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Bit Recommendation for Larger School Horse

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  • Bit Recommendation for Larger School Horse

    I have a pretty big 16.1 hand school horse. When I ride him or an educated person he is a dream. He is well trained and needs the inside rein outside leg around turns. We started him in a full cheek but the kids were having a harder time with him so we went to a jointed kimberwicke. He has the brakes now but at times he decides to turn with them. I can get on and right away he's a dream. I hate over bitting a horse. Any recommendations on what is kind to him but will give the kids some more control? This is usually done at the walk (his turning the way he wants to go).
    Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
    Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
    & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
    www.frostyoaks.com

  • #2
    We used to use low-port standard Kimberwickes on most of our schoolies; it's still reasonably forgiving, but teaches the kids to have light hands and not water-ski, while ensuring the horses maintain proper respect.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know what type of kids you have taking lessons or your availability to other horses but it sounds to me like you are "over-mounting" the lessoners. I would keep this guy only for intermediate-advanced lessons that are able to control him or the very beginners in which you are leading him. A bit most likely won't solve this issue, or only solve it temporarily. Again, I know horse availability might be an issue so you may find good answers here for a temporary bit fix. In the long run I would look for other horse options (maybe half lease this guy and look for another beginner school horse?).
      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
      inside of a man.

      -Sir Winston Churchill

      Comment


      • #4
        What about back to the full cheek with a little bit of twist?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
          What about back to the full cheek with a little bit of twist?
          I was actually thinking slow twist. He's actually a great little horse and the kids that ride him love him, but we just moved and he's testing them, just like he did when we moved rented barns last June. I'm sure he'll work out of it and get in the groove. He's super sweet but if they drop their reins and stop riding, he'll just turn and go the other way. Not always a bad thing. I keep thinking a kimberwick jointed with full cheeks would be his perfect bit!
          Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
          Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
          & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
          www.frostyoaks.com

          Comment


          • #6
            How about a kimberwicke without a joint. Give the poor guy a break.

            A full cheek or a dee . MAybe a Waterford. No jointed curbs...

            madeline
            Singlehandedly trying to educate the world about the unfairness of jointed curbs.
            madeline
            * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aspenlucas View Post
              but if they drop their reins and stop riding, he'll just turn and go the other way.
              & for this you will bit up the horse
              - let the kids learn! what a wonderful, gentle way for them to realize that they need to continue to ride even when the horse gets a loose rein break

              besides if he has a good whoa on him, a shout from you should stop him in his tracks

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alto View Post
                & for this you will bit up the horse
                - let the kids learn! what a wonderful, gentle way for them to realize that they need to continue to ride even when the horse gets a loose rein break
                If they're dropping their reins completely the bit in his mouth isn't going to make a lick of difference. I took OP's post to mean that the kids can't really correct the problem once it occurs and was looking for something that will allow them to be a little more effective. But perhaps I misread?

                Comment


                • #9
                  No bit suggestion, but does he turn to where the kids dismount/center of the ring? If that is the case, maybe have them hop off in different spots each time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aspenlucas View Post
                    I have a pretty big 16.1 hand school horse. When I ride him or an educated person he is a dream. He is well trained and needs the inside rein outside leg around turns. We started him in a full cheek but the kids were having a harder time with him so we went to a jointed kimberwicke. He has the brakes now but at times he decides to turn with them. I can get on and right away he's a dream. I hate over bitting a horse. Any recommendations on what is kind to him but will give the kids some more control? This is usually done at the walk (his turning the way he wants to go).
                    It sounds like these kids are early beginners, and I don't think its good practice to leave a jointed kimberwick in such unforgiving/inexperienced hands. If the horse works well in a snaffle otherwise and isn't overly naughty (I wouldn't consider this behavior overly naughty), it sounds like the bit isn't the issue. It sounds like these kids need to be reminded that just because they're walking about on loose rein, doesn't mean they are "out to lunch" in the saddle and can stop riding. Sounds like the horse is doing a good job of reminding them of this!

                    Now, if the issue is he's grabbing ahold of the bit and not listening to the correction, a Waterford might help that issue (and provide good brakes while still being gentle).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm going to go against the grain and ask about no bit...

                      Have you tried a side pull or a jumping hackamore. I would like to add... Not the 10 inch shanked mechanical hackamore.

                      I have schoolies, and they are delegated to certain levels of riders, and when they ridden by the right skill set they are super good. Ridden by the wrong skill set: I have ponies rooting reins, forgetting they have brakes, refusing to trot, turning in the middle, convinced our only cue is the canter cue... so on and so forth. I understand what it costs to keep and maintain them.

                      I'm just curious if he doesn't like that job... He could be super valuable for a nervous, but well educated rider.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He sounds a bit like DD's mare. She will drop her shoulder and drift through a left turn whenever given a chance. Periodically, she has to have a "big girl" ride to get through it. She's going in a french link D right now, and doing well. We did find the full cheek helped some when DD was smaller though. and she hates single jointed bits.
                        A proud friend of bar.ka.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Personally, I think bitting up a schoolie is bad news UNLESS the kids riding him are experienced. A harsher bit in rough hands will result in the horse becoming deadened to rein aids...

                          Besides, since the horse goes well in a snaffle with an experienced rider, the kids having problems are the ones at fault, not the horse. Seems like one of those "teachable moments" to me. Or leave this one to the intermediate kids.
                          LEGADO DE RIOS

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                            If they're dropping their reins completely the bit in his mouth isn't going to make a lick of difference. I took OP's post to mean that the kids can't really correct the problem once it occurs and was looking for something that will allow them to be a little more effective. But perhaps I misread?
                            THIS^ He's not a bad horse and they are not bad riders, but he's testing them on the new farm and when he decides to test them, the jointed kimberwicke isn't working. No one is yanking on him or hurting him. I always thought the jointed Kimberwicke was kinder then the ported one? Maybe I'm wrong. I don't want to "bit him up" all my school horses go in a full cheek snaffle, some in a rubber D.

                            I do almost agree with the fact he's teaching them. He's not doing it the whole lesson and when a kid that wins the battle gets him past that point, he's a gem. He's REALLY smart and if he wants to go left and they turn him right, he "wins" and he knows it.
                            Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                            Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                            & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
                            www.frostyoaks.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He sounds like a schoolie And, I don't mean that as a bad thing. My trainer in FL has a buckskin pony that will go in everything from a full-cheek french to a corkscrew, depending on his "mood" that day. This guy is the poster child for "perfect hunter pony" and still has his moments. I've had trouble with him occasionally (only rode him once or twice, when the trainer was trying to prove a point through my thick head). He's a Large and I'm 6 feet! We look silly together.

                              I think a slow-twist, and maybe a figure-8 noseband (or a flash if you're not doing it already). I have both my tbs currently in waterfords, because they LAY on the bits and my mare goes in a quarter-moon 5 1/4 pelham for XC (or if she's having a day).

                              Personally, I'm not a big fan of Kimberwickes, I like a good full cheek for steering AND a different caveson. I sometimes steer my mare like I drive my car... not very well.

                              Sounds like you're on the right path. Changing up the bit or tack isn't a forever thing (as you well know), just give a few of these suggestions a try. It sounds like he's a nice boy and just needs his "power steering" fixed.

                              Good luck!
                              Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
                              Top Shelf "Charlie"
                              Check out the Military + Horses fb page!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by aspenlucas View Post
                                THIS^
                                I do almost agree with the fact he's teaching them. He's not doing it the whole lesson and when a kid that wins the battle gets him past that point, he's a gem. He's REALLY smart and if he wants to go left and they turn him right, he "wins" and he knows it.
                                And this -- provided he's safe about it and the kid is psychologically up to the frustration -- is an invaluable lesson for a kid. It might require a lot of coaching from you to get them through it, but "the horse was acting bad, and I FIXED IT!" can be a real motivator for a lot of kids.

                                Obviously not for beginners, but still...
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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