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Suggestions for a bit please

(17 Posts)
marialuisa Tue 06-Sep-11 11:48:35

DD and Dpony have come on brilliantly over the summer and DD is keen to take him hunting with Pony Club. Although he normally behaves very nicely XC etc. now I think we definitely need a stronger bit first time out just to be on the safe side.

DD normally rides him in a jointed metal wilkie with a cavesson noseband and running martingale. When Dpony has a mad 5 mins he chucks his head up to take off so I don't think a gag is the answer but rather something with a bit more poll action? An instructor has suggested a rubber pelham but DD's not happy about riding with 2 sets of reins and I'm not sure if putting roundings on so she's only got 1 set make it less effective? Dpony is still young and has a very soft mouth so I want to strike a balance between looking after him and giving DD the best chance to manage him. He doesn't open his mouth to evade the bit so don't think a grackle or flash is necessary.

Sorry-very long post but does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Abbicob Tue 06-Sep-11 12:47:43

How about leaving the bit and trying a martingale? Should stop pony from throwing his head around too much and it will also give her something extra to hang on out hunting.

I don't think a pelham is the right way to go - the roundings do make them less effective, however if your instructor has advised it maybe give it a go.

marialuisa Tue 06-Sep-11 13:16:07

He's already in a running martingale for any running and jumping. I was always told not to jump in a standing martingale but see a lot doing so,has the advice changed?

MitchiestInge Tue 06-Sep-11 13:16:38

do you mean a standing martingale abbicob? they already use a running one

is a bevel about the same as a wilkie? what about a Waterford?

MitchiestInge Tue 06-Sep-11 13:18:08

oh x posted

marialuisa Tue 06-Sep-11 14:00:18

Thanks Mitchy,had a read about Waterford snaffles and it sounds promising. Will get one from the bit bank and try it in a lesson, it sounds like they're good for sporadic use as we're not looking to make a permanent change.

AlpinePony Tue 06-Sep-11 14:06:21

Is it very fashionable these days to have children's ponies trussed up like Christmas turkeys? sad

Callisto Tue 06-Sep-11 14:22:54

If the pony has a soft mouth he shouldn't be too hard to pull up. I would be very loathe to put a stronger bit in - once you start down that route it is very difficult to back-track.

I would consider a correctly fitted standing martingale or a flash noseband, but tbh if the pony is going to be too much for your DD on the hunting field she shouldn't be hunting him.

ThePrisonerOfAzkaban Tue 06-Sep-11 14:49:53

I'd try a hanging cheek Waterford, the hanging cheek will give a bit of poll action and the Waterford will stop him taking hold of the bit

ThePrisonerOfAzkaban Tue 06-Sep-11 14:50:36

Or a kimbelwick if that doesn't work

Pixel Tue 06-Sep-11 15:17:12

I've just put dhorse in a pelham as he was getting strong and it's made a world of difference. It's lovely to be able to ride with light hands and not feel him tugging and leaning on me all the time. I've always been very anti-roundings and used two reins when I've used a pelham in the past, but the one I borrowed to try already had roundings so I kept them on and have been pleasantly surprised. I think I will keep them on now as dhorse is going well enough and seems happy, plus with his out of control abundant mane getting in the way all the time it is a lot easier! As a bonus I've found that dhorse isn't chucking his head up either. I had been considering a martingale before I tried the pelham but I don't feel we need it now.

The bit I borrowed was a rubber pelham but I found it was a bit too thick for dhorse's mouth. He is much happier in the metal one I've just got him so you might want to bear that in mind if your pony has a small mouth (There was also a happy mouth one in the shop that was narrower than the rubber one so that might be worth considering if you do decide on a pelham).

Otherwise, my old pony who was very strong ended up going quite well in a Dr Bristol. I felt it gave me a bit of an edge over a snaffle without going so far as a curb.

georgesmummy11 Tue 06-Sep-11 16:00:07

Have you had ponys teeth checked. When I had my pony she was in a kimberwick, drop noseband, and running martingale. If I out a bit I pressure on the moth he head would be straight up in the air tried all bits going.
When we got the dentist out we found out she had wolf teeth where her bit laid we had them removed and never had a problem I was eventually able to ride in a snaffle bit with no problems, still had martingale as when she got excited ( which happened alot she still chucked her head up) x

olderyetwider Tue 06-Sep-11 16:03:43

Gd used a pelham with roundings with old pony for added brakes out on hound exersize and will also use it on the hunt ride this thurs. Not trussed up like a turkey, just sensible to make certain they can stop. Lots of adults hunt in a stronger bit. Make sure she tries whatever you go for in the school in case he violently objects! I think it's less harmful to the mouth to have a stronger bit than for children to be pulling hard to stop if things get a bit hairy. I also insist that she has a hunting breastplate for something to hang onto in an emergency

Which hunt is she going out with marialuisa? I've just organised a babysitter for a saturday morning autumn hunting with the Quorn via our Pony Club

olderyetwider Tue 06-Sep-11 16:06:55

Definitely can't jump in a standing martingale, unless I'm very out of date

marialuisa Tue 06-Sep-11 18:33:31

Thanks for the helpful comments. Dpony is 5 and after a lot of hard work behaves beautifully and is no trouble in open fields, xc etc. But hunting is a different ball game and we have no idea how he's going to react. Dpony is not yet a "children's pony" to ride although we have high hopes he'll get there, he's a little superstar.

His teeth are fine (checked last month) and he does not regularly take off with DD, but I have seen too many horses and ponies "go a bit mental" unexpectedly not to want to be cautious first time out. He's not exactly strong but given his age can panic and whilst he now trusts DD (and she him) to get through it normally I'd rather they didn't lap the field to do so!

OYW-She's going with Meynell,as well as the babysitter there will be plenty of others watching out for them!

Callisto Tue 06-Sep-11 21:30:14

I would just get someone else to take him out the first few times. I think a young and inexperienced rider plus a young and inexperienced horse are a really bad combination on the hunting field, no matter who is looking out for them.

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Wed 07-Sep-11 01:07:58

As someone else already said, be very careful bitting up. One of DDs old ponies had been bitted up, for bring strong, it was too much, so she tried to evade it. They bitted her up again, more evasion, a stronger bit and on, and on, until the poor creature ended up in a 3 ring gag! We threw it away, and put her in a french link wilkie. She went perfectly, and DD could always stop her.
See if you can borrow as many bits as you can and have one, big try out session. DD can compare one against the other. But be gentle. It would be a shame to spoil a 5 year old. I also second having someone else taking the pony out first time, or maybe taking them on a lead. It would also be a shame to terrify your DD!

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