bits

toomanyhorses26

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25 October 2007
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I have ridden my tbin a loose ring ,french link middle weight since I had him and he goes ok in it . He isn't strong/pulls but does have a tendency to lean on my left contact and can get a little upset(ie throws his head up ,tosses) when being taught new things - back,saddle ,teeth all ok and up to date. Before I went on hols he was being a little arguementative when I was asking for a contact although he would settle by the end of a lesson it would just take me longer to get there than I wanted. I have ridden him in a thinner,french link,wilkie snaffle for the past 5 days and itis like riding a different animal - off his fore hand,consistent in his outline and no leaning
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but obv not dressage legal so is there any equivalent that it - he isn't good in fixed cheek ie eggbutt and hates single joints. Also this bit is normally seen on small ponies so would I be laughed out the showing ring if I used it.
 

Bexaco

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25 May 2007
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I would try him in the single jointed to see how he reacts. other than that I don’t recall seeing any other Willkie styles (although surely they must be out there somewhere!).

I would be tempted to try him in something like this….

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I don’t find it as severe as the Willkie and use the jointed version when my mare behaves although I may now give this version a try!

Its all trial and error with bits, so raid your friends tack rooms and try a selection.

as for getting laughed at, if that is what you can ride your horse sympathetically in without either of you being made uncomfortable then that’s what you use! to many people choose the fashionable bit rather than the functional one.

As for the leaning on your hands, its impossible to say if it is a problem with the bit without witnessing him do it. but I have found in the most cases that leaning generally means the horse is on its forehand and the best way to rectify it is to get the horse more forward.
 

hellybelly6

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24 June 2008
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My horse leans a lot and I find half halts and transitions help along with a bit of extra schooling.

A hanging cheek snaffle will 'hang' in the mouth a bit more than a snaffle and is dressage legal. If you can, use a french link or lozenge bit instead of single jointed. TBs have narrow jaws, thinly covered bars and low palates which means a single jointed bit will be uncomfortable putting extra pressure on all these areas causing pain.

My leaner goes best in a gag bit, but we do not do dressage.
 
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