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HorseMad NZer (Guest)
02-09-02, 11:00 PM
I am finding my horse quite unresponsive to half-halts in his snaffle bit (yes I use h/halts thru seat also). He has had his teeth done (they were quite bad) and for a few days after that he was very light thru transitions

Then he had a week off thru a kick trauma to the leg, and has now got back into the habit of holding the bit in his teeth and I am having problems bringing him back from canter (he isn't rushing off, just remaining steady but strong). The bit I have is a Stubben Bradoon Loosering Snaffle, quite solid and as thick as my middle finger. I use a hanoverian noseband with flash.

Does anyone have suggestions on what type of bit I could try to make him more comfortable, stoppable, and to stop the habit of him "gritting" it in his teeth. It must be legal for dressage BTW.

A bit of history of the horse - 16yo t/bred but not worked for 2 years. Just brought into work a few weeks ago. Had massages to make sure all is well as the work progresses (nothing untoward). Is a very free-moving horse with no signs of any stiffness. The saddle has been checked and it fits. He has been a showhunter all his life but has competed up to Medium dressage. I am just doing the basics while he is coming into work for the next few months.

Ali (Guest)
03-09-02, 04:27 AM
Try a KK bit, the ones that are kind of like a french snaffle, only the center piece is fat and not thin and sharp. I looove these bits. When you put pressure oo this type of bit it folds and the join in the middle pokes the roof of his mouth, especially as TB's can have low palates, and he's leaning on the bit to avoid the sudden poke. Apart from that maybe he just needs more strenghtening work, he sounds like he is not strong enough yet to carry himself properly, so is forehandy and relying on you to hold his head up for him. Use the usual strength work, transitions, pace to pace and within the pace and some little lateral work, shoulder in, slight haunch in.
I can't make mine go in canter, strength issue too!

HM NZer (Guest)
04-09-02, 05:32 AM
Sounds good, thanks!

heidi (Guest)
04-09-02, 05:43 AM
Just had some lessons with a dressage rider and she's helped my horse a lot (he's inclined to get lazy and lean on the bit and generally ignore my aids) and she told me to trot him (with contact) and to vary the paces, eg. in trot by going so slow that he's about to walk and pushing him on again into a working trot and to the point where he is just about to lose his balance but doesnt and bring him back, and do the same exercise in canter. Another exercise was to do a smaller circle, say 10m (bigger for canter of course), and when he's carrying himself, make the circle bigger. This also makes him listen to your aids and its really helped my fellow, he doesnt pop his head in the transitions so much now and I find that I only have to half-halt and he'll collect himself. Its a wonderful feeling when he's in self-carriage and listening to me, its like floating on air.

HM-NZer (Guest)
05-09-02, 04:00 AM
Yes I used to have this success with my old t/bred - but when I try it with the "new" one I find it quite hard to slow him within the transitions as well! Oh well tonight's lesson will reveal a lot I am sure (3 years off riding and first lesson in that long too!)