Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday's Tack Addiction: Bits

In all honesty, I have never used a bit consistently with Lady. When I bought her, I was very dedicated to using the Parelli program (I still am, but I'm more open to combining methods now) and the Parelli program discourages the use of a bit in the early stages. So I started off with a rope halter and tied together reins and built from there.
Sort of.
I still ride 9.9 out of 10 times with a halter and my favorite reins, which by the way are the absolutely the best thing ever. I have the 11-foot length and have a hard time handling anything other than these.
However, I do want to start having something more precise to use with Lady since we are getting to the point that it is hard to communicate in a halter. I'm looking at bitless bridle options, but I'm definitely leaning towards just using a bit.
I have used a super plain western curb in the past since it was what worked for my first horse.

Mine has a slightly higher port.
Lady went okay in this bit, but she was so highly sensitive that I really did not enjoy using it. I might try it again, but I think having the shanks and leverage on it will only be a hindrance.
Plain Western Curb - Worth another try, but 90% sure its a no.
The second (and only other) bit I own is a simple loose ring snaffle.
Mine might be a little less fat, but otherwise identical.
Lady went okay in this one for a while, but I really think that she doesn't like the single joint or the "nutcracker" action that it has. She isn't the same "highly sensitive" that she is in the curb, but she argues and tosses her head in this snaffle. And Lady is NOT one to toss her head for anything except flies.
Loose Ring Snaffle - Not comfortable for her, so its a no-go.
I'm almost ashamed that these are the only two bits I've tried on her in 7 years! Now, though, I think I'm ready to find what she really approves of.
With that in mind, here are the bits that I have on my list to try out. I'm not sure how quickly these trials will happen since money can be scarce sometimes.

A French-link snaffle, possibly with copper. This one does not have the same action that the loose-ring snaffle does and should be more comfortable.

If the french-link doesn't work out, I want to try something with a port again, and the Myler bits, or something similar, would be my choice. I'm not sure if it was the port of my curb that bothered Lady or the leverage part of it.

I'm also interested in trying a full-cheek type snaffle since it applies a little more pressure to the side of the face, which is what Lady is used to having.
There is also another type of bit that I've been looking into at the local tack shop, but I can not remember what it is! :O

How did you choose the bit you use, and what made you choose it?

1 comment:

  1. Both of my horses love their French link bits! Moe goes in an eggbutt snaffle; Gina has a loose ring. They have both been longtime snaffle ponies, but I switched them to French links after a borrowing a friend's bridle that had one on it. Moe likes the solid sides of the eggbutt- he chews endlessly on a loose ring as if it bothers him. Gina is much softer in a loose ring than anything else.

    I think so much of bits are trial and error things!