Bit help!!! Discussion on bits for horses who run theough the shoulder?

Does anyone have any bit recommendations for a heavy horse who tends to run through the shoulder?
Before you come at me and say that its a training issue… I would totally agree and we have been in the process of working on it for a while but I need to find a good bit for shows when he gets a little pushier.
Ive tried virtually everything on him, snaffles with an array of different mouthpieces, gags, elevators, pelhams, a myler you name it. He tends to go the same in all of them!
I have him in a Stubben EZ Control 2 Ring Gag which I use two reins on and he goes the best in this out of everything I’ve tried, but Its not totally ideal because I show in hunters and eq, and would only be able to use it for jumpers.

Would love suggestions, opinions, and recommendations.

Thanks again

Honestly you’re not going to like this answer! Bulging through the shoulder will not be helped in the least by a bit. I will bet dollar to donuts that, at shows especially, when the nerves set in, you pull more with your inside rein and take your leg off because you feel him fall through the shoulder, get unbalanced, which makes him “feel” faster (he’s not he’s unbalanced and bulging) and the cycle begins!

A bit won’t fix this, no matter how much you’d like it too. What will fix it… Keep the outside rein against his neck, only use the inside rein to guide (you should only see the inside of his eye when you’re turnin), keep your legs on, and make sure your outside leg stops his haunches from swinging! He has to be balanced properly to stop the shoulder falling out.

Its a battle many of us face and something we think about every time we ride!

Yup. As stated above, this is not a bit-related fix. The only bit suggestion I have is to use a full cheek or D ring while you sort out you seat and aids, so the bit spent slide through the horse’s mouth.

A stronger bit will also just get this horse MORE behind the aids, and contribute to the problem you are having.

You might need to ask about spurs! They will probably help more. I think the two ring is a good fix, and you can recreate something like it with a Pelham on a loose chain, maybe, for the hunters?

I must have phrased my question wrong! Not looking for a bit to solve all of these problems but more of an aid to help out while im working through it :slight_smile:

Agree with eclipse and arlosmine! A quicker, and better short term fix would be to pay for a pro to school your horse a few times and possibly think about taking a few dressage lessons to help combat your inside rein/outside leg problem. A bulging shoulder usually stems from not enough outside leg and too much inside rein.

Learning to use half halts and training exercises that will work on getting your horse straight between both legs and on to his haunches more will likely do wonders for your horse. :wink:

Leg, not bit, is what is going to fix this. Work on getting horse to respect the leg as well as make sure you aren’t over using your inside rein.

My mare likes to bulge her shoulder to the right when she doesn’t want to do something. Getting her to respect my right leg was the best fix. I did wear some big old spurs for a while and also had my trainer school her a few times.

Thanks! Ill probably give the spurs a try

Agree with all of those who said the problem can be solved with outside leg.

I don’t agree you need spurs. You need to make sure you aren’t stepping more heavily into the inside leg, first. Then, best way to fix is to use your outside knee and upper thigh to catch the shoulder and move it over. Your knee is a very powerful aid.

By “needing spurs” I meant that this problem is going to be solved by using the leg. The horse may or may not need spurs, OP and her trainer can more readily answer that, but if the horse is blowing past her outside rein and leg, she might not have enough leg strength without them to get him off her leg/make him respect it. (And it isn’t just about leg strength – spurs are an aid too, and one that my trainer and many excellent trainers teach you should get on every horse with, once you reach a certain level of independence in your leg). She should ask with her leg and if the horse doesn’t listen when asked nicely once, I think applying a light spur to say “oh yes you will move that shoulder over sir” is a good idea as long as it is done with supervision at first if she isn’t used to using them and OP has an independent enough leg to apply the spurs with discretion.

:yes: I used some big spurs because horse was just blowing through my leg. She’d start to bulge, I’d give her a few quick pokes with big ole spur and she’d say “yes, ma’am. I WILL move that shoulder back in line.” I’ve now switched back to a much smaller spur…that I only have to use occasionally.

Id say the source of our problem is that my leg braces forward and gets pushed off when he gets stiff and too far past the shoulder. The straightness isn’t as big of an issue with him id say its more of not being able to block him coming too far out through the shoulder with my calf, knee, and thigh.
Ive taken him to a pro for one week a while back and she said he tried the same exact things with her. My trainer is also going to help me out with making him a little easier while I fix my unfortunate leg issue.
The part where the bit comes in is for just shows in the hunter/eq that would be appropriate

Sometimes conformation doesn’t help and unless he has some veryrecent diagnostics, like within 6 months, his back end could be bothering him, hocks, stifle etc. And they don’t limp if both sides are involved.

Probably training but could be pain related or he just can’t physically do it with his conformation.

My horse sometimes does this with me and what helps me is when I’m warming up, ride down the long sides in a shoulder-fore. Basically this keeps both of us honest in that it doesn’t allow him to cheat by just relying on the wall, and it forces me to use my legs properly and not just let trot down the long side ignoring my aids.

It has helped a lot and now we’ve progressed to using shoulder-in and counter canter as well.

My dressage horse does this. Not so much anymore, because we’ve really been working on it, but it took some conscientious work on my part to make it happen. In addition to the spurs as has already been suggested, I started riding with my dressage whip resting against his right shoulder and tapping him on the shoulder as needed if he ignored my leg. I also had to focus on making sure NOT to pull too much with my left rein, which is also something I would do. Not all the time, but enough that it didn’t help the bulging through the right shoulder any when it happened. Once I got myself sorted out, he started to get HIMSELF sorted out, too. Also, in a similar vein of what Frivian said, try riding him off the wall more on the quarter line instead of the rail so that he doesn’t get dependent upon that. Good luck!

[QUOTE=Vanessaj;7784589]Id say the source of our problem is that my leg braces forward and gets pushed off when he gets stiff and too far past the shoulder. The straightness isn’t as big of an issue with him id say its more of not being able to block him coming too far out through the shoulder with my calf, knee, and thigh.
Ive taken him to a pro for one week a while back and she said he tried the same exact things with her. My trainer is also going to help me out with making him a little easier while I fix my unfortunate leg issue.
The part where the bit comes in is for just shows in the hunter/eq that would be appropriate[/QUOTE]

Sounds like maybe a fitness/soundess thing? My mare used to bulge on one side more than the other due to her hocks. One hock had more arthritis than the other so the direction where she had to engage the more arthritic hock under her was always harder.

Lots of slow walking warm up with lateral work, counter bending, etc would help.

[QUOTE=KateKat;7785016]Sounds like maybe a fitness/soundess thing? My mare used to bulge on one side more than the other due to her hocks. One hock had more arthritis than the other so the direction where she had to engage the more arthritic hock under her was always harder.

Lots of slow walking warm up with lateral work, counter bending, etc would help.[/QUOTE]

Thats the weird thing!! I got him checked by the vet when all of this started and is perfectly fine! Even has the chiropractor monthly!
Hes very muscular so lack of muscle isnt an issue.

He did have some very incorrect training before I got him and conformation most likely plays a part

[QUOTE=Vanessaj;7784589]Id say the source of our problem is that my leg braces forward and gets pushed off when he gets stiff and too far past the shoulder. The straightness isn’t as big of an issue with him id say its more of not being able to block him coming too far out through the shoulder with my calf, knee, and thigh.
Ive taken him to a pro for one week a while back and she said he tried the same exact things with her. My trainer is also going to help me out with making him a little easier while I fix my unfortunate leg issue.
The part where the bit comes in is for just shows in the hunter/eq that would be appropriate[/QUOTE]

Does your trainer ride your horse regularly? Or maybe she doesn’t ride since you said you sent him to a pro for a week?

An issue like you’ve described isn’t necessarily going to be fixed in a week with a great pro in that even if they can get the horse going better in a week, once it comes back to you it’s likely to resume old habits.

If your current trainer isn’t able to help with this maybe consider riding with someone who can help fix it by riding him AND helping you learn the ropes?

There’s a fine line between adding resistance to a horse who is resisting and adding so much resistance that the horse will never soften. Some horses are quirky about how you can approach them - some, the more resistance the rider adds, the more they tense away. You might consider trying to melt when the horse resists, stay the same, relaxed, and patiently keep asking him for the right thing until he gives, stays straight, whatever.

Thanks to everyone else who beat me to the “it’s not the bit” answers.

It’s not the bit. My horse can fall through his shoulders, particularly to the right. Doesn’t matter what bit I’m in, it’ll happen if I’m not diligent. It also doesn’t matter what bit he’s in for me to fix it. Outside leg, outside rein. Things we work on constantly to improve it: counter bend (lots of counter bend), lateral work to insure I can ride all parts of him independently and put them where I want them, and riding him thinking “shoulders up, up, up” (which comes from lots of half halts and legs).