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OK everyone bit question

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  • OK everyone bit question

    ok i have a 7 yo tb/warmbloodx gelding who i'm having a little bit of bit fitting issues. we're in a regular work routine now since i moved him into my trainers barn and since then he's about 70% finished. he's always been in loose ring regular snaffle but lately he's been getting a little strong on his front end especially at the canter. then he turned into not wanting to do anything with the bit. so my trainer suggested either a pelhem or a segunda because he was really acting up when trying to do a little bit more tehnical work and when he actually had to think. well i tried a pelhem, i tried a segunda, and even a mikmar jointed port. i've done loose ring d ring and full cheek. i'm never on his mouth but whenver i try to make him bend he flips. any suggestions?!?!?

  • #2
    I'm not sure how many days you rode in each bit but sometimes I find the first day in a new bit they get a bit offended by it and then the second day the respond like a gentleman should. My guy 5/6yo WB was in french link loose ring until he started getting heavy and rude then we got 2 full cheeks--a slow twist and a corkscrew as well as a 3-ring elevator with french link. It would be great if one bit was perfect, but it's not. He gets bored and figures the bits out so I just rotate every now and then. He usually hacks in the loose ring and jumps in the corkscrew or 3-ring depending on what exercises and how he's been responding lately.

    He has transformed into quite a gentleman and no longer tosses his head when asked to work. He's actually quite lazy and has fabulous breaks now even in the french link. I've also added a Dr. Bristol full cheek for hacking out in the fields. Personally I think my corkscrew is milder than my slow twist--if you feel the edges with your fingers the corkscrew has only very slight rides and is pretty smooth while the corkscrew has sharper edges. The 3-ring remains my favorite bit (for a variety of horses) but I he really only needs it if we're doing technical courses, so only goes in his mouth a couple of times a month.

    I almost tried a broken segunda and almost a waterford but his problems disappeared before I had time to order. Bits are a very personal thing IMO and it's hard to figure it out except by trial and error, which sounds like what you're doing. Just don't be too quick to judge a bit.


    • #3
      The fact that he "switched" to resisting the bit, makes me think it's worth checking into physical issues..as in teeth of course, but also maybe neck or back issues.


      • #4
        Going from a loose ring to a segunda seems like a very drastic and sudden change... I'd be surprised and upset if I was your guy too! Definitely try something a bit more intermediate. I also suggest carrot stretches before you ride to loosen him up and practice bending his neck that way. They sound silly, but they really help one of my horses.


        • #5
          I dunno, maybe I am starting a train wreck by saying this but here goes...if he was going well in a loose ring and then started getting heavy, I would say just keep training him and he will go well in a loose ring again. Horses goes through stages. Lots of transitions, circles, bending suppling. He will get light on his front end. Increasing the bit never makes a horse soft in the mouth or supple in the head and neck. FWIW, I jump in a whole host of bits from a waterford to a slow twist to a three ring. But I do all my flat work in a loose ring KK snaffle. I have a 4yo that just went thru a stage that made my arms ache from laying on the bit. He is over it now and carries his own head and is soft in the poll and jaw. He had to accept the bit and my hand before he could get soft and light. I have had others that have been extremely light, but that was also because they were avoiding the bit. Good luck. If all else fails, I love the waterford.


          • #6
            I agree with checking for physical issues and that it may just be a stage.

            I also think that for TRAINING purposes (5-10 rides worth) that it may help to have something with a slight gag action. Something like a wonder bit, or some of the jumper bits (not an elevator), will give you pull at the poll when you use enough pressure to engage it. This gives you the option of using it when you need it but otherwise remaining fairly benign with your hands. Another option if you like the loose ring feel is to go with something that has a little more brakes like a loose ring slow twist or something with sweet iron or copper that will encourage him to grab the bit.