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Type of bit for my horse?

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  • #21
    I'm with Beverly on this one; and pooh on you folks who decry bitting up for a hunt. In a perfect world we can ride every horse every day doing everything in a nice mild snaffle. But their blood gets up on hunting days, and safety is paramount. I get really frickin' tired of people careening up my horse's tail because I have brakes and they don't. Take a note folks, draft crosses have nice big butts, but that doesn't mean it's a landing zone.

    I love, love, love a nice Pelham. All my hunt horses have gone in them for at least a few seasons--after those first couple of "freebie" hunts before they figure out how much fun they get to have.

    So everyone gets hacked, schooled, and shown in a snaffle, and I keep the Pelham on the hunt bridle. It's fairly easy to get used to the second rein. You can forget it 'til you need it. The bridles look nice, too and the jingle of a curb chain is a cheery sound. My current horse is the first one I've ridden in a broken mouth Pelham. I always thought that was kind of a nasty bit, but she's fussy and loves it. Forgot my bridle one day, borrowed one, and voila, discovered a nice bit. I have tried Kimberwickes on several horses, and never had luck. Mostly they seemed annoyed with it. I've also gone to a slow twist and even a corkscrew snaffle; I think the Pelham is nicer for the horse.

    Lately after seeing some tack malfunctions happen to others, I've been thinking about pulling out my double bridle. If you break a crownpiece or a rein, you're still in full control. Nice to have spare parts for your companions, too.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Flagstaff Foxhunter View Post

      Lately after seeing some tack malfunctions happen to others, I've been thinking about pulling out my double bridle. If you break a crownpiece or a rein, you're still in full control. Nice to have spare parts for your companions, too.
      Oh, shoot, all you need for that is baling twine. One can make any part of a bridle- or a full bridle including 'bit' if necessary if one has enough. Not to mention its availability as stirrup leather and a zillion other uses.

      It is, of course, really prudent to check ALL tack before and after EVERY hunt. I did, once, in the 70s, see a rubber pelham just bust in two on a 'hold hard.' A freakish thing to be sure- but inspections are a good thing.

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      • #23
        I like pelhams because you can ride off the snaffle rein until/unless you need more.

        I also sometimes hunt my horse in a waterford snaffle as that seems to give just enough more brakes without causing him to back off the bit.
        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Thanks for everyone's input!

          I didn't want to use a pelham or Kimberwicke or gag, because I don't fully understand how those work; and I didn't want to use them on my horse without knowing why they work.

          So, I went with a 3 ring elevator, and I tried it on him first on a hack, and it worked really well on the 2nd ring.

          We went on a hunt ride yesterday, and after galloping full speed across an open field with many other horses, I might need to use the 3rd ring.
          But I'll try the 2nd ring a couple more times before the hunt season starts.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Katyusha View Post
            I didn't want to use a pelham or Kimberwicke or gag, because I don't fully understand how those work; and I didn't want to use them on my horse without knowing why they work.

            So, I went with a 3 ring elevator, and I tried it on him first on a hack, and it worked really well on the 2nd ring.
            Interesting. Of course you know that a three ring IS a gag. And you should probably be using two reins with it...
            madeline
            * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by Madeline View Post
              Interesting. Of course you know that a three ring IS a gag. And you should probably be using two reins with it...
              I do know it's a gag, but not of the other sorts that I've seen that have leather or rubber running through the rings. For me, the less equipment, the better. I don't feel I need two rein sets with the elevator. I don't think I'll use the 3rd ring, but it's nice to have it as an option.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Katyusha View Post
                I do know it's a gag, but not of the other sorts that I've seen that have leather or rubber running through the rings. For me, the less equipment, the better. I don't feel I need two rein sets with the elevator. I don't think I'll use the 3rd ring, but it's nice to have it as an option.
                Using two sets of reins isn't really that hard. You just need someone to show you how. Like someone already mentioned the nice thing about having two sets of reins is you can save the curb action for the times you really need it and mostly rely on the snaffle part. (Almost wrote snapple).

                For what it's worth I use a 3 Ring Elevator bit half the time on my mare on the third ring, but I'm very, very light with it and she seems happier in that than the french link snaffle I also use. I'd rather use a harsher bit very very lightly than a softer bit that require more pressure.

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Originally posted by showhorsegallery View Post
                  Using two sets of reins isn't really that hard. You just need someone to show you how. Like someone already mentioned the nice thing about having two sets of reins is you can save the curb action for the times you really need it and mostly rely on the snaffle part. (Almost wrote snapple).

                  For what it's worth I use a 3 Ring Elevator bit half the time on my mare on the third ring, but I'm very, very light with it and she seems happier in that than the french link snaffle I also use. I'd rather use a harsher bit very very lightly than a softer bit that require more pressure.
                  And people make it look so easy! I would like to try two reins at some point - I'd like to learn how to use them. It just seems like a lot going on! But maybe not

                  I agree with your last sentence.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Katyusha View Post
                    And people make it look so easy! I would like to try two reins at some point - I'd like to learn how to use them. It just seems like a lot going on! But maybe not

                    I agree with your last sentence.
                    It's not hard. Unfortunately I have no idea how to describe it via a forum. It's something I learned when I was 10 and while I can pantomime it, obviously you can't see me.

                    Maybe someone else can describe it who's better are verbalizing things. I'm more a visual type.

                    ETA: http://www.itsmypony.com/training/how-to-hold-the-reins

                    scroll down to the double reins part

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                    • #30
                      the best day in hunting is when that dim glow of equine intelligence glows a bit brighter, your horse realizes he is going where everyone else is going anyway, and comes back to hand without the usual struggle.

                      puts a smile on your face

                      +1 on the pelham just in case

                      my second [and strong] hunt horse [photo in my profile] started with a double bridle and finished his hunt carer with a jointed pelham. what ever it takes but only just that
                      if you can stop 'em with the current bit, good enough
                      Last edited by armandh; Jul. 23, 2012, 03:44 PM.
                      more hay, less grain

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by armandh View Post
                        the best day in hunting is when that dim glow of equine intelligence glows a bit brighter, your horse realizes he is going where everyone else is going anyway, and comes back to hand without the usual struggle.

                        puts a smile on your face

                        +1 on the pelham just in case

                        my second [and strong] hunt horse [photo in my profile] started with a double bridle and finished his hunt carer with a jointed pelham. what ever it takes but only just that
                        if you can stop 'em with the current bit, good enough
                        Like!!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by armandh View Post
                          the best day in hunting is when that dim glow of equine intelligence glows a bit brighter, your horse realizes he is going where everyone else is going anyway, and comes back to hand without the usual struggle.

                          puts a smile on your face

                          +1 on the pelham just in case

                          my second [and strong] hunt horse [photo in my profile] started with a double bridle and finished his hunt carer with a jointed pelham. what ever it takes but only just that
                          if you can stop 'em with the current bit, good enough
                          Well said and so true.

                          OP, double reins really aren't that hard to learn how to use properly. If you need to go that route have someone show you how to use them and practice in an arena for a few weeks. Good luck!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by SLW View Post
                            Well said and so true.

                            OP, double reins really aren't that hard to learn how to use properly. If you need to go that route have someone show you how to use them and practice in an arena for a few weeks. Good luck!
                            Thanks so much, I will! Double reins have now really piqued my interest - even if it's just to learn how to use them

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I really appreciate that you posted this thread as I've been thinking over this same topic myself.

                              My Training level eventer runs around XC brilliantly in a slow twist. However, in the hunt field, with a pack of horses around him, his TB blood gets pumping and he doesn't respect it as well.

                              As Beverley wisely points out, "It's much more pleasant to use a stronger bit lightly than to be hauling miserably on a snaffle all day."

                              As for those who say you should school your horse to perfection, I agree - to a point. However, I can't simulate a day in the hunt field for schooling purposes and I don't think I should use a live hunt as a "training opportunity". I think it's plain rude to do so. I want the assurance that my horse will listen from the moment I swing my leg over.

                              So for me, that means bitting up. I'm a good rider with a solid seat and considerate, educated hands. My next "level up" is a corkscrew or a double twisted wire. Though now I'm considering a pelham!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by BigMick View Post
                                I really appreciate that you posted this thread as I've been thinking over this same topic myself.

                                My Training level eventer runs around XC brilliantly in a slow twist. However, in the hunt field, with a pack of horses around him, his TB blood gets pumping and he doesn't respect it as well.

                                As Beverley wisely points out, "It's much more pleasant to use a stronger bit lightly than to be hauling miserably on a snaffle all day."

                                As for those who say you should school your horse to perfection, I agree - to a point. However, I can't simulate a day in the hunt field for schooling purposes and I don't think I should use a live hunt as a "training opportunity". I think it's plain rude to do so. I want the assurance that my horse will listen from the moment I swing my leg over.

                                So for me, that means bitting up. I'm a good rider with a solid seat and considerate, educated hands. My next "level up" is a corkscrew or a double twisted wire. Though now I'm considering a pelham!
                                This is why I think these forums are one of the greatest things ever invented

                                Comment

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