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  1. #1

    running through the snaffel bit

    Last show season I had a problem with my 4 yr old now 5 yr old running through the snaffel bit. I was riding him in a gag bit for practicing. I then started riding him at home in a three piece and did help getting him to back off the snaffel. I am thinking of up grading him this year to a shanked bit for showing. I am working on neck raining with him but does not seem to be picking it up real well. He seems unsure about himself. ANYONE WITH SUGGESTIONS!! :lol:

  2. #2
    Frankly, and no insult intended here...but I believe a gag bit should never be used on a horse. If someone needs to use anything more than a straight, plain snaffle bit, then you or the horse need more training. A gag bit is considered one of the cruelest bits around...and of course harshness is all in the hands of the person holding the reins, so you might be extremely gentle, but still...that is an unusually harsh bit and I frankly never see a real need for such a thing. I think you might want to try going back completely to a snaffle and working with your horse more on "giving to the bit" exercises!

    Just a suggestion offense..

  3. #3
    I agree with the previous post.

    I will also add that ANY bit WILL cause a variety of problems and snaffles ARE NOT the gentlest, especially when asking for vertical flexion. Take a look at Dr Cook's articles on studies done;

    ANY bit is cruel if the horse is not educated properly to yield to pressure & the rider is not educated in ALWAYS having soft, giving hands.

    Go back to training your horse to yield to you from the ground, then ridden, without use of pain, such as a bit. You are attempting to do more than you or your horse are ready for.

  4. #4
    The snaffel bit was broken in the middle. It just was not strong enough and I would have to fight with him to slow down or even stop. So, I do not think a bitless bridel would do anything for him. At the age he is now, I have to go one handed becuse I do both english and western with him. It is a rle that when they hit 5 go ine handed in western. Well, I can still use one two hands if I want, but I would like to go one handed with him. So, I do not think the bitless bridal would work for him. I think he would probably just run through that as well.

  5. #5
    Your problem is training/riding, not the ability of the bit to cause enough pain. Take a look at trainer & behaviourist Andrew McLean's articles on for some further training & horse behavioural info.

    Go back to the basics. If the horse & yourself aren't trained enough, that you 'need' something strong to stop/control him, then you're not ready for showing.

    Going to a stronger bit & having this mindset, especially with such a young horse is setting yourself & the horse up for more problems & unhappiness in the future.

    In addition, of course it's possible to train a horse for both disciplines, but if they haven't thoroughly mastered the basics before starting to use opposing cues, etc, such as between Western & English, they're bound to get confused. Especially as your horse is so young, I think you'd be better sticking to one or the other discipline for a while & train thoroughly in that first.

    I don't bother with THE bitless bridles, rather just ride in a halter or a string around their neck. But you can ride one or 2 handed & do whatever you want in any type of bridle, bitless or otherwise... well, it's a bit pointless to ride 2 handed if you're riding with only one rein, but... :lol:

  6. #6
    Its not that I dont think he is not well trained or me for that matter. I dont really know. I do alot of bending and alot of stoppion and backing up excercises to keep him off the bit but with a snaffel, he gets to strong. He is doing well in the shanked bit and took up neck reining up really well. So, I am going to see once the show season starts up and that is when I will get the best idea of how well je truly is. But I really dont know what went wrong. I have been doing both with him since he was three and took to both really well. He was trained in both areas by a professional trainer that I used,now since moved to Ohio and now I do have anther one that trains the same way that he does.

  7. #7
    Hello Casey I know when I first started riding we didn't know what bit to use. I bought a slim snaffle bit and I was told its more harsh on the horses mouth then a thicker one. Since buying the thicker snaffle bit we have had no problems with my horse. Also for you neck raining my horse was 18 and still could not do it so I neck reined and still used ques with the other rein untill now he is fully capable of doing it with out a little extra help. Good luck.


  8. #8
    Well, I am going to try out showing him in the shanked bit. The show will be the real test to see how he actually is and go form their. Thanks!



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