Why to NOT be on the bit?

madiz123

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Ok, as the title really, why would you not teach your horse to go on the bit?

I know that Polo Ponies are not trained to go on the bit, hence the weak ewe necks that many have. Western horse seem to work with a loose reign. But I wonder why would they not have the horses up on the bit? (BTW I know very little about being on the bit)

Any comments would be useful, thanks
 

Ezme

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Technically a well trained western horse is on the bit, just without a contact (well maybe appart from when they slop about at a jog) They are working over their backs with their hind legs engaged and very responsive to the leg, seat, rein and bit aids.

Polo ponies like any other horse will be exersized long and low from time to time but they're looking for straight line speed and agility and use their necks to balence on a tight turn, similar to how they would in the field. A pirruette (sp) in dressage your looking for a controlled slower turn so the neck is in a more "on the bit" position. their weight is further back and therefore aren't using their neck to balence as much.
 

Persephone

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If you watch most people riding around here they are not capable of getting their horse on the bit, but seem to think their riding is great.

They don't think they need lessons, so never find out what they are deficient in IMO. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

Haha controversial!
 

SO1

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I guess horses roaming around in the field do not naturally work in an outline and perhaps people riding who want to try and keeps things natural and don't compete may not need to have a horse that works into an outline.

It can be quite hard for a horse to work in an outline for long periods of time so if you were going on an endurance ride and doing 100k in day or something you probably are not going to have your horse on the bit the whole time.
 

bex1984

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Mine is not 'on the bit' because I am not a good enough rider to teach him to do it without it being a false outline...so I'd rather concentrate on getting him going forwards, tracking up etc (he is lazy!).

If I could afford lots of lessons then it would be the first thing I'd work on, but he's a fun pony, he doesn't need to be 'on the bit' really.
 

Persephone

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At least you are not in denial though!

FWIW I think you have made huge moves forwards with Murphy, he's just never going to be an easy ride is he!

I desperately need lessons at the moment after recently losing my Instructor (RIP Bob) I haven't managed to get anything set up yet though.
 

shadowboy

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Some horses with short necks who are thick through the gullet may not be 'on the bit' but are working correctly they just cant get that vertical agle through the head and their nose pokes out slightly but in all other respects they work well- one of the NF ponies on my yard is like this- he regularly wins his show classes because he carries himself well
 

bex1984

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[ QUOTE ]
At least you are not in denial though!

FWIW I think you have made huge moves forwards with Murphy, he's just never going to be an easy ride is he!



[/ QUOTE ]

Thank you...I was saying to someone the other day, he is the easiest ride in the world in the fact that you can put anyone on him and he'll look after them, won't take the pee with tiny kids etc etc...but if you're actually trying to get him to work properly he is not an easy ride and most people find it exhausting after 5 mins!
 

Persephone

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I swear he's got a good bit of Dales in him lol!

He sounds so much like my mare was. Safe as houses for a novice or child but try and get her to work and she would throw every evasion in the book at you!
 

pottamus

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My horse is not on the bit because he does not need to be - we hack out, trailer to places and have fun in the countryside..it does him no harm at all to not be on the bit in this situation.
 

bex1984

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[ QUOTE ]
I swear he's got a good bit of Dales in him lol!

He sounds so much like my mare was. Safe as houses for a novice or child but try and get her to work and she would throw every evasion in the book at you!

[/ QUOTE ]

lol, I'm told he's a Fell x Dales!!
grin.gif
he's so damn clever with his evasions too! Wouldn't have him any other way though
grin.gif
 

lauraandjack

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There is a big difference between a horse having its head with the nose vertical (being in an outline, if you like) and being 'on the bit.'

Being on the bit involves not just the head position but relaxation of the jaw, use of the back and engagement of the hindquarters with acceptance of the aids. Depending on the individual horse and it's conformation this may or may not include the nose being vertical.

There are plenty of horses in this country that work in an outline but have never been on the bit in their ridden lives! Certain training aids and methods basically teach a horse to carry his head in the 'right' position without actually using himself properly.
 

Persephone

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I swear he's got a good bit of Dales in him lol!

He sounds so much like my mare was. Safe as houses for a novice or child but try and get her to work and she would throw every evasion in the book at you!

[/ QUOTE ]

lol, I'm told he's a Fell x Dales!!
grin.gif
he's so damn clever with his evasions too! Wouldn't have him any other way though
grin.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

Mine was a pure Dales lol. She had such an attitude. I think they are a lovely breed.

Here is a pic of me threatening her during a line up lol. I miss that mare.

ade2e67f.jpg
 
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