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What bit should I use?

(23 Posts)
elephantpoo Tue 28-Dec-10 19:52:37

I'm in need of some advice!
My DD's little Dartmoor has been "borrowing" all sorts of tack since we got him (in August blush) and the time has come to get our own. He was ridden in a rubber, small / loose ring, straight bar snaffle - which he went very well in, though a little strong at times. We then put him in standard loose ring jointed snaffle, and it just seems a little much for's also quite "chunky". Are there any suggestions re. what bits work for you?
Also, I'm just breaking my welsh x. He had a bit in his mouth for the first time today (and really behaved himself smile). Again, we used a borrowed bit. Can anybody suggest a nice bit for him to start out with?
I'm sure there weren't this many bits on the market when I first started riding!

elephantpoo Tue 28-Dec-10 20:31:11

There must be somebody out there who's passionate about bits grin

LisaD1 Tue 28-Dec-10 20:35:25

I ride all mine in French Link Snaffle's and anytime I get a new horse I put them straight in one, DD's pony arrived in a 3 ring gag and was put straight into the snaffle and has been a dream, mine was in a pelham when she arrived and again this was immediately swapped for the snaffle.

For my youngster I put him in a happy mouth bit with keys on it for him to play with to start with (can't remember what it's called as it was a few years ago now) we then swapped to a snaffle after a few months.

shufflebum Tue 28-Dec-10 20:39:26

If the straight bar suited the Dartmoor I would go with that. Some horses dislike straight bars because the areas of pressure it creates in the mouth but they are good for ponies with little mouths, similarly others dislike the nutcracker effect of a jointed bit as it can pinch the tongue. This is overcome by the use of a bit with a double joint such as one with a link or lozenge in the middle.
Our local tack shop has a bit bank and lets you loan out various bits so you can try them out. Sometimes it's necessary to have different bits for different activities if the pony gets a bit strong when jumping or out on a hack.
With your youngster I would stick with a very simple rubber snaffle, straight bar. Again once you start riding him it will be trial and error as to what kind of mouthpiece he prefers. Have you got someone helping you to back him?

elephantpoo Tue 28-Dec-10 21:50:54

LisaD1-have looked at french links for DD's dartmoor......may well be the way to go.
Did you start riding your youngster out in the mouthing bit?
shufflebum- the straight bar did suit him, but when I rode him out (and he was a little more spirited!) he was tending to be a little strong. Didn't want him to be too strong for DD, hence change. Again, think the french link may be the in-between I'm looking for. What a great idea the bit bank is!!
Luckily the yard where I keep mine have a varying supply of bits, so trial and error isn't too costly! I do have help backing him (yard owner) and have backed ponies in the past under direction. Though I'm very happy to take any advice onboard.......PLEASE!!
Thank you both x

shufflebum Tue 28-Dec-10 22:13:01

Just keep trying till you find what works then! Try a linked bit but you may find the Darty's mouth a bit small, it really is trial and error, sometimes it's the shape of the mouth piece that's wrong, material of mouth piece or the rings.
Happy mouth is a good starting point for your youngster just check it regularly as if he mouths quite hard on it they can develop sharp bits very quickly (I speak from experience!)

LisaD1 Tue 28-Dec-10 22:15:54

Yep, I did ride hime out in it to start with.

elephantpoo Tue 28-Dec-10 22:29:32

Sounds really silly as I've done this (backing youngsters) before, but I'm really scared about every aspect of backing my welsh x because he's mine!! I know that whatever I do will be with hin forever!
Will try a happy mouth french link on Dartmoor.
I used a rubber, loose ring, straight bar snaffle for welsh x today, but I'm really concerned now that it wasn't ideal sad
Don't want to do him any wrong.

shufflebum Wed 29-Dec-10 07:50:59

That will have been fine, don't worry. It's just something to get him used to the feeling of having something in his mouth. Did he try to get his tongue over?

elephantpoo Wed 29-Dec-10 08:11:52

No. He fiddled for a bit (about 10 mins) and then just accepted it.
Just a lttle concerned because there wasn't loads of moisture around his mouth. There was a bit (especially over the bit) but not as much as some ponies I've seen.

AlpinePony Wed 29-Dec-10 18:11:55

I don't think a rubber mouth is ideal at all for the welsh (or any horse actually) - because it's very "dry" in the mouth. For this youngster you want him to "play" with the bit a lot, salivate and get used to it. For this, a metal bit is best - someone mentioned one with keys - ideal - but this is for mouthing only, not riding!

olderyetwider Wed 29-Dec-10 20:29:23

I'd totally agree with the french link snaffle, and for our pony who was resistant to working on the bit a hanging cheek french link totally sorted him!

drdoolittle1000 Wed 29-Dec-10 21:12:16

Yes french link happy mouth or naith ruber straight bar ( This is a bendier version of the straight bar which makes it a little softer. But keep on trying youll know when he likes one.
Have his teeth been done? Should have them checked every six months.
Hope this helps.

shufflebum Wed 29-Dec-10 21:28:07

Nathe that was what I wanted to say, rather than Happy Mouth
Alpine, I agree to a certain extent about the metal but I tend to use these after the first few times of bitting in case you accidentally bang the bit on the teeth, some don't like the coldness of the metal to begin with and a Nathe is more pliable. After that I would tend to move over to a metal bit ideally a neue schule or similar which encourages salivation and allows the mouth to function correctly.

OP salivation is linked to lots of things so don't worry too much.

elephantpoo Wed 29-Dec-10 22:41:20

Thank you so much everybody x
Backing my own pony has been my dream since I was a teenager, and now I've finally got him I don't want anything to go wrong........putting a lot of pressure on myself, with worry mainly!
drdoolittle1000 - both ponies are due for a dentist visit........I'm going to get them both done before my youngster starts doing much more.
AlpinePony - I didn't think mouthing bits were for riding in, just the initial mouthing. That's why I questioned a previous poster. Thanks for clarifying that
olderyetwider - I'm almost certainly going for the french link. Sounds like the best option for DD's Dartmoor.
shufflebum - the main reason I went for the rubber bit was precisely what you said.... because I didn't want to accidentally knock his teeth with a metal one. Will definitely move onto a metal one once he's had a few encounters with the rubber one.
Thanks again x

Santassnowyoldclothcatpuss Wed 29-Dec-10 23:48:47

I'd probably get hold of a small selection of mild bits and have a testing session. Try them all and see which one seems best. Have done this once or twice and it works for me quite well.

AlpinePony Thu 30-Dec-10 07:24:09

Sorry to hijack - but shufflebum - I'm very interested about the neue schule bits and I've not yet tried one - can you give us your low down please?

shufflebum Thu 30-Dec-10 18:16:26

I very much like them, they are a nickel free copper alloy that fussy horses seem to like as it has a sweet taste that encourages salivation. IME they seem to work best with sensitive, fussy horses and they encourage them to take a contact. The bit is also at an angle to work with the mouth conformation.

There are lots to choose from but if you call Heather at the bit bank she will advise you. The number is on the Neue Shule site.
I like the starter bit for babies then the Verbindend as they get more established.
Unfortunately as with all things horsey they aren't cheap but they do come up on ebay.
Sorry for the essay, as you were!

Eve Thu 30-Dec-10 21:15:37

Just put my 5 yr old into neue schue. He used to be a straight bar rubber which he liked, but for schooling where he's learning to engage more that wasn't great.

He hated a snaffle, would fight it a lot & not let me put it in. Hes going well in the new one, and I got I from the bit bank.

Loshad Sat 01-Jan-11 17:49:10

i managed to get a cheap version of a ns frnech link for my mare who is a typical fussy TB and she is very settled in the mouth now, such a success i could even be tempted to splash out on the real thing if i needed to.

Merlotmonster Fri 07-Jan-11 22:50:37

Myler bits are really good-

JRsandCoffee Tue 11-Jan-11 18:51:17

Myler are cracking bits, well made, lots of options and very nice in the mouth.

I'd be wary of NS these days, I've had what we'll call a "quality" problem and they have not been good about it, not been anything in reality, total failure to respond and I thought it was quite a serious issue myself!

JRsandCoffee Tue 11-Jan-11 19:10:52

I just re-read, forget I spoke, I'm probably just chuntering and annoyed with NS, I did used to recommend them without reservation and loved the bit in question very much!

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