I have a 17.2hh, 9 year old TB Gelding,
I've been trying to get just the right bit!
He works wonderful in the Happy Mouth Broken Pelham but he gets really STRONG I can feel him Grab the bit with his teeth and pull down. He does not stop he is very heavy but other days he is amazing in it! Also I use a 3 ring Elevator Bit on him once in awhile to let him that is not acceptable, but my coach says that he isn't as relaxed in it as he is in the Pelham.

I am in the States for a couple more days now and I found 2 bits thats look very good for him and read up on some just thought I would get so input from others.
I have found a Myler Dee Ring Level 2 which I heard works wonders and a Thick bar French Link Pelham which I have never seen before! I found My horse works great in the Pelham bits because he like leverage.
Advise or Info?

Jake is very high headed likes to invert himself every once in awhile he is a quicker horse. We are working on his Butt Muscles and his Neck! Which go hand in hand! He is a strong horse and very above the bit and I need to bring him down. I also have Light hands.

Please give me some information on these bits.

Thank you

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because you have light hands, and a trainer, I would try somthing simple and effective. He is leaning on the bit, and then trying to "snatch" it from you, getting him light on the mouth will help with everything (the collection you mentioned) I like to use simple snaffles until the horse can easily go into his body type frame, move both shoulders independantly, both hips indepandantly, rider should be able to move shoulder and hip in and out at walk/sitting trot/rising trot (this will help with his butt muscles and neck).

So I recommend using a twisted snaffle, remember when the back goes up to carry himself properly the head must come down or he will ride hollow. Try to use your legs to "carry" him until he realises what you want, sometimes a spur can help but you may want to talk to your RI/trainer about that.

I don't like to keep going to a "harsher" bit because in most cases the problem is never solved just forced into a false collection, whoa, gait, headset ect ect, and eventually the bit becomes useless as the "mouth gets tough" (which is untrue, most horses mouths can become rehabilitated but many people once horses are that far gone don't have the patience to retrain/regain confidence)

so I would dispose of all leverage bits, and start simple. The human body has many tools that can be used to retrain a horse to slow and bend with out bits. But because he probably already has some technique to "avoid the bit" I would work on a snaffle with a bit of a twist as this will stop him from leaning on it, if he does try to lean, twitch the opposite rein annoyingly until he stops leaning, push his shoulder over, and hip over as reining rollbacks, then try what you were doing again. If he gets frustrated and tries to take off, try to stop him (whether thats steering him into the wall of the arena), then back him up, ask for the shoulder over, hip over, then go again.

work this at the walk/trot first, let HIS MIND GO TO SLOW, sometimes we get to busy on schooling everything that we forget to go back to the basics. SO for a few weeks just walk and trot, and work on transitioning, get him to really UNDERSTAND WHOA.

Once he stops leaning on the bit, and you have some collection, good hocks under neath him, he doesn't run with you, keeps a steady headset, then you can use a leverage bit.

good luck!
I would suggest working on riding with your body more then just your hands. Remeber your seat and weight does more then your hands and bit do. Instead of jumping up to a bigger bit work on simple riding techiquies, working on your body. So circles, sepertines, transitions.

My horse gets strong at times, rushes, grabs the bit. He will even overbridle. I have soft hands to. My coach and I work on riding with my body to slow him down it took a while but it helped so much. I have alwas ridden him in french link snaffle.

Really count a slower rythem in your mind, slow your breathing.
hey thanks guys, I know what you guys are saying with the body and I do, thats acually all I work on but my horse is well 'a special one' I have had 5 coaches and no one has any idea why he does the things he does I have owned him for 4 years now and I have gone from a Egg Butt Snaffle, Hunter Dee Wateford, then a Kimberwick, a loose ring happy mouth with a peanut, I tried a hackamore, 3 ring eleavtor bit, Happy mouth pelham, twisted full cheeks. (I know its a lot but NOTHING has worked on him execpt a leverage bit)

I work on so many exercises, I use my legs all the time. He does not like any full cheek I have tried! He work amazing in a Kimberwick for 3 months I got so much done then all of a sudden he would not listen! Then I switched again he loved it for 3 months then HATED it. Hes just a horse that need something new, Ive tried new exercises when he gets like this but the only thing that works is switching the bit.

Probably sounds bad but yea.
there is more to the horse behaviour then "he needs something new"..yes maybe he does but going harsher is not the ideal thing for "something new". I would find another trainer (keep the one you have but also look at a natural horsemanship person, or one who has knowledge in muscles therapy, massage therapy, and chiropracting for horses). Have you done his teeth by a reputable vet? Have you had a chiropractor and a massage therapist out?

By any question is he an OTTB?

I have a friend who told me her RI used to have an OTTB and the only way to stop him when he got in his "racing moods" was to act like he won the race..patting his neck and such..quite quirky.

I just want you to know, that each time you swtich bits for an "easy fix" (as I call them), the resale value of your horse, the safety of yourself, and the training of the horse goes down. I think everyone (including myself) has tried the switching bits idea, I have never seen it work on cases like yours. Yes for the odd horse who leans when asked to back up a twisted snaffle will work, for a horse that needs a little break at the poll but is already carrying himself a leverage bit would work, I horse that drops its shoulder a correction "lifter" bit could be used..BUT EVERYTHING I JUST MENTIONED my WP champion horse does on a regular bases, I took him to the vet, got his hocks injected (because he was ouchey), and HE IS BEING RIDDEN IN A SIMPLE SNAFFLE to correct the rest.

But before I did any bit changing or anything I consulted a vet (teeth and hocks), and my RI is a massage therapist. Then we put him in a snaffle, and used my body to get the results we needed..not perfect but I have all winter to practise.

I think you love your horse, and I think you want this changing of bits to end, so my reasoning for you is you have all winter to work, try finding a "chris irwin/ monty roberts" (I used Chris Irwin,a nd it transformed my young mare, then helped me figure out why this other mare I had was not collecting, RUNNING AWAY, and wouldn't let me catch her, wouldn't want to be petted..the list goes on)kinda person and start right to the basics..as if he is a 3 year old starting ground work..look for respect and companionship in roundpen, then slowly work up to lunging with a sursingle, then drive your horse/long line, then work at the walk and whoa on his back, then ask for the trot after that with a whoa, then once his whoa is awesome add some canter..all with a simple snaffle.
I know nothing about bits, I have an o ring snaffle that chris cox designed with a sweet wire and a break in the mouthpeice and my trainer told me that is the only bit i'm gonna need because i have to learn to ride him with my body, not my hands..... so I agree here with Samantha... that was my first thought when I read your blog.... pretend you were riding bitless... :) imagine the connection you would feel with your horse....

speed control is real important to the riding of the horse from what my trainer teaches me, and bending and softening and suppling my horse and doing serpentines and turns.... pushing him forward into the bit, not him taking it away from me and if he gets pushy to turn him and disengage.....

omg, I can't wait to learn how to ride my horse now... thanks for the post!! I'm starting my lessons tomorrow again after a year off..... I am going to just sit on Oliver.... and then move forward.. I do not want this whole bit thing to even be an issue and I do not want to fight with his face. If that starts happening I am going to fix it with my trainer right there.... before he learns and I learn bad habits that make a bit an issue...

and I am going to be so physically challened and tired and frustrated sometimes but I know the answer to the bit is in the bod...
Having experienced a revolutionary effect in re-schooling an OTTB, using the methods of the French Classical Trainers, I would suggest some research into Philippe Karl and his book, Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage. In my over 40 years of riding, variations on the theme of trying to force the horse to lower his head and neck and "engage" through riding "back to front", into the resisting hand, ultimately achieved nothing.
I witnessed incredible changes in the horses that Philippe Karl taught in his clinic. He observed the tight nosebands, pulling hands and contradictory aids....and changed the rider's strategy. Instead of trying to force the horse down, lift and extend the neck. Once the horse begins to mouth the bit with the head horizontal to the ground and the throatlatch open, the rider slowly lowers the hands, but not below the withers. In doing circles and corners, use the inside hand high and open to provide the horse with a visual sense of direction.
Philippe also taught the horse to flex his neck at the throat latch and the shoulders, from a ground position. Please study his diagrams and explanations about the physical abilities of the horse to be laterally flexed from the shoulders back.
After some work with these exercises, you will find many incredible changes, both in yourself as a rider and in the manner in which your horse travels. Riding with high hands...and with thumbs out and palms up (you cannot pull in this hand position), forces core strength building and an independent seat, which is absolutely essential to having feeling hands. You will feel your horse relax through his back and neck and the length of stride will increase. So too, will the engagement. The feeling of balance will be overwhelming and your communication with the horse will be magnified.
In this process, keep your legs OFF the horse. No banging, squeezing or pushing forward. Allow him to establish his own rhythm. You will find that in 'feeling' for his mouth in the high head position will control his unbalanced running forward. To slow and make downward transitions, lift the horse. He will automatically step under himself for a beautiful correct transition.
M. Karl suggests that no bit is perfect in unfeeling hands. And all bits are inhumane when the mouth is forced closed with tight nosebands. Microfractures, which cause incredible pain, have been observed on the bar portion of the jaw from the pressure of bits being levered against them.
I personally, am a fan of the Sprenger Ultra Dynamic line which has a D-Ring, Full-Cheek and now the loose-ring option. But saying that, M. Karl also suggested that the movement of the french-link across the tongue can prove harmful and painful.
The physical appearance of your horse will also change in doing these exercises...the dip in front of the withers will begin to disappear and your horse will 'grow' at the withers, because he is no longer dragging himself forward, but rather building abdominal and quarter muscle, to push him forward.
I cannot express the joy I have experienced in using this 'upside-down' approach to achieving the goals of relaxation, rhythm, impulsion and obedience, after years of the standard methods so frequently proclaimed as correct. You only need to be a casual observer to recognize the training standards have deteriorated to such an extent that we reward the obvious signs of physical discomfort and mental torment at the highest level of the equestrian sport.

Best Regards
I've only been riding horses for a year and 4 months...but I do have a suggestion.
You could use side reins, so when he pulls his head down to take the reins out of your hands, the side reins would stop him.

Hope I helped!
side reins only help if its his head down as the problem. This would in most cases just make the horse bite the bit again and he would pull trew those aswell causes his mouth to grow harder or sores.

In a soft mouthed horse, that doesn't quite understand head carriage draw reins or side reins work well, but on a hyper horse or one that likes to take off or throw his head in the air the sudden pressure could end up in a rear and tumble/fall over (rider being crushed), just rearing and backing up.

this horse doesn't need any more different aids (its obviously hasn't worked hence why bits only last a few months), he needs a different perspective, and some more work.
I agree with Lois' method for a horse like this.
It's never the bit. Always the rider. I know that sounds snarky but I do feel a well trained horse should always be able to be ridden in the simpliest of snaffles. If they can't, then there is a serious "hole" in their training somewhere.

That said, I gather you haven't had the horse from his very beginning, so it's probably not your fault ;-).

Still, IMHO, with a horse like this I would personally go backward through his training until I had a willing, happy horse in a simple snaffle, better yet french link but that's just my opinion.

"Bitting up" is almost always a bad idea.

To go backwards in training takes time and patience. If you compete you may not have that luxury?

I do sincerely doubt ANY horse enjoys a new piece of metal in his mouth every few months. That's just wrong. You may be projecting your preferences onto your horse?
thank you everyone for your advice.

We are planning on showing, but now a problem has arose with his hock that we are taking care of, I will be starting from the beginning due to the injections which will probably help from starting over again.
I have owed him since he was 6 and he is turning 10 this March. I know you guys have all said SIMPLE SNAFFLE and I have definitely tried don't doubt I haven't. I have been using the Happy Mouth Broken Pelham and he has been CONSTANTLY happy in it, and I would prefer not to take that away from him. I feel comfortable using it on him and he very light in it which I like.
Maybe training tips to help his head go down with this bit would be a better approach?
you have got your answer on training tips for his head down. Splash, Lois Keays, and I have told you what you need to do. HIs head going up is most likely him evading the bit. You need to start over, and see what he has missed, or lost. Then you know how "he was brought up" sorta. Remember you have all winter, and nothing is stopping you from showing in schooling shows. If your looking for a quick fix, I won't give you one..your horse is smart/cunning enough to find a way to do as he wants with a "quick fix" as you have already witnessed.

Remember, a collected horse has his hocks under him "in a frame" its not all about the break at the pole or wither. All horses have a different way of carrying themselves, keep that in mind..ask for stretching at the walk (this would really work with a surcingle/driving during your restarting phase).

Injections? Did your horse get his hocks injected with cortizone? I had my horse get this done a month ago, he has been so much happier..and he carries himself in his own frame for all our schooling session.


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