Friday, May 23, 2014

The Great Bit Debate

Woah, hey, I'm still alive! My blogging in the past three months may tell you otherwise, but I am, in fact, still breathing and generally completing tasks necessary for life.

My pony and I have been up to a whole lot of awesome, including successful dressage shows, jumpingjumpingjumping, and my new job as a riding instructor over the summer, all which are highly blogworthy and exciting, and will get their own posts now that I'm blog-alive again, in due time.

However, today I turn back to the blogger world for some advice. It has come to my attention that my dragon horse excited jumper may benefit from a little change in bits. While she goes beautifully in a loose ring French link snaffle for dressage, when she gets excited, mostly when jumping, she likes to throw every pound of her weight on the bit and drag me all around the arena, with my ineffectual little arms and body aching.

Now, it is important for me to mention that I CAN get her back on her haunches and listening to me, it just takes a lot of time and schooling to get her there when she gets excited. We have definitely been making progress, but it would be helpful to have a stronger training aid that I could rely on to get her attention quicker. I am NOT a fan of relying on harsh bits to make up for training flaws, but I do think having a little "hey, listen" power can be beneficial to training.

So, the question is now which bit to use.

My friend and experienced jumper suggested a French link elevator, since it would be gentle like her current bit, but give me leverage when needed.
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Like so.
My trainer from home thought a gag might be better.
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Liking the rubber option so it is still gentle
The internet says a baucher would be best for my situation.

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Again, rubber/Happy Mouth for the sensitive mareface
Another option is a curb chain.


I've been pretty lucky thus far to have a mare that goes in a very simple bit, but this means I have very limited knowledge of bits. Before I commit to one, I will obviously try all the options (if I can find someone to borrow from), but I am just interested to hear what the blogosphere has to say before I make a first choice.

Need opinions, help please!

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