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What Is This Bit For?

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That's interesting Rae. I've never seen curb chain extensions like that. Honestly considering the short shank length and all that slack in the chain I would say that's a very mild bit but don't be fooled by the broken mouth piece. That is no snaffle. Compared especially to that last picture that Jazz put up I think of the bit with the extremely long shanks and purchase.

William (historyrider)

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Ok, since this is a bit discussion, I have a question that i've wondered about for a long time. What is the actual difference between an o-ring and a D-ring snaffle besides the shape of the rings? are they for different things?

And.....what do you guys think about this Jr. Cowhorse ???? I have one, but my horse is not particulary keen on it (went back to a snaffle for now). Thoughts?

Edited by BellaRider

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How's about this one?

BIT362!REI-918261.jpg

I don't think I'd like it ... and I think horses would agree. It's very straight everywhere, looks like it has no balance and would lay right at a horse's lips making him want to fool with it if you didn't have him REALLY 'on the bit' which the curb looks like it may have been intended for.

I'd avoid that one.

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Ok, since this is a bit discussion, I have a question that i've wondered about for a long time. What is the actual difference between an o-ring and a D-ring snaffle besides the shape of the rings? are they for different things?

And.....what do you guys think about this Jr. Cowhorse ???? I have one, but my horse is not particulary keen on it (went back to a snaffle for now). Thoughts?

Perhaps it's the roller he dislikes?

Did you add bit guards to this bit before you used it? Any gag will pinch ... any loose ring will pinch. All of these bits need bit guards all the time.

O~rings are usually loose rings while D~rings are always fixed.

What that means for the O~ring is the mouthpiece portion can travel on the rings, has some movement to it that will help change the feel of the bit a little depending on where your hands (reins) are. As stated above, the loose ring will always need bit guards because of this.

The D~ring mouthpiece is fixed to the D's, some better than others. If you have a really nice D that the mouthpiece is affixed to the D by a long shank that mostly makes up the straight spoke of the D, you have a nice bit. If not? Bit guards cause those cheap D's can pinch, too.

The D is a preferred racing bit because the big, fat race reins fit on the bit easily along with the headstall and a chin strap to keep it from pulling through. The race headstall is a browbanded bridle that is used with a cavesson and very loose throatlatch. It's a mild, racing bit. The more common, stronger version being the ring bit.

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How's about this one?

BIT362!REI-918261.jpg

I'll ditto Flash and add this.

The purchase to shank ratio is equal. I DON'T like that much at all. I don't see anything to recommend this bit. HOWEVER i would like to know what it's designed for. I can be persuaded if the design has a purpose and actually works as designed.

HTTY & GBTUSA

BUMPER

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Perhaps it's the roller he dislikes?

Did you add bit guards to this bit before you used it? Any gag will pinch ... any loose ring will pinch. All of these bits need bit guards all the time.

O~rings are usually loose rings while D~rings are always fixed.

What that means for the O~ring is the mouthpiece portion can travel on the rings, has some movement to it that will help change the feel of the bit a little depending on where your hands (reins) are. As stated above, the loose ring will always need bit guards because of this.

The D~ring mouthpiece is fixed to the D's, some better than others. If you have a really nice D that the mouthpiece is affixed to the D by a long shank that mostly makes up the straight spoke of the D, you have a nice bit. If not? Bit guards cause those cheap D's can pinch, too.

The D is a preferred racing bit because the big, fat race reins fit on the bit easily along with the headstall and a chin strap to keep it from pulling through. The race headstall is a browbanded bridle that is used with a cavesson and very loose throatlatch. It's a mild, racing bit. The more common, stronger version being the ring bit.

I actually don't have any bit guards... *orders some* Do I need them on the O-ring snaffle I'm using too? (just for discussion sake....I only used the Jr. Cowhorse 2-3 times and then i switched bridles...)

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One disadvantage of a long "purchase", that is the measurement from the mouthpiece to where the bridle attaches, is that with a straight mouthpiece, when you pull on the reins the top of that purchase travels so far forward it sometimes makes the cheek pieces of the bridle hit the corner of the eyes, irritating the horse.

Don't know if that works the same with the two piece mouth part.

As with any bit, try how it works on your hand first, holding the bridle over it with the other hand, with someone using the reins as if they were guiding a horse and you can then see how the bit hangs and how it may affect the horse that is wearing it.

That is not the whole story how a bit may work, but it is a big part of it, that you can look at closely right as it is working on your hand.

If more people would do that before they even buy/use one, there would be many bits sitting on the shelves today.

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*post hijack*

Frankly, I think that if you can't train a horse to do the pattern bridleless at a walk, trot, canter and then full blast, you ought not to be riding that horse.

Totally just brought back memories of the last barrel/pole horse I trained!! Such the sweetest little mare ever!! I got her "started on barrels" and ended up restarting her in general, worked my butt off with that mare, took her to her first high school rodeo (second race ever) came in for my pole pattern and sat down for the first turn and my reins came unsnapped! We flew through the pattern, didn't miss a pole, beautiful run, came out to like a 22 or something, would've been faster but I didn't push her hard at all. One of my favorite hsr memories ever! People asked for weeks who I'd gotten her from and who'd trained her for me etc. I was so proud of that little mare!! I wish I hadn't sold her [Me Cry] but you gotta do what you gotta do and I wouldn't trade my current horse for the world!!

*please continue with your regularly scheduled programing, lol*

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I've seen o-rings that are super thick.

The o's look like doughnuts.

I've picked them up and they're really heavy also.

Why?

of course I can't find a picture right now, but I've seen them at places like the Equine Affaire in the small tack stores that are set up there.

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*post hijack*

Totally just brought back memories of the last barrel/pole horse I trained!! Such the sweetest little mare ever!! I got her "started on barrels" and ended up restarting her in general, worked my butt off with that mare, took her to her first high school rodeo (second race ever) came in for my pole pattern and sat down for the first turn and my reins came unsnapped! We flew through the pattern, didn't miss a pole, beautiful run, came out to like a 22 or something, would've been faster but I didn't push her hard at all. One of my favorite hsr memories ever! People asked for weeks who I'd gotten her from and who'd trained her for me etc. I was so proud of that little mare!! I wish I hadn't sold her [Me Cry] but you gotta do what you gotta do and I wouldn't trade my current horse for the world!!

*please continue with your regularly scheduled programing, lol*

Excellent! That is how a horse should be trained. Good job.

I've seen o-rings that are super thick.

The o's look like doughnuts.

I've picked them up and they're really heavy also.

Why?

of course I can't find a picture right now, but I've seen them at places like the Equine Affaire in the small tack stores that are set up there.

They are supposed to be an aid in developing headsets and stopping pulling. In my experience that's a bunch of bunk. Just another hurry up quick fix instead of actually teaching the horse to hold the bit and be responsive.

I've dealt with these bits and most of them range from 3-6 lbs., (there are 1 lb. bits out there)and come in assorted mouths. You can get them in smooth, twisted wire, fishbacks, square twists. If I can't get my horse to work without hanging a 6 lb. twisted wire in his mouth, then I'm doing something wrong.

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I've dealt with these bits and most of them range from 3-6 lbs., (there are 1 lb. bits out there)and come in assorted mouths. You can get them in smooth, twisted wire, fishbacks, square twists. If I can't get my horse to work without hanging a 6 lb. twisted wire in his mouth, then I'm doing something wrong.

What the sam hill is a fishback?

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What the sam hill is a fishback?

I can't find a pic that shows it clearly. Basically the underside of the mouth is triangular shaped. Instead of being smooth on the underside it comes to a rather acute edge.

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A heavy snaffle is designed to get the horse's head down and vertical. The weight then hangs from the headstall and the weight is taken on the horse's poll getting him to drop.

I've used a heavier snaffle Like the John Lyons signature D ring for encouraging a little lower headset on a good one who just needs to be a tad lower. Once the habit is formed then you just use it for a tune up before showing. I never used the JL sig. Dring to show in and don't know if it's legal for show or not.

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I actually don't have any bit guards... *orders some* Do I need them on the O-ring snaffle I'm using too? (just for discussion sake....I only used the Jr. Cowhorse 2-3 times and then i switched bridles...)

If your O~ring is a 'loose ring', like most are? Yes.

If there is any gap or possibility of movement where the bit rests at the corners of your horses mouth? Bit guard. Get the velcro kind ... the one piece rubber ones require a magician to install.

YES Merry! Great point about trying the bit in your hand first. Even in the store, NOT on a headstall? Lay the mouthpiece of the bit across your opened hand at the fingers ... where they join your palm and relax your hand. You can get a good feel for just the balance of a bit from that.

FISH back.

Ewwwwwww. TOO much of a good thing (think the various 'twists') is just TOO much.

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I'm not too knowledgeable, but I;m gonna throw some stuff in the pot!

I'm a fan of this. I had a filly that I was planning on transitioning to a curb, and she went very well in it. We've put my sister's WP mare in it just to see how she'd do and she seemed to like it too. Too bad that I switched to english riding. [Me Cry]

I'm not really a fan of a regular snaffle mouth piece, and my horses seem to enjoy french and oval links as well as rollers.

But anyways, I was interested in what y'alls opinions of these were. Personally, they don't seem like something that's horrible, and look mild to me, but what do I know? :tongue9:

bit one

bit two

bit three

BTW national ropers supply has a huge variety of bits!

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The one you like and number two are transition tyupe bits, number three I would use to lighten a horse, or use for some form of corrections such as fine tuning lateral flexion on a more experienced horse.. Number one? Yikes! Run away fastly.

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It looks rather harsh to me and a shortcut rather than properly training the horse to begin with. I'm sure it has some useful applications but I wouldn't use it. I would rather back off into a softer bit and re-educate than to try to overpower a horse with a bit like that.

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I like your little Argentine ... WITH bit guards.

The Dutton bits? I don't like the huge, loose bottom ring. Too much movement there.

Like Jazz ... I'd fear #1 a little. With that mouthpiece and that much gag action ... you could get a horse doing some really strange things. It's been my experience that if you feel like you need that much bit ... NO bit is really going to solve your problem.

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Just wanted to say that I have been lurking on this thread and have been enjoying it a great deal and learning a LOT. Thank you all for sharing the info. In some catalogs, the bit section is 5 or 6 pages long and usually there are a number of bits that make me wonder. I am getting some of those questions answered.

I hope I am not stating something that is already well known and taken for granted here, but I have found that if you soak those solid rubber bit gaurds in very hot water immediately before trying to install them, they go on easy as pie!

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HOT water.

Dakota? You are genius!

I've pried and cried and broken nails and thrown things ... NOT wanting to go get my IRON FISTED husband to install them for me back in the day.

You have NO clue how excited I was when the velcro product came on the market.

As I do barrel racing horses, I'm a fan of bits with some 'give' and lots of 'bend'. To me, a gag bit provides a certain amount of forgiveness, while a fixed bit is for straighter horses and more precision movements (as in reiners and rail horses).

Thanks, Dakota!

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You didn't know that, Flash!?!? I bring them to the point of just about to boil, put on a pair of gloves so I don't burn my finners, then start tugging them on.

I do know a girl, Amazon really, who can get cold ones onto Wonder bits. She makes it look easy, too.

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For a horse that carries his head too high, to get the opposite effect of a lifter bit... What would you use?

Out of curiosity... I've got a gelding who carries his head to high with a lifter bit... I need something that brings his nose down..

What kind of bit could I use to exercise lowering his head? Of course, I probably wouldnt run a pattern with it, but just as an exercise tool.

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SO ... first, I would really take a hard look at this horse's throatlatch and the way his neck is made and ties in to make sure that that head carriage isn't just what he physically NEEDS to do. Free work him in a round pen ... turn him around some. Watch how he naturally carries his head for balance.

If he's capable of better, I would start by schooling (not necessarily the pattern ... but your circles and all trail riding and legging up and corkscrews and whatever else you like to use to keep your horse together, flexible and working?) in as light of a snaffle as I could use while still keeping him respectfully 'light' on the bit and use a properly adjusted running martingale.

For pattern work and likely to run in, I'd use something with a broken mouthpiece, little to NO shank and a noseband.

My favorite one of these is the Stivers Micro Bit, but they are difficult to come by.

http://store.reinsman.com/products/hackamores/1082476510

This litte bit would likely be my next choice for your high headed horse. NO lift ... some gag action and a noseband. I'd add bit guards.

Edited by quarterflash

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:grin:

After thinking about this .... I really want to add something I know you've likely already reviewed and that's your OWN 'hand set'.

As you ride ... pay attention to the position of your hands. Easy ... and I know you do this, right?

NOW ... get a friend to video your next run and play it back in slow motion ... watching ONLY your hands. I'm certain that the lifter bit is contributing ... but I also know in my case? When the clock is running, my hands can do some really wonky stuff because they know I'm not paying close attention to them.

A good rider would be remiss in not contemplating ALL the components here.

Jazz's choice is a good one, too. The Jr. Cowhorse is a great bit. Would work in this situation as well and probably be more versatile than the bit I suggested. I do stand by my choice, however. A noseband can be a wonderful thing for a high headed horse.

Good luck!

Edited by quarterflash

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