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Re: Any English riders out there?
The full cheek snaffles work really well. Their advantage is in turning the
horse. The full cheek helps turn the horses head. I have found that Arabs do ok
in 5" and sometimes better in 4-3/4" if they have a small head. A french link
(broken in 3 pieces) is a nice bit for horses that tend to throw their heads up
& protest a regular snaffle sometimes. A regular 2 part snaffle breaks
in the middle of the roof of mouth & it hurts some horses whereas the french
link is broken in 3 pieces and is putting more pressure on sides of mouth.
Generally, the thinner the snaffle the harsher the bit. The eggbutt
snaffles are on the gentler end. The slow twist snaffle is just a bit more
aggressive for the horse that has outgrown the plain snaffle. Dee rings are
similar to full cheek snaffles with their sides aiding in turning but are a
little softer than full cheeks. Nervous horses do well with copper bits
and snaffles that have rollers in them.
The twisted wire snaffles are much harsher and to be used by someone with
"kind" hands. I saw one the other day in a tack store that was as thin as a
telephone cord---it frightened me!
xMy horse is not too fond of any bit so I use the S Hackamore which we both
really love. I still use my full cheek snaffle when doing ring work
(bending/flexing/cavelleti, etc.) but my horse gives me evil looks when he sees
it coming. Once your horse has learned to flex, as mine has, you might want to
try someones S Hackamore & you'll be surprised at how much he will flex in
it and love the freedom from the bit.
If you buy a bit that does not work for your horse, hold onto it or do as I
do--sell it on ebay and get back most of your money to buy other stuff on ebay!!
(I'm an addict)
Remember, when your horse spooks on the trail, there is not much you can
put on his face to make him stand still for very long. I find that making him
turn around immediately and look at the spooky thing helps--along with training
him to lower his head so he relaxes. I do alot of ring work with leg yields,
bending, starts and stops, etc. that have really paid off on the trail.
Coming from an intense Hunter/Jumper background, loving this endurance
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2001 12:04
Subject: RC: Any English riders out
Since I started riding many, many
years ago, I had always ridden western. Everyone I knew rode western. I got
started into endurance and soon realized how uncomfortable and confining a
western saddle can be. So I got a couple of aussie saddles, but got the stock
type. I could not give up the horn, until I got jabbed in the gut and caught
up in it too many times. Then I tried an Big Horn endurance saddle, loved it,
but found it too wide for some of the finer arabs I was starting to ride. So I
broke down and finally bought an english saddle and a snaffle bit. I'm finding
out I really like the english way of riding. I like the closer contact to the
horse. And riding collected seems to work much better for endurance riding. I
feel more like a team instead of a passenger on my horse as we negotiate the
The problem with english is my total lack of
knowledge. The English saddle that I have is a all purpose saddle, not a name
brand, not a very expensive saddle, but seems to fit my horse pretty
good. I am looking at an EquiFleece saddle pad by Roma in the Millers
catalog. The problem with my english pad is that is will not stay
underneath my saddle. This pad has pockets that the saddle slides into so it
will not slip around. I though that was a neat idea, But the pad is fleece.
What is the difference between fleece and wool? They also have one with a
fleece top and a cotton lining. Would these pads work in endurance riding?
Also what do you do with the buckle on the stirrups to keep in from bothering
you or the horse? What are the best snaffles for a light mouthed
responsive horse who needs more control when he is frightened or
excited. What size works best for Arabs? Do they normally have smaller mouths?
I don't want to be bumping the roof of the mouth all the time. How effective
is the full cheek snaffle? Is it a must for the kind of riding we do, in order
to keep the bit in the mouth? I know that this is probably some very basic
questions, but I really do not know anything. Also what kind of cinch
should I be looking at. The cinch that came with the saddle seems to stretch
out when I ride. It is a rope cotton cinch.
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