now I only ride with a loose rein and if I need her to get up under herself I give her just enough to aid her and then I let her struggle. She’s starting to figure it out, and really got the feel on the lunge. I could see her physically use her top line to get a good solid outline. This just came from walk to trot transitions without any help other than asking her to not lean out or fall in. I’m not onto trot and canter transitions. She’s falling completely apart but it’s fine knowing her other transitions are more solid.

            Like they say: Slow is fast.
            Good luck xx

            Ride with seat and a little less hand, doesn’t matter if you’re jumping a fence or chasing a can🛢

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Update:

              So I bought the shaped mullen mouth pelham from happy mouth and tried it out today. It was a huge success!
              I was able to ride with soft contact without fighting with my horse. I was able to really open up his canter without worrying about getting out of control. The best part is as my ride went on instead of getting more and more worked up he relaxed. He seemed to absolutely love this bit. Was responsive. Did not brace against it. And continued to relax. I think we've found a winner! Now I think we can really start progressing in our training.
              Hudson Valley's Premier Tack Shop www.argentoeq.com/

              Life is happening for us not to us

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by btswass View Post
                I’m on the search for a new bit for my horse. He is a very difficult horse to bit and I think its time to change it up. I had a pro ride him for the first time ever today (he’s 9 I’ve had him since he was 3) so I know its not just my bad riding.

                He has a hard time accepting contact. After a good decent warm up he can get a beautiful trot going working really well into the bit but he struggles at the canter. He grabs the bit and pulls forward twisting his head. With no contact he either is on the forehand or has his head in the air. My trainer thinks I should try something with some leverage. He has a hard mouth but if I put a strong bit in he just fights it. So I need a relatively soft bit that also has some brakes.

                Thoughts on the shaped Mullen mouth Pelham that happy mouth makes? Any other suggestions? Currently I’ve been flatting him in the neue schule verbindend loose ring and jumping in neue schule Waterford full cheek. I’ve tried a 3 ring jointed happy mouth and he just gets behind the bit and his stride gets shorter and shorter and faster and faster. Not what I want in a hunter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a gelding that I had a rough time with reference to bits. I now have him in a Mullen mouth Myler with great success. I find that it fits well and is quite small in comparison to most others and yet very gentle. If you contact Myler they are a wealth of helpful info. Good luck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by btswass View Post
                    I’m on the search for a new bit for my horse. He is a very difficult horse to bit and I think its time to change it up. I had a pro ride him for the first time ever today (he’s 9 I’ve had him since he was 3) so I know its not just my bad riding.

                    He has a hard time accepting contact. After a good decent warm up he can get a beautiful trot going working really well into the bit but he struggles at the canter. He grabs the bit and pulls forward twisting his head. With no contact he either is on the forehand or has his head in the air. My trainer thinks I should try something with some leverage. He has a hard mouth but if I put a strong bit in he just fights it. So I need a relatively soft bit that also has some brakes.

                    Thoughts on the shaped Mullen mouth Pelham that happy mouth makes? Any other suggestions? Currently I’ve been flatting him in the neue schule verbindend loose ring and jumping in neue schule Waterford full cheek. I’ve tried a 3 ring jointed happy mouth and he just gets behind the bit and his stride gets shorter and shorter and faster and faster. Not what I want in a hunter.
                    We had a similar situation with my import. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, but I did see one about getting teeth checked and maybe have the vet take a look for any body soreness. We did all of that with my mare.

                    We show her in a full check segunda. I have quite nice, soft hands. That being said- this is a strong bit. Full cheek for my horse because of, well, steering. I have a fairly sensitive chestnut mare and this bit she really respects.

                    We try hacking at home in a full cheek (again, steering) Waterford, but we aren’t always successful. Obviously we still have a work in progress as well, but the segunda was a game changer. Seriously. I couldn’t even canter around our arena and now I have what I feel like is a winning big eq ride. Night and day. Good luck!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like he simply doesn't have the muscle tone to stay on the bit and balance himself through a canter.

                      I don't think this is a bit issue, I'd incorporate some dressage training into your flatwork. Good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is he fussy with his mouth at all? You might try a baucher- they're very still in the mouth compared to loose rings etc... and actually LIFT poll pressure when you apply the rein. My resistant-giraffe mare actually responds better to this.

                        I'd agree with other posters that having trouble "staying there" may be a strength issue. I also find it's easier to teach them to "go there" with lateral work- lots of bends, transitions between and WITHIN the gaits, shoulder/haunch in/out, bending (start from the leg)....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You admit he's unbalanced so that's a good thing. Poles, cavalletti, backing up, lateral work, in-hand work, and lots of transitions will help.
                          I've got an unbalanced warmblood. We struggled, and still struggle sometimes with leaning and resistance. The bit that works for us is the Myler low port comfort snaffle (MB04). He has a small mouth, and a big tongue so he finds the port more comfortable. Once we had a bit that he stopped leaning on we were able to make a lot of progress because I could push him forward without him running.

                          Check your own balance too. If your centre of gravity is always moving it will make it harder for him. And if he's able to pull you forward, game over. I got a new saddle and that was a big game changer, along with keeping my core strong. I'm sure you know you'll never win at tug of war, so the goal is relaxation, and then keeping them forward and up in front of you.

                          I hope your new bit works!

                          Comment

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