Bitting Dilemma

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Bitting Dilemma

Postby kylie » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:28 pm

On other posts on here regarding gaining more control, while hacking a strong horse, people suggest upping from a simple snaffle to a dutch/three ring gag. Does anyone have any experience with a Wilkie/loop ring snaffle? Does this have a similar action but less severe?

I'm looking for something with a little more stopping power than a snaffle. I school in a snaffle, but hacking, especially cantering with company, can sometimes present a problem when it comes to stopping and my boy gets quite competitive! Any thoughts?

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Re: Bitting Dilemma

Postby Snipper » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:28 pm

HI Kylie. I think that changing from a snaffle to a gag seems a bit extreme! Gags are quite severe and there are hundreds of other bits you could try which are milder but will give you more brakes than a snaffle. I don't know much about the Wilkie snaffle, but I think it does have a similar action to the three ring gag and should provide you with more stopping power than a snaffle. Changing our horse's bit isn't easy, and it's difficult to say which will suit him best until you try riding him in it. There are companies, such as the Bit Bank, that you can hire bits from to try them out, or have bits on a trial to see if they suit your horse. They can also offer expert advice. I always think it's important to look at your horse's training too. It's not just about having a strong enough bit in your horse's mouth, it's also worth working on effective ways to stop your horse and getting him to understand that he needs to stay at an acceptable speed when he's out. I hope that helps!

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Re: Bitting Dilemma

Postby H&R_Editor » Thu May 27, 2010 12:07 pm

Hi Kylie

H&R is doing a feature on different types of mouthpieces and how they affect horses. The feature is going into our August issue which is on sale on July 15th.

I have found that there are simply no rules as far as bitting goes. What works for one horse might not work for the next. I had a friend who rode her horse in a three-ring gag and while it gave her brakes, he spent most of his time with his head in her face as he had a high head carriage. Another friend used a pelham for her strong cob and that made him tuck his head into his chest so he could still bomb off! Often it’s a case of trial and error, but forums are a great place to ask for advice. I hope you get some solutions.

It really helps to ask someone experienced who knows your horse, too. He or she might be able to recommend some suitable bits straight away.

Best of luck and on a positive note, how lovely that your horse wants to go!

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Re: Bitting Dilemma

Postby Soraya_H&R_AssistEd » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:05 am

Changing and choosing a bit is always a tough one.

My horse felt strong while hacking. I always schooled in a snaffle, but simply because he was very spooky (and strong jumping) I would hack him and take him cross-country in a Kimblewick. I used the top hole so it had almost no action at all most of the time, but the major benefit was being able to stop mid-hack and move the reins down if he was being fresh and a nightmare so we could get home safely!

It is so important to remember the change in bit and what you are doing with your hands though. In an ideal world it would make almost no difference in how we ride because your hand should always be still and even, in reality though we all struggle with it. I know I do! It is easy to forget how much stronger the new bit is, particularly when you start, and you don't want to make your horse back off the bridle.
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