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Bitting advice and information

Hello all I am hoping to get some advice on bitting for my 9 year old Haflinger gelding. At the moment he is in a jointed Uxeter Kimberwick with a curb chain, not using the rein slots. I am hoping to get him out of this bit. I don’t know much about them but it seems very harsh and we never use them at my former barn. If anyone is not sure of what haflingers are like consider them a draft horse in a pony sized suit. The reasons why I’d like to get my horse out of the bit is because I do not trust myself with it I feel like because I am still getting back into riding that I could be harsh on him with it. I am looking for alternatives he’s actually going pretty well and he does respond to leg pressure. I ride him with very gentle spurs and a dressage whip to help reinforce steering I am looking for a bit advice as an alternative to the uxeter kimberwicke that’s currently on him , he had this bit when I bought him. At the moment the worst thing he does is he can be herd bound especially if his pasture mates are in the ring with him and he will have a tendency to pull me towards them he is listening to my leg when I apply it and if Im not paying attention he does get me every now and then but it’s my fault not his. When he does his herdbound act he has a tendency to rubber neck and shoulder out so I’m really working on my leg hip and seat AIDS. He can also be difficult to steer at times and a bit wiggly but everytime we ride together we get better and better and I do have help at the barn . The girl that I bought him from said snaffles did nothing on him but I feel like he shouldn’t be in this bit forever. I feel bad I would like an alternative if anybody can think of anything, is that wrong? Or should I let sleeping dogs lie? I picked up a full cheek snaffle with peanut in the middle at a consignment saddle shop. Do you think it is worth trying? Thanks for any and all help!! :slight_smile:

If you’re not using the rein slots, you’re basically using a snaffle anyway. The rein in the slots is what engages the curb chain and poll pressure. Out of the slots, you’re just putting “normal” pressure on tongue, bars and lips. So go ahead and trade out to a simple snaffle if it makes you feel better. Since he’s already used to a single joint, I’d suggest sticking with that. A double joint will increase tongue pressure. Good luck. :slight_smile:

Thanks Melissa, I appreciate your input, that makes sense!! Happy Horsing!! :slight_smile:

A Kimberwick without the reigns fixed in the slots is essentially a baucher I believe. So its a suspended snaffle and is plenty kind. Its cool that you have a haflinger that is light enough to go in a snaffle like that, so good for you! All the haffies I know are really heavy and go in Pelhams or elevator gags.

Thank you so much for your advice and thank you for the compliment about my pony. He is a great pony and I’m so lucky to have him!!

Agree with the above, you could just move him into a Baucher for the look of a less harsh bit, and then not have to worry about the curb chain etc. . You also have the option of a french link or lozenge mouth with a Baucher that are not available in a Kimberwicke (I believe).

I love haffies, and one our best schoolies was a haffie cross. . . opinionated, but a fabulous teacher! He went in Waterford Dee, as he could lean a bit on your hands, but he loved that bit.

Do you have a pelham you could try? It would be more like the kimberwicke he’s accustomed to, but you can control the pressure of the curb rein. Sometimes you just need a little “umph” with the draft horses, even the pony versions!