View Full Version : Bit question ?

21-01-08, 01:40 PM
Hi guys,
My daughter had a riding lesson earlier in the week and her instructor was helping her to get her horse going softer on the bit. The secret is to keep him working the bit and he's nice and soft, but when he's not, he gets hard and won't listen. he's currently ridden in an eggbutt snaffle.

Was thinking that I might try a copper bit on him or a sweet iron. Has anyone used them or using them and what do you think of them? And what about the ones with the copper rollers on them? Any info appreciated.


21-01-08, 02:57 PM
"The secret is to keep him working the bit and he's nice and soft, but when he's not, he gets hard and won't listen"

21-01-08, 03:41 PM
I've used a french snaffle - sweet iron in the past which worked well. You don't want to give him a bit that he ends up focussing on too much - if he is flat out chomping away at it, his attention might not be on the job at hand? Bit hard to comment /help that much without seeing him ridden and getting an idea of what he is doing.. Best of luck though!

Suzie Q
22-01-08, 12:44 AM
As long as she is not see-sawing then I presume you are talking about a communication down the reins that is only between horse and rider. Video your daughter and watch them together. If her hands are 'moving back' then you should be seeing red flags and start worrying.

I use stainless steel bits and I have never had a problem with them. If the horse is working correctly you will get ice cream, if they are not you will have a dry mouth.

22-01-08, 12:59 AM
The trick to riding "on the bit" is not the bit - it is the rider's legs! Make sure the horse is going forward from leg to hand before you start stuffing around with what is in his mouth. I have ridden many horses for kids that apparaently needed "retraining" - none of them did, all it took was getting them forward and active from behind and they went beautifully.

A Vertue
22-01-08, 01:21 AM
Hi cocomist,

I have tried many bits including french snaffle with copper link, dee bit with copper rollers and rubber bits. I am now of the opinion that they don't make any significant difference. You might find a bit with copper rollers helpful if the horse grabs the bit and the rollers also create more "play". A french snaffle is softer than an egbutt because it has no nutcracker action so that might help if he is opposing mouth pressure. I use ground work alot with my horsees now, getting them to yeild to pressure on the ground - backwards, forwards, hindquarters, shoulders - and have found a massive increase in obedience in the saddle. Also, teaching the horse to relax and go down and round will help - done with the legs not the hands.

22-01-08, 01:57 AM
I used to LOVE buying bits. I've got a huge collection in the shed. Now all the horses go in KK style training bits, the ones with the "olive" shaped central link that sits on the tongue and loose rings. You can get a Dublin imitation pretty cheaply, while the real KK bits are rather expensive. I've had 2 horses that preferred the sweet iron (both big, heavy, leaning sorts of horses.), all the rest go in stainless steel.

22-01-08, 02:08 AM
I'm a huge fan of KK Training bits too, much kinder and softer than a single jointed bit. Worth a try. Is your daughter's seat well under her body? Seat is the basis of position, and from that stems everything else. Just a thought. Regards!

Bad Bones
22-01-08, 02:16 AM
HI cocmist,
have pm'd you.

22-01-08, 02:18 AM
Hi thanks guys

Daughter in question is 15yo and has a very good position. Hands are a little messy at times, but only when he gets heavy on the bit.
He has good impulsion and is starting to round out nicely, all coming from the back end like it should.

When he is not playing with the bit he stiffens in the neck and poll, and he looks anything but happy.

There is a completely different look when he's playing the bit. He's ears are floppy, tail up, the whole frame is soft and round.

I just thought another bit might help keep him a little softer and focused more.

Of course he could just need more work??!!! LOL!!!