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Bits for jumping?

Discussion in 'Tack & Saddlery' started by HaloHoney, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. HaloHoney

    HaloHoney Active Member

    Apr 30, 2017
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    I know virtually nothing about bitting and horses.

    I have experienced a couple of occasions when jumping my new horse that he has a tendency to be quite strong when he's excited. Gets excited/strong at the sight of coloured poles/XC fences. I have 2 bits for him at the moment both of them snaffles of some sort (one loose ring French link snaffle, one loose ring copper lozenge snaffle). He wears a Flash bridle. I find myself needing to repeatedly ask him to slow down/put the brakes on.

    I have noticed on the photos I was sent when I viewed him that there are pics of him being hunted in a kimblewick, and doing XC in a Pelham with roundings (as identified by friend with lots of experience of horses).

    Would him being a bit strong when jumping be a reason why he'd be in one of these bits? He seems happy in a snaffle when doing flatwork.

    What's the difference between those 2 bits?

    Is one gentler than the other? I can see what type of bit they are but not what's in his mouth. Does this make a massive difference to the function of the bit?

    What are the risks of using these bits? And the benefits?

    I've got friends who jump their strong horses in a Waterford. Is that the same sort of thing?

    I guess I just want to make sure I'm not assuming it's the bit that's the issue and not something else I could be doing. The last thing I want to do is slap a strong bit on him but not tackle any underlying issue (my crappy riding) - it's pure excitement not nastiness and although strong (my shoulders and back ache afterwards!) he's still respectful of me saying "not today, mate" when hacking through the woods past the XC fences.

    It's quite clear that jumping is what he loves doing. I love seeing him so excited. I just hope I can do his talent justice - there's a 1'6" XC comp on 10th September at my yard that I'd like to have a go at. So I figured we could try out different bits now if we needed to!
  2. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
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    A kimblewick and pelham are both curb action bits (as you pull it engages a strap or chain in the curb under the chin) they give you varying degrees of leverage depending on how far below the mouthpiece the reins are attached and how far above the mouthpiece the curb is attached, leverage effectively multiplies any force you apply, a snaffle bit is a direct action with no leverage so the horse feels the exact same ammount of pressure that you apply to the rein.

    A kimblewick is ridden with a single rein and gives a little leverage, more so if tge reins can't slide on the ring like those with slots.

    A pelham is designed to be used with double reins so you have separately controlled snaffle and curb reins, adding roundings makes it like a kimblewick in that the curb will always be activated when pressure is applied but often they give slightly more leverage than a kimblewick in this set up because they generally put the rein further away from the mouthpiece but that isn't always true.

    The mouthpiece can change the action of the bit within the mouth and affect the severity of it.
    HaloHoney likes this.
  3. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

    Mar 15, 2008
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    I would speak to your RI who sees you riding.
    You haven't long started jumping and it's a new partnership. Your perception of strong might actually be forwards.
    Mine is quite lazy but with poles she is interested and is actually forwards.
    If he is rushing that's something your RI can help you with and possibly suggest a different bit if needed.
    Mine ignored the French link but likes the peanut mouthpiece.
    HaloHoney, orbvalley and carthorse like this.
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  5. orbvalley

    orbvalley Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2008
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    I agree with @newforest - your RI will be able to set up some exercises before & after the jump for you which should make him concentrate and consequently oblige him to slow down. it maybe just education on his or your part thats needed rather than a different bit.
    HaloHoney likes this.
  6. Cortrasna

    Cortrasna Grumpy old nag

    Aug 5, 2009
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    I also think it a good idea to take some advice from someone who's knowledge you respect (RI for instance? ) and who has seen you and the horse jumping IRL. Dolly is always in a Neue Schule baucher (https://www.horsebitbank.com/ns-tranz-angled-lozenge-baucher-51.phtml) and it suits her very well. But on the very odd and rare occasion when we do jump a few things out hacking she does get very keen to say the least - but to me it isn't an indicator that she needs a stronger or different type of bit - just that she really enjoys a bit of a blast and I let her go for it within reason. I would never immediately jump (oh pardon the pun! :O ) to the conclusion or confuse being keen and excited with needing to up the severity or the style of bit, might just mean you need to readjust your riding style slightly to accommodate the newly found exuberance in your horse? :)
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