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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2016
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    5

    Default Bit for green 8yo

    I have pretty green 8 yo. He s super fast and isnt familiar with contact. When I have a normal contact, he leans on a bit and it looks like I have too much of it. He's not very soft on mouth bc he wasn't ridden properly before I got him. Right not I ride him in single joined snaffle with O rings but he obviously isn't happy in it. Im thinking about straight bar happy mouth.. do you have any suggestions?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    53,104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyaxx View Post
    I have pretty green 8 yo. He s super fast and isnt familiar with contact. When I have a normal contact, he leans on a bit and it looks like I have too much of it. He's not very soft on mouth bc he wasn't ridden properly before I got him. Right not I ride him in single joined snaffle with O rings but he obviously isn't happy in it. Im thinking about straight bar happy mouth.. do you have any suggestions?
    A suggestion, maybe it is not about the bit?
    He needs to learn to work with any bit, so educating his mouth to any bit, generally a plain snaffle, works well because you have more ways to handle direct reining with one than with other types of bit action.

    You could back off and do some basic ground driving.
    That would establish a better rein connection before you get on.

    When we started colts, for years I used a plan D ring snaffle, but any other would have been fine.
    Loose O ring snaffles tend to be more "noisy", they are moving more and so "talking" to the horse more, which to some of the more sensitive horses can sound like shouting, that is why we started with a more stable, quieter bit like the D ring.

    Not seeing what exactly is going on there, I would say, spend a few minutes on the ground teaching your horse how to respond to rein requests, then reinforcing those when you first get on, would go a long way to help with your mounted problems.

    That kind of basic training is best learned by watching someone do it and then practicing with instruction.
    We used to do that with all apprentices we started, but in the US, people have to learn so much on their own, reinvent the wheel as it is, these questions keep coming up.

    I would first try with what you have, work at refining the responses you are getting by teaching your horse to respond to what you have.

    Yes, some bits work better than others for certain horses, but any bit and no bit, using a halter or bosal type hackamore, ought to teach a horse to move it's body to our requests of any kind, including rein aids, in whatever way we want it to.

    Once we change our concepts from "horse is not listening well to this bit" to "lets keep trying different ways until horse responds to what we are asking" and yes, one of those may be a different bit, it opens many more doors to communicating.

    What makes me think that the bit itself may not possibly be your problem, that you say "the horse isn't familiar with contact".
    So, work on teaching contact and for that, any snaffle you use should work fine, like the bit you are using now.

    Once the horse knows what you want, then you can refine that contact with different bits, if you still feel your horse prefers one kind over another.

    Hoping that above makes sense for the answer you are searching for.
    Good of you to see you are not getting where you want to be and find a place to ask.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2016
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    5

    Default

    Thank you very much for such an defined answer, I really do appreciate it



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2001
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    Usually too far from the barn
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    9,226

    Default

    I agree with the poster above. Get him used to contact. Ground work is great. When you are riding, use leg to push him into contact, when he accepts the bit, even for a stride, it's a step in the right direction. It's a process, not a "light bulb moment." Unless the bit is actively hindering you (like it's ill fitting, is damaged and causes pain or is harsh) any soft bit should be fine. Use his natural forwardness to help you get him to move into the bit. I find that trotting rails on the ground and lots of smooth gentle downward transitions help.
    F O.B
    Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
    Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
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    Oregon, sitting on my couch looking out the window at a mountain
    Posts
    10,547

    Default

    Agree with Bluey, here. Work on the ground to educate your horse to the bit.

    You can actually start in a halter because you are trying to build a language between you and your horse and you want him to understand how to follow a feel of your hand. First it starts with following a feel. You will work your way up to more cues as he learns what's what, but at first you want to teach him that when you do this with your rein, he does that.

    You can start with a plain halter or a hackamore noseband (like this http://www.doversaddlery.com/hackamo...szci1y5sfzrdiv). Have your horse haltered or bridled and stand to one side by his head. Let's say you start with the near side. Let the reins be loose and draped over the horse's neck (not loose enough that if he puts his head down they will fall off, so maybe with the buckle by the saddle). Take the left rein and ask for a left flexion. Don't pull or yank, just hold so that there's contact and a signal to your horse to do something. Wait. Wait for your horse to make a move. Release and drop the rein quickly so that the horse understands that it got the right answer.

    The right answer that you are looking for is that the horse gives any indication that it is going to move in the direction of the contact. It might even be the horse turning an ear or looking in that direction. That's okay - you are starting with building blocks and you don't need to get the entire thing at once. You are building in your horse a "try" so that he will look for the right answer and you are building in yourself "feel and timing" so that you recognize that your horse tried and your give him the reward of release at the appropriate time.

    Start with this. Do this exercise on each side. You don't need to do a lot of it for hours, just a couple minutes. When you feel like your horse has a understanding and is starting to give you the flexions that you want, stand by his shoulder and walk with you on the inside of the arena or round pen or paddock and use an opening rein to steer. Your horse should follow the feel that you've offered him, which is similar to what you've already taught him in the first exercise. You can just make a couple big circles in each direction (stopping to change sides). You can practice stopping like this also, of course.

    Then, when that is good, do the same with the bit. Then when that is good, do all of it and at the end, get on. See what you've got.

    If your horse is green, it needs to be educated to the bit. Working on the ground is a good way to start this. If you know how to ground drive, that is good as well, but if you don't, then the exercises above are a good start.

    I started my pony like this and it was very good. The ground exercises didn't take a lot of time, and it is an important step in training their mouths because when you get on, there's a lot of sensory information that they have to process (weight, legs, hands) and it can be hard to separate out what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

    Now, having said all of that, my pony likes the Myler comfort snaffle with a little barrel in the middle. She didn't like a Nathe or a rubber snaffle. I've had her in a plain Myler comfort snaffle d-ring, and she's not as good and soft in that as she is in the one with the barrel in the middle. A d-ring or eggbut is good for stability and for helping with turning as well.

    Good luck!
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  6. #6
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    Oct. 14, 2015
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    Agree with all of the above. A day or two on the ground will make a big difference.
    Redneck, white trash, and blue collar.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    simple snaffle bit should be a good bit to start a horse and i usually have a simple snaffle on any of my horses.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    4,157

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    Agree with all the above!! I do try a French link snaffle if the horse isn't happy with a single joint....then I try a Mullen mouth rubber bit next. "Time and patience"... and ground work are your friends!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2016
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    5

    Default

    Thank you all very much!



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