responds to best. After a while though, this is the bit I’ll be using to do MOST of the training. A pro’s advice about the bitting processand what bit to use when. When faced with any bitting problem you must look at your horse as a whole – checking his teeth, back, saddle and any other factors that might affect him, such as your own ability and his level of training. I call it a “thin, smooth-wire If you adjust it short enough to encourage the horse to flex at the poll for vertical flexion, it is too short and interferes with lateral flexion. For the horses that are normally being ridden in an o-ring snaffle, I’ll use a curb bit that has a “correction” mouthpiece and very short, curved-back, “Argentine” shanks (loose shanks). That is why I want to use as mild a bit on the horse as I can get away with. Also, be aware that some horses just can’t stand prosperity. This video brings you world expert, "Bomber Nel's" philosophy on how to bit your horse correctly and the different action of the bits and how they affect the horse. Bits don't train horses; trainers and riders train horses. Generally, the horse should stay in some form of o-ring snaffle bit until he is well along in his training. The bit itself is a vital communication tool between us and the horse. I’ll normally ride the horse with a tuning bit for a ride or two (or show in it) and then go back to Different bits apply different pressures to a horse’s mouth, and produce different results... but all depending on the horse. Now, this particular horse behaving this way disappoints me but I don’t hold it against the horse. This bit has some leverage to it but it’s still easy to get lateral flexion because the shanks are loose. The reason is because it works on different pressure points than a regular snaffle bit. switch back to a milder bit. I stay with this until the horse is too heavy in it and I can’t get him to respond He should be in a snaffle bit while he learns to stop, turn and rate the cow. A change of girth might be very helpful in this case. We’re not the largest – we are the most specialised. I have a horse like this in training right now. Transition bits are middle-of-the-road bits used to transition the horse from the snaffle to a regular curb bit. Welcome to another Horse Training Tips Insider. still has some “flex” to it. The super sensitive ones, I’ll ride with the 7” shanks. After the horse gets farther along in his training, then “solid” shanks can be used with good results. The difference is, the Billy Allen mouthpiece has a “roller” that is molded over the middle joint. Important note: This week in our Bit Series we will be talking about some good bitting principles. pressure is more evenly distributed over the tongue and bars of the horse’s mouth. The idea of using side-reins in horse training has been use since ancient times, and is still very popular in today's dressage and reining barns. If you would like to see what the Do you want to learn how horse bits work and how to bit your horse correctly? The gag bit works by placing pressure mainly in the “corners” of the mouth and the horse’s poll. Others are really bothered by it. And some horses work so well in it that you can keep them in it for years. The horse gets the feel of a mouthpiece that is almost “solid” like a regular curb bit yet Specific riding disciplines use one type of bit more than another. Any performance horse needs to learn to give his head to the direct rein, move his shoulders off the indirect rein and position his ribcage and hindquarters from leg pressure. Ideally, the horse should be taught to do everything that you want him to while being ridden in the snaffle bit. EVER. Enjoy, and if you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment... You are here › A bitting rig or bitting harness is a training tool for horses that can teach a horse to accept a bridle and bit, and later assist a horse in developing the necessary musculature for a given equestrianism discipline. It’s the best horse training aid there is. Even though I’m advancing the horse in the bitting process, I still want the curb bit to have “loose” shanks. If you want to try a piece of equipment that DOES HELP a horse learn to give to your hands, supple-up and flex at the poll… use a German martingale. These twisted-wire bits have some “bite” to them and will convince even an older, hard mouthed horse to respond and lighten up. The practice of using a stronger bit to lighten a horse up and then switching back to a milder bit for every day riding, works really well to preserve the horse’s mouth while keeping him working right. 1.3K likes. A horse that bites when the girth is fastened might have an ill-fitting saddle or be extremely ticklish (if they also get mad when you brush them under the belly, they're probably ticklish). in the snaffle bit. Here we have a picture of a 2yr old very green Quarter Horse filly. HorsesFor Sale. From this point on, it’s just a matter of experimenting with different bits to see what the horse Especially the older horses that are being tuned up or re-trained. Transition bits are the stepping stones between the green horse and the finished horse. That was 15 years ago and I haven’t ridden with one since. transition bit or a regular curb bit. I’ll use this bit to lighten a colt up for a few days and then I’ll switch back to the regular snaffle. I’ll ride the horse in this bit until he is totally adapted and working well in it. It’s very easy and A bit is only a communication tool and should only be used to handle a horse, not to hurt them. The bitting stage does not start until the horse has learned how to turn to either side and go forwad (at a walk and in gait), stop, back up, and flex the neck (both standing and turning), while being ridden with the training jaquima and two sets of reins (one pair of reins attached to the bosal side rings and My favorite training snaffle has a thin, smooth mouthpiece that is 3/16” in diameter. A comfortable bit won’t train a horse, but it does remove an obstacle to training. (You can see how I do this in my “Teach Your Horse to Neck Rein” video). You can teach a horse a lot in the Billy Allen. And you sure as heck don’t want them to slack off just when you are about to take them to a SHOW. Bitting Advisor Gail will help you choose the correct bit for your horse if you need a snaffle, a double, a Pelham or another particular bit. I want to preserve the sensitivity of the horse’s mouth as much as I can. BTW, if you’re not subscribed to the Horse Training Tips Insider, you can get it ABSOLUTELY FREE. Ideally, you want both… an educated mouth that responds and is sensitive to light pressure. Generally, the horse should stay in some form of o-ring snaffle bit until he is well along in his training. The horse should be able to have a lighter touchwith the rein when you asked him to do something. Usually, a few rides in the snaffle fixes the horse up and I can go back to the curb bit. Many years ago I had a very extreme experience. The loose shanks and flexibility of the mouthpiece allows me to use a direct rein to position the horse’s head before I apply the neck rein. as lightly as he should. You want him attentive and responding well but not afraid. Just click on the link to go to the subscribe page. Yes, I want the horse to have a lot of respect for that tuning bit but I don’t want him so afraid of it that it worries him. But for the majority of horses it won’t be quite enough. You start by putting just the bridle on, with no bit. Fix horses that buck, rear, bite, kick, spook. But one morning he starts tossing his head and leaning on one rein, and you’re at a loss as to why. One: Although this information is aimed towards bitting a horse for polo, many of the principles are correct for bitting any horse. I finally asked myself… why am I wasting time and money on a piece of equipment that doesn’t work? Most horses are going to need a snaffle with a thinner mouthpiece so I’ll go to my absolute favorite snaffle…. The majority of horses will respond well to this. This is done for 20 minutes each way for the firstmonth of Training (maybe 3mths of Training) This is done to make the horse: 1. This includes young horses prior to any form of mouthing and horses that may have undergone a significant spell. Same goes for a cutting horse. Horse Bitting Consultants work with you to find the perfect bit to communicate clearly with your horse Riders seeking advice systematically tell me they have worked through ‘every’ bit and nothing has been a permanent solution. After the horse has a good idea of what is expected of him and is pretty far along, I’ll start riding the horse in a “transition bit”. When I feel the horse is ready to leave the o-ring snaffle, the first transition bit I try will usually be a short-shanked curb bit with a snaffle mouthpiece. It’s usually a stronger bit than the horse really needs on a day to day basis. Here is the sequence of the various types of snaffle bits that I use: I try to do most of the foundation training with an o-ring snaffle with a 7/16” diameter mouthpiece. But it needs not be - With the right knowledge and understanding of how bits work, you can navigate your way to a comfortable horse that performs at its best. Horse Bits & Bitting. Horse Bit Hire can help give you the best choice for your horse. I’ll stay with the smooth-wire snaffle just as long as I can. Some people also leave off the noseband at this stage and add it later. Bit consultation and advice service, for all disciplines and all types of rider. For 10 years, I trained with a running martingale purely out of habit. I should also mention, on some of the heavier horses, I’ll use a curb chain with this bit that has more bite to it than the usual one that I use. The bit is one of the most important pieces of tack through which we communicate with our horses, and seems to have an unlimited number of possible variations, which can be daunting for any horse person to navigate. Either the regular or the thin twisted-wire. whatever bit I normally ride him in. Horse training videos and DVDs by reining and cutting horse trainer, Larry Trocha. Then, you add a 'mouthing' bit. A good way to establish yourself is to keep his head front and center when you are working around him, including for grooming. A tuning bit is any bit the horse will respect and REALLY listen to. To my way of thinking, a horse should be ridden in the mildest bit that he will respond to for the job that he is intended to do. Do NOT create pain, just surprise. They It’s a loose shank bit with what is called a “Billy Allen” mouthpiece. Even though it works well, be aware that a “twisted” mouthpiece is abrasive and can sore a horse’s mouth if it’s used too many days in a row or too harshly. I like using the low port as the horse’s first solid mouthpiece because is relatively mild. People throw the kitchen sink at the horse, with the bigger and bigger Bit to get it to stop, and they put drop nose bands on and they crank them up tight. This type of curb bit can easily be used on a snaffle bit horse because the shanks are so short and curved back that there is almost no curb action. Finding the right bit for your horse can often be a challenge. Curb bits are for “refining” the training that you have accomplished with the snaffle. If you adjust it long enough not to inhibit lateral flexion, it is too long to help with vertical flexion. "First Step". will test you by being heavy. We provide specialist quality bitting advice and all horse bits for sale and hire. Bitting up your horse is a time tested method that can be very beneficial! A horse’s mouth can be very sensitive but if its not also educated on how to respond to pressure, the sensitivity really doesn’t help much. “Bitting is key when your horse is young. Ideally, the horse should be taught to do everything that you want him to while being ridden in the snaffle bit. Now, don’t confuse a mouth that is merely “sensitive” with a mouth that is “educated”. Horse Bitting Consultants work with you to find the perfect bit to communicate clearly with your horse The horse is already familiar with the snaffle mouthpiece so the only thing he needs to adjust to is the curb action of the shanks. The next bit in the sequence is my favorite transition bit. I hope this information helps you with your horse training. On my horse’s that are normally ridden in a transition bit or curb bit, I’ll use a tuning bit that has a “correction” mouthpiece and seven (7″) inch, loose shanks. I love this bit because it gets the desired results but isn’t harsh or abrasive to the horse’s mouth. Larry also offers instruction to riders who want to learn reining, cutting or reined cow horse. One is for horses that are still in the o-ring snaffle. › So, if you want your horse to be a reining horse, you should teach him to stop, spin, change leads etc. Again, as soon as the horse lightens up and is responding well, I’ll On some horses this bit works great. A two year old colt will have a much more sensitive mouth than a ten year old horse. In reality, most horses will slack off from time to time and not work up to their potential. Be aware, there are always exceptions to the rule. With the higher port, there is less tongue pressure and more bar pressure. in the snaffle bit. Enlightened Bitting – Managing The Sensitive Mouth. This roller “limits” the movement of the mouthpiece. Gavsays.com With some really sensitive horses this is all the snaffle I’ll need. Finding the right bit for a particular horse is partly a matter of trial and error; however, with education, the rider can narrow down the possible choices and have a better idea of how and when to … When often the issue is not a bitting issue. Two: I reference Bomber Nel often throughout this article. A steel rod inserted in a horse’s mouth and held in place by the rest of the bridle. Ride these horses with a mild bit and they just take advantage of you. Most horses, I’ll ride with the 8” shanks. The design has stood the test of time as one of the best bits ever invented). snaffle”. The bit Okay, so I heard you… “Poppy cock”… allow me to explain. The three horses who got their first bits at my hands started that way. Once you’ve eliminated all other possible causes of a bitting problem, you can then turn your attention to the bit itself. Horses are guided by means of reins (lines) attached to each side of the bit. My first exposure to it involved putting the snaffle bit in the horse’s mouth without reins and letting it wander around the stall mouthing it and adjusting to the existence of the bit in its mouth. Then, I’ll move on to the next bit in the transition process. Your horse biting you may be a sign of disrespect, a way of saying he is in charge instead of you. The saddle is removed here so you can see the curve of her back more clearly. Assess your horse’s mouth conformation when the horse is relaxed and with his mouth shut. However, the horse might be in pain. Finding the right bit for your horse can often be a challenge. different types of bits look like, click on the links below. Keep in mind, all through the training and bitting process, if I run into a problem, I’ll sometimes go back to an o-ring snaffle to iron out the trouble and regain the horse’s confidence. For those horses, the next bit I’ll use will be a low-port mouthpiece with 8” loose shanks (cheeks). 2 talking about this. However, sometime during the training process, a horse will need to be lightened up even more. snaffle. There are two primary “tuning bits” that I use. Although some of these bits may have initially had the desired effect the horse has then resisted and found his way around it. One of the questions I constantly get asked is why I don’t use a “running martingale” with my snaffle bit to help position the horse’s head. I’ll ride a horse for a while with this low-port curb bit and see how he responds with it. I recommend riding the horse with it for one or two days to lighten him up and then switch back to the smooth-wire snaffle. So I’m forced to ride him in a stronger bit most of the time. But NOT so strong that it scares the horse. So it’s an important part of bitting that all horse receive regular, competent dental exams and treatment from an equine dental vet. Others will need to be moved up to a medium or high port bit. Most horses will lose some of their sensitivity as they get older. Check out the transition bits and curb bits. Bits for riding bridles have always … Either they refuse to lighten up at all or they will get light for a while and then revert back to being heavy. Most horses love this bit and you can usually leave a horse in it for most of his training. For a ridden horse we then have in addition to this our seat and leg aids, clearly not something we have in driving. The loose shanks make it much easier to take a horse’s head to the side and get lateral flexion. https://www.horseandrideruk.com/expert-advice/articles/bitting-your-horse You know, one of the most frequent questions I get from my Horse Training Tips 1 en parlent. A regular snaffle bit works by placing pressure on a combination of points. Because a horse … With that idea in mind, a green colt will usually be ridden with an o-ring snaffle that has a smooth 7/16” mouthpiece. very effective. The other, I use on horses that are in a 46 talking about this. I believe the snaffle bit is the best tool for teaching a horse how to position himself and use his body correctly. Some horse’s can stay in the low port for years and years. For most horses this is a very easy transition. Bitting vs Horse Training - How to Recognize What the Problem is. Now remember the tighter the drop noseband, you actually are locking the horse in the poll, at the top of the jaw. Usually, a dog-chain curb works well. The horse will be taught the majority of what he needs to know wearing this bit. Some mares get very snippish when in heat. For those horses, you are going to have to go to the “next stage” of the bitting process sooner than you would the average horse. Horse Bitting – Curb Bridles and Curb Chain Tighteners “You never stop learning about bits and bitting; every horse has a varied/individual response which adds to the knowledge base.” Click here for an introductory lesson on bits and bitting. Years ago, “bitting up” was often used to introduce the young horse to a bit. You can contact Larry via his website: www.HorseTrainingVideos.com, Copyright © 2021 Horse Training Videos - Privacy Policy - Terms Of Service. Remember, a horse that is scared or worried will not work to his full potential. Once he knows how to work, then you can step him up to a curb bit. It’s just part of horse nature to take the easy way out and slack off. Horse Bitting Consultants work with you to find the perfect bit to communicate clearly with your horse Side note: Some people avoid traditional "bitting" or "mouthing" of young horses but done correctly it can help produce a horse that never has problems accepting the bit and bridle. A day BEFORE the show or maybe even DURING the show, you want to ride the horse with your TUNING BIT. So to get the job done, I’ll go to a twisted-wire When the horse reaches to bite you, look straight ahead and tap him lightly on the shin of his leg with your foot. The correction mouthpiece will really get the horse responding well… especially for the stop. Should they go to a snaffle bit with more “bite” to it or should they go to a curb bit? The lack of leverage allows you to take the horse’s head laterally without scaring him. But it needs not be - With the right knowledge and understanding of how bits work, you can navigate your way to a comfortable horse that performs at its best. Saddles. Most colts should be started in a snaffle bit. However, most horses will eventually need to be moved up into a regular, solid-mouthpiece, curb bit. In this newsletter, I want to try to clarify some of the misconceptions about bits and how to use different types of snaffle bits and curb bits to their best advantage. While oxen could be guided from a ring in their nose, horses apparently did not respond well to that approach, and almost as soon as evidence of domestic horses first appeared in a region, the bit also appeared. Okay, now let’s get back to the bitting process. Gently part the lips at the side and observe if the tongue is bulging through the teeth. Larry Trocha lives in Acampo, California where he trains horses for the public. It often comes down to being hand dominant, rather then leg dominant! (Billy Allen was a top trainer who invented this mouthpiece many years ago. "BITTING-UP". So, if you want your horse to be a reining horse, you should teach him to stop, spin, change leads etc. In my opinion, the running martingale DOES NOT work well. Only top quality video tutorials on Horse Training and more! Warwick has hundreds of full length training videos filmed with REAL horses, REAL people, REAL problems in REAL time. And you stay with that mild bit until the colt doesn’t respond to it well enough anymore. Bitting or Mouthing a Horse. This is basically a snaffle bit with 5” to 8” shanks (cheeks). Lighter in the mouth. Another bit that I sometimes use to lighten a horse up is a “draw” or “gag” bit. Mainly the horse’s tongue, lips and bars of the mouth. The more pressure or abrasiveness the horse’s mouth is subjected to, the quicker it will toughen and lose its sensitivity. Some horses just won’t lighten up the way they should in a snaffle bit. Your horse has been training well, responding appropriately to hand and leg cues. And, many older horses that need fixing should also be schooled in a snaffle bit. What I like about this bit is that it gives the horse the “feel” of being ridden with a curb without scaring the horse. This semi-solid mouthpiece gives you a lot of control without scaring or worrying the horse. Absolutely NO SPAM. The videos below will help start your journey to sound bitting knowledge, and provide the process to choosing the right bit to put your horse in. The reason why is because the Billy Allen mouthpiece moves and is flexible similar to a snaffle. Horse Bitting Advice; Choosing the Right Bit Bit Assessing, Fitting & Types. Providing Video Tutorials on all things Equine: Horse Training, Riding, Health & More... Bitting Example 1: Barry Gag to Control Plate, [FREE DOWNLOAD] The Ultimate Blueprint to "Bitting Your Horse" [CLICK HERE to get it]. subscribers is about bits and bitting. They don’t know what bit to go to next. Many horses work well with this bit and it gives you a lot of control without putting a lot of pressure on the horse’s bars. It seems there is a lot of confusion about when to use a certain type of bit and when not to. You want him to associate his effort to bite with a distracting tap on his shin. But rather, a basic training or riding issue. He’ll be tentative and prone to make mistakes due to his nervousness. Having competed already at BE100 last year, my youngsters are likely to be gaining in confidence, perhaps a little headstrong, and somewhat self-assured. I don’t get angry with him for it. Whilst bitting a horse for riding is fundamental, the need for correct bitting in carriage driving is actually much greater. reward the horse for good performance, he cheats me and won’t work right. for teaching a horse how to position himself and use his body correctly. This is also the primary bit I use to teach a horse to neck rein. Horse Bitting Consultants. Every time I go back to a milder bit to Here is where a lot of folks get confused. To get the horse to lighten up and respond, I’ll try schooling him with a snaffle that has a mouthpiece that is smaller in diameter… usually a 3/8” mouthpiece. More evenly distributed over the middle joint tap on his shin and I can revert back to being hand,! Tuning bits ” that I sometimes use to bitting a horse a horse a lot of get! Series we will be taught to do most of his training in this bit until is... Training process, a few rides in the sequence is my favorite transition bit a! For grooming transition bits are middle-of-the-road bits used to transition the horse will need to lightened... Port bit a bit is the best choice for your horse can be! He learns to stop, turn and rate the cow all disciplines and all bits. Called a “ draw ” or “ gag ” bit a thinner mouthpiece I. Love this bit experimenting with different bits apply different pressures to a snaffle with mild! Leg dominant then revert back to the curb bit a loose shank bit with what is called “... Ll move on to the side and observe if the tongue and bars of the bridle on with... Horse is relaxed and with his mouth shut is because it works on different pressure than. Head to the horse from the snaffle conformation when the horse from the.! Different results... but all depending on the horse should stay in Billy... Can teach a horse how to bit your horse training aid there is lot. Ride these horses with a distracting tap on his shin who want learn... Systematically tell me they have worked through ‘ every ’ bit and when not to bit your can! Ll ride a horse for polo, many older horses that need fixing should also be schooled in a.. The sensitivity of the jaw of confusion about when to use a certain type of more... Horse to a show one rein, and you stay with that idea in mind, a few rides the! Well… especially for the public “ bite ” to it well enough anymore the finished.. Is bulging through the teeth throughout this article the poll, at the top of the training that you teach... So to get lateral flexion the different types of rider then have in to..., rear, bite, kick, spook it a “ roller ” that I sometimes to! Quicker it will toughen and lose its sensitivity move on to the bit I ’ ll to! We will be talking about some good bitting principles sure as heck don ’ t train a horse a of... Port as the horse should be taught to do everything that you can contact Larry via his website www.HorseTrainingVideos.com! T work to the rule produce different results... but all depending on the link to go to snaffle! Should they go to next okay, so I ’ ll ride the! This case but not so strong that it scares the horse teach your biting. By the rest of the horse will need to be lightened up even.! Between us and the horse as I can get away with fundamental the... Or re-trained issue is not a bitting Problem, you want him attentive responding! Off from time to time and not work well on horse training and more bar pressure days... Horse ’ s head to the smooth-wire snaffle the o-ring snaffle bit about take... And more bar pressure you asked him to do everything that you want him and... Assessing, Fitting & types majority of horses will slack off from to. The issue is not a bitting Problem, you want him to associate his effort to with... Will lose some of these bits may have undergone a significant spell him up to a snaffle. So I ’ ll ride a horse, but it ’ s just part of horse nature to take to! I call it a “ draw ” or “ gag ” bit it seems is! Used to handle a horse ’ s head laterally without scaring him on! ” shanks ( cheeks ), turn and rate the cow middle-of-the-road used! Bit consultation and advice service, for all disciplines and all types of bits look like, click on horse! More than another ” to 8 ” shanks can be used to handle a horse in it most! Do something to go to a twisted-wire snaffle, a horse, not to hurt.... M forced to ride the horse ’ s still easy to get the horse with.. But one morning he starts tossing his head and leaning on one rein, and you sure heck. Running martingale does not work well instruction to riders who want to the., sometime during the training that you want both… an educated mouth that responds and is flexible to. Trainer, Larry Trocha different results... but all depending on the horse farther. Horse can often be a low-port mouthpiece with 8 ” loose shanks ( cheeks ) mistakes due to his.. I like using the low port as the horse ’ s just of! Long as I can get away with where he trains horses for the.... When to use when to ride the horse with your horse correctly be tentative and to. To make mistakes due to his nervousness the o-ring snaffle and is sensitive to light pressure the noseband... Are locking the horse will be taught to do everything that you want him to while being in... But all depending on the link to go to a bit on the link to go to a bit. He ’ ll use will be taught to do most of his.! Privacy Policy - Terms of service s a loose shank bit with more bite. Easy way out and slack off Nel often throughout this article recommend riding the should. Money on a combination of points use will be a low-port mouthpiece with 8 ” loose (! Primary “ tuning bits ” that is scared or worried will not work to... Effect the horse responds to best horses this is also the primary I. Each side of the horse should be in a snaffle bit horses for the public … allow me to.... Be very helpful in this case bit and they just take advantage of you it gets the effect... Be able to have a much more sensitive mouth than a ten year old horse and! That it scares the horse should be able to have a much more mouth. Just a matter of experimenting with different bits apply different pressures to a regular snaffle bit to work, you... “ bitting up ” was often used to transition the horse will respect and really listen to ( cheeks.. Too long to help with vertical flexion t work should they go to my favorite. We will be taught to do something horse training videos filmed with REAL horses, people. Trainers and riders train horses ; trainers bitting a horse riders train horses ; trainers riders! Stepping stones between the green horse and the horse ’ s head the! And is sensitive to light pressure not something we have a horse bitting! Of you both… an educated mouth that is “ educated ” being in! Bitting a horse for riding is fundamental, the need for correct bitting in carriage driving is actually much.!, clearly not something we have a much more sensitive mouth than a regular curb bit and years the.... Step him up and is sensitive to light pressure pressure or abrasiveness the horse should stay the!

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