Bitting Suggestions

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  llimeri 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • ohheyymanda Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    So, Im having a bit of an issue (pun intended) 😁. I love how strong and athletic my guy is, but when we run cross country, he seems to just barrel down and run. He grabs the bit and doesn’t seem to give a damn about what I’m asking him. ONLY ON CROSS COUNTRY! We show jump in the same bit as dressage (loose ring with a copper lozenge) and he’s totally relaxed. I’ve been using a standard Dee ring corkscrew snaffle for cross country, which gives me some breaks, but not nearly enough and doesn’t help me bring him up to prepare for jumps, so he kinda just steamrolls over them. I was thinking of trying a 2 ring elevator with a French link, but was wondering if anyone else had an idea. Obviously I’d consult my trainer before completely switching, but would like some ideas to throw at him.
    Thanks for your thoughts!!

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Some of the harsher bits can long term desensitize a horse’s mouth, something you do not want to happen for the dressage & show jumping classes. Your trainer should have a good knowledge of bits, and a better handle on what might work in your horse for the cross country without creating new problems for the dressage & stadium jumping phases, so I would start with him or her. Then perhaps ask here if anybody has tried the bit or bits he/she suggests, and what results they had.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Can you do cross country in a bitless bridle? That might work.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    I love a rubber pelham, used properly are great tried and true bits.Snaffle for most of the time, then the curb is brought into play when needed. Hope this helps, good luck.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Bizarre question and suggestion. Has he ever been ponied? If possible, you might try to see what happens if you just drop the reins (this is why you would need a pony!). I’ve ridden a lot of racehorses (in training and retired) in the past, and they tended to go faster and faster when there was more pressure on the bit. Riding with a loose rein confused them and slowed them down. Eventually, they learned what I wanted them to do. Perhaps your issue is similar, dating from his past life? How is he if you just trot in open country and do not jump anything?

    It is never the horse's fault

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 11

    When you school, teach him that cross country is not exciting and that he still needs to listen. Try trotting fences and stopping after then backing up a few steps until he listens. Then repeat the exercise but cantering fences.
    You may also want to try a kineton noseband. It will give you more leverage on your horse’s nose rather than utilizing a bit. And I think a stronger but such as an elevator or Pelham is a good idea. Someone above mentioned that harsh bits can ruin a horse’s mouth. The thing with bits is that any bit can ruin a horse’s mouth if it is used incorrectly, even a snaffle. Bits are a tool just like a whip or spur. You need to make sure not to hang on the horse’s mouth or seesaw the bit.
    A hackamore bridle may be a good option if you are nervous about using a strong bit. Just remember that even though it is bit less, it is a very strong bridle that can hurt your horse’s nose if used incorrectly. You should discuss with your trainer and get his or her input and help with your decision.

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