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Let's Talk Bits......

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  • Let's Talk Bits......

    SO tell me . What do you guys start your youngsters in ? I wanted to find out if you use Rubber , Eggbutts , Or Snaffles. What are most trainers using these days and why ?
    Also ,,, which would be less stressful for a youngster being started without causing alot of wear & tear or pulling on the corners of the mouth ..
    "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."

  • #2
    I use a plain snaffle, sometimes with a double joint- depending on the horse's preference. I use a fullcheek at the start to help them with the concept of steering and then move to a loose ring. My trainer also said that he loves using the key bits or rollers with his youngsters as it gives them something to play with. I had one 3 year old mare that was a a bit difficult to find a bit she liked, we ended up using a korsteel double jointed full cheek with a copper rolly ball in the center- she loves it.

    I used to think that I would use a really soft rubber bit or happy mouth, however, the at the breed inspections in the performance test, I'm only allowed a simple mouth, so I figured, just start out with that rather than have to adjust to it later.
    Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
    Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
    Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.


    • #3
      Another one for plain snaffle


      • Original Poster

        I have heard alot of trainers say that they start out with a Full Cheek Snaffle for about 30-45days to get the concept of steering . And then from there they change bits to others.
        So how do you determine what bit to start with and what bit makes your horse happy and works for them ? Just trying to understand the logic here.
        "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."


        • #5
          I started my mare in an eggbutt, then switched to a full cheek. Both bits were single jointed and smooth. The reason? I ride two horses. The trained one only goes in the eggbutt and my girl didn't know the difference. I was tired of changing the bridle back and forth for them, so I just use different bits and bridles now.

          That said, my girl likes her her cheek with keepers and fusses with anything else. I think she must prefer how still it stays in her mouth.



          • #6
            I always start mine in a D-ring french link bit (one of the sprenger KK ones). No real rhyme or reason to it other than the fact that it seems to be the softest bit to the majority of horses that I've ridden over the years. It's also the only bit that I have that's "simple" and not already in use by one of my other horses. So I usually just pop that in first and go from there (on untouched babies I'll usually adjust it to a lower position than I'd ride a "finished" horse in). Haven't had one object yet.

            But I'm curious to hear what other people have to say.
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW


            • #7
              I am one of those who is a big fan of starting in a full cheek plain mouth snaffle also. I've found it makes the most sense to them due to the ability to apply pressure from the side for the beginning stages of learning to turn. Once they get that far I switch to whatever fits in their mouth the best and what they go the best in. Most of the time it is just a simple regular snaffle or the rubber, but it really depends on the horse.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Equinoxfox View Post
                I have heard alot of trainers say that they start out with a Full Cheek Snaffle for about 30-45days to get the concept of steering . And then from there they change bits to others.
                So how do you determine what bit to start with and what bit makes your horse happy and works for them ? Just trying to understand the logic here.
                Well for one of my mares (the 4 year old- we ended up putting in a double jointed ball roller full cheek). When I started her, she had quite a high head carriage and would throw her head up when I asked for downward transitions (and it wasn't that I was too hard with my hands)- despite having a very soft mouth on the lunge line and for the initial WTing, so that told us that something was going on in her mouth. Sure thing, the single joint was not working well with the conformation of her mouth so we switched to a double jointed bit and added the roller to give her something to do.. worked like a charm. With this mare, I think she'll live in this bit for the rest of her career.

                With the 5 year old mare, I've switched bits on her quite a few times. She doesn't do well with a double joint because it collapses a bit in her mouth because she is very wide in the mouth and she doesn't like things lying on her tongue. So we put her in single jointed bits. Now that that's been established, the ring types depend on the function I'm looking for- right now I'm jumping her in a 3 ring- she needs a bit of leverage and bits with curb chains are too harsh. With this mare, she seems to develop "Immunity" to the bits and so I've found that changing it up with her gives me the best advantage depending on where she is in her training and progress.

                Then I have another 4 year old mare that from day one went in a french link snaffle and seems just fine in it.

                So to make a long story short- every horse is different and the conformation of the mouth makes a big difference when choosing a bit. And, play it by ear- see what problems develop as training progresses (if any do). Goodluck!
                Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
                Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
                Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Equinoxfox View Post
                  SO tell me . What do you guys start your youngsters in ? I wanted to find out if you use Rubber , Eggbutts , Or Snaffles. What are most trainers using these days and why ?
                  Also ,,, which would be less stressful for a youngster being started without causing alot of wear & tear or pulling on the corners of the mouth ..
                  read this thread on mouthing and bitting
                  and read my helpful links pages on the sticky on the dresage forum read all of page one
                  and all links perticular link 4
                  as it gives working diagrams of all bits


                  • #10
                    ^ I think GLS forgot the link....

                    I believe it's this thread:



                    • Original Poster

                      This is really good.
                      My reasons being : I have a coming 2 yr old and NEXT fall when he gets broke I want to know what to have it done it. I will be sending him off and a bridle with him. But I want that trainer to use what I send . I am hearing so many good things about the " Full Cheek Snaffle" as far as starting a baby with steering, and guiding them.
                      I want to keep his mouth as soft as possible and not have any pressure put on him.
                      Once he is broke though he will be turned back out for the winter and not restarted until later in his "3" yr old year.
                      The reason you might ask.... He is going to be HUGE and we just want to get him broke and then let him chill out to allow those joints to close and continue to grow.!!
                      So any more Bit advice would be nice..
                      BTW,,, I am now reading the other thread / links..
                      "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."


                      • #12
                        I tend to start with whatever happens to be on the first schooling bridle I grab. Most of my horses have similarly sized heads, and besides the big mare, all of them go in a plain snaffle of some sort, be it an eggbutt, loose ring, etc. If a particular horse then proves to need something different, then ill switch bits. But a full cheek is a good choice to send with your boy, hard to go wrong there.
                        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks Timex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                          and I LOVE that name.
                          it was one of my horse's name and he lived to be about 20yrs old.
                          Very fond memories.. YOU ROCK !!!!!
                          "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."


                          • #14
                            I use an eggbut jointed mouth. I don't think it is about the type of bit as much as soft, quiet hands. A baby learns that the bit is "good" comunication with you through quiet rewarding hands. You know you've been successful in teaching this when baby starts to reach for the bit as you present it and holds it happily in his mouth even though you are in the process of removing the bridle and find you have to wait on baby to decide to drop the bit out of his mouth!

                            I should add, go and watch your trainer as he tacks and untacks his young horses. You will learn as much about your trainer watching the horses reaction here as you will learn watching an actual training ride.


                            • #15
                              Its always going to depend on the horse and what they are most confortable with, however I like to start mine in French Links


                              • #16
                                We start in a plain snaffle, but we ground drive first, so they start the concept of steering that way. It takes a little longer (about 7 or 10 days longer so well worth it) but it makes getting on go so much smoother and easier for the young horse (or OTTB) with less confusion. The reason being a plain snaffle is simply because that's what's on the driving bridle. After ground driving they go in a snaffle or 2 piece snaffle, mostly either egg butt or loose ring, depending on the horse and the size bridle, and whatever the horse is most comfortable in.
                                WestWind Farms
                                Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management.
                                - George H. Morris


                                • Original Poster

                                  Great ideas and thougths. This is all so good to know.
                                  Just by reading the comments here and the other links provided I have learned quite a bit and will continue my studying .
                                  "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."


                                  • #18
                                    All of the babies start long lining in a full cheek double jointed snaffle: http://www.doversaddlery.com/herm-sp...1-01484/cn/86/

                                    They start their under saddle training in this as well, then go to a loose ring when they learn how to steer : http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...re=categoryrec

                                    Dora is still going in the loose ring, but whenever I get around to placing an order from Dover, she will get a D ring with the same mouthpiece.

                                    The reason: I LOVE the double jointed bits, and so do all of my horses. They seem much more comfortable in the double jointed than in the single jointed. They start in the full cheek to learn how to steer, then go to the loose ring. If I have one that is especially heavy or on the forehand (usually not a baby horse), they go in the three ring that has the same mouthpiece.
                                    In loving memory of my precious Gwendolyn; you will always be with me, in my heart. I love you.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I am really liking the look , and philosophy and concept of these (2) bits. That is a great idea and a sounds like a wonderful way to have a youngster started.
                                      SO,, looks like i need to go and get the bits and have them handy. So when the time comes to send my boy off to be broke he has his bridle ready to go .
                                      And after talking to several trainers they are mostly saying that a youngster should be with them for about 90-days or (3) months to get a good foundation on them.

                                      what fun. what fun...
                                      "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."


                                      • #20
                                        Fulmer full cheek snaffles are a great starting bit. A bit dangerous, I suppose, as I use them as intended (without keepers). But I'm careful and my horses have good manners. Never had a problem.

                                        What's most important is that it's soft enough for them to want to "seek" and are comfortable latching onto it little bit but strong enough that they don't want to lean on it. There is some variance there. Some are more sensitive than others. Know your horse and their tendencies. If they tend to be bullyish and require a strong hand on the ground, they will need something a bit less mild. If a little hot and prone to sensitivity, then a very mild one.