ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Emergency Brakes(really a discussion about bits now)

[endurance] Emergency Brakes(really a discussion about bits now)

ROBERT J MORRIS (bobmorris@rmci.net)
Thu, 11 Jul 96 21:42:18 -0500

-- [ From: ROBERT J MORRIS * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --

To All:
Someone wanted to know what I would do if I had a horse runaway??If that
happened I must have been asleep while riding!! So, say it did. Where I ride
I would just point him up hill and he would not get the chance to stop until
it was MY idea.

Really, this all started over the use of one rein stops with a snaffle or
curb. The basic premise works for either type of bit if the proper
preparation has taken place in the basic training. It is not the concept of
the one rein stop to force the horse's head around to make the stop but the
action of the weight shift and signal of sliding the hand down the rein. Go
back to basics in a halter and work on the one rein stop. Shortly you will
have a stop as soon as you slide the hand on the rein.

As for bits, I recommend all of you gat out your tack and saddle catalogues
and look at the bits section. Pelhams and Kimberwicks are curb bits. A Spade
Bit is not necessarily a curb bit though. I have very often seen them used
without a curb strap, but then only by an expert.

Someone asked about what I use for a bit. Really it is "bits" as I have a
number that see use, some more than others. I start out in a rope halter and
some times ride endurance rides with just that. I have several types of
snaffles, loose ring, dee, egg, french, and gag. Now every one will tell you
that a gag snaffle is cruel. My wife always rides endurance in a gag snaffle
as it offers the least in the way of a head stall and does not interfere
with eating or drinking (the horse I am talking about) and serves as a
halter with no pressure on the mouth when dismounted at vet stops. Realize,
my wife is not a consumate horse person, her hands are not the softest and
her seat looks like hell, but she has, in competition and training, ridden
in excess of 50,000 miles including 150 miles in less than 24 hours and
never hurt a horse with saddle or bridle. So is the gag the wrong bit???

I also use a true hackamore (bosal, macate and fiador) and have used a spade
on several horses in the past.

It is my sincere belief that the choice of bit to use is determined by the
custom of the discipline you are engaging in. You do not use a spade in
dressage nor do you use a snaffle in open western pleasure. These examples
do not consider the capabilities of the hores or rider but are "class"

If you are really interested in RIDING then you will find out the bit is not
a control but a signalling device. Just like on a ship the speed telegraph
from the bridge to the engine room did not control the ships speed but
signaled to the engineer what speed was wanted. So the rider uses the reins
and bit to signal the horse that something is to be done and the rider's
body completes the process by asking for a particular action. A horse
controlled by just the reins is not under control.

Any one out there want to argue???

What is good about all this is there is a breed of horse for every one, a
type of bit for every one and a training method for every one. aJust take
your pick and mix or match.

Bob Morris
Morris endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID