Bit search!

Hey guys, i’m in search of a new bit and am not sure what type of bit would best fit these qualifications, so i’m wondering if you guys have any recommendations.

  • Preferably a pelham since i do equitation, but it’s not a necessity
  • has leverage to keep my horse in a supple frame and engaged in the hind, but also not too strong as to make him behind the bit or reluctant to move forward
    -On the softer side, my horse is a pretty sensitive guy and actually gets fussy and more “up” with strong bits
  • but it also needs to have some woah power, since he can get pretty strong and wound up in the show ring.
    i know some of those points contradict each other but i guess i’m trying to find something that’s in the middle. ive found he’s not much of a fan of french links, and the shorter the shank of the pelham the better. i need something that allows me to stay out of his way but also have reinforcements if necessary. thanks!

What’s he in currently and what hasn’t worked? Have you tried just a Mullen mouth Pelham or one with a small port with a short shank?

You could try one of the dees with the hooks with no curb although some consider them unconventional.

Could also try a Waterford Dee or full cheek. The full cheek may give you just a little more leverage.

@kmwines he currently shows in a ported d ring, i’m not too big of a fan of it because i don’t feel like i’m able to get him “up underneath me” as well as i want and he gets a little strung out with it. it does fine for the time being though. I’ve tried a simple rubber one-joint pelham with short shanks and i’m not sure if it was just the weather or something or the bit but he was crazy with it. it all depends on the day, he’s one of those horses that changes every time you go into the show ring, and also at home. at home i try to change the bit i use once every few weeks to keep him thinking and supple. so it’s hard for me to list every bit i’ve tried, but i do know that he isn’t a big fan of french link for some reason.

Have you tried a pelham already? Single-jointed or mullen mouth, with a short shank, maybe a leather curb chain or a loose one.

But, really, it sounds like something that requires more work on the flat and on balance than a bit-fix. My old eq horse could get strong/distracted in the show ring, so he showed in a pelham, but we rode in a loose ring at home and for schooling/flatwork at shows. And the better I rode and more secure/educated my leg became, and the more I learned to get horse working from behind, the less important it was to find a just-right-magic-bit because I could fix the balance/getting-strong issues with my leg.

@retiredhorse i’ve tried a short shanked rubber single joint pelham, a french link pelham, and a mullen mouth. wasn’t a fan of any of them, although i would be willing to try the rubber again. and i completely agree with you about the flatwork thing, i put a lot of effort towards his flatwork skills and i also use much lighter bits at home, sometimes i just ride in a halter. i tend to use a different bit depending on if i’m flagging or jumping at home, and i change the type of bit usually once every few weeks to try to keep him supple and thinking.