Monday, March 15, 2010

Informed Bitting

I loved this video! It didn't cover a wide variety of bits, but it did give me a really good knowledge base of the horses mouth and how it works. I think anyone who is getting into horses, or has their first horse should watch it. I learned a lot about how to make sure the bit fits the horse, and what to look at in the horses mouth to make sure that the problem the horse is displaying is indeed from the bit. I like the big point that Hilary makes, that a lot of people don't listen to... if you're not a good rider, the bit in the horses mouth will not make you a better one. (Not word for word, but you get the idea.)

My thoughts about bits are similar to my ideas at work. I want my students in the least restrictive environment, but where they are successful. Same thing goes for the bit. I want Denali in the bit that is best for her without being restrictive. My trainer thinks I should try a Kimberwick. I like mine thought, and think that I'm going to continue to use it. I need to be a better rider, it's not my horse. We currently use a French Link Boucher, and Denali seems to go well in it.

At the end of the video she mentions the second video and what it entails. Sadly, giddyupflix does not carry that one.

What kind of bit do you use? What made you pick it?


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I use(d) a Kimberwicke and I'm not sure Laz loves it. He plays with it a lot. I did have him in a egg but snaffle before and may switch him back. My 'trainer' thought the Kimberwicke would be better for him...but I'm not completely sold.
It is a Myler comfort fit kimberwicke to be exact.

Frizzle said...

Before, I had Salem in an oval-mouth (double-jointed) loose ring. The loose ring allowed the bit to move around a lot, though, so I switched him to a double-jointed Happy Mouth boucher. He goes well in it, but I'm not so crazy about the Happy Mouth because there are parts that seem like they could pinch his tongue.
I just ordered a Stubben double-jointed copper mouth boucher, so we'll see how he goes in that.
(And, yes, I am obsessed with double-jointed bits because they don't have the "nutcracker" action on the roof of the horse's mouth like single-jointed bits can.)

Jay Jennings said...

The draft cross girls like their loose ring snaffles, one likes the springer Aurigan 3 piece. The other just a single joint german silver. The TB is really finicky she has a special german silver KK Ultra springer for her extra small mouth. The quarter horse has a Baucher he's really sensitive and it's the only bit he really likes. The bad news on it is it's a special order from germany so if I need another one I don't even know if I can get them to make it again. The draft he's got a 7 inch snaffle full cheek (he steers like a cow). Probably the biggest bit I've ever seen.

For trails we use mostly D rings for a little more stop and the TB I just got a Buval Gag (probably spelled wrong) but I haven't tried it out yet. The name sounds awful but it's just a KK ultra with link for the rains and a little more pressure. The oldest mare I had to switch to a Kimberwick for trails. She will rip your arms off she gets sooo over excited and as she's gotten older the shape of her mouth has changed quite a bit.

Laura Maynard said...

My mare prefers her Sprenger KK Ultra loose wing with the disc in the "jelly bean." When we need a tune up though I switch her to a short shank mullen mouth pelham. Any single jointed bits punch her in the soft palate and she really over-reacts to it. She has a rather small mouth so no thick bits either.

Anonymous said...

No bit for me...we just use a hackamore. (Although there are times when I think my "perfect" horse could use a bit) but she's a good girl and responds well enough I really don't need one.

Denali said...

One thing I found interesting (and i didn't know, but you'd think it was obvious) is that loose ring bits allow an extra moment before the horse "feels" the bit. I need/want Denali to know that I'm asking her to stop the moment that I ask her.

I also didn't realize how different a horses mouth can be from one horse to another. Yes an arab to a TB, but from TB to TB they can be vastly different.

I don't like the Happy Mouths either Frizzle. I feel like one chomp and they're ruined. I also enjoy double jointed for the same reason.

I learned a lot! I wish I could do a better job of explaining what I learned.

Jay Jennings said...

Ugh Happy Mouths... I bought one 5 years ago spent like $70 on it. There much cheaper now. I thought my sensitive TB would love it. Put it in her mouth... bite. Totally ruined. We didn't even make it out to the arena. It was so mangled I didn't dare put it in her mouth. This winter the GF bought a used one on-line, didn't spend much; but it came in the mail totally mangled.

The TB and quarter horse are the worst. My fancy german sliver has teeth marks in it (TB). She's the only horse I've known who doesn't like to spit the bit out at the end of a ride. The QH will chew on his (to the point of being damaging) even with a tight flash and nose band snug. He's go some sort of trick jaw I swear...

OTTB-Little Big Red said...

LBR is an OTTB. We started him in an egg-butt when we advanced our lunge lessons to include tack.

However, when we started riding, the bit seemed to encourage him to pull against the bit and go faster.

On the advice of our trainer, we moved up to a standard d-ring. Because I have had luck with the d-ring copper roller, we bought one of them as well.

We now alternate LBR between three different bits.

For mellow days/rides - it's usually the standard d-ring (when we're not concerned about collection, head position).

For calm training rides, the copper roller works well as it seems to soften his mouth.

For really short/intense training sessions (and/or when he's a bit hyped up), his trainer suggests a very mild fishback which works well.

SprinklerBandit said...

Izzy goes in a loose ring KK ultra and she loves it to the point of having fits if I try to go back to anything else. It's pretty thin, which she likes, and it's double jointed. She's pretty fussy about her face and really likes me to ride from my body, so I'm not concerned that she doesn't get bit cues right way... Thanks for this blog. I love reading about what other people do for bits.