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Let's play "recommend a bit"

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  • Let's play "recommend a bit"

    I am not the strongest rider. My inclination, when something goes wrong, is to curl into the fetal position and/or pitch forward. I'm working on this. Meantime, I have a lovely young horse who has a tendency to get a bit flat/on the forehand and to pick up steam over fences. I need a bit that gives weak me the ability to apply some breaks.

    I had been riding him in a Stubben EZ Control D-ring. Which gave me, contrary to the name, absolutely no control and certainly no breaks. Before that, I had him in a Pessoa Magic D ring. I like that a LOT better but it didn't give me especially great breaks. Better than the EZ control, but not what I was looking for.

    Recently I switched to a Happy Mouth 3 piece full cheek (as a general matter he always seems to be better in 3 piece bits). He likes this bit a lot and I love to flat him in it. He's forward, supple, happy, and responsive. He jumps okay in it, but it doesn't give me much in the way of breaks and he does blow me off and drag along when he wants to.

    So I switched to the Happy Mouth 3 piece elevator, which a lot of people at the barn have used at various times with success. It gives me the breaks. For the first time ever, I have the breaks. But the horse CLEARLY resents it. On the flat he starts curling up and getting behind the bit, and at the canter he'll sort of be collected in front but trail out behind, rather than being truly leg-to-hand (the way he is in the full cheek). Over fences, I have those break. But I also have a horse who's starting to suck back on the approach and is getting very amped/irritated.

    I know the moral of this story is that I *have* to ride better with my seat. I know that. But in the meantime, I'm searching for a bit that will give me some control so I can actually ride the horse. So... what's between a full cheek and a elevator for a horse who gets strong and blows off the aids. It doesn't have to be a 3 piece or a happy mouth (I actually hate happy mouth material for bits) but the horse DOES like those two things if that's a consideration.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

  • #2
    I like a waterford for horses like that. It avoids the nutcracker action of the snaffle but doesn't have the leverage of the elevator. I used it on my gelding when we was young, strong, and sensitive. It gave him the "woah" without making him want to lock his jaw and curl under.
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll probablly get flamed... but I have full cheek Dr. Bristol that has a slow twist on the side pieces. It was copper to boot. I rode my mare in a D-ring Dr. Bristol at home but at shows or schooling XC we needed a tad bit more *pop* to get her attention quickly. The copper was a nice trade because when I wasn't whoaing, she quite enjoyed having it in her mouth.

      http://www.smartpakequine.com/korste...x?cm_vc=Search

      Also, when you are in the elevator, do you have two reins? One on the bit and one on the lower ring? If not, that may help, he won't feel as much leverage if you have the two reins.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
        I like a waterford for horses like that. It avoids the nutcracker action of the snaffle but doesn't have the leverage of the elevator. I used it on my gelding when we was young, strong, and sensitive. It gave him the "woah" without making him want to lock his jaw and curl under.
        Yes, a waterford or a mild segunda. I would still flat him in a plain snaffle if you can manage it and save the brakes for the jumps.

        I have the same tendency. It's a tough one to break.

        Comment


        • #5
          Have you tried something with a bit of a twist? That would be the first thing I'd try. Second would be a Myler with hooks and maybe a port. My first horse went in the level 3 Myler D and loved it... your horse sounds a bit similar to him as far as taste in bits goes so that might be worth trying. You could also try a pelham with a shorter shank and two reins.
          Last edited by GingerJumper; Sep. 21, 2012, 10:38 AM. Reason: apparently I cannot spell "Myler"
          Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

          Comment


          • #6
            First, I'd ride in three different bits, one for hacking, one for jumping, and one for showing. That way they don't dull to the bit by being over ridden in it, you still have the control needed when jumping, and you have a step up to go to at a show.

            Given I'm the queen of the horse that leans, actually my two current horses don't, but I've had quite a few that do. I'd start with a french link for flatting, Dr Bristol for jumping, and a dr bristol slow twist at a show. Two bits that look very similar but have very different actions. Dr. Bristols can do wonders for the leaner.

            If that doesn't work, I'd try the following succession; a triangle bit, a cork screw, a myler narrow barrel (no hooks), a myler with the hooks, and a waterford.
            My adventures as a working rider

            theworkingrider.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              I may also get flamed, but I have had great success with this combo...and yes it is correctly used...


              I have a Jumper and he LOVES to build. He's 17H of strength to the point my arms hurt so bad I have to stop cause I cant hold him anymore. I actually use a mild bit. He was using a rubber straight bar loose ring with great success and I actually changed him to the Happy Mouth version which he LOVES. But to add to the tools he also has a tack nose band which gives me the brakes I need. I made the nose band myself, I don't like the ones dover sell as the "tacks" are too small. But my band has 5 conical large cones that he will hit, using a martingale, when he tried to take the bit and run or open his mouth and run.

              It has worked really well for him, but I do recommend knowing how to correctly use one.
              Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
              Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
              Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
              Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Appreciate the recommendations (was expecting to be told to just learn how to ride. which I'm working on! Dammit!

                To answer serially...

                -Waterford: At some point in the past I did try a waterford and my recollection is that I liked him in it, but it gave him rubs on his mouth corners and I had to stop using it. He measures a 5.5 mouth, so he actually needed a 5.75 in the waterford and I could.not.find.it.anywhere. I looked all over. Perhaps it's time to look again?

                -Full Cheek Dr. Bristol: Have no tried, checking that out. Have no experience with a bit like that (my prior 3 horses all went, all the day, from day 1, in plain smooth D rings, ALWAYS). I did try a 2 piece jointed D slow twist. Did not notice that he was any better with the twist and he's not generally better in 2 piece jointed bits.

                -I am riding in the elevator the "wrong" way with just one rein on the lower ring. Yes, I know that's wrong. But that's what I'm doing. If I am going to ride in double reins, I am kind of thinking I'd be more comfortable with a pelham because that I'm at least more accustomed to?

                -Segunda: Own one. Have not tried it. Kind of scared of it. But maybe it's time?

                -Twist: Have tried a twist, didn't see a huge difference.

                -Mylar with hooks and ports: Have not tried. There are SO MANY of these. Would appreciate a link if you've had success on a similar horse with one of these.

                -Pelham: He used to jump with the trainer in this bit. She had tons of success with it. I never really did. I don't know why? Good idea. I have one. I can easily break it out.

                -Plain Dr. Bristol: Have never tried. I think I once looked for these in 5.5 and found that size a little uncommon. Another good one to try.

                -Plain French link: Believe I have one but have not tried. I am okay with him flatting in the happy mouth full cheek, he seems to go pretty nicely in that.

                ADVICE APPRECIATED. I guess I'm bit shopping/experimenting!
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  cswoodland, the link didn't come thru?
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    vxf, I believe ths the Myler I used on my guy. The hooks aren't visible in the picture but I believe the description said this one has hooks. (Which is what my bit has.)
                    http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...FQsFnQodklcAGw
                    Last edited by GingerJumper; Sep. 21, 2012, 02:24 PM. Reason: shouldnt type before i have coffee!
                    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was going to say a Pelham as well. We have a horse that sounds similar to what you described. When he's in shape he's super easy, when he's not he rushes and runs on his forehand. The pelham worked super well for him and sounds like it might help you too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
                        vxf, I believe this was the Myler I used on my guy. The ports aren't visible in the picture but it says it's ported in the description.

                        http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...FQsFnQodklcAGw
                        I rode my TB in this, I'd highly recommend giving this a try. This is one of those "as strong as you make it" bits. If you have a heavy hand, you will have lots of breaks, but if your horse is being light and responsive it will act as a snaffle. The ports on the bit and the fact that each side of the bit moves independently from the other gives you more leverage and helps lift the front end. This was a suggestion from my trainer as my TB had "sticky" changes as he would anticipate the lead change and rush through the corner. I would definitely recommend giving this one a try!

                        Personally I would stay away from a Pelham if I didn't have to use it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another Myler fan here. My horse does the sucking back in an elevator and a Pelham too. My Myler is a snaffle with a curve, loose ring, sweet iron, and there are sleeves to prevent pinching. There are a lot of different Mylers, and I think they have a trial arrangement you could look in to.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Given his affinity for 3 piece mouth pieces, I'd assume he has a low palate.

                            That Myler bit posted looks pretty severe, but I don't have a lot of experience with ports. BTW, it's definitely ported, just not elevated (has hooks).

                            This is a narrow barrel D

                            http://www.123tack.com/myler-dee-com...e--mb-01-.html

                            Myler's run much bigger than normal bits so the 5 should be fine.
                            My adventures as a working rider

                            theworkingrider.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fatappy View Post
                              full cheek Dr. Bristol that has a slow twist on the side pieces.
                              Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                              a mild segunda.
                              I was going to suggest both of these options. I would use D-rings in both bits, however.

                              Does he just build as he goes through the course or does he get strong after the fence? In other words, can you slow him down before each fence/line and then he gets strong after?
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                I was going to suggest both of these options. I would use D-rings in both bits, however.

                                Does he just build as he goes through the course or does he get strong after the fence? In other words, can you slow him down before each fence/line and then he gets strong after?
                                I can do anything I want on the approach... but sometimes on the landing side there's too much horse and I can't regroup quickly enough. If I get a funny distance and leave long, that's exciting and fun and boy do we get rolling then. He can leave 2 strides out of a line, easy. EASY. And my tendency is to let him get flat and on the forehand and then he really picks up steam. He doesn't build the whole way through but he can land strongly.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                                  I was going to say a Pelham as well. We have a horse that sounds similar to what you described. When he's in shape he's super easy, when he's not he rushes and runs on his forehand. The pelham worked super well for him and sounds like it might help you too!

                                  That's the bit that came to mind for me. OP sounds like you didn't have success with it but once you feel comfortable in the Pelham I think you will really like it.

                                  I also agree with the poster that said to alternate bits when you hack or do different things. I have found that keeps them enjoying the bit choices.
                                  Live in the sunshine.
                                  Swim in the sea.
                                  Drink the wild air.

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                                  • #18
                                    What about a wonder bit? Or I think they're somtimes called Beval bits?

                                    http://reviews.smartpakequine.com/74...ws/reviews.htm

                                    Should be less action than the three ring, so your guy might not resent it as much.

                                    The other one you could try is a baucher. One of my barnmates has a young guy who can get strong on course too and has been riding him in this with pretty good success.

                                    And the whole curling up into a ball when things go wrong? Hah. I feel you girl. Story of my life!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                      I can do anything I want on the approach... but sometimes on the landing side there's too much horse and I can't regroup quickly enough. If I get a funny distance and leave long, that's exciting and fun and boy do we get rolling then. He can leave 2 strides out of a line, easy. EASY. And my tendency is to let him get flat and on the forehand and then he really picks up steam. He doesn't build the whole way through but he can land strongly.
                                      Have you tried coming to the fence with a bit more impulsion? I know he has a big stride which can make it hard when you are trying to get the distances, but IME, when they get strong after the fence it's often because they were a little weak in FRONT of the fence.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                        Have you tried coming to the fence with a bit more impulsion? I know he has a big stride which can make it hard when you are trying to get the distances, but IME, when they get strong after the fence it's often because they were a little weak in FRONT of the fence.
                                        Yes, and that helps. But I need an "oh sh*t plan" because I make mistakes. Regularly. Even when I know better. And even when I get into a line well... he can get to motoring on the landing side.
                                        ~Veronica
                                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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