Bits and spurs

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khall
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Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:42 pm

I’m interested in what others are using bit and spurs wise. I know a few of you have dealt with fussy in the mouth and have found bits that work for your sensitive horses. Joplin can be fussy with the bridle so I’m looking into what might help with her. We’ve also put Juliet in a double to help with her training and making her safer since her go to is to bolt. The double I have had a fairly short shank and thicker curb and she will lean on it. So I borrowed a set of thinner double set and she was much lighter and more through yet I think the single joint thin bradoon bothered her a bit. Going to play around see if I can find a combination that works best. Her go to is get heavy. She felt awesome yesterday where I could easily move from collected trot to medium trot sitting and she kept her balance well. I’m also looking into the roweled spurs for her. She’s a bit dull to lateral aids. I use 1 1/2 blunt end with Rip and Gaila no issues but they did not work too well with Juliet aka big Bertha

Just curious as to what everyone else uses.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:04 pm

Interesting post!

RP is very sensitive in the mouth and it took a lot of trail and error to find the right bit. I ended up with a 3 piece baucher. I'd never used one before and had the misconception that they are stronger bits used for leverage. But after doing my research I found that they actually relieve poll pressure and so can be very gentle and steady. He's been very happy in it.

I've been thinking a lot about MM's double bits and whether I need something different. I currently have a medium port with sliding shanks that are quite long. MM has a tendency to get heavy in the double even when I'm not holding the curb rein. So I'm not sure the bit is the right situation for her as she never gets heavy in the snaffle.

Only MM goes with spurs. I use a similar same spur you do currently. But have two versions of it, one with a rounded end and one with a flat end. I find the latter is better for MM. I do also have smooth rowels that I use occasionally.

I used to have those soft touch roller ball spurs, which I like the idea of, but didn't work great for MM

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:36 pm

simple double jointed loose ring- 20mm
no spurs

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:04 pm

Blob that is interesting about the baucher. I’ve used one in the past but really on a horse that was fairly easy in the bridle. It was a single joint though which was all we could get way back then.

It’s also interesting that MM gets heavy in the double and not the snaffle. Juliet gets heavy in either but she is half Percheron and bred to push into her chest. with the training though she has really changed her posture. What I liked about the double I rode her in yesterday was that I could ride her with a bit longer neck and in front of the vertical. She has all the forward power you want but to move her laterally is not easy and the higher gaits it is more of an issue. Long as a bus and just heavy footed. Why I’m looking at the rowel spurs.

Rye I’m a fan of double jointed bits too. Loose ring or fixed depending on the horse. I did not ride for years with spurs I do now they make my life way easier with my WBs and Juliet. Not using them on Joplin yet. Helps with lateral movements for sure with these guys who are not so naturally inclined to go sideways.

In Portugal most everything we rode were in a double and rowel spurs. Only one former bull fighting horse that I rode was in a snaffle. Spain everything was in a double.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Tanga » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:22 pm

Khall Juliet sounds similar to Quinn. She can be VERY heavy and likes to dive down, and I put her in a double because she liked to bolt and hurt me. She seems like a tank. But even though she can be very heavy, I have discovered she is overly sensitive. I have gone from longer spurs on her to the lightest possible, because even though she can seem like she's not giving to them, the bigger ones (just normal Prince of Wales type) she will give to, but they make her even tenser. I have gone to the shortest possible curb on her and the mildest eggbutt snaffle. I always went to almost uselessly long curb chain. In being a week out from a show, I am playing with going to the mildest roller ball spur and a link up on the curb because she gets into a leaning and tense thing that makes things worse. So I'm riding with a more moving/rythmic hand and leg so she stays softer and doesn't set against my hand or leg.

I ride both all of the time in the snaffle all of the time and it's fine. I could probably show Quilla in it, but I don't because if she gets nervous, she can duck out from my hand and drop in front and I can't do anything about it. Initially, I always thought Quilla was the super sensitive one, and she is, and rode in the mildest spurs. But I have figured out I need the long Price of Wales to get those one tempis. If I don't wear them, and use them in the one tempis, she stops changing on the right hind. Everything else is fine.

As with everything in horses, sometimes what you think makes sense with the horse you know doesn't work. So you have to play around with everything to find what works, and of course that changes with time and for circumstances!

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby heddylamar » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:34 pm

I use a double jointed baucher on Maia. I wanted the stability, and the teensy amount of leverage it provides without resorting to a gag bit. When she really barges through my hands, Maia backs off pretty quick, so it seems to work.

We’re still working on yielding to my aids, and I didn’t want an artificial advantage. Of course, after using my leg as a trampoline, I’m starting to rethink that.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:15 pm

Here's some good info on the baucher and how it actually works: https://nsbits.com/lifestyle/benefits-of-the-baucher

Heddylamar, since according to that there is no leverage, I wonder if what Maia responds to when she gets strong is the poll pressure being released as you pick up rein pressure?

The shank length debate is an interesting one. I've heard that a longer shank is more gentle. It has the ability to make a much stronger aid of course if fully engaged, but each movement is felt to a lesser extent, making it more forgiving. That's why I initially went with long shanks. But I wonder if MM would be less heavy with a shorter shank or with a straighter weymouth?

Khall, what I've noticed about the smooth rowels when I use them on MM is that they really get more engagement. I get more up and sit and suspension, rather than forward and push. In fact, sometimes it almost feels like MM gets TOO bouncy/springy with them and it can start to feel a bit behind my leg even. I wonder if that would go away if I used them more regularly. But right now I like having them as an occasional tool for when I do need to pick that belly up more.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:45 pm

Tanga Juliet is not really a tense horse. She’s an interesting mix of forward but not sensitive. At least not sensitive to the lateral aids. She can be looky and her go to is to leave town. What I’ve found riding her in the double is it has given me power steering:). She was much more of a physical ride in a snaffle. She’s long weak in the loin straighter and a bit high behind coupled with a big front end and heavy head. So not really designed for dancing in the sand box. Has lots of power but wants to use it forward and not sideways at all. She’s a different ride for me. Has lots of try which I appreciate after riding Rip for so long but a horrid match for her 100 lb older AA rider.

Thanks blob I will read the info on the baucher. Joplin is a mix of sensitive in the contact but such a sensible horse to ride. I do believe she would be one to ride bridleless. Easy to go easy to whoa.

Wished you were closer. My curb is short fixed shank with not much port. You could try it. Juliet just leaned on it. I think with the curb I used yesterday is it’s long but also much smaller diameter the bradoon was as well. So a bit sharper in her mouth yet I could ride with a touch longer rein and more open in the throat latch. Much lighter aids which I prefer. More correct and I felt she was listening better to my seat.

Hmm. I’ll have to try the roweled spur and see. Forward is not really and issue for Juliet. Moving sideways is. Better engagement would be nice but she actually is surprising me in her posture and balance. Pleasantly surprised. She has a big powerful canter to ride. Need for her to learn how to listen to my seat to collect it.

It’s fun riding different ones and figuring out their puzzles.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:30 am

For lateral help, I wonder if a thinner spur would help? So it's more of a precise move over--almost like a finger poke.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby heddylamar » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:26 am

blob wrote:Here's some good info on the baucher and how it actually works: https://nsbits.com/lifestyle/benefits-of-the-baucher

Heddylamar, since according to that there is no leverage, I wonder if what Maia responds to when she gets strong is the poll pressure being released as you pick up rein pressure?


I've read that and other pieces. I know any leverage is negligible ... but it's just enough more pressure than what I was getting with a loose ring French link (now using a baucher French link), or a d-ring, that Maia backs off immediately.

Maia's soft and pliable, until we canter. Then she gets a wild hair that she's in charge, and it's full steam ahead right into my hands. So, I don't want anything remotely severe.
Last edited by heddylamar on Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 2:09 pm

Like Ryeissa, I like to use a double jointed loose ring snaffle. No spurs until later.

With the young horses I like to use an eggbutt snaffle. It depends on the horse whether it's double jointed or single.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:41 pm

Well, I think most everyone here knows my trials and tribulations with Kyra and bitting. She does not tolerate jointed bits. Her inner cheeks are incredibly fleshy, she doesn't like tongue pressure and if she has it, she lifts the bit off her tongue and back into her molars then pinches the crap out of said fleshy inner cheeks.
This is what I ride her in
https://www.horsebitemporium.com/produc ... 0the%20bit.
Yes, it is weird. No it is not legal but it is what she works the best in. I do have a Neue Schule Turtle Tactio that she works fairly well in that I can use if we ever get back to showing. Although jointed it "locks out" and does not collapse like the typical bit. It does some rubbing and bruising on her cheeks but Straightforward rode her in it consistently when she was riding her and her performance did not deteriorate so I took that as a sign that it wasn't painful because trust me, when a bit is pinching her, she can be pretty dramatic. So, I have reserved that for 'formal" stuff like lessons, clinics and shows of which I am not doing any at this time so I ride her in the PeeWee and life if pretty good.

As to spurs, for daily work, I use none. When I lesson, show or clinic to look "proper", I use the Soft Touch spurs.
https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/m-tou ... -spur-9089
I am basically lazy and I don't need them so yes, I should probably be consistent and use them all the time or not at all but as above, right now...no clinics, shows or lessons so no spurs. I have no problems with lateral work or lengthenings. She will quite readily go from the leg and proper body position on my part.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:09 pm

Annabelle I have in a Sprenger Dynamic Loose ring single jointed. When I got her she was being ridden with no contact in a mullen curb, so I first put her in a Myler since the mouthpiece was fairly similar to the mullen, then moved her into a Novocontact single jointed until she figured out contact. Then we moved on to a Korsteel eggbutt single jointed, but the eggbutt combined with the PS Sweden Nirak, which works like a Micklem bridle, started to seem like too much stability for her, and she would just lean, so last summer I switched her to a regular flash bridle and the Sprenger Dynamic, and that has been a good combo. First I rode her with just the French noseband and no flash, but she seemed happier with the loosely adjusted flash. She is now in a more ergonomic type bridle rather than a traditional flash, but it has a strap below the bit, so same general idea.

Tesla is in a Neue Schule Tranz Lozenge eggbutt. I already had it, and it seems OK for her, but she is really light in the face for such a big horse, and a little fussy in the contact, so I'm thinking quite a bit about trying the NS Turtle Tactico eggbutt, though I'm trying to take a break from spending $$ on tack at the moment.

Spurs, I have a pair of small roller balls that I use with both of them, but I'm thinking of getting more of a plain spur. I'll probably take the spurs off Tesla when she starts getting a little more obedient to the leg, and I might go for a longer-necked spur on Annabelle that I can use with a little more finesse.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:44 pm

Thanks all for the bits to try with Joplin. This is a new experience for me a horse that can be fussy in the bridle.

SF dressage extensions has that NS bit in their trial bits. I think I’m going to give it a go I’m just not sure though what size they are in mm. Joplin wears a 5 1/4.

Juliet’s owner also has a double break baucher so may try it out.

I will probably order those blunt rowels as well just for a bit more sideways aid with Juliet. Trying to get some serious riding on her for her owner. Though pretty sure regardless of how much time in saddle I do put in her owner still is not up for the ride consistently. After two horse accidents both arms are compromised. Two different horses.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby mari » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:39 am

I use a full-cheek French snaffle (like so: https://westernshoppe.com/product/conta ... h-snaffle/) for dressage.

Odin is not particular about which bit is used, by which I mean he's not prone to objecting. But he gets HEAVY very easily. I've tried a Baucher multiple times, he leans on that like a drunk leaning on a bar counter. The full-cheek link gives him a wetter mouth than anything else I've tried, and has led to much much steadier lateral work. I think he likes the feeling of the bars on his face (although of course I have no idea, I can only go on the feeling).

For jumping, he's in a rope gag single joint snaffle. It's easier for me, because if I go whoa, his head comes up instead of diving down and towing me around.

I use little nubbin spurs for jumping, and slightly longer (but still blunt) ones for dressage. Although with my ankle injury I've been riding in sneakers and a brace for more than two months, and we're managing fine without the spurs.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:05 pm

khall wrote:SF dressage extensions has that NS bit in their trial bits. I think I’m going to give it a go I’m just not sure though what size they are in mm. Joplin wears a 5 1/4.


Thanks! Looks like they only have the XL in stock, and she probably needs a L. I think it was out of stock when I was looking a month or two ago as well.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:41 pm

I use a Bomberz happy tongue loose ring on Emi:
https://www.equiport.co.uk/blog/article ... uzz-about/

Not legal everywhere, but she is so much more connected with this than a jointed bit probably due to tongue/mouth shape.

I wear spurs very rarely.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:39 am

SF I ordered one of the NS turtle bits. Loose ring though. They had a cheaper baucher so I ordered one of those as well. I’ll report back after I’ve ridden in them both.

I tried longer spurs with Juliet today and went back to the bradoon I was using on her but kept the longer smaller diameter curb. I liked the combination. She was much steadier but also just a tad heavier than with the thin single joint bradoon. The longer spurs really did not make that much difference. I think the biggest issue is she needs to get stronger in her left hind.

Had my holistic vet look at Joplin yesterday help me decide on what but for her. She said if the NS or baucher does not work she recommends a myler comfort bit. It is legal. She said she has a thick tongue fleshy lips and narrow bottom jaw. So I may go ahead a buy one to try unless she can find hers to borrow

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Thu May 06, 2021 12:25 am

late last week I completed the form for the NS bit consultation service for MM's double bridles. It's a free service through their website where you fill out a pretty comprehensive questionnaire (free answer with the exception of things like gender and age) and then they send you back some suggestions of what might worked. they suggested two possible combinations. Both combos are in their 'common combinations' article on their website, so maybe it's what they suggest to everyone, ha. But they did also offer a suggestion to what they thought the problem was, so i don't think it's necessarily a standard response.

Anyway, i might try the veriband bradoon and slimma weymouth

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Thu May 06, 2021 2:49 am

Thanks blob! I will have to look at that on the site. I got the tactio today. Interesting looking bit. Hope to try it tomorrow if things settle down around here. Had an unexpected trip to vet with my dog Gracie and also have to call an electrician for my mom’s house. Think a breaker is bad. It won’t stay engaged

Always something

Will report back when I get to try the bit

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sat May 08, 2021 5:31 pm

The tactio came this week and I’ve ridden in it twice. I ordered the one with the loose ring. It has a very different mouthpiece than any other bit I’ve used. Joplin seems to go better in it with a more relaxed mouth than the kk I usually ride in. We’re not 100% comfortable yet but much better. I’m going to keep riding in it for a bit and see before trying any other bits.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sat May 15, 2021 4:01 pm

Khall, any more updates on the Tactio?

I was also hoping to hear from people who are using a Baucher - which one, why, what did it change vs. what you were using before?

I'm leaning towards ordering Tesla a Tactio eggbutt from horsebitshop.uk, and now toying with trying a Baucher for Annabelle. The Neue Schule bits are a lot cheaper from there, and there is a 10% off promo code (FBREC10) so I could probably get my money back reselling one or both bits if they don't work out. Annabelle is currently in a single-jointed loose ring Sprenger bit and I'm not totally unhappy with it, but have a feeling that we might find some more elastic contact and fewer above-the-bit moments with something different.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby demi » Sat May 15, 2021 4:24 pm

I recently switched Rocky from the snaffle Ive been using since she was 4 (she’s 14 now :shock: ). At 3 I mostly rode her in a Bosal (I wasn’t harsh with it!!), but that was mostly just trail riding. When I started arena work at 4, I tried several different snaffles and found that an eggbutt, medium thickness, single jointed was best. Too thick and she leaned on it, and the double jointed she chewed like a kid with a wad of bubble gum. Once i found the one that worked I kept it until recently mainly because I hate messing with a bit that works ok. Now though, since she is advancing, I decided to try a Boucher to see if it would help keep her from leaning on the bit. Her leaning isn’t extreme, but she just takes enough hold of it so that she can have a slight upper hand in the control. It’s hard to describe. She’s not being dangerous or anything, but more like she’s not allowing the bit contact I need for finer directions.

So, the Boucher. I got a nice one (as in $125) with the same mouthpiece as her snaffle. It has one of the longer upper shanks available but still dressage legal and doenst look harsh or anything. It made a difference. Not huge, but definitely a difference. I can get the feel that I need to be able to ask for “more”, like, “lift your front end up a bit more, stay there, and don’t take a hold of the bit!” I still have to keep gently but firmly reminding her, but the “feel” is much better. It helps also with trot lengthenings, as I am able to get a couple more steps before she starts to muscle me and drop on the forehand pulling me like a water skier.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby demi » Sat May 15, 2021 4:37 pm

So this thread got me thinking about bits and I’ve ordered a new bit for Emma. She is quirky and will buck quite hard on occasion. She has her own thread way back on this board so I wont go into all of her issues. Suffice it to say, I don’t want to get bucked off because at my age I have osteopenia and might not be able to get back on.

The trainer she was with when I bought her said that she went much better in a double (she was trained sorta to 4th level, PSG). I never used a double on her because I am not an advanced rider and i though it would only make her issues worse for me to try one.

So, after thinking a lot about it, I’ve ordered a very short shanked Pelham with the same mouthpiece as her snaffle (medium thickness, double jointed with a lozenge). It wont arrive till Monday and I’ll be out of town all next week so wont have a chance to try it until I get back. Or not...

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby demi » Sat May 15, 2021 4:45 pm

SF, I really liked the looks of the Neue Schule (sp?) Boucher but since I was just experimenting I went with the cheaper Stubben.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Srhorselady » Sat May 15, 2021 6:55 pm

I have used a KK double jointed with oval bean B Baucher with several horses with good results.

First horse for this bit many years ago my FEI schoolmaster. He was trained to FEI, liked a fairly heavy steady contact and was used to a double bridle when I got him. He was a large full bodied warmblood. I was petite, training level (at best) rider who threw away contact any time the horse asked for rein. Our first few rides in a loose ring snaffle were NOT pretty although he was as kind as could be. My trainer put him back in a double and it was better EXCEPT that I was terrified of accidentally grabbing the curb since I had waaay to much rein in my hand. The Baucher was the perfect compromise. It didn’t improve my riding (time and lessons did that) but he respected it more than a straight snaffle and let me be in charge (somewhat) with little or no contact.

Second horse was a teenaged quarterhorse who was used to being ridden in a western curb bit. He hated the loose ring snaffle that I thought I was being kind to ride him in. He threw his head around and was mouthy to the point of almost being unrideable in the snaffle. He was okay in a Mullen, but is definitely happier in the Baucher or a Pelham.

I also rode my sensitive jumper trained thoroughbred in the Baucher. He went fine in it. However he went fine in any bit I put in his mouth! He would just try to do his best no matter what!

I have found the Baucher is a good bit for horses that want or need a bit that is fairly steady and solid in their mouth. They don’t usually lean on it.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sat May 15, 2021 8:27 pm

Thanks this is very helpful! I suspect that a Baucher might be a good choice. I've been working on keeping A more compact and it can take quite a bit of core strength on my part at times to keep her from pulling me out of alignment. Of course I'm aiming for more lightness over time, but it seems like a little help getting over this hump will make her a more solid 2nd level horse and maybe cut down on our mileage in lower-quality work.

SrHorseLady, interesting about using the B-ring as an intermediate between a plain snaffle and a double. I've been wondering lately if A would be better in a double, though she's not quite far enough along with her training yet. That particular bit is available to rent from DE, so maybe I will give that a shot before ordering the NS bit from across the pond. Or I might try a single jointed for her first. I've only tried a double jointed bit on her once and it was horrible (Novocontact, which she liked in the single jointed version).
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Sat May 15, 2021 9:14 pm

RP was very reactive to a regular snaffle and I tried many different kinds. From them he went best in a hollow mouth, I think ultimately he's very sensitive to poll pressure and even the weight of a normal snaffle was too much. But with the baucher relieving poll pressure he's very happy and confident in it because he knows if he takes contact it gets him poll relief.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sun May 16, 2021 4:25 am

Interesting Blob! I remembered today that I have a different noseband for Tesla-a Montar that is ergonomic and has a strap that goes under the bit. I think I am going to give that a try before shelling out money for a new bit for her. I've found a single jointed Korsteel Baucher on eBay for $30, so I think I'll give that a shot for A in the meantime as well.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Sun May 16, 2021 11:48 am

Definitely some updates with the tactio. Joplin goes well in it except for the right lead. She wants to bulge her shoulder left. At the walk and trot I have no trouble keeping the shoulder in line but at the canter right we just can’t get it. The tactio does not help. Otherwise there if a a much better feel to her contact in the tactio. So I may try the baucher and see what I get.

I rode Juliet in the blunt rowels and a different double set up. I have a curb with and angle to it and she went well in it. The rowels did help with the lateral work.

I’m glad I started this thread. It’s been a great learning thread for me

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby piedmontfields » Sun May 16, 2021 11:37 pm

Very interesting update khall! I have seen a number of horses transformed in their happiness with the tactic---but you are describing in a much more rich and subtle way.

For those with delicate flowers like mine that like a non-jointed bit with tongue relief---I've noticed it is less "subtle" than a jointed bit, but I just use my body more to compensate. Which is probably what I should be doing!!

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby chantal » Mon May 17, 2021 8:45 pm

Single-jointed D-ring snaffle for my low-paletted, sensitive guy and short POW spurs for dressage and rubber balls for poles/jumping. Sometimes nothing. We put them on in Dec as he was not respecting my leg. I tried the Turtle-top bit but the S is too small and the M is too big so it didn't work. He also goes in regular cavesson. We tried a flash last month as he loves the area around his mouth rubbed and thought it might be good for bit support, great for the first ride but by the 4th ride, he was tossing his head so badly I got off and removed it. He hated it. No more head tossing.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Boudicea » Tue May 18, 2021 6:07 pm

No spurs. I use a single jointed bradoon both in the double and same one for my snaffle bridle. I think the nutcracker effect is a misunderstanding of mechanics and plus my horse doesn't like the tongue pressure of the double jointed bits and has a small mouth.

I have a thinner curb for the same reason that has a low port but I kind of wish it was a bit higher for more tongue relief.

I'm of the belief that bitting issues, assuming teeth and neck check out ok are usually hind end issues. So in a situation where the horse has difficulties accepting contact I try to find a comfortable bit within reason but then I focus on the training. I don't go crazy trying to find a specialty bit in other words. I've ridden a few horses with fairly severe bit acceptance issues and it always worked to fix the hind end for me.

Sol has quite a hard mouth and can really lean. This is due to his conformation. But it's fixed when you sit his butt down so he starts using his hind legs. I could do that in any bit.

I think I should start wearing spurs because they would help with precision, especially in piaffe/passage.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Tue May 18, 2021 7:34 pm

So yeah! Got the right lead and Joplin was better in the contact!! So it is about me applying the aids in a much more refined manner. Joplin is so in tune to my seat that I have to be clearer and use smaller aids Ride in the box as one western trainer talked about. I need to keep my position and have her come to me not me adapting to her. Worked a charm. Was getting good SI both direction and could take that to medium trot and her trot canter transitions were much better. Happy with my girl. She’s becoming so much more educated and it’s just going to be so easy for her.

Once she accepts the aids her contact is lovely.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sat May 22, 2021 3:41 pm

Well I just went on a shopping spree. ;)

Susan kindly lent me a couple of her Bauchers from her collection. There were some promising moments in the single-jointed NS, but she was tending towards getting very braced against the right rein. Yesterday I put the Myler on her and she stood there and gaped and chewed whereas she is usually pretty quite when I bridle her, so I think that is a no-go (didn't ride in it). However, I was thinking that it would be cool if there was such thing as a loose ring Baucher, and it turns out there is! So I ordered that (it's a single-jointed Fager titanium bit) and the NS Tactio eggbutt from the UK Bit Shop. Selected the return option for the Fager if need be since that won't be as easy to resell as the Tactio. Anyway, we'll see.

And since I was already on a roll, and have been thinking about some new spurs, I ordered the Sprenger Balkenhol spurs this morning (non-rowel). Since Annabelle's barrel is a little on the small side for my leg, I've been thinking it would be easier to touch her a bit with a longer spur neck. What I've been using is a pair of fairly short necked spurs with a roller ball, which I think are a little too pokey, and since I have to turn my leg in to use them, it's harder to be really tactful with them. The Balkenhols have a 35mm neck and are flattish and rounded at the end, so I think that will be more agreeable of a feeling for A and I won't have to move my leg as much to touch her with them. Let's hope, because they were not cheap!
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Sat May 22, 2021 10:04 pm

StraightForward wrote:
And since I was already on a roll, and have been thinking about some new spurs, I ordered the Sprenger Balkenhol spurs this morning (non-rowel). Since Annabelle's barrel is a little on the small side for my leg, I've been thinking it would be easier to touch her a bit with a longer spur neck. What I've been using is a pair of fairly short necked spurs with a roller ball, which I think are a little too pokey, and since I have to turn my leg in to use them, it's harder to be really tactful with them. The Balkenhols have a 35mm neck and are flattish and rounded at the end, so I think that will be more agreeable of a feeling for A and I won't have to move my leg as much to touch her with them. Let's hope, because they were not cheap!


I have also been thinking about getting a longer spur (but with no rowel) for MM and might grab myself a pair. Will be curious to hear how the longer spur goes with Annabelle.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Tue May 25, 2021 3:03 pm

I ordered the bomber bit. Joplin is better in the tactio quieter in the mouth but still has some resistance to it. I know I can also ride her better! But talking with Cedar about it she said just keep trying some different bits see what happens. Not going to hurt anything but my pocketbook!

The sweet iron just intrigues me never having used a sweet iron before and the shape is similar to the myler bit my chiro vet recommended

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:30 am

I bought the dressage legal bomber bit and tried it on Joplin today. She goes better in the bomber bit then the tactio

Boudicca horses have different mouth conformations and sensitivity which is why I’ve tried different bits to fit Joplin’s mouth conformation. I don’t subscribe that it is always the hind end at all.

Karen Rohlf definitely does not as well. Why she developed a bitless bridle though I have not had to go that far yet. She also will use a bitless in combination with a curb for a double effect much like some of the old masters used a caveson with a curb

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby exvet » Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:42 pm

khall wrote:I bought the dressage legal bomber bit and tried it on Joplin today. She goes better in the bomber bit then the tactio

Boudicca horses have different mouth conformations and sensitivity which is why I’ve tried different bits to fit Joplin’s mouth conformation. I don’t subscribe that it is always the hind end at all.

Karen Rohlf definitely does not as well. Why she developed a bitless bridle though I have not had to go that far yet. She also will use a bitless in combination with a curb for a double effect much like some of the old masters used a caveson with a curb


Thank you for the information/feedback. I'm still using the bomber bit on Brandon. While he still isn't thrilled with the concept of contact, he is still so much better in the bomber bit overall. He rarely sticks his tongue out anymore. Our main issues I think are more his lack of balance, his growth spurts contributing to his lack of balance and strength, and his disposition/personality in that he really does not like being told what to do or what direction to take. I get some really nice moments; so, we're sticking with this bit for now. I also am having a well respected colleague who specializes in equine dentistry come out the end of June to do Junior's and Brandon's teeth. I figure I'm going to take advantage of an 'expert' at this time. Unfortunately Ace gets stuck with me doing his teeth but like so many 'surviving' mustangs his teeth are near perfect.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:14 pm

blob wrote:I have also been thinking about getting a longer spur (but with no rowel) for MM and might grab myself a pair. Will be curious to hear how the longer spur goes with Annabelle.


Wow, I finally got a chance to ride in the new Balkenhol spurs this morning and I'm very happy. A was much more responsive, and my aid felt more precise and definite than with the roller ball spur. I think the flat/rounded design is a really good one since it can be precise without giving too much of a sharp poke. Now if the Baucher would arrive and give us an equal amount of improvement, I will be thrilled.
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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby tlkidding » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:43 pm

I just had my first bit fitting last night for my 4 year old gelding.

He is very mouthy and seemed very insecure about the bit from the first time I put one in his mouth last year. I started him in a double jointed happy mouth but he would grab it and gnaw with his molars. We then went to different variations of plastic/rubber mullens - duo, nathe, and happy mouth. The thin ones he would gnaw through and the thicker ones seemed to be ok.

I was wondering if he needed tongue relief since he seemed to struggle with swallowing with the bit sometimes (we scoped and everything looks normal). The bit fitter actually suggested bar relief because his bars are "sharp." Wow did that seem to make a big difference. I decided to order a HS RS Dynamic single joint since I could get it faster, but the next option is a Bombers ultra comfy bit.

My older horse was started in a HS KK and always used the same bit. Starting over with a new, young horse and not being totally straightforward (can be balky and tentative about touching the bit/hand) was a challenge. The bit fitting was well worth it to try 3 high end bits in 30 minutes. I asked to stop with that because he was really improved in each of the bits and I knew he was going to run out of gas, so with a different horse we might have ended up trying more than 3 new bits.

For spurs I ride in little rounded nubby spurs but have several pairs with slightly longer shafts if needed. My older horse doesn't go in spurs anymore, but they definitely help with the steering the baby horse.

Now I have to decide if I order the really expensive bridle that fit the 4 year old much better behind the ears...

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:38 pm

tlkidding wrote:
Now I have to decide if I order the really expensive bridle that fit the 4 year old much better behind the ears...


I bought RP an anatomical crown piece that was much cheaper than the whole bridle and then just strapped on the noseband and cheek pieces from my previous bridle. Happy horse, happy wallet.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby tlkidding » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:53 pm

blob wrote: I bought RP an anatomical crown piece that was much cheaper than the whole bridle and then just strapped on the noseband and cheek pieces from my previous bridle. Happy horse, happy wallet.


Can you tell me more about the brand, model, size, and where you ordered. I looked briefly online for a store selling the crown of the Schockemoehle Stanford we tried on but didn't find one easily. Also, the noseband was so much prettier than my current...but he's only 4 and may not stay with me forever.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby blob » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:11 am

I got an FSS one from eBay. I ordered a cob size, but they come in full and pony and oversized as well.

[url]. https://www.ebay.com/itm/372023950312?_ ... %3A2332490[/url]

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:54 pm

Four rides so far in the Fager titanium loose ring Baucher. It was not an immediate win, but overall I think it is an improvement over the loose ring snaffle. Each ride has been better, and as my instructor pointed out, she is finding a new way of carrying herself that will take time to adapt to. Not totally sold on the titanium mouthpiece, but it seems ok. Haven't looked into whether it's legal or not, but no plans to show this year, so it's not an immediate concern. I wish the Sprenger butterfly Baucher came in a single-jointed; if it did that is one I would try as well. I'm sure if I do show and need to use a different bit I could just get a similar fixed ring to use temporarily.

Haven't ridden Tesla yet in the Tactio, but I did long line her in it yesterday and liked what I saw. It is a really interesting mouthpiece!
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Boudicea » Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:41 am

khall wrote:Boudicca horses have different mouth conformations and sensitivity which is why I’ve tried different bits to fit Joplin’s mouth conformation. I don’t subscribe that it is always the hind end at all.

Karen Rohlf definitely does not as well. Why she developed a bitless bridle though I have not had to go that far yet. She also will use a bitless in combination with a curb for a double effect much like some of the old masters used a caveson with a curb


I guess if we're name dropping than I can tell you HLM van Schaik said a good rider should be able to ride in a rusty key.

I don't disagree with that statement either but I don't think the average rider, myself included, should be considered on that list of a "good rider" in this instance. I think of course it's important to find a bit that fits the horse's mouth but I don't feel I'd have to invent a new bridle to do it.

But in any case, to each their own. I've had success with horses that have trouble accepting the bit by addressing the issues in their bodies and I'm sure others have had success by riding in a specialty bit. So it's all good. I should add that I mean that sincerely. Sometimes intonation gets lost on the web so I am not trying to sound sarcastic. We all have different ways of achieving the same goal.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby khall » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:31 pm

Boudica we all have to approach our riding and horses in what makes sense to us and our horses. I’ve never ridden one that was as fussy in the bridle as my mare Joplin is. Has been from the get go. That is why I had the vet take a look and why I’ve tried different bits to see if she would be happier in a different bit. It seems that I’ve found one she prefers. She is much quieter in the mouth in the bomber bit I bought than any other bit so far. As we are progressing in our riding and the requests are becoming more complex I really needed that communication to be easier

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:56 pm

I have these two cutback headpices. The BR is better quality than FSS but both have been a great value for 55-65 USD.


https://equiture.biz/collections/bridle ... ce-snaffle
https://www.ebay.com/itm/143167899933?h ... SwTXdchslK

Here is a similar design from Henry James that I was considering but I also had just put in my order for the other one
https://www.henryjamessaddlery.co.uk/co ... -headpiece

I also made a change where I went up one size in the browband and it made a big difference in giving some poll relief.

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:56 pm

I found the noseband I select makes the biggest difference overall. My horse really doesn't like cranks or flashes, or if the leather is too stiff/heavy/padded. That rules out like 99% of the pretty and fancy ones! (Sad face)

I tend to stick with a very soft KB Albion noseband:
https://www.tds-saddlers.com/product/al ... -noseband/

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Re: Bits and spurs

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:01 pm

I asked my vet to draw me the shape of my horses' mouth in a dental visit and it was helpful to select a bit.
I think it's definitely a mix of horse preference and training. How much % of each depends on the horse.


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