Need advice on best bit or noseband to try.

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
My boy Samuel has a lovely light mouth and I ride him in a french link happy mouth snaffle for show jumping and a NS Verbindend (sp) for dressage (he takes the contact quite nicely in this)

However, he can get quite strong Cross Country. That in itself isn't the issue though. The problem I have is trying to keep his head up when he does take off. He tends to bear down on to his forehand and if I can't get him to raise his head clonks the jumps with his knees which then makes me worry that he might pitch right over from the impact.

Anything with a curb won't help as that will have a lowering action which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I need something stronger than a snaffle but not keen on the idea of something severe like a Dr Bristol.

I have tried a french link two ring gag which does help to a certain degree.

I tend to stick to a cavesson noseband, sometimes with a flash as he does open his mouth and has been known to get his tongue over the bit.

Any suggestions ?
 

nato

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 February 2015
Messages
959
Visit site
For a horse that bears down I'd usually put them in a three ring with the roundings, and a grackle. I've found good results from this.

It however has been a long time since I've ridden a horse that does this, and I know the world has moved on with much more choice in terms of bit/noseband setup, so maybe others can advise :)
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
For a horse that bears down I'd usually put them in a three ring with the roundings, and a grackle. I've found good results from this.

It however has been a long time since I've ridden a horse that does this, and I know the world has moved on with much more choice in terms of bit/noseband setup, so maybe others can advise :)

I was wondering if a grackle might be the way to go. I also have a three ring and some roundings I can borrow. Thank you, I might see how he goes in it tomorrow when I take him out for a hack. We have some XC jumps at home :)
 

magicsmum

Active Member
Joined
29 July 2006
Messages
46
Visit site
My daughter has had similar problems with her thoroughbred. A grackle withher usual baucher snaffle with copper mouthpiece helped but still wasn't enough while jumping in open field, she tried her in a three ring gag but found this was too much for her. Has now changed to a universal bit with the grackle, isn't quite as sharp as the gag and found this combination is brilliant!
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
I tried the grakle today but didn't change the bit as I didn't want to throw everything at him at once. Went out hacking with a friend and we had a few fast canters and jumped some of the XC jumps. The difference was incredible and I didn't even have the grakle overly tight. I was able to keep his head up so I could control the pace of the canters without having to fight being pulled forward out of the saddle. My friend commented that I had much more control.

Thanks for the brilliant advice and I still have the three ring in reserve if I ever need any additional brakes :)
 

sjdress

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 March 2010
Messages
534
Visit site
How about a NS elevator bit? Its supposed to get them back on their hocks. Ive tried it on my horse who is very soft in the mouth but when gets strong her head goes down - it worked well.
 

Horsemad12

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 May 2008
Messages
1,288
Visit site
I have recently tried a d-ring copper roller. I looked at my instructor like she was made when she suggested it but so far it has been really very good. I use it with a flash but would equally work with the grackle.
 

Hoof_Prints

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 October 2012
Messages
2,261
Visit site
Glad you found the grackle helped! Just commenting as I thought the 3 and 4 ring gags applied poll pressure similar to a Pelham without the curb, although they can be used with a curb, making them leverage bits and therefore lowering the head. A Single joint bit would raise the head if the horse accepted it due to the nutcracker action, or a Cheltenham gag is a true gag to raise the head. Just worth mentioning if you find you struggle! A Waterford could stop the pulling and leaning, I use one on my runaway-train-strong gelding!
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
Glad you found the grackle helped! Just commenting as I thought the 3 and 4 ring gags applied poll pressure similar to a Pelham without the curb, although they can be used with a curb, making them leverage bits and therefore lowering the head. A Single joint bit would raise the head if the horse accepted it due to the nutcracker action, or a Cheltenham gag is a true gag to raise the head. Just worth mentioning if you find you struggle! A Waterford could stop the pulling and leaning, I use one on my runaway-train-strong gelding!


That's what I always though re: the 2/3 ring gags. In fact I used one regularly on my little Arab X to help me get her head down (Arabs eh LOL) However, it transpires that it actually is supposed to have an elevating action. I had no idea of this previously until I saw several articles regarding bits. Logically I totally agree with you that anything with a 'lever' type action should encourage a horse to lower rather than raise.

Useful to know about the Cheltenham gag is I've had no personal experience with those myself and I can keep it in my arsenal of reserves.
 

smja

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 October 2013
Messages
1,310
Visit site
That's what I always though re: the 2/3 ring gags. In fact I used one regularly on my little Arab X to help me get her head down (Arabs eh LOL) However, it transpires that it actually is supposed to have an elevating action. I had no idea of this previously until I saw several articles regarding bits. Logically I totally agree with you that anything with a 'lever' type action should encourage a horse to lower rather than raise.

Useful to know about the Cheltenham gag is I've had no personal experience with those myself and I can keep it in my arsenal of reserves.

Nope, the 2/3 ring Dutch style gags act on the poll to lower the head. Cheltenham style gags act on the lips to raise the head :)
Personally, I'd try a Cheltenham with two sets of reins for one that bears down. I have also used a Dr Bristol on a big hunter with success - it's not the bit but the rider's hands that make it harsh.
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
Nope, the 2/3 ring Dutch style gags act on the poll to lower the head. Cheltenham style gags act on the lips to raise the head :)
Personally, I'd try a Cheltenham with two sets of reins for one that bears down. I have also used a Dr Bristol on a big hunter with success - it's not the bit but the rider's hands that make it harsh.


Makes me wonder if the people writing about these gags got the two confused :)

I'll bear all of your advice in mind. Luckily, for the time being at least, the grackle seems to be helping. The acid test will be when I do the West Wycombe ride on Sat. Sam gets hyper exited at sponsored rides (he's so much fun LOL) but he did start yawping and barging at Halton and the two people I'm doing this ride with aren't as tough and confident as the two I did Haltom with so letting Sam be in a position to yawp off like a little Irish thug probably wouldn't be the most sympathetic behaviour I could show them ;)
 

Tnavas

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 October 2005
Messages
8,480
Location
New Zealand but from UK
Visit site
Glad you found the grackle helped! Just commenting as I thought the 3 and 4 ring gags applied poll pressure similar to a Pelham without the curb, although they can be used with a curb, making them leverage bits and therefore lowering the head. A Single joint bit would raise the head if the horse accepted it due to the nutcracker action, or a Cheltenham gag is a true gag to raise the head. Just worth mentioning if you find you struggle! A Waterford could stop the pulling and leaning, I use one on my runaway-train-strong gelding!

That's what I always though re: the 2/3 ring gags. In fact I used one regularly on my little Arab X to help me get her head down (Arabs eh LOL) However, it transpires that it actually is supposed to have an elevating action. I had no idea of this previously until I saw several articles regarding bits. Logically I totally agree with you that anything with a 'lever' type action should encourage a horse to lower rather than raise.

Useful to know about the Cheltenham gag is I've had no personal experience with those myself and I can keep it in my arsenal of reserves.

The 3 ring gags work differently to the pelham in that the mouthpiece moves around the ring and upwards in the mouth - elevating the head, as the horse raises its head the upward pressure reduces - the poll pressure would only happen if the bit was stopped by the back teeth.

The pelham creates poll pressure because the mouthpiece is held firmly to the lower jaw by the curb chain, because it cannot move up the tilt of the cheeks creates the poll pressure.

3 ring gags - elevate, Pelhams drop the head.
 

sportsmansB

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
1,377
Visit site
My mare has been super complicated - runs with head down
Cheltenham gag & grackle is working for us (so far!)
She is a real smart ass tho & I don't think it will work forever so I am going to keep the other suggestions on here for MY reserve 😄
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
I used the two ring gag on the lower ring and the grackle at the West Wycombe Ride on Saturday and there was a huge difference. Although Sam was still his usual bouncy, excited self he couldn't yawp on to his forehand and run through the bridle like he was doing at Halton. Also I found I could keep his head up better going in to the jumps so as a result got much better jumping out of him.
 

Tnavas

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 October 2005
Messages
8,480
Location
New Zealand but from UK
Visit site
I used the two ring gag on the lower ring and the grackle at the West Wycombe Ride on Saturday and there was a huge difference. Although Sam was still his usual bouncy, excited self he couldn't yawp on to his forehand and run through the bridle like he was doing at Halton. Also I found I could keep his head up better going in to the jumps so as a result got much better jumping out of him.

Good to know the West Wycombe Ride is still going, went on that many decades ago -is the Windsor Sponsored
Ride still going strong?

Great the bit/noseband combination worked well, make for a far more enjoyable outing
 

Deltaflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 September 2014
Messages
776
Visit site
Good to know the West Wycombe Ride is still going, went on that many decades ago -is the Windsor Sponsored
Ride still going strong?

Great the bit/noseband combination worked well, make for a far more enjoyable outing

Yes, Windsor is too planning on doing that one this year. Also South Oxfordshire still going strong as well.

Last year was the first year I did Halton and West Wycombe since about 1994 !! Lots of very fond memories of both those rides.
 

Tnavas

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 October 2005
Messages
8,480
Location
New Zealand but from UK
Visit site
Yes, Windsor is too planning on doing that one this year. Also South Oxfordshire still going strong as well.

Last year was the first year I did Halton and West Wycombe since about 1994 !! Lots of very fond memories of both those rides.

I really loved the Windsor Sponsored ride - awesome cross country fences to jump as well as riding on that glorious landscape. Still have my rosettes and certificates. - all dating back to the mid 70's
 
Top