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Myler combo bit thoughts please

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  • Myler combo bit thoughts please

    I am currently in the market for a new bit for my 3 yr old tb gelding. He is not happy in a full cheek snaffle so I switched to a curved dee ring with a copper lozenge in it. He did well for several months and now he isnt happy with that. He gets behind the vertical most time. I went to a biting seminar tonight and the myler combo bit was suggested. I think it is a good idea but have never ridden in anything like it before and wanted to know what others thought. Not to mention they are costly. Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    I have a custom made Myler combo bit from several years ago here. I used it on my older pony for trail riding. Mine is a twisted sweet iron comfort snaffle with a single, short shank ring.
    I personally liked this bit for long hacks or ring work and don't remember anything negative about it.
    You may want to give Myler a call to talk with Dale about the right bit for your horse if you have not already spoken with him.
    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight


    • #3
      I had one that worked well to help my mare make the transition rom side pull to snaffle. I only ride in it once in a while now but it is handy.


      • #4
        3 years old sounds a bit young. The combo is a good bit in certain situations. However, a 3 yr old should probably be in a French link snaffle and get trained to accept the bit instead of bitting up.


        • Original Poster

          I actually spoke to Dale Myler yesterday at a seminar he held. We didnt get to speak too long since there were a lot of questions but he had suggested the combo. I agree that 3 is young but he was trained for the track and has had a bit in his mouth, though I am not sure what kind. He is running through the bit undersaddle but is an angel when I work him in hand and on the lunge. Clearly the message is getting lost when I am on. I am just looking to make my horse's life a little easier. He has a lot to think about as a 3 year old and I dont want him so unhappy in his bit. It distracts him from work right now. And I hate having to haul on his mouth constantly to bring him back to me.


          • #6
            I am an endurance rider not a HJ rider, but I recently switched my mare from a french link loose ring to a Myler combo. She was being fairly fussy with the french link and the last straw was an endurance race where she was atrocious and completely ran through the bit for miles. Another rider at the race suggested a Myler combo for her.
            I've had her in it for 2 weeks now and she goes great in it. She really seems to respond well to it and to like that it acts on the nose and chin pressure. She also quit all her fussiness and has been completely quiet with her mouth since switching to the combo.
            "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
            So you might as well have a good time"


            • #7
              fwiw that seems to be his favorite bit to recommend.
              he recommended it for a seasoned horse suddenly getting strong after fences and a green horse that was a known flipper...

              Since he's responsive on the longe and in hand, I'd look to how he reacts to your body signals in the saddle and help him to understand what means what.
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                I have one, have used it successfully on several eventing OTTBs. For jumping and cross country it can be great for horses that are both strong and sensitive, it's less good for flatwork.

                I'm not sure I'd pick it for a green 3 yo though. What about his current bit isn't working? I do think you have some options with young horses (loose ring vs. fixed, straight vs. jointed vs. double jointed vs. flexible mouthpiece, etc.) A combo bit just seems like a massive step up for a horse who is still learning the basics.


                • Original Poster

                  He has been in a full cheek snaffle, an eggbutt snaffle and a dee ring snaffle with a cooper lozenge in the middle and a slow twist full cheek. The last bit was in for 2 rides, a suggestion from a friend that I wish I hadnt listened to but live and learn. He runs through them all or gets behind the bit. He gets very hollow and when I try to push him through it, he gets angry and worse. He is clearly evading the bit. I think he would benefit from more poll pressure than the direct contact a single or double jointed bit gives. He isnt bad horse by any means. He is 3 and he has a lot to learn and he needs to be more balanced and his attention span is short. I am factoring all these things in. If there is something more suited to put in his mouth than the combo, I am open to try it. The bits I have used are hindering the training process.


                  • Original Poster

                    This is stressing me out. Too many options! I like to keep things simple and this is not


                    • #11
                      I use one on both of my horses at times and have also used one on an OTTB.

                      I like that it gives immediate feedback and I can get my fella to do what I want very easily without much pressure. I also like that it will release pressure quickly and easily.

                      For the OTTB, he needed some more support, not a stronger bit, and it gave what we were looking for. He shut his mouth, balanced up through the withers, and learned about being on the bit. He now goes in a Myler comfort snaffle.

                      Both of my other guys go in the combo when we are working on something and I need them not to argue. For example, my hunter strained his neck right in front of the withers and we needed him to be non-argumentative while we worked those muscles and while transitioning between long and low and being up in the bridle. It worked perfectly. For my other guy, it just gets the point across with quite a bit less pressure.

                      I also use this bit for the more enthusiastic outings - like the first time we took OTTB to the beach, when I took my hunter foxhunting, when I ride my other horse in western drill team, etc.

                      For what it is worth, I like it best with two sets of reins - one on the snaffle ring and one on the lowest ring of the gag. That way I can use it the way I like.


                      • #12
                        Hi, Rach,

                        I'm no bitting expert, but I went through some bitting issues with my OTTB that forced me to do a lot of research and talk to a lot of people. I know it gets really overhwhelming with so many options.

                        First off, it sounds like he's not comfortable in the bits he has been in. He may have a sensitive mouth, which may prevent you from working with him on accepting contact if everything is uncomfortable. The bit I ended up choosing was JP Kortsteel Copper Oval Link Eggbutt. There are also D rings and full cheecks offered in the same style. The curves and double joints relieve both roof and tongue pressure.

                        My OTTB was constantly evading the bit in the previous bits I had used, but he immediately allowed me to find and maintain contact as soon as I tried this bit. It's about as kind a bit as you can get in metal, which is particularly nice for a young, green horse.

                        I have a friend who uses the Myler Combo bit on the farthest ring so as not to create leverage but utilise the nose pressure to say "Hey, I'm here" out on the XC course and trail rides. I think that's a great use for it, but it sounds like your horse doesn't need more bit, he needs a more comfortable bit.

                        (Also, I feel obliged to remind you to make sure your TB's teeth are good. )

                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          It just does not sound like your solution is in bits, sounds like he has not mastered the basic transition from running into the bit at the track to balancing properly and being responsive to all the aids. Usually works better in the long run to fill the training holes rather then try to plug them with different bits...especially when recommended by somebody trying to sell that particular bit for an OTT 3 year old. Is somebody helping you with the horse who has transitioned them from track to show ring? It takes a long time to recondition and allow them to build the muscle for correct balance and carriage, hate to just slap another bit on them to force them into things they are not ready for yet.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • Original Poster

                            lferguson, I actually have that exact bit on a dee ring that I ordered from Smartpak. My boy loved it for about 2 months than that magic stopped. I think it is a great bit and I would love to put it back in in the near future.
                            And his teeth are in tip top shape. He has been seen twice in the past 11 months. But very good point. Not everyone thinks of that though it only seems logical to do so.


                            • Original Poster

                              costco_muffins, great feedback! My guy and I have been arguing about everyother ride and nothing is getting communicated. I need him to be less argumentative and my thought was this bit may help us accomplish that. Having to half halt or half every few steps leads to an unproductive and frustrating ride. I like to take my guy out of the ring and would like more contact out in the pastures as well. He really likes going out but when he gets bossy and too opinionated, I need to make my point effectively with out hanging on his face.
                              What bit do you like to use in between using the combo?


                              • Original Poster

                                findeight, he never got to the track, he was green broke for the track by some "cowboy" I was told. And this is a new issue for him. He was going well in the full cheek snaffle, so I decided to go to a kinder bit which was the dee ring snaffle with the copper oval in it. I didnt like the idea of the nutcracker effect from a single jointed snafle and my horse didnt much care for the full cheek piece. Seemed to bug him. He did well in the jointed snaffle until recent. I totally agree that a bit is not a solution to any problem but the right bit can help.


                                • #17
                                  So he basically never had any decent training? Have you tried ground driving or lunging in properly adjusted side reins? That would help him learn to balance and lose the tendency to go hollow/inverted or curl up behind the bit while allowing his topline to develop and his hind end to carry the weight and allow these things to fix themselves. You have time, he's really young-and it would be helpful to work with somebody even occasionally. two brains to pick is better then one and nothing beats a set of eyes on the ground.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    No, no decent training prior to me getting him. I do have 2 professional riders giving me a hand when I get stumped like now. They don't have all the answers though I wish they did. I think the side reins may be good option. I do lunge him in a bungee and he is going well in it. I would like to stay away from too many artificial aids since he is so young and needs to develop balance on his own some. I feel most aides have there place and I may need more than I plan but my usual philospophy is keep it simple. If the bit is bothering him, I certainly cant expect him to go well at all.


                                    • #19
                                      Of course...but remember he may be uncomfortable in a bit because he does not know how to properly accept it or have the physical ability to carry himself yet. Hence you get the inverted/hollow carriage or dropping behind the vertical because he cannot yet drive into the bridle from behind (or come "through" as they say over in Dressageland). He might also get more then you think and just be saying "No, don't want to, too much work" and evade because it's easier. Either way, dropping back to the beginning and restarting with ground work either on long lines or on the lunge with sidereins-NOT a BUNGEE-is going to help the heck out of where you are now. The bungee is not teaching him to come into the bit properly and self carriage, just holding his head down and creating false frame. Not advocating overdoing the lunging either, three times a week for 10 minutes each way then carrying over what was mastered to under saddle work. No more.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      • #20
                                        I completely agree with findeight. I also think that trainers who can train babies would be the trainers who can help you. This does not sound like a bit issue but a major missing training component, likely the ability to carry himself.

                                        My OTTB who never raced went to a baby trainer for a year as a 4 year old. She got him going, balanced and a bit of jumping. Other trainers took a pass on working with him because he was just so green. Teaching horses to be ridden with no real skills takes a very specific trainer. I don't think a new bit is going to resolve the training your TB needs as a 3 year old. And I second a dental clearance from a vet, their teeth change a great deal when they are young. My guy cannot go 12 months without a float.

                                        Good luck, I am finally two years in and even my TB needs to be reminded that he needs to carry himself.