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Re: [RC] [RC] energized horses/making them that way and then toning it down! - Barbara McCrary

I've been enjoying this discussion on bits and "race brain."  One horse that I still have, retired from endurance events, hated the snaffle when I bought him as a 5-year-old.  I borrowed a sidepull, tried him with that, and that's what he competed in and rides in for the rest of his life.  I tried a snaffle on my present horse, and HE hated it, too.  I ride him in a cheap short-shanked hackamore bit that I'm sure has little leverage, but he's happy with it.  I ride two-handed, as if it were a snaffle, but there's nothing in his mouth.  I stop him with a "cavalry stop" and that works well.  He's a little inclined to fail turning corners on tight switchbacks, so I have to steer him around those and use leg pressure, but he's improving all the time.  He's great on opening and closing gates now.  Direct rein, as one would use with a snaffle, really does teach them a lot, but he just hated the mouthpiece.  I always blamed myself for being inept and heavy-handed.  Whatever, we're doing just fine with the $19 hackamore bit, two-handed, direct rein and all.  I'm a great believer in using whatever works.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] [RC] energized horses/making them that way and then toning it down!

I've found that some of my Arabs have small mouths that respond badly to the joint itself in the snaffle. When pressure is brought on the reins, that joint hits the roof of the mouth and I have a horse raising its head to avoid the bit. When I give them a straight bit like a kimberwicke, the pressure on the reins gets a very different reaction. But it's hard to say who is going to hate the snaffle. My 21 yr old mare gave me the rides from hell (and sometimes back) under the slightest provocation with snaffle, both jointed and French link. First ride with the kimberwicke was a totally new mare. Her first son is happy in his D-ring snaffle, but her second reacted like her.



Re: [RC] [RC] energized horses/making them that way and then toning it down!, Maryanne Gabbani