Bit suggestions for new horse?

I just started leasing a horse who has been mostly trained in polo his entire career. He knows go, whoa, turn (by neck reining), and leg yielding, but that’s about all he’s been asked to do. He doesn’t balance very well through turns, he can’t carry himself in any sort of frame, etc. He jumps very well, so eventually I want to get him started in hunter/jumper classes, but for right now we’re doing LOTS of flat work :]

I’ve been thinking about what kind of bit I should get for him, but I want to hear if y’all have any ideas. He has excellent brakes, but doesn’t like to soften when I apply contact (even though I have him going forward into my hand). I’d prefer to stick with something that I can use later in the hunter ring, but if y’all think he would benefit from a different kind of bit now, then just let me know. So far I’ve tried him in a loose ring french link, and in a slow twist full cheek. He loves to play with the bit as his workout progresses, but I think its probably just be from impatience.

Thanks for any ideas you guys might have! Appreciate it :]

I am a fan of french link D rings, its my go to bit for starting them softly and the D helps with steering. If you find you need more, its always easy to go stronger, to maybe a Dr.Bristol. Its better to work up, than start strong then back off.
If he is fussy a check of the teeth is never a bad idea. Good luck, he sounds very interesting.

Agree with the above. If he really loves to play with the bit, maybe try a dee with rollers in it?

Maybe try a Myler? My old horse had great brakes but could be a bit of a leaner. He went well in an MB02 mouthpiece. Some dressage work helped him too, when he learned (and developed the muscle to be able to) that he could actually carry himself around!

If the horse has fine brakes but is just readjusting to a new system of riding I can’t see why it would need anything but a simple snaffle. D rings would be a good idea as that is what is most acceptable in hunters and most likely what you are going to use when you start competing. Keep it simple. A bit is not going to fix the fact he doesn’t know how to work properly yet. What will fix that is correct training.

My favorite bits are the Sprenger KK bits. :slight_smile:

Since he has good breaks I would just go with a plain D ring snaffle or maybe a D happy mouth.

I ride my greenies in this… while yours may not be young he is green to working on the bit. It is a gentle snaffle and encourages softness with the copper inlay and ergonomic shape. Each side rotates independently so I find it helps lift the should up through turns. Worth the expense and I’d put it on a lot of horses.

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. A D with a roller sounds like it might be what I want to start out with. I’m excited to see how he responds :]

Same recommendation as tua37516. The independent sides seems to help prevent leaning and really help in getting them to lift their shoulders.

He likely hasn’t a clue how to soften into contact. Polo ponies aren’t really taught that. They’re taught, stop, go and steer (which is predominantly neck reining). I’d just go with something simple and fill in the holes in his training.