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Grackle / full cheek snaffle on a novice ride?

9 replies

AllInMyMind19 · 01/01/2020 19:47

Sorry, another one from me here - in process of viewing potential ponios to buy and it's useful to get thoughts. Seen one I like the look of...but it's described as schoolmaster yet ridden in grackle / full cheek snaffle. Which from my younger and more experienced years was not a combo I'd have thought goes with a schoolmaster type - more something strong and fizzy that evades the bit. Any thoughts? It's quite far away...

OP posts:
PrayingandHoping · 01/01/2020 19:55

Full cheek snaffle is a v mild bit often used on green horses. However some older horses like them as they are v still in the mouth.

Grackles are meant to be for horses that cross their jaw to evade the contact. However they are REALLY in fashion over the past few years

I wouldn't discount on those alone. I would watch a video and make an assessment on its way of going

(I'm a qualified instructor btw. Helping people buy horses is something I do constantly lol)

PrayingandHoping · 01/01/2020 19:57

Schoolmaster does not always mean novice ride by the way. It just means it knows it's job at whatever level it's competed at

AllInMyMind19 · 01/01/2020 21:10

Thanks @Praying he is described as having a very soft mouth so that would make sense and is ok for me as I'd say I have soft hands. He does look like he flings his head a lot though from the various videos.

OP posts:
PrayingandHoping · 01/01/2020 21:21

Hmmm head flinging would put me off as can be sign of issues (and I'm an advocate of never knowingly buy an issue)

Could be the combination with this horse is because there is contact issues.... maybe not. Difficult to say without seeing the videos.

Booboostwo · 02/01/2020 08:15

I think there are a few things to clarify but the grackle isn't one of them.

A horse suitable for a novice is quite different from a schoolmaster. If a horse was described as suitable for a novice I would expect it to have a very settled and tolerant character, to be safe with most things you can come across on a hack and more of a kick along than a sit up and half-halt type of ride. I also would not expect a horse for a novice to have any ability for competing.

A schoolmaster on the other hand would be a schoolmaster in something, e.g. a particular discipline at a particular level or at the very least a schoolmaster first competition horse.

Flinging his head would be a deal breaker for me. It indicates discomfort, so potential vet bills, and even if there is no clear physical issue and you only want to hack, it can become really annoying really quickly.

RatherBeRiding · 02/01/2020 16:54

The head throwing would be a big red flag for me - there's something going on there and some owners try to "solve" issues by sticking on extra tack. Grackles have their place and I really like them when needed as I have found with my 2 strong jumping ponies that they give extra control without the need to whack in a more severe bit.

But the number of incorrectly fitted grackles (and flash) nose-bands I have seen makes me despair sometimes.

The head flinging might be a response to badly fitted tack, or it could be a vet/physio bill just waiting to happen.

FanFckingTastic · 03/01/2020 11:41

A grackle wouldn't put me off at all. Some ponies go better in them (mine goes much better in it for jumping and now that it's considered dressage legal we will probably use it a little more for flatwork too, if appropriate) I would be more concerned about the head-tossing though. Good luck with the search!

louderthan1 · 06/01/2020 20:23

My new forest share was in a grackle when I first started riding her, we have now switched to a cavesson with no real issues. She's in a plain snaffle bit.

Biddie191 · 03/02/2020 14:20

My daughter's mare used to be very fidgety with her mouth and head, she was in a flash noseband. When we took that off, the evasion and fidgeting stopped. She didn't like to be restricted. She's ridden in a full cheek snaffle with a lozenge - she is happy in it. I could put her in something without the cheeks, but I don't feel the need to change her. SO what I'm saying is the head shaking may, as previously mentioned, be down to not liking the tack - either noseband or bit. However, it could be down to issues with teeth, back, or other pain, so unless you can be sure, it may be worth passing this one up.

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