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Bit question

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  • Bit question

    I have a 5 year old Morgan that I school in a twisted wire snaffle. That's the bit he was using when I bought him, and he goes really well in it. I've put him in my mare's French link and her plain snaffle, but he is too strong and forward for those bits. When I ride him in one of those I find that I'm much more heavy on my hands. When I ride in the twisted wire he's much more responsive and I can be very gentle.

    I'm considering some different bits for him so that he's not always in the same one, and I'm curious about a slow twist or a corkscrew. How do these compare to the twisted wire?

  • #2
    I think you should find a bit that works, and stick with it. No reason why you should be looking to change bits all the time unless its needed for a different type of training/riding where you will need more control than usual...(Eq/ jumpers). I agree, that if you can ride with less bit, its better for your horse's mouth and you should. If you have any other riders at your barn, perhaps they will let you try one of their bits if they have what you're looking for.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
      I think you should find a bit that works, and stick with it. No reason why you should be looking to change bits all the time unless its needed for a different type of training/riding where you will need more control than usual...(Eq/ jumpers). I agree, that if you can ride with less bit, its better for your horse's mouth and you should. If you have any other riders at your barn, perhaps they will let you try one of their bits if they have what you're looking for.
      Couldn't have said it better myself! I only swap bits on two of my ponies, one because she gets "bored" with her bits and lets you know when she does (however your guy seems fairly happy with his current bit) and another who goes at home in a happy mouth, and hacks at shows with a happy mouth, but goes in metal over fences at shows to back her off a bit.
      Like Satin Filly said, "less is more" so if you can borrow a bit that's in between the ones you've tried and his current bit, I'd definitely try it. But if this is the softest he can go in, and he's happy in it, leave it at that.
      "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
      Blog | YouTube

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      • #4
        A slow twist is generally milder than a corkscrew, although it depends on the edges of the twist; both are milder than a twisted wire. Less is more, so if you find one of these works for you, you may find that it makes a good everyday bit and you can reserve the twisted wire for times when you're pretty sure that without some extra help you might become a lawn dart.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks everyone, I also believe in the less is more idea, which is why I wanted to find a gradual "less" bit. I just find that when I ride in a "less" bit I have to use so much more hands that we both have a miserable ride. Right now I have a more is less approach to bitting, does that make sense?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by VTMorgan06 View Post
            Thanks everyone, I also believe in the less is more idea, which is why I wanted to find a gradual "less" bit. I just find that when I ride in a "less" bit I have to use so much more hands that we both have a miserable ride. Right now I have a more is less approach to bitting, does that make sense?
            It does.
            My pony that I rode in my junior years was a powerhouse, and especially over fences. The only way she wasn't running off with me on course was when I had her in a double twisted wire. We tried many bits, and that's what worked and we never looked back.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
              It does.
              My pony that I rode in my junior years was a powerhouse, and especially over fences. The only way she wasn't running off with me on course was when I had her in a double twisted wire. We tried many bits, and that's what worked and we never looked back.
              I had a similar problem with the pony I mentioned above who gets bored with her bits. Oddly enough, I now have her in a double jointed french link happy mouth, which allows me to take more of her mouth without her getting grouchy and running away with me.
              "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
              Blog | YouTube

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks Satin Filly, I'm glad it makes sense! To be honest, there's another rider at my barn who's been shoving the "less is more" stuff down my throat, and cringes and judges me every time I pick up my bridle. But my horse happily goes along in his twisted bit, while hers is running off and she has to do a one rein stop constantly because her horse is hauling through her happy mouth! I may have more bit but I use far less hands!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree, no sense in fighting with your horse when the solution is as simple as a different bit that is well tolerated. Tell your barn mate that you cringe every time she rips her horse's head off. Not fun for the horse OR rider. But honestly, a snaffle in the wrong hands is far worse for the horse than a stronger bit that lies in soft hands. I think your friend didn't get that memo.
                  I also used a Dr. Bristol with a slow twist on my pony. No "nutcracker" effect in the mouth, softer on the sides of the mouth than the twisted wire, and functions by applying more pressure on the tongue. Some horses don't like this and might find it offensive, and for some it will give the effect you're looking for.
                  Last edited by Satin Filly; Apr. 5, 2012, 09:51 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Going from a twisted wire to a french link is a HUGE change...a french link is one of the least severe mouthpieces you can use and a twisted wire is one of the more severe ones. So if your horse wasn't terrible in the french link, you can probably find some middle ground that would work well.

                    I would definitely try a slow twist or a corkscrew and see how he goes in that. I had a TB that came to us in a double twisted wire and if I had tried to jump him in a plain snaffle it would not have ended well. Yet he was great to flat in a fat loose ring, and because I could flat him in a soft bit I ended being able to eventually change him to a slow twist for over fences.

                    So I would definitely play around with softer mouthpieces if you can, but at least you know he goes nicely in his current bit as well!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VTMorgan06 View Post
                      Thanks everyone, I also believe in the less is more idea, which is why I wanted to find a gradual "less" bit. I just find that when I ride in a "less" bit I have to use so much more hands that we both have a miserable ride. Right now I have a more is less approach to bitting, does that make sense?
                      It does, and if the twist is the best option, then it is the best option. I like to try different options as well, though, so that I can have an "everyday bit" and a step up as a "whoa darn it!" bit for days when there is a dragon in my horse's stall. For my guy that's a french link vs. a three-ring french link or his d-ring french link with a running martingale.
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sometimes sensitive horses with small mouths (some arabs and ponies) go so well in a twisted wire in part because they take up so little room in the mouth. Any standard bit like a corkskrew or slow twist will dismay them by the big heavy thing over the tongue. Much less, you put a bulky happy mouth or rubber-covered mullen mouth in there and they will pitch a fit. It's like going backwards--asking a race car driver to drive the mini-van.

                        If you want to play with bits for the small, sensitive mouth that are less or different than the double twisted wire, look to the thin mouthpiece bits. There is one making the rounds on the internet aimed at english riders, basically a very-thin snaffle that comes with a chin strap to keep it safely in place. (I did not get one, but used the idea it gave me to use a thing snaffle from a double bridle instead.) I've also shopped for such bits from the western side of the aisle as some high level cutting horse riders use them. (Like the second bit here: http://www.horsetrainingvideos.com/snaffles.htm)

                        I would not recommend anyone who uses a "normal" kind of bit that bit--because if used with "normal" hands or (god forbid) caught by an unbalanced moment, it is SEVERE. But if you are riding a sensitive horse in a twisted wire and going well, you have the hands for this bit.
                        At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                        Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

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