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[RC] Bitting question - Thanks TOO! - Jonni

Mary posted:
I am curious though, because the responses came back to TRAINING; does
ANYONE use anything BUT a snaffle bit on the competitive/endurance/LD rides?

You will see every kind of bit/ bitless and bridle set up imaginable at
rides. Some riders understand the reason and purpose of what headgear they
have on their horse, while others do not. A snaffle can be one of the most
harsh bits on a horse, if not used properly, or in the wrong set of hands.
One common mistake I see, is that some riders feel they are doing their
horse "right" and being "kind" by riding in a snaffle, but they have a
pretty much run away horse the whole ride, that they are tugging and pulling
on for 25 or 50 miles. How kind is that?  Besides training issues, yes, a
bit change is often in order. A horse in a bit that offers more control for
THAT horse, where the rider does not have to tug and pull on its mouth all
day would probably be more kind than one the horse is running through. Some
riders can ride in a rope halter, and have control over the horse, while
others get out on the trail and find that while the horse was great in the
arena at home, now on the trail with a bunch of other horses, they have no
control what so ever, and have become a hazard to themselves, and those
around them. You need to find what works for you and your horse, in trail
riding situations. If a riders hands are rough, any bit can cause problems.
Often you can borrow bits from friends to try, before you buy something.
Don't be sold in to any one type of bridle by any trainer. There is NO one
single type of bit (or bitless) which is right for all horse and rider
combos. And again, don't think you are being kind to your horse by using any
certain device. Any bit that is kind while just hanging in the mouth
(meaning well fitting etc.) can be kind on the trail if used correctly, and
is correct for THAT horse.

Ask around at your barn to try some different bits. Look for maybe a mullen
mouthpiece (also called Sweetwater by some western riders), low ports, maybe
some Mylar bits, and see if you find one that works for you and the horse.
But ask and try to understand the function of each bit, and how it works,
where the pressure is applied etc. Become educated on bits and bridles as
much as you can, to choose the right one for YOU.



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